Apple unveiled its next-generation M2 silicon at this year’s WWDC and the first products getting the new chip are the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Both laptops start shipping next month.
Apple’s smallest MacBook Pro is also its most popular because of its excellent portability. It weighs less than a third of a pound more than the MacBook Air, with a footprint only slightly larger. So users get the portability of an Air with the performance of a Pro. By the way, Apple did not get rid of the TouchBar as some have predicted.
The M2 chip makes the MacBook Pro 13 more powerful than ever. The M2’s 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU are even more power efficient than the M1 delivering Pro performance with longer battery life. Apple claims that working with RAW images is almost 40-percent faster than with the M1 and 3.4 times faster than the Intel MacBook Pros.
Unlike the M2 MacBook Air, the Pro has an active cooling system, ideal for some of the newest video games. Graphic-intensive titles like Baldur’s Gate 3 or Resident Evil VIII: Village smoothly run thanks to the two extra GPU cores. Apple claims similar performance gains running games as when working with images.
The new MacBook Pro also gets a memory bump. The M2 offers up to 25GB of Unified memory — up from 16GB with the M1 — and 50 percent more bandwidth. The M2 media engine also supports ProRes encode/decode, capable of running up to 11 video streams at 4K and two streams of 8K. Converting to ProRes is also three times faster. Apple claims that the M2’s outstanding power efficiency allows the battery to last up to 20 hours during video playback.
The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 and comes with 8GB unified memory and a 256GB SSD. A fully loaded system, which includes 25GB memory and 2TB SSD, will cost users $2,499.
Apple didn’t set a specific release date, only saying the M2 MacBook 13 ships next month. Its product page allows users to customize and save a configuration for when sales go live, but there is no word on whether Apple will offer preorders.