Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022) review: M1 owners aren t missing out. Mac pro 2022

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022) review: M1 owners aren’t missing out

The M2 MacBook Pro delivers excellent performance and battery life, but the design is now looking tired.

apple, 13-inch, macbook, 2022, review

Cliff has worked on numerous computer and technology titles, including PC Magazine and MacUser, and has over 20 years’ experience in tech journalism.

Cliff has worked on numerous computer and technology titles, including PC Magazine and MacUser, and has over 20 years’ experience in tech journalism.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)

pros and cons

  • Performance boost from M2 processor
  • Lightweight, slimline design
  • Bright, colourful Retina Display
  • Ageing design
  • 720p webcam
  • Expensive purchase-time upgrades
  • No user upgrades

The MacBook Air grabbed most of the headlines at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June, boasting a sleek new design and the introduction of Apple’s second-generation M2 system-on-chip (SoC). That’s hardly surprising since the MacBook Air is, according to Apple, “the world’s best selling laptop”, but it meant that this more modest update for the 13-inch MacBook Pro went almost unnoticed.- in fact, it got barely a minute during the opening WWDC Keynote speech.

That’s perhaps inevitable, as the 2022 edition of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is, essentially, a speed bump that does little more than drop the new M2 chip into the same 13-inch laptop design that’s been in use for several years. And, in many respects, the MacBook Air is now the more attractive of the two laptops. The one real advantage of the MacBook Pro is that its fan-assisted cooling system allows its processor to run at full speed for longer than the passive cooling of the MacBook Air. That might give the MacBook Pro the edge for professional users who don’t mind trading a little extra weight for more sustained performance in their key apps and software.

Price options

If you’re in the US, then the price of the 13-inch MacBook hasn’t changed, still starting at 1,299 when equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage. The entry-level UK price, however, has increased from £1,299 to £1,349.

There are no upgrade options for the M2 processor itself, although the M2 runs at 3.5GHz, compared to 3.2GHz for the previous M1, and steps up from 8 to 10 GPU cores. The 8GB of RAM is annoyingly limited for a professional laptop, though, and Apple’s memory upgrades are as expensive as ever, costing 200 to double up to 16GB, or 400 if you opt for the maximum 24GB. Storage upgrades are equally pricey, costing 200 for 512GB, 400 for our 1TB review unit, or 800 for 2TB.

Design features

There really are very few differences between the M1 and M2 versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. That’s no bad thing, though, since the M2 edition is just as slim and light as its 2020 predecessor, measuring 304mm wide by 212mm deep by 15.6mm thick. The weight remains the same too, at 1.4kg.- not much heavier than the 1.24kg of the new MacBook Air.

The 13.3-inch Retina Display remains the same too, with 2560 by 1600 resolution (227ppi) and 500 nits brightness that provides a bold, colourful image that works well for streaming video and entertainment. The Retina Display also supports both Adobe RGB and the DCI-P3 colour standard required for professional-level video and graphics work.

This unambitious update does represent a missed opportunity, though. The 13-inch MacBook Pro retains the unloved Touch Bar that Apple has already removed from other MacBook Pro models, and is the only MacBook Pro model that’s still limited to two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports.

It’s also disappointing to see that it retains the same 720p webcam as its predecessor. The webcam does work well in relatively low light conditions, but it can’t match the sharpness of a good 1080p webcam. That’s disappointing for a laptop with a starting price of 1,299, and it remains odd that a company with Apple’s affinity for eye-candy should have such an obvious blind spot when it comes to webcams.


As mentioned, the M2 chip includes an 8-core CPU just like the M1, but now steps up from 8 to 10 cores for its integrated GPU. The M2 also increases the maximum amount of integrated ‘unified’ memory from 16GB to 24GB, with 100GB/s memory bandwidth that is 50% higher than that of the M1. That has led Apple to claim a performance increase of 39% over the M1 for tasks such as gaming and image processing. The fan-assisted cooling system of the MacBook Pro also seems to give it an edge over the M2 version of the MacBook Air, as it been reported that the Air’s passive cooling system sometimes forces it to throttle processor performance when under intense pressure in order to reduce heat output.

Our test results were somewhat mixed, but still show the M2 pulling clearly ahead of the entry-level M1. The M1 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro achieved a score of 1,707 for single-core performance in Geekbench 5, while the M2 manages 1,900.- in fact, that score even outguns the 1,790 single-core performance of the M1 Ultra used in Apple’s high-end Mac Studio.

The M2 pulls further ahead on multi-core performance too, scoring 8986, compared to 7395 for the M1. However, it’s the Geekbench Compute test of graphics performance that shows the greatest improvement, with the M1 scoring 20,440 while the new M2 strides ahead with 30,180. That’s in line with Apple’s claims for image processing performance, but we saw relatively little difference in 3D graphics, with the M2 only nudging slightly ahead to 30fps in the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme test, compared to 29fps for the M1. In contrast, the M1 Max processor used in the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 121fps, while the M1 Ultra of the Mac Studio.- with no fewer than 48 GPU cores.- romps off into the sunset with 209fps.

So while the M2 does provide a worthwhile speed bump when compared to the M1 chipset, it’s still no match for the M1 Max and Ultra with their additional CPU and GPU cores.

But, as always, the Apple Silicon MacBook range still has one ace up its sleeve, in the form of outstanding battery life. Like its M1 predecessor, the new M2 13-inch MacBook Pro claims battery life of ‘up to 17 hours’ for wireless web browsing, and 20 hours for video playback. And while many rival laptops fall far short of the manufacturer’s boasts, we found that the M2 model lasted for a full 19 hours and 56 minutes when streaming full-screen video from the BBC iPlayer, with the screen brightness set to a perfectly watchable 50%. If you’re not using the Wi-Fi all the time, then the 13-inch MacBook Pro might genuinely be able to provide a full 24 hours of battery life.


The M2 MacBook Pro is not a major upgrade, and owners of the two-year-old M1-based model shouldn’t worry that they’re missing out on the ‘next big thing’. It’s also a little disappointing that Apple hasn’t done more to update the ageing design of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Even so, the M2 chipset does provide a welcome speed bump, and could well prove a tempting upgrade for owners of older Intel-based MacBook Pros.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) specifications

Processor Apple M2 (8-core CPU, 3.5GHz)
Graphics integrated 10-core GPU
RAM 8GB, 16GB, 24GB (Unified Memory)
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB (SSD)
Display 13.3-inch Retina
Resolution 2560 x 1600 (227ppi)
Brightness 500 nits
Colour gamut sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Ports 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4
Input 65/66-key keyboard, Touch Bar, Force Touch trackpad
Webcam 720p FaceTime HD Camera
Audio 3x microphones, stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery capacity 58.2Wh
Battery life (claimed) up to 20h movie playback, 17h wireless web
Charging 67W USB-C power adapter
Dimensions 304mm x 212mm x 15.6mm (11.97in. x 8.36in. x 0.61in.)
Weight 1.4kg (3.0lbs)
Price from 1,299 / £1,349

Alternatives to consider

Mac users are spoilt for choice at the moment, with multiple MacBook models offering both M1 and M2 processors. And, of course, PC rivals such as Microsoft’s Surface range are always keen to get a slice of Apple’s pie.

It’s the fastest 13-inch MacBook Pro ever, but is that enough to keep it ahead of the competition?

Digital Camera World Verdict

The MacBook Pro has always been an easy sell for anyone wanting a highly portable, exquisitely well made laptop that performs brilliantly and sports a stunning screen. The M2 MacBook Pro is all of these things, and with starting at a very fair 1,299/£1,349, it’s excellent value for money, especially when compared to the pricier 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks. However, there are compromises to be made. We found the 13.3-inch screen to be a little small for extended periods of editing, and with just two USB ports (one taken by the charger), a dongle is an inconvenient necessity.


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The latest MacBook Pro may look just like its predecessor, but it’s the first to pack Apple’s second-generation ‘M2’ System on Chip, promising up to a 40% performance increase over the original 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro. The Apple M2 silicon is an 8-core design with a unified 10-core GPU, available with 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB RAM (a useful increase from the original M1 MacBook Pro, which topped out at 16GB).

Could the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro be the best photo-editing laptop?


CPU: Apple M2 8-core CPU Graphics: Integrated 10-core GPU RAM: 8-24GB Unified memory Screen: 13.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4.0 Type-C), 3.5mm headphone jack Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 Camera: 720p FaceTime HD webcam Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.24kg) Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.4cm); W x D x H

Key features

If you’re familiar with 2020’s M1 MacBook Pro, the latest M2 version is, superficially at least, more of the same. You still get a huge trackpad with pressure-sensitive Force Touch, Apple’s backlit Magic Keyboard with scissor key switches, and perhaps surprisingly, a Touch Bar. Despite waning support for this once-flaunted feature, it’s still present on the M2 MacBook Pro, providing an interesting alternative to a ‘conventional’ touchscreen display.

Also carried over from the M1 ‘Pro is the 720p FaceTime camera. an odd choice, given the M2 MacBook Air gets a 1080p camera. The lower-res camera does mean there’s no notch in the top of the screen viewing area though. a ‘feature’ that is present on the ‘Air, and one which can take some getting used to.

Elsewhere, the increased power efficiency of the M2 chip enables up to 20 hours battery life – impressive, given Apple claims the power of the M2 can handle up to 11 streams of 4K ProRes video, or 2 streams of 8K footage.

Storage ranges between 256GB and 2TB, but most impressive for photographers is the gorgeous 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display. This is an IPS LCD panel capable of a high 500-nit maximum brightness and extensive DCI-P3 color space coverage. The only potential drawback is the relatively small 13.3 inch size, which regardless of the high resolution could still prove uncomfortably small for longer image/video editing sessions.

Build and Handling

As we’ve come to expect from modern MacBook Pro’s, this is an exceptionally svelte and portable machine. At 1.4kg light and 1.56cm in thickness, it’s barely more than the 1.24kg/1.13cm M2 MacBook Air. Despite being so slim, Apple’s build quality is sublime as usual, with no discernible flex or creaks in the device.

However, while the slimness may be great news for portability, it does result in pathetic physical connectivity: just two Thunderbolt/USB 4 Type-C ports. Given that one of these is required to connect the charger, this leaves you with just a single port for connecting peripherals. Realistically a separate dongle will therefore be required, at a hefty extra expense if you go for Apple’s own USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter, and carrying this around will somewhat negate the slim form factor of the laptop itself.

Of course this isn’t an issue unique to the M2 MacBook Pro, but what is distinct to the new ‘Pro is its somewhat strange screen setup. Perhaps due to the mixed feedback on the M2 Air’s notched display, the M2 Pro actually has a slightly smaller 13.3 inch panel (compared to 13.6 inch for the Air). This does away with a need for a notch, as the webcam is contained completely in the top bezel, but it also means those bezels are necessarily thicker and therefore more unsightly. It also means the 13-inch MacBook Pro now has a slightly smaller screen than the 13-inch MacBook Air, in addition to its lower resolution webcam.

But in the Pro’s favour, you do get Apple‘s Touch Bar. This thin touch-sensitive strip dynamically changes its touch buttons according to the open app, giving you buttons and sliders relevant to what you’re currently working on. A few years ago the Touch Bar was Apple’s next big thing, touted as being a worthwhile alternative to a conventional full-on touch screen. However these days Apple is gradually omitting it from its laptops, and now the 13-inch M2 Pro is the only current MacBook to include the Touch Bar. Whether that’s a benefit for you of course depends on whether you’ve learnt to incorporate it into your workflow, but I find it a genuinely useful feature when using the laptop on the go.


With a supposed 40% performance increase over the original M1 MacBook Pro, I had high hopes for the speed of the M2 ‘Pro. In terms of simple benchmark performance, a Cinebench R23 score of 8720 is impressive, though not as fire-breathingly fast as Apple’s marketing hype may lead you to expect. I benchmarked the M2 Pro alongside my own desktop PC daily driver. Though approaching 10 (yes, 10!) years old, its quad-core Intel Core i7 2700K processor was once the pinnacle of desktop PC performance, and thanks to being overclocked from 3.5GHz to 4.6GHz, this PC is still able to do everything I need it to in 2022. It’s also interesting to see how a modern ultra-portable laptop can compare in performance to a hulking great performance-centric desktop tower. For perspective, the PC scored 4407 in Cinebench, making the little MacBook nearly twice as fast.

apple, 13-inch, macbook, 2022, review

For a more real-world performance test, I installed the latest version of Photoshop on both machines and loaded up a massive 885MB, 538-megapixel stitched panorama to really put the ‘Pro through its paces. The MacBook took 14 seconds to open the file (versus 20.77 seconds for the PC). However, the M2’s performance truly came to the fore when I applied an HDR Toning adjustment. This took a painfully slow 2 minutes 19 seconds on the PC, but the MacBook managed it in just 52.45 seconds. I also tried opening 50 12MP JPEGs all at once into Photoshop, which the MacBook again performed over twice as quickly, taking 14.71 seconds, compared to the PC’s 33.81 seconds. With the M2’s processing cores pegged at 100% usage, the chip’s cooling fan did spin up to an audible level, but was always quiet and never distracting.

Given that both machines pack 16GB RAM, and the PC is equipped with a reasonably fast Samsung 850 SSD, it’s clear that the M2 silicone and its integrated memory offer clear performance benefits. And not just in raw performance. What’s perhaps most remarkable is the smoothness of the M2 Pro. Simply zooming in and out of a high-res JPEG photo is silky smooth, with no lag or rendering delay when switching between different image magnification sizes. Contrast this with the PC, where the same image would take half a second to display when changing magnification, and would render more gradually, in distinct tiles.

Screen quality has always been a particularly strong aspect of MacBooks, and the M2 Pro is no exception. Color accuracy, backlight consistency and color space coverage are all excellent, and the 2560 x 1600 resolution is exceptionally high for a screen of this size, easily hiding the outline of individual pixels at normal viewing distances.

Another laptop performance metric that often receives little attention is audio quality. The M2 Pro’s sound processing produces a particularly expansive effect that results in a sound stage far larger than you’d expect from such a compact laptop. Of course there’s no getting around the fact that the speaker drivers are inevitably small and therefore cannot produce any real bass, but listening to music on the ‘Pro’s built-in speakers is still a surprisingly pleasing experience.


If you’re after an ultra-portable, yet high-performing laptop that can take on pretty much any image or video editing task you could throw at it, the M2 MacBook Pro is well worth considering. It’s got impressive reserves of raw performance, but also offers a wonderfully smooth, effortless computing experience when you’re not demanding every ounce of firepower. It’s also an exquisite item in its own right, with top-notch build quality, a sublime screen and surprisingly decent sound quality. Even the Touch Bar is a welcome inclusion for us, though likely not for everyone.

However unlike some previous MacBook Pros, the 13-inch M2 Pro isn’t something we can unreservedly recommend. Its selection of physical ports is, frankly, appalling. While a laptop like the MacBook Air can get away with this on account of its super-thin portability, a MacBook ‘Pro’ should place greater emphasis on usability and practicality. factors which simply can’t be satisfied by just two Type-C ports, one of which is required for the charger.

Having a slightly smaller screen, and a lower resolution webcam, than the M2 Air is also a difficult pill to swallow when the Pro should, in theory, be better specced to compensate for its extra bulk. That 13.3 inch screen size is also something you need to seriously consider before buying. If you’re going to be using this on the go, it makes a lot of sense, but if you’ll be spending a lot of time working at home/in the office, and without an external monitor, a larger 16-inch MacBook provides a significantly more comfortable viewing experience for pallet-heavy apps like Photoshop and Lightroom, albeit for a lot more money.

MacBook Pro (2023) vs HP Spectre x360 (2022): Which laptop should you buy?

The MacBook Pro (2023) and Spectre x360 are two premium laptops from Apple and HP, but how do they compare?

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The Apple MacBook Pro (2023) and HP Spectre x360 (2022) are two premium laptops that come in various configurations. However, despite their similarities, you might notice that perhaps the biggest difference is their form factor. The MacBook Pro (2023) has the traditional MacBook clamshell structure, while the HP Spectre x360 is a more versatile convertible.

So, should you opt for the excellent Mac running macOS Ventura or the 2-in-1 Windows 11 laptop? Let’s find out which device better matches your needs and budget through this detailed comparison.

Apple MacBook Pro (2023)

The MacBook Pro (2023) models offer boosted M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support, HDMI 2.1 compatibility, a notched display, and more.

HP Spectre x360 13.5

The HP Spectre x360 13.5 is a premium convertible laptop with a stunning design and great performance for everyday tasks. It runs Windows 11 and should receive updates for years to come.

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022)

The HP Spectre x360 comes with a large 16:10 pen-enabled touchscreen, 12th-generation Intel H-series processors, and other powerful specs.

Apple MacBook Pro (2023) vs HP Spectre x360 (2022): Pricing and availability

The Apple MacBook Pro (2023) and HP Spectre x360 (2022) are both available to buy through their respective manufacturers’ online stores. You can also purchase them through most major U.S. retailers, such as Best Buy. The Apple computer starts at 1,999 for the base model, while the HP laptop goes for 1,249. Both offer different finishes and configurations for you to pick from, which have been detailed in the specification table below.

Apple MacBook Pro (2023) vs HP Spectre x360 (2022): Specifications

  • 14-inch model: 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.6 inches, 3.5 pounds
  • 16-inch model: 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches, 4.7 pounds
  • 13.5-inch model: 11.73 x 8.68 x 0.67 inches, 3.01 pounds
  • 16-inch model: 14.09 x 9.66 x 0.78 inches, 4.45 pounds
  • 14.2-inch (3024 x 1964) or 16.2-inch (3456 x 2234) Liquid Retina XDR
  • 254 PPI
  • 120Hz ProMotion
  • True Tone
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 500-nit SDR, 1,600-nit peak HDR
  • 13.5-inch IPS, Full HD (1920 x 1280), touch, 400 nits, 100% sRGB, anti-reflection, 60Hz refresh rate
  • 13.5-inch IPS, Full HD (1920 x 1280), HP Sure View Reflect, touch, 1000 nits, 100% sRGB, 60Hz refresh rate
  • 13.5-inch OLED, 3K2K (3000 x 2000), touch, 500 nits (HDR), 100% DCI-P3, anti-reflection, 60Hz refresh rate
  • 16-inch, 400 nits, 16:10 aspect ratio, touch, low blue light, Eyesafe, 3072 x 1920 (3K), glossy, IPS
  • 16-inch, 400 nits, 16:10 aspect ratio, touch, low blue light, Eyesafe, 3072 x 1920 (3K), anti-reflective, IPS
  • 16-inch, 400 nits, 16:10 aspect ratio, touch, low blue light, Eyesafe, 3840 x 2400 (UHD), anti-reflective, OLED
  • Apple M2 Pro (10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU)
  • Apple M2 Pro (12-Core CPU, 19-Core GPU)
  • Apple M2 Max (12-Core CPU, 30-Core GPU)
  • Apple M2 Max (12-Core CPU, 38-Core GPU)
apple, 13-inch, macbook, 2022, review

13.5-inch model:

  • Intel Core i5-1235U (up to 4.4 GHz, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads) Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Intel Core i7-1255U (up to 4.7 GHz, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads) Intel Iris Xe Graphics

16-inch model:

Why Apple Removed The MacBook’s Touch Bar

  • Intel Corei7-12700H (up to 4.7 GHz, 24 MB L3 cache, 14 cores, 20 threads) Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Intel Core i7-1260P (up to 4.7GHz, 18 MB L3 cache, 12 cores, 16 threads) Intel Arc A370M Graphics (4GB)
  • Intel Core i7-1260P (up to 4.7 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache, 12 cores, 16 threads) Intel Arc A370M Graphics (4GB)
  • 16/32/64/96GB RAM
  • 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB SSD
  • 8GB/16GB/32GB RAM
  • 512GB/1TB/2TB SSD
  • MagSafe 3
  • HDMI 2.1
  • 3.5mm jack
  • SD Card slot
  • 3x Thunderbolt 4
  • 13.5-inch model: 2x Thunderbolt 4, USB Type-A, 3.5mm jack, microSD Card slot
  • 16-inch model: 2x Thunderbolt 4, USB Type-A, 3.5mm jack, microSD Card slot, HDMI 2.1
  • 14-inch model: 70Wh battery
  • 16-inch model: 100Wh battery
  • 13.5-inch model: 66Wh battery
  • 16-inch model: 76Wh battery
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.3

M2 MacBook Pro Review: Real-World TRUTH after 72 Hours!

  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 13.5-inch model: Nightfall Black, Nocturne Blue, Natural Silver
  • 16-inch model: Nightfall Black, Nocturne Blue
  • 14-inch model: starts at 1,999
  • 16-inch model: starts at 2,499
  • 13.5-inch model: starts at 1,249
  • 16-inch model: starts at 1,649

Design: Clamshell vs 2-in-1

Design is usually a subjective element, but there are a few things that we can objectively say about these two laptops. The most visually noticeable difference between the two is that the MacBook Pro (2023) offers a clamshell structure, while the HP Spectre x360 is a convertible. This means you can use the latter in different modes instead of being restricted to the classic laptop layout, including using the display as a touchscreen.

Beyond that, there are cosmetic differences once you start looking closer. For one, the Apple MacBook Pro (2023) has a boxed chassis in Space Gray and Silver finishes. The display has thin bezels and a notch at the top that houses the webcam.

Meanwhile, the HP Spectre x360 (2022) offers a somewhat unusual design, including some cut corners. Depending on the screen size you pick, you can choose between two and three finishes. Only the 13.5-inch model comes in Silver, but there are Nightfall Black and Nocturne Blue for both variants. You similarly get thin display bezels, but they notably lack a notch or any cutout at the top. While the device doesn’t look bad, it’s not as modern- or clean-looking as the MacBook Pro. It’s too bulky and a bit of an eyesore.

If you tend to work on the go, you may also want to consider their sizes. Fortunately, the differences in this department aren’t vast, and they likely won’t sway your purchasing decision. The MacBook Pro offers 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch variants weighing 3.5 pounds and 4.7 pounds, respectively. Meanwhile, the HP Spectre x360 13.5-inch and 16-inch models that weigh 3.01 pounds and 4.45 pounds, respectively. The MacBook Pro variants are slightly larger and heavier than their HP counterparts, but it won’t make too much of an impact compared to the Spectre x360s.


The display is one of the most important aspects to consider when investing in a new computer since we spend most of our time staring at the computer’s screen. Fortunately, both the MacBook Pro (2023) and Spectre x360 (2022) have solid displays, but there are key differences that set the two apart.

For starters, both offer two sizes, with the Apple computer going for 14.2 and 16.2 inches, while the HP laptop goes for 13.5 and 16 inches. There’s an option here for each laptop, whether you want a regular-sized laptop or a large one.

Looking at the resolutions, the base MacBook Pro model has a superior 3024 x 1964 Liquid Retina XDR display when compared to the cheapest Spectre x360’s 1920 x 1280 FHD screen. However, the latter device, when maxed out, packs a UHD display that supports a higher 3840 x 2400 pixel resolution than the former’s more expensive 3456 x 2234 resolution. You can also get the Spectre x360 with an OLED screen, which will offer true blacks and potentially more vibrant colors, but is more susceptible to burn-ins and easily damaged if accidentally subjected to water.

Additionally, the HP laptop can support touch inputs, which might be an advantage. That’s not to mention that the Spectre x360 has a more versatile hinge, allowing you to flip the screen and use it in different modes thanks to its convertible design.

Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro has a higher refresh rate of 120Hz, which easily defeats the 60Hz on the HP laptop. You also get a higher peak brightness of 1,600 nits on the Apple computer, allowing you to more comfortably see on-screen elements, especially outdoors or in well-lit environments. Meanwhile, the HP convertible’s brightness depends on the variant you pick but doesn’t rise beyond 1,000 nits.

Which wins this round depends on what you need. If you’re a fan of convertibles and OLED screens, then the HP Spectre x360 (2022) is the winner. If you’d rather utilize a higher refresh rate and better peak brightness, the display crown goes to Apple’s MacBook Pro (2023).

Performance: Apple silicon vs Intel

The MacBook Pro and HP Spectre x360 offer different processor options, which is to be expected since Apple uses its own proprietary chips in its devices. Interestingly, the lower-end Apple M2 Pro chip included with the base Mac model obliterates the 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1260P chip included in the maxed-out HP laptop. And with obliterates we mean it wins in every relevant test, including single- and multi-core performance and efficiency tests. The 16-inch model’s lowest-powered processor is the Core i7-12700H, and the M2 Pro still obliterates that.

That’s not to mention that the MacBook Pro can support up to a whopping 96GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD storage. Meanwhile, the HP Spectre x360 maxes out at 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD. The MacBook Pro (2023) is hands-down the winner of this round. It’s more powerful and efficient, not to mention its ability to handle more storage and memory.

Ports: Pros and cons for both

The ports round is a tricky one, as each laptop has a set of pros and cons. For starters, the 13.5-inch HP laptop misses out on the HDMI port, which is available on the 16-inch Spectre x360 and all MacBook Pro (2023) variants. So if you depend on HDMI connections often, you may want to avoid the smaller Spectre x360.

Another aspect to consider is the SD card support. Apple supports regular ones, while the HP laptop supports microSD cards. Apple is arguably better here since you can always depend on an adapter to turn the microSD card into a full-sized one that goes into the MacBook Pro’s slot, but that’s a small difference.

Lastly, with Apple, you get three Thunderbolt 4 ports, while opting for the HP convertible gets you two of those and one USB Type-A port. So if you have USB-A accessories, you may want to go for the Spectre x360 to avoid using dongles with the MacBook Pro.

Apple MacBook Pro (2023) vs HP Spectre x360 (2022): Which should you buy?

As you can see, the MacBook Pro (2023) and Spectre x360 (2022) are for different audiences. If you already have an Apple device, then it would make more sense to buy the MacBook Pro to utilize the tighter integrations and ecosystem perks. Similarly, if you’re an Android user, you may want to check out HP’s convertible since Windows increasingly supports Android OS integrations.

Plus, if you’re looking for a convertible or a touchscreen, you’re limited to HP. If you’d rather get the best performance and power efficiency, then the Apple laptop is the one to buy. Finally, they’re in vastly different price ranges. The HP computer starts at 1,249, while the base MacBook Pro (2023) goes for 1,999. So if you’re on a limited budget, you may have to settle for the HP Spectre x360 (2022). The MacBook Pro (2023) is arguably the better device overall, but it won’t appeal to everybody.

Apple MacBook Pro (2023)

The MacBook Pro (2023) models offer boosted M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support, HDMI 2.1 compatibility, a notched display, and more.

HP Spectre x360 13.5

The HP Spectre x360 13.5 is a premium convertible laptop with a stunning design and great performance for everyday tasks. It runs Windows 11 and should receive updates for years to come.

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022)

The HP Spectre x360 comes with a large 16:10 pen-enabled touchscreen, 12th-generation Intel H-series processors, and other powerful specs.

Which MacBook Pro: 13, 14, and 16-inch models compared

Apple sells three MacBook Pro models: A 13-inch model with a M2 processor, a 14-inch model with either the M2 Pro or M2 Max, and a 16-inch model with either the M2 Pro or M2 Max.

The M2 in the 13-inch MacBook offers adequate power for most users, but the M2 Pro and M2 Max processors are superior, and rather incredible. However, these larger laptops are about more than just a killer processor. They’re full of great features like a ProMotion HDR display, HDMI output and MagSafe that make the 13-inch model, which still hasn’t gained any of these features, seem downright antiquated. So if you’re having trouble deciding which one to get, here’s how they compare.

For more advice about choosing the Mac laptop for you read: MacBook buying guide: Which Mac laptop is best? and MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air.

We’ll discuss some of the more salient differences point-by-point, but first here are all the most important specs at a glance.

13″ MacBook Pro14″ MacBook Pro16″ MacBook Pro
13in MacBook Pro, M2 review 16in MacBook Pro, M2 Pro review
Starting Price 1,299/£1,349 1,999/£2,149 2,499/£2,699
Maxed-out Price 2,499/£2,549 6,299/£6,549 6,499/£6,749
Dimensions 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches1.56 x 30.41 x 21.24 cm 0.61 x 12.31 x 8.71 inches1.55 x 31.26 x 22.12 cm 0.66 x 14.01 x 9.77 inches1.68 x 35.57 x 24.81 cm
Weight 3 lbs (1.4 kg) M2 Pro: 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)M2 Max: 3.6 lbs (1.6 kg) M2 Pro: 4.7 lbs (2.2 kg)M2 Max: 4.8 lbs (2.2 kg)
Processor M2 M2 Pro or M2 Max M2 Pro or M2 Max
CPU 8-core (4 high performance) 10- or 12-core (6 or 8 high performance) 12-core (8 high performance)
GPU 10-core 16- or 19-core (M2 Pro), 24- or 32-core (M2 Max) 16-core (M2 Pro), 30- or 38-core (M2 Max)
Neural Engine 16-core 16-core 16-core
RAM 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB, 100GB/sec 16GB or 32GB, 200GB/sec (M2 Pro)32GB, 64GB or 96GB, 400GB/sec (M2 Max) 16GB or 32GB, 200GB/sec (M2 Pro)32GB, 64GB or 96GB, 400GB/sec (M2 Max)
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB
Display 2560 x1 600, 500 nits, P3 wide color, True Tone 3024 x 1964, 1,000 nits HDR (1,600 peak), P3 wide color, True Tone, 120Hz ProMotion 3456 x 2234, 1,000 nits HDR (1,600 peak), P3 wide color, True Tone, 120Hz ProMotion
FaceTime camera 720p 1080p 1080p
Ports 2 Thunderbolt / USB4 ports 3 Thunderbolt 4 / USC-C ports, HDMI 2.0, SDXC card slot 3 Thunderbolt 4 / USC-C ports, HDMI 2.0, SDXC card slot
Battery Life 17 hrs web, 20 hrs video 12 hrs web, 18 hrs video 15 hrs web, 22 hrs video
Power Adapter 67W USB-C 67W or 96W USB-C with MagSafe 140W USB-C with MagSafe

The first thing you’ll notice is the staggering price difference between the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 and the new 14-inch and 16-inch models with M2 Pro. The starting price of 1,999/£2,149 is 500/£600 more than the most expensive 13-inch, although a fully-loaded 13-inch model now costs 2,499/£2,549, the same as the starting price as the 16-inch model.

But keep looking and you see where that money is going. The 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro models get a choice of two processors, the lesser of which leaves the M2 far behind. Starting storage is doubled, and maximum storage is quadrupled. The displays have the same pixel density but are larger, with thinner bezels, have HDR with exceptional brightness and contrast, and have ProMotion variable refresh rate technology up to 120Hz. There are more Thunderbolt ports, plus HDMI and an SD card slot.

In short, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are vastly more expensive, but also vastly more capable in ways that go well beyond the processor.

13-inch MacBook Pro, M2 (2022)

  • M2, 8-Core CPU, 10-Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory, 256GB SSD Storage: 1,299 / £1,349
  • M2, 8-Core CPU, 10-Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage: 1,499 / £1,549

14-inch MacBook Pro, M2 Pro/M2 Max (2023)

  • M2 Pro, 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage: 1,999 / £2,149
  • M2 Pro, 12-Core CPU, 19-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage: 2,499 / £2,699
  • M2 Max, 12-Core CPU, 30-Core GPU, 32GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage: 3,099 / £3,349

16-inch MacBook Pro, M2 Pro/M2 Max (2023)

  • M2 Pro, 12-Core CPU, 19-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage: 2,499 / £2,699
  • M2 Pro, 12-Core CPU, 19-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage: 2,699 / £2,899
  • M2 Max, 12-Core CPU, 38-Core GPU, 32GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage: 3,499 / £3,749

Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (M2 Pro, 2023)

We were impressed by the M1 processor released in several Macs late in 2020, but that chip had its limitations: the only real option you had is between 8GB or 16GB of RAM. With the advent of the M2 that all changed. The M2 chip brought support for 24GB RAM (dubbed Universal Memory by Apple) and faster, 100GB/sec memory bandwidth. For those that felt 16GB RAM was too limiting, there is at least a reason now to consider the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Read: 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 vs M2.

But the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models give you way more options, starting with the processors. Now we have the M2 Pro, which has 10- or 12-CPU cores compared to eight in the M2, of which six or eight are high-performance CPU cores, compared to four. There are also 16- or 19-GPU cores compared to 10 in the M2, and 200GB/sec memory bandwidth, with options for 16GB or 32GB of RAM.

Stepping up from that, you can get the M2 Max, which has the same 12-core CPU, but doubles the GPU cores (up to 38), double the memory bandwidth (400GB/sec), and allows for up to 96GB memory (as well as 32GB and 64GB unified memory options).

These chips should make for an absolutely massive increase in performance. Apple claims 20 percent better CPU performance and 30 percent faster GPU performance compared to the M2 Pro, while the M2 Max pushes things even further. The M2 simply can’t achieve the same levels as these superior chips.

In the 14-inch version, the entry-level model has an M2 Pro with a total of 10 CPU and 16 GPU cores. That reduced-performance chip is not available on the 16-inch model. If you want the full M1 Pro on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, you have to spend 300 more or you can get a 10-core CPU with a 14-core CPU for 200 more.

There’s nothing wrong with the display on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It’s got excellent resolution (227 pixels per inch), color depth, and accuracy. But Apple has been quite behind the times in adopting HDR and high-refresh rates on its laptops, while Windows laptops have offered these technologies for years.

The 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro changed all that when they arrived in 2021. The display still has the same resolution as the Intel-based models did (227 pixels per inch), but it’s larger, with slimmer bezels all around. importantly, they use thousands of mini-LED backlights for better energy efficiency, contrast, and brightness. With SDR content they still top out at 500 nits, but with HDR content the new displays can go up to 1,000 nits sustained and 1,600 nits peak. That’s incredible HDR performance that beats nearly any other laptop display on the market.

ProMotion, when it arrived with the 2021 MacBook Pro models was a game-changer, bringing 120Hz high refresh rates to the MacBook Pro, while also allowing for dynamic variable refresh rates down to 24Hz, which is not only great for movie-watching, it’s a big benefit to battery life.

The 2023 MacBook Pro update hasn’t changed anything here, and it’s still just as good a reason to choose the 14-inch over the 13-inch as it always was.

The speakers in the 13-inch MacBook Pro are fine – and they gained support for Spatial Audio with the M2 update in 2022, but the larger models have a six-speaker sound system that promises much better fidelity in addition to support for Spatial Audio. All the MacBook Pros have a beamforming three-mic array, but the 14-inch and 16-inch models have improved sensitivity and a lower noise floor, so recordings should sound better.

There’s a headphone jack on all the MacBook Pros, and now that the M2 MacBook Pro is here it joins the 14 and 16-inch models in support high-impedance headphones. That’s great for studio headphones, which need more power to drive them.

One change for the 2023 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro is that the HDMI port now supports multichannel audio output.

The 720p FaceTime camera on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, has been a thorn in our side for far too long. Apple talked a lot about how improved image processing in the M1 chip made the camera better, and it does, but it’s still a crummy and out-of-date piece of hardware. A fact that is even more jarring following Apple’s failure to update the FaceTime camera when it updated the 13-inch model in 2022.

The bigger MacBook Pros have a 1080p webcam. But more important than the resolution improvement is the optics with a wider aperture.

The webcam is housed in a pretty significant-sized notch at the top of the display, which first made an appearance on the 2021 MacBook Pro models. Despite looking very much like that on the iPhone, it’s not a TrueDepth sensor. There’s no Face ID or Animoji or anything like that. The notch doesn’t actually cut into the main display area, though. The area beneath the notch is a 16×10 display, just like all prior MacBooks. The display area on either side of the notch extends upward from there, adding screen area on top of the 16×10 rectangle. The menu bar is located in that area, effectively giving you more vertical space for all your apps. Developers can choose to use that extra screen space if they want to.

Years ago, Apple got rid of our beloved MagSafe charging connector, opting instead to take up one of the few Thunderbolt ports for charging. And they got rid of the SD card slot and HDMI port, too. That’s how it is with the 13-inch Pro—you get just two Thunderbolt ports, a headphone jack, and nothing else.

When Apple updated the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in 2021, Apple gave us one additional Thunderbolt port, and it brought back the HDMI port, SDXC card slot, and MagSafe connector. Somewhat confusingly, the company also uses MagSafe as the brand for the iPhone’s magnetic charging and accessory attachment technology, which is sort of a different thing but also involves magnetic charging.

All this is unchanged in the 2023 models, apart from the HDMI port which now supports HDMI 2.1.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 processor is now the only MacBook available with the Touch Bar. The 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros are only available without it! Instead, Apple gives you a full-height row of Function keys with a Touch ID sensor at the right.

I’ll leave you to decide which one is better, but both systems have a Touch ID button in the upper right of the keyboard like the iMac’s Magic Keyboard with Touch ID.

While the 2021 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros had really excellent battery life specs, the M2 Pro and M2 Max models beat those by an hour a piece.

The 13-inch M2 model has a 58.2Wh battery and can go 20 hours of watching video, while the 70Wh battery in the 14-inch model will keep it going for 18 hours and the 16-inch model gets 22 hours of video playback out of its 100Wh battery.

Another note: The entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro and the 13-inch MacBook Pro both come with a 67W power adapter (the M1 model only offered a 61W power adapter), both also offer an option for a 96W adapter. The 96W model is necessary for fast charging and comes standard with some configurations, otherwise, it’s a 20 upgrade. The 16-inch model comes with a 140W power adapter in all configurations.


On paper, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros absolutely crush the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and we expect the benchmarks and real-world use to bear that out. They have have better processors, better displays, more ports, and a better webcam. But these larger MacBooks also have a 500/£600 higher starting price and are missing the Touch Bar, a feature that once set Apple’s pro laptops apart from its non-pro ones. Take the Touch Bar away from the 13-inch MacBook Pro and it’s basically a MacBook Air.

So we wouldn’t be surprised to see the 13-inch Pro removed from the lineup at some point, or perhaps reinvented as a MacBook to better reflect the difference between it and its truly pro siblings. If you like the Touch Bar, you should probably grab a 13-inch Pro while you still can.

But for everyone else, the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro is the absolute pinnacle of the portable Mac. We recommend getting as much RAM and storage as you can afford—the sweet spot for most people will be the 12-core/19-core M2 Pro with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage—but we’re confident that you’ll be happy with any of the configurations Apple offers.

If you are on a budget and the 13-inch looks attractive, we would avoid the entry-level model for future-proofing’s sake, but if that’s all your budget will allow, it’ll still be plenty fast for years to come.

For more buying advice read our Best Mac guide.