MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) review

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2022 (from $1,299) is one of the first M2-powered Apple laptop to hit the market. While the design hasn’t changed, Apple promises a leap in performance, whether you’re editing photos or videos or running multiple applications at once.

And based on our tests, the M2 chip delivers, offering performance that destroys the best Windows laptops. The M2 also beats the M1 chip by a significant margin in various benchmarks. Plus, the new MacBook Pro 2022 delivers the longest battery life we’ve seen, surpassing 18 hours of endurance.

However, while this notebook sports a new slice of Apple silicon, the design shows its age. You get the same form factor, same ports, same display and same webcam. Meanwhile, the new MacBook Air 2022 offers a larger display with thinner bezels, a 1080p webcam and a thinner, lighter design.

It would be easy to say the new MacBook Pro isn’t worthwhile and that it’s better to get its modern cousin, the MacBook Air. There’s some truth to that sentiment, but it wouldn’t be wise to dismiss this product, which is still one of the best laptops for power users.

And while the MacBook Pro 13-inch is currently the longest-lasting laptop we’ve tested, the newly announced MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch 2023 launched with M2 Pro and M2 Max power could potentially last even longer.

Read the rest of our full MacBook Pro 2022 review to see if it’s worth the investment.

MacBook Pro 2022 review: Price and configurations

  • Starts at $1,299
  • Upgradable to 24 GB of memory and 2 TB of storage
  • 67W USB-C charger included

The M2-powered MacBook Pro is available now for a starting price of $1,299 on Apple’s website. This is identical to its predecessor, though it’s $100 more than the $1,199 starting price of the MacBook Air 2022.

The base model features a 13.3-inch (2560 x 1600) display, an M2 processor with an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, 8 GB of unified memory and 256 GB of storage. You can upgrade up to 24 GB of unified memory and 2 TB of storage if you’re willing to pay $2,499. Our review unit came with 16 GB of unified memory and 1 TB of storage, costing $1,899 as configured.

All configurations come with a 67W USB-C power adapter. You can opt for either a silver or space gray finish.

MacBook Pro 2022 review: Design and ports

  • Same design as 2020 M1 MacBook Pro
  • Touch Bar included
  • Only two Thunderbolt ports

The MacBook Pro 2022 features the same unibody aluminum design that has been around for the better part of a decade. The laptop isn’t unattractive, but the thick bezels and the infamous Touch Bar make this new laptop appear dated when compared to the contemporary MacBook Pro 14-inch, MacBook Pro 16-inch and MacBook Air 2022.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Port selection is minimal, with only two Thunderbolt/USB4 ports on the left and a headphone jack on the right. There are no configurations featuring additional ports.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

In all fairness, the new MacBook Air has the same number of ports as the MacBook Pro. However, since the Air has MagSafe charging, you can argue that it has more available ports than the MacBook Pro 2022.

MacBook Pro 2022 review: Display

  • Sharp 13.3-inch Retina Display screen
  • Can get fairly bright

As with design, the MacBook Pro has the same 13.3-inch Retina Display as its predecessor. The screen delivers sharp images and vibrant colors. If you’re watching the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth trailer on YouTube or enjoying Prehistoric Planet on Apple TV+, you won’t be disappointed by the overall picture quality.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

This Retina Display doesn’t have the jaw-dropping image quality of the MacBook Pro 14-inch’s gorgeous mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR screen, which is disappointing. Perhaps it’s unfair of me to ask, but it would have been nice to see a machine with “Pro” in its name have an improved panel.

Per our lab tests, the MacBook Pro 2022 achieved an average of 474.6 nits of standard brightness and 490 nits of HDR brightness. Though lower than the advertised 500 nits of brightness, it’s brighter than the M1 MacBook Pro’s 439 average.

According to our colorimeter, the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s display produces 109.4% of the sRGB color gamut (the closer to 100%, the better). Interestingly enough, this number is slightly lower than the 111% produced by its M1-powered predecessor. As for the DCI-P3 color gamut test, the MacBook Pro 2022 registered 77.5%, which is lower than the M1 MacBook Pro’s 79.2%.

MacBook Pro 2022 review: Audio

  • Powerful speakers
  • Good enough for music listening

The stereo speakers on the MacBook Pro 13-inch are just as great as before, delivering clear and punchy sound that fills an entire room.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The audio in programs like Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast or YouTube videos from UrAvgConsumer sound clean and crisp — making you feel as if you’re in the room with those shows’ respective hosts and guests. Songs like Dio’s Egypt (the chains are on) and Arch Enemy’s Sunset Over the Empire are lacking in bass but sound much better than they would on most laptop speakers.

While the 14-inch MacBook Pro’s speakers have better sound, the M2 MacBook Pro’s audio is still quite impressive. However, the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 with its Bowers and Wilkins speaker system trounces them both in the audio department.

MacBook Pro 2022 review: Performance

  • M2 processor has stronger performance over M1
  • Handles video transcoding with ease
  • Solid for everyday work

Apple promised better performance from the M2 chip powering the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Though the new processor isn’t powerful as the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip, it’s a huge improvement over the original M1 chip. As things stand, this is the most powerful baseline 13-inch MacBook Pro the company has ever released.

On Geekbench 5.4, which measures overall performance, the MacBook Pro 2022 scored 8,911 on the multicore portion of the test. This is well above the M1 MacBook Pro’s 7,571 score on Geekbench 5.3. However, the beastly M1 Pro-driven MacBook Pro 14-inch scored an incredible 12,477.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2021) on the left, MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) on the right (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The new Apple laptop runs circles around the best Windows laptops, defeating notebooks like the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED (6,411) and Dell XPS 13 OLED (5,420) in the same performance test. The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 (7,140) came close to reaching the previous MacBook Pro’s score but even it can’t reach the heights achieved by the new M2 laptop.

The MacBook Pro delivered impressive results in our Handbrake video-editing test, which involves transcoding a 4K clip to 1080p. It transcoded a video in 6 minutes and 51 seconds, whereas the M1 MacBook Pro achieved the same task in 7 minutes and 46 seconds.

The Dell XPS 13 OLED took a leisurely 18 minutes and 12 seconds and the Yoga 9i needed over 12 minutes. Note that we have yet to test the new Dell XPS 13 with a 12th gen Intel chip, so we expect better performance.