The 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 and 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro are two of the most sought-after and impressive laptops you can buy in 2022, but how do you choose between them? One may have a newer processor, but they both have excellent battery life, top-notch build quality, and beautiful designs.
Here’s what you need to know about the two MacBook Pro models before you buy.
Table of Contents
|Apple MacBook Pro 13||Apple MacBook Pro 14|
|Dimensions||0.6 x 12 x 8.4 inches||0.6 x 12.3 x 8.7 inches|
|lester||3.0 pounds||3.5 pounds|
|Processor||Apple M2 chip, 8-core processor||Apple M1 Pro chip / M1 Max chip, up to 10 hearts|
|Chart||10-core GPU||32-core GPU|
|RAM||Up to 2TB of configurable storage||Up to 8TB of configurable storage|
|Display||13.3-inch Retina display||14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display|
|Storage||Up to 24 GB of unified memory||Up to 64 GB of unified memory|
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack||MagSafe 3 port, three Thunderbolt 4, HDMI port, SDXC card slot|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0||802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0|
|webcam||720p FaceTime HD camera||1080p FaceTime HD camera|
|Operating system||macOS Monterey||macOS Monterey|
|Battery||58.2 watt hours||69.6 watt hours|
|To touch||Touch Bar and Touch ID||Touch ID|
The 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 is inspired by older MacBook models in terms of design. It may feel thick in the middle, but it tapers off with thinner corners, like the 2016 MacBook Pro.
By comparison, the 14-inch MacBook Pro was redesigned in 2021 with a more square frame and rounded corners, but both laptops share the same height at 0.6 inches. Overall, the 14-inch is wider and has more depth, so it’s not as portable, but it’s also not as mobile as Apple’s latest. MacBook Air models.
The older MacBook Pro 14 is the heavier of the two devices, thanks in part to its larger internal battery, as well as its larger internal cooling system and screen.
Externally, the 14-inch MacBook Pro features three vents at the bottom, sides, and back, while the M2 has only one at the rear. Internally, the MacBook Pro M2’s cooling system is made up of a single fan, while the 14-inch’s system features two larger fans along with dual heat sinks and heat pipes.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro also has a more detailed I/O system with three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, in addition the return of the MagSafe Charger Port. The MacBook Pro M2 only includes two Thunderbolt USB 4 ports and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, with one of the Thunderbolt ports being intended as a charging port.
Both MacBook Pro models are available in Silver and Space Gray color options.
Keyboard and touchpad
The backlit Magic Keyboard and Trackpad of the MacBook Pro M2 and the 14-inch MacBook Pro have similar layouts that shouldn’t be a problem for buyers. Some YouTube reviewers consider the 14in’s keyboard could be slightly superior due to better keyboard travel; however, that might ultimately depend on the user’s opinion.
When considering your purchase, you can keep in mind that the MacBook Pro M2 includes a Touch Bar and it is the last MacBook to have this feature. In the meantime, if hardware function keys suit you better, you can opt for the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Both laptops also include a Touch ID key on their keyboards in the upper right corner.
A noticeable difference between the two MacBook Pro models is that the 14.2-inch MacBook Pro features a Liquid Retina XDR display with an extreme difference in brightness. The 3024 x 1964 resolution Mini LED display has 254 pixels per inch, an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and a 16 million color gamut, in addition to a peak brightness of 1600 nits and a brightness sustained 1000 nits.
Functionally, the higher brightness allows for deeper blacks and greater contrast on the older MacBook Pro. It also allows for better overall viewing in bright situations, such as using the laptop outdoors. Features like the higher refresh rate allow for smoother transitions when moving pages or opening programs.
The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro M2 features a Retina LCD display with 2560 x 1600 resolution, 227 pixels per inch, 60Hz refresh rate, 1 billion color gamut, and maximum brightness of 500nits. Features like lower refresh rate and lower peak brightness can save you battery life; however, they can pull off a richer viewing experience. Especially when viewing content in the dark, blacks can appear grayer and the MacBook Pro M2 can be prone to blooming, where a glow can appear among light images against a darker background, YouTuber Max Tech Noted.
Visually, the 14.2-inch MacBook Pro retained the controversial notch; however, this design allows the laptop to feature thinner bezels, giving the laptop an overall more screen-like look and feel. The MacBook Pro M2 is notchless but has thicker front bezels, perhaps only having its overall lightness to compensate.
Apple has also taken an interesting twist with the webcams of both MacBook Pro models, with the 14-inch model featuring a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and the M2 model featuring a 720p FaceTime HD camera. The M2 MacBook Pro’s webcam has been featured on several previous generations, but has been bolstered by a software update. However, depending on the lighting, the video may appear as if there is blurry film or a filter on the camera. The 14-inch MacBook Pro has a newer webcam, which offers better exposure, color presentation, and low-light performance than the M2. Reviewers also claim that the high-resolution webcam has sharper, more detailed details.
Speakers and microphones
Both the MacBook Pro M2 and the 14-inch MacBook Pro have solid sound systems, but the M2 model again includes older speakers from 2014, while the 14-inch has an updated system with a its high fidelity. The MacBook Pro M2 features a quad-speaker setup with high dynamic range and wide stereo sound. The 14-inch MacBook Pro features a six-speaker setup with dual force-cancelling woofers and wide stereo sound. The 14-inch’s additional speakers and woofers deliver a better audio profile, with reviewers noting better bass, midrange and treble on the laptop.
Both models have spatial audio support for Dolby Atmos for music and video. They both feature a studio-grade three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming, which doesn’t seem to have much of a difference in quality.
Performance and battery life
The M2 MacBook Pro and 14-inch MacBook Pro models both feature Apple’s latest proprietary processors, which include the M2 chip for the 13-inch laptop and the M1 Pro and M1 Max options for the 14-inch laptop.
While there are multiple configuration options for both models, we’re considering the base models for each MacBook Pro. It consists of an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB memory and 256GB SSD for the MacBook Pro M2, and an 8-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 16GB memory and 512GB SSD for the 14-inch MacBook. Pro.
Numerous benchmarks have compared the two models, and although the M2 is the newer chip, the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip has always shown superior performance. The 14-inch showed two to three times faster SSD performance than the M2.
This is because the M2 model has two NAND slots in its internal configuration and only one is filled with a ship to use. The 14-inch has four slots and two chips used, giving the laptop more power overall. Even when the M2 is boosted to a 512GB SSD variant, it still runs slightly slower than the base 14-inch MacBook Pro model, according to MaxTech.
Meanwhile, CPU and GPU benchmarks also test the 14-inch to be at least twice as powerful, although Apple has increased the MacBook Pro M2’s overall clock speed.
Also, there has not been much follow-up overheating and throttling issues that seemed to plague the MacBook Pro M2 during its launch period. Some enthusiasts have released fixes for the issues that sent the laptop up to 108 degrees Celsius. However, you should exercise caution before using these methods to fix the laptop.
As noted, the MacBook Pro M2 has a 58.2 watt-hour battery and the 14-inch MacBook Pro has a 69.6 watt-hour cell, and that’s a solid area where the new MacBook Pro shines. Apple promises up to 20 hours of video playback and 17 hours of web usage on the MacBook Pro M2 versus 17 hours of video playback and 11 hours of web usage on the 14-inch MacBook Pro. However, many reviewers reported around 10-12 hours of actual use for the M2 and 6-9 hours of use for the 14-inch.
The MacBook Pro M2 and the 14-inch MacBook Pro are two interesting models to be part of the same product series. The 14-inch MacBook Pro was released as a complete product redesign with a price to match, starting at $1,999.
The M2 MacBook Pro was released with Apple’s newest series of processors, but several older components, which helped bring its price down significantly to a starting price of $1,299. The MacBook Pro M2 also has fewer upgrade options than its older counterpart.
The MacBook Pro M2 and the 14-inch MacBook Pro are both unique products in their environment.
Development of the M2 MacBook Pro was likely impacted by ongoing supply chain issues resulting from the pandemic. After an external redesign of the previous model, it looks like the current laptop is used to showcasing its latest M2 chip in a Pro form factor rather than adding or updating overall features.
Despite all the grievances, many still consider the MacBook Pro M2 to be a solid Pro-level device, ideal for the user looking for a portable option with the power of a Pro-level Apple laptop. The price difference probably doesn’t hurt either and also leaves room for modification to get higher specs at around the same price as the base model 14-inch MacBook Pro.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro is ideal for those looking to lift a bit more weight in terms of power and benefits from more standard features, such as a MagSafe socket and hardware function keys. Considering the 14-inch model is only a year old, it’s still early in its lifecycle as an Apple product.