Apple’s latest M2 MacBook Pro models have generated a lot of buzz among tech enthusiasts and Apple loyalists. And while look they look exactly the same as the 2021 M1 Macbook Pro models externally, the internals tell a different story giving content creators serious power in a very portable form factor. However, with the hefty price tag that comes with it, is it worth investing in?
M2 MacBook Pro Design – Top Notch
The M2 MacBook Pro 16 and 14-Inch have the exact same chassis as last year’s redesign, a flat aluminum body with a rounded-corner design and thin bezels that is both elegant and professional. If you didn’t see the apple logo you’d know it is still clearly a MacBook Pro. The M2 Macbook pro still come in two colors: Space Gray, and Silver with the 16-inch model at 4.7 pounds being slightly larger and heavier than the 14-inch model at 3.5, but both are still easy to carry around. The only significant change this year would be the inclusion of color-matched MagSafe power cables and.. that’s pretty much it.
We meet again… Notch
Another thing Apple kept this year was the notch. This allows Apple to fit a 1080p camera in there, although this year I would’ve expected to see Face ID, to make further use of the notch, which is a missed opportunity. The menu bar is somewhat reduced in size in the center due to the notch, but the additional pixels and 0.2 inches of screen space balance things out. The notch also goes in full-screen mode, where the Menu bar is hidden behind a black bar at the top of the screen, along with the Menu bar. Most users shouldn’t have an issue because you still have a large 14-inch or even larger 16-inch display to work with to where you stop noticing the notch.
M2 MacBook Pro Display
The screens on both the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro are stunning. Apple brands them “Liquid Retina XDR,” which basically means a high-resolution mini-LED panel with HDR support and adaptive refresh rates up to 120 Hz using Apple’s ProMotion technology. It also means you’re getting up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak HDR brightness, along with a more general 500 nits for standard usage.
We also still have a contrast ratio at an impressive 1,000,000:1 that produces inky blacks and bright highlights. The 14.2-inch laptop uses a 3024 x 1964 resolution screen, while the 16-inch notebook has a 3456 x 2234 resolution panel. The ProMotion technology adapts the refresh rate of the screen at up to 120Hz making the experience smooth and responsive. Apple’s True Tone technology, is a feature I especially love, for when you have to move the MacBook Pro from one environment to another
M2 MacBook Pro Performance – As fast as You’d expect
Apple’s latest M2 Chip offers significant potential for performance improvements. When the M2 chip replaced the M1, the difference, while noticeable, didn’t match the improvement from Intel to M1. However, some configurations of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips surpass the power of the more recent M2 processors. Nevertheless, in most cases, including those tested, the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips provide sufficient performance to push the bar even further.
Compared to the original M2 chip’s 8-core CPU, the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips have a 12-core CPU. Additionally, the M2’s GPU has ten cores, while the new versions have up to 38 cores, enhancing graphics handling capabilities. The M2 chip can support 24GB of system memory, while the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips can support up to 96GB, but at a much higher price point. The increased number of cores can result in substantial processing power gains.
Although the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips were good enough for providing fast and efficient experiences in the 2021 Macbook Pro models, the power of the M2 Pro and Pro Max chip has exceeded my expectations. Both M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are perfect for creators who require high-performance computing for tasks such as video editing, 3D modeling. But if you’re a creator that needs that extra power the M2 Max is the way to go.
Now, One thing we did notice though compared to the M1 Pro and Max Macbook pro is the M2 Macbook pro runs slightly warmer with the fans working and being loud more often.
M2 MacBook Pro Battery Life:
One of the most significant improvements in the M2 MacBook Pro models is their battery life. The 16-inch model can last up to 22 hours on a single charge, while the 14-inch model can last up to 17 hours. This is a considerable improvement from the previous models, making it ideal for users who need to work on the go without worrying about running out of power.
M2 MacBook Pro Audio
The 16-inch MacBook Pro continues to have my favorite speakers on any laptop. You still get the six-speaker sound system with two tweeters and four woofers. Both the 14-inches and 16-inches have the same sound system, but for my money, the 16-inch model sounds slightly more detailed, rich, and bassy. I find that the speakers sound better than your most average Bluetooth speakers, I rarely use my own Bluetooth speakers anymore.
M2 MacBook Pro Keyboard and Touchpad:
The M2 MacBook Pro models come with the latest magic keyboard, which has a backlit design. The problematic Butterfly mechanism is still thankfully gone and you also get a collection of 12 full-height function keys and a Touch ID button which can be found at the top of the 78-key keyboard, which has no Touch Bar.
The keyboard has improved key travel, making it more comfortable to type for extended periods. The Force Touch trackpad is also large on the 16-inch model making it easier to navigate the laptop than on the 14-inch model.
M2 MacBook Pro Ports and Connectivity:
The MagSafe connector, which was brought back with the 2021 versions, is kept in the 2023 M2 Macbook pro models. MagSafe makes cable removal simple and your laptop safe from accidental pulling. MagSafe also provides fast charging. The SD card slot is still present, (thank God)
Bottom line: If you’re replacing an Apple MacBook Pro from the fall of 2021, there is nothing new to see here. identical clear, detailed display, identical six-speaker audio system with support for opulent spatial audio and supported material, identical flawless build quality, an identical pleasantly comfortable keyboard, and identical expansive touchpad. You can expect many significant changes if you’re upgrading from an Intel Apple MacBook Pro or from many PC computers.
Internally, the adoption of Wi-Fi 6E connectivity is a major shift.
M2 Macbook Pro Conclusion
The M2 MacBook Air will provide more than enough power for the majority of users. However, the M2 MacBook Pro gives that extra boost in performance, allowing you to run more programs for longer on battery power alone without any sluggishness or warming up to the point where the fan is needed. These models offer speed improvements for all users. It’s just up to the individual to take advantage of the full capabilities of the machines.
Creators can benefit from the enhanced speed, especially for video workflows. Since the 2021 M1 Macbook Pro are so similar, the only real reason to update is if you believe the new processors and fast-charging power can benefit the tasks you perform on your laptop since the 2021 versions are similar in every aspect except the chip. But if you’ve been on the verge of upgrading your Intel Apple MacBook Pro, this is a worthy upgrade for sure.
Where to buy
16-inch model – Amazon
14-inch model – Amazon