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Which MacBook on M2 to choose in 2022


At a recent presentation, Apple introduced two new MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Air 13 laptops at once on the new M2 processor. At the same time, the time devoted to the Pro version of the laptop was so small that users had doubts about whether such an upgrade was necessary. In turn, the MacBook Air, in addition to the new processor, also received a new design in the style of Pro notebooks. The question arises, which one to choose?

We have already published two comparisons on the site. In one, we compared the new MacBook Pro with its predecessors, and in the other, we compared the MacBook Air based on M2 and M1 chips. Now we decided to figure out which laptop to choose if you decide to opt for the M2 processor. Let’s see what these devices have to offer us.

MacBook Air or Pro 2022

Of course, the main place at the presentation of iron was given to MacBook Air 2022 . The new laptop received not only a new processor, but also a new design. The computer is now equipped not with the classic wedge-shaped case for the Air series, but with a square one with the same thickness around the entire perimeter. It turns out that Apple has unified the design of all its laptops.

The new MacBook Air , in addition to the new case, received a new 13.6-inch screen with a peak brightness of up to 500 nits. What upset me about the new laptop was the cutout in the screen for the front camera. Yes, it has become better, now it supports 1080p resolution, but the presence of a bang does not justify such an improvement.

In addition to Apple’s two USB-C and 3.5mm, Apple has finally brought back a fast charging port to the Air MagSafe series . The MacBook Air 2022 went on sale for $1,199 for the 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD version with 8-core GPU. Four colors are available at once: Space Gray, Silver, Starlight and Midnight.

The larger screen and the power of the M2 processor allow you to solve a fairly wide range of tasks. With the new chip supporting the Media Engine, which was introduced in the M1 Pro and M1 Max for processing, encoding and decoding video, including ProRes video, the performance of the MacBook Air will be suitable for video and photo processing.

Text documents, programming and normal web surfing laptop will work effortlessly. In the Geekbench multi-core test, the MacBook Air scores 9801 versus 10287 for the MacBook Pro. In the single-core, the gap is even less than 1601 versus 1693. Looking at the benchmark results, we can say that the Air is practically not inferior to the Pro in terms of performance. Thus, the new Air can be used in almost all scenarios. True, the “air” laptop will obviously not be able to work at its peak for a long time – it will inevitably start throttling.

If we add to this fast charging through the most convenient MagSafe , a new webcam, a larger screen, increased up to 18 hours of battery life and absolutely silent operation due to the lack of a cooler, then we can honestly say that Apple has turned out to be a truly versatile laptop.

MacBook Pro M2 – is it worth buying

On the other side of the Air is the new MacBook Pro 13 . Apple did not change the usual design, left everything as it is. The laptop is equipped with a 13.3-inch screen, the same as the previous generation. Moreover, the MacBook Air M1 also has a 13.3-inch display. The peak brightness of the screen reaches 500 nits, there are no cutouts, the frames are classic. This may please some users, but as they say, it is customary to pay for everything. In this situation, the camera fell victim. She’s an old 720p here.

An interesting point is that it was in this laptop that Apple retained the Touch Bar, which was ruthlessly removed from older and more powerful models of 14 and 16 inches. The MacBook Pro M2 has two USB-C ports, 3.5mm and… that’s it. No MagSafe, no HDMI, no SD reader. Not the best laptop for professionals.

But most of the minuses are covered by one plus. The new MacBook Pro 2022 has an active cooling system that the Air doesn’t have. This will allow the processor to maintain performance at a high level in resource-intensive tasks much longer. Of course, energy efficiency, in this case, will fade into the background, but most likely the best power will be achieved in this particular computer.

The new MacBook Pro with the M2 chip went on sale for $1,299 for the 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD version with a 10-core GPU.

Looking at the characteristics of these computers, not everything will be unambiguous. On the Air side, there is a larger screen (albeit slightly), on the Pro side, a more powerful filling with active cooling and the ability to work longer at peak power. Under load, the MacBook Pro will behave better and handle heavy files more easily.

MacBook Air can not be called low-power, just to perform resource-intensive tasks stretched over time, it will have to spend a little more time, but the result will still be obtained. At the same time, the advantages of Air clearly compensate for these shortcomings. In this regard, I see no reason for myself to overpay for the Pro version and I recommend choosing a MacBook Air in Midnight color so that it can be seen from afar that you have the latest model.

But, objectively speaking, Pro will be able to work much longer under load, so for processing videos and photos in high resolution, it is better to take it.

I believe that for users who work with graphics, video, 3D modeling and other similar tasks, the Pro-series computer will be the best choice. Another question is if you don’t need it. Apart from slightly better performance, there is nothing else to highlight the MacBook Pro M2. The Touch Bar is not needed by most users, the camera is from somewhere in the past, charging is only via USB-C, and there are no other options, and most importantly, the noise of the active cooling system in resource-intensive tasks.

If a performance difference of 6% is of fundamental importance to you, then the MacBook Pro 13 is definitely your choice, but if you are a rational person, then you will not overpay $ 100 for such a modest advantage. It’s better to opt for the new Air and enjoy a truly new laptop.

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