Apple updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip but keeps same old exterior

Apple has released a new version of its 13-inch MacBook Pro with the powerful new M2 chip. Apart from support for more GPU cores, increased unified memory, enhanced media engine, and improved audio, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the same old design, display, and speakers as its predecessor. It features none of the new features like MagSafe, or thin bezels that the M2 MacBook Air, or the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro have.

13-inch MacBook Pro M2

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro features

In terms of features, almost everything in the new M2 13-inch MacBook Pro is the same as the previous generation 2020 M1 3-inch MacBook Pro. However, there are some updates:

M2 chip

The new M2 chip features 18% CPU performance and 35% GPU performance compared to the M1 chip while providing the same battery efficiency. The new M2 chip features a 10-core GPU, while the M1 chip featured an 8-core GPU on the MacBook Pro.

The new M2 chip 13-inch MacBook Pro can also be configured with up to 24GB unified memory (LPDDR5), while its predecessor topped out at 16GB unified memory (LPDDR4X). This enables 100GB/s memory bandwidth on the new SoC. The new M2 chip also brings in a new media engine that supports Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW, a video decode engine, a video encode engine, and ProRes encode and decode engine. This is the same media engine that is already a part of M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips.

Audio

The other major change in the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro is support for Spatial Audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos on built-in speakers, as well as Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking when using AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max.

Apple has also updated the 3.5mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones.

Charger

Apple now ships a 67W USB-C Power Adapter with the new MacBook Pro, replacing the previous 61W USB-C Power Adapter in the 2022 model.

Price

In terms of price, the new model starts from $1,199 for the M2 chip with 8-core GPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage. To get the full power of the new M2 chip with the 10-core GPU, you have to spend $1,499, which also gives you 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. For the same price, you can also get an M2 MacBook Air, with the same chip, number of cores, RAM, and storage, so it is a difficult decision to make for most users.

Availability will start next month – Apple has not announced a date yet. 

Our take

Overall, for new users, the new MacBook Pro is a good upgrade. It features the same long battery life of up to 20 hours, a beautiful Retina display with 500nits brightness, and the Touch Bar that some users love. However, it misses out on features like MagSafe charging, 1080p FaceTime camera, various color options, fast charging, and dual USB-C power adapter that the M2 MacBook Air ships with.

Despite the shortcomings, it features active cooling which can be important in many situations, especially when playing games, and also provides one of the longest battery life of any MacBook, second only to the gigantic 16-inch MacBook Pro model.

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