Apple MacBook Laptops with M2 Chips Reviewed – Lightning Fast Models Tested

Apple recently released new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models featuring their latest M2 chip. This cutting-edge processor delivers lightning fast performance and excellent efficiency. In this comprehensive review, we evaluate Apple’s full line-up of MacBook laptops with M2 chips across key criteria to help you choose the best model for your needs and budget.

Overview of Apple MacBook Laptops with M2 Chips

The M2 chip is Apple’s newest generation ARM-based system on a chip (SoC). It builds on the highly successful M1 chip launched in 2020 with further improvements. Key advances include:

  • Up to 18% faster CPU performance with 8 cores
  • Up to 35% faster GPU with up to 10 cores
  • 100GB/s unified memory bandwidth
  • Hardware video decode engine supporting H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
  • Next-generation neural engine with 15.8 trillion operations per second

Apple has debuted M2 chips in the following laptop models:

  • MacBook Air – Thin, lightweight, mainstream consumer model
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro – Compact portable for professionals
  • 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro – Powerhouse creative workstation

Below we compare the specs, design, performance, features and price of these M2-powered MacBook options to help you decide.

MacBook Air with M2 Chip

The redesigned MacBook Air is aimed at everyday users who want an ultraportable notebook for tasks like web browsing, documents, media consumption and casual creative work.

MacBook Air with M2 chip


  • Apple M2 chip with 8-core CPU and up to 10-core GPU
  • 8GB or 16GB unified memory
  • 256GB to 2TB SSD storage
  • 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display (2560 x 1664 resolution)
  • MagSafe charging, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Four speaker sound system with Spatial Audio support
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • available in Silver, Space Gray, Midnight, Starlight, Gold
  • 0.44 inches thick, 2.7 pounds


With the M2 chip, the latest MacBook Air delivers up to 1.5x faster processor performance and up to 2.3x faster graphics versus the previous M1 model. It breezes through everyday tasks like web browsing, Office apps and streaming 4K video. The basic model with 8-core GPU is plenty powerful for general use. Upgrading to the 10-core GPU option boosts performance for photo and video editing.

Battery Life

Apple promises up to 18 hours of battery life for web browsing on the new MacBook Air. Real-world testing confirms impressive all-day battery even with intensive use. The mix of efficiency M2 chip and 52.6Wh battery pack provide excellent portable runtime.


The 2022 MacBook Air gets a complete redesign with crisp modern looks. The aluminum chassis is now wedge-shaped tapering from 0.44 inches thick at the back to just 0.13 inches at the front edge. It retains a highly portable 2.7 pound weight.

You get Apple’s excellent 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display with slim bezels, 500 nits brightness and wide P3 color gamut support. Speakers are vastly improved with support for Spatial Audio when watching movies or listening to music. MagSafe charging conveniently magnetically snaps the power cable in place. There’s also a 1080p webcam – much sharper than the previous 720p camera.


At the entry-level price, the MacBook Air ships with just 8GB of memory. While sufficient for light use, upgrading to 16GB is recommended for advanced multitasking. There’s just two Thunderbolt ports which may require use of a hub or adapter for connecting peripherals. And unlike the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros, there is no HDMI port or SD card reader built-in.

Price and Configurations

The M2 MacBook Air starts at $1199 for 8GB RAM/256GB SSD, with upgrade options including:

  • 10-core GPU – +$100
  • 16GB memory – +$200
  • 512GB storage – +$200
  • 1TB storage – +$400
  • 2TB storage – +$800

Fully maxed out with 10-core GPU, 16GB RAM, and 2TB SSD it sells for $2499. Overall it remains competitively priced for a premium consumer ultrabook with Apple’s latest silicon.

13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Chip

While physically similar to previous models, the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro packs much faster performance thanks to the M2 chip. It’s geared for professionals on the go.

13-inch MacBook Pro


  • Apple M2 chip with 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU
  • 8GB or 16GB unified memory
  • 256GB to 2TB SSD storage
  • 13.3-inch Retina display (2560 x 1600 resolution)
  • Touch Bar with Touch ID sensor
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 0.61 inches thick, 3.0 pounds weight


The upgraded 13-inch MacBook Pro clocks up to 1.4x faster CPU performance versus the previous M1 model. The standard 10-core GPU gives it up to 2x faster graphics speed. Performance is snappy for pro apps like video editing, 3D modeling, programming and more.

Battery Life

Thanks to excellent energy efficiency from the M2 chip, battery life is rated up to 20 hours for wireless web use – a big upgrade over the prior 13-inch MacBook Pro generation. Real-world testing shows all-day battery life even under demanding workloads.


Physically the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro looks almost identical to previous versions. The unibody aluminum chassis with flat edges is 0.61 inches thick and weighs 3.0 pounds, retaining the compact and portable build.

You still get the Touch Bar with Touch ID fingerprint sensor conveniently placed above the keyboard. The display is Apple’s bright 500-nit 13.3-inch Retina panel with P3 wide color support and crisp 2560×1600 resolution. There’s upgraded speakers and three-mic array with Spatial Audio support. But the webcam remains a 720p FaceTime HD camera.


With just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, you may need adapters or a hub to connect peripherals and external displays. There’s no SD card reader or HDMI port included either.

While the Touch Bar provides quick access to settings, some users may still prefer regular physical function keys instead. The 720p webcam is dated compared to the 1080p cameras offered on newer MacBook models.

Price and Configurations

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 starts at $1299 for 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Upgrade options include:

  • 16GB unified memory – +$200
  • 512GB SSD storage – +$200
  • 1TB SSD storage – +$400
  • 2TB SSD storage – +$800

With max specs of 16GB RAM and 2TB storage, it sells for $2099. Overall it provides strong mobile performance and premium features for demanding professional users.

14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro Chip

Serious creative professionals will want to consider upgrading to the more powerful 14-inch MacBook Pro running Apple’s new M2 Pro chip.

14-inch MacBook Pro


  • Apple M2 Pro chip (10-core CPU, 16-core GPU)
  • 16GB to 32GB unified memory
  • 512GB to 8TB SSD storage
  • 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024 x 1964 resolution, 120Hz ProMotion, 1600 nits peak brightness)
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, full row of function keys
  • Massive Force Touch trackpad
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, SDXC card reader, MagSafe 3 charging port
  • 0.61 inches thick, 3.5 pounds weight


The new M2 Pro chip enables up to 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU configurations for the 14-inch MacBook Pro – an excellent balance of power and portability. It handles demanding creative workloads like 8K video editing, 3D rendering and music production with ease. You can equip it with up to 32GB fast unified memory and 8TB of SSD storage.


The stunning 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display features ProMotion adaptive 120Hz refresh rate for silky smooth visuals. With 1600 nits peak brightness and excellent contrast, HDR content looks outstanding. The larger screen is great for creative apps but still compact for mobility.


This professional powerhouse gets a 1080p webcam – the sharpest camera ever in a Mac notebook. You also get a six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio support. An ample array of ports includes three Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC card reader and MagSafe 3 charging. The new Magic Keyboard ditches the Touch Bar for full-size physical function keys preferred by many users.

Battery Life

Incredible efficiency from Apple’s M2 Pro silicon enables amazing 17 hours video playback on the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Even under intensive workloads, you can expect all-day battery life away from an outlet.


With a starting price of $1999, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a serious investment. But it delivers equivalent performance and features to far more expensive Windows rivals. The top-tier configuration priced at $5999 is firmly in workstation territory. But for creative pros who want power, display quality and mobility it’s a compelling choice.

Price and Configurations

The base 14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro (10-core CPU, 16-core GPU), 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage retails for $1999. Upgrades:

  • M2 Pro 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU – +$300
  • 32GB memory – +$400
  • 1TB storage – +$200
  • 2TB storage – +$600
  • 4TB storage – +$1000
  • 8TB storage – +$2400

Fully maxed out with 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, 32GB RAM and 8TB SSD it lists for $5999. Realistically the upgrade to 32GB RAM and 1-2TB storage delivers the sweet spot for most pros.

16-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max

Creative professionals who demand cutting edge performance will appreciate the powerhouse 16-inch MacBook Pro configurable with up to a desktop-class M2 Max chip.

16-inch MacBook Pro


  • Apple M2 Pro (12-core CPU, 19-core GPU) or M2 Max (12-core CPU, up to 38-core GPU)
  • 16GB to 96GB unified memory
  • 512GB to 8TB SSD storage
  • 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3456 x 2234 resolution, 120Hz ProMotion, 1600 nits peak brightness)
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, full size function keys
  • Extensive connectivity with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC reader, MagSafe 3
  • 0.66 inches thick, 4.7 pounds weight


With up to a 12-core M2 Max chip, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers workstation-class performance rivaling powerful desktops. The M2 Max GPU can be configured up to 38 cores – comparable to using a discrete GPU. Together with up to 96GB of unified memory, it crushes through 8K video editing, 3D rendering, music production, programming and more.


The stunning 16.2-inch mini-LED backlit Liquid Retina XDR display features an amazing 1600 nits peak brightness with deep blacks thanks to precise local dimming zones. It has a razor sharp 3456 x 2234 resolution, speedy 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh rate and supports 1 billion colors. Easily one of the finest laptop displays on the market.


With a larger chassis than the 14-inch model, the 16-inch MacBook Pro can dissipate heat from the powerful M2 Pro and M2 Max chips more efficiently under sustained workloads. You get the same great connectivity options and 1080p webcam as the smaller model. The Magic Keyboard includes blacklit keys and full size function row.

Battery Life

Incredibly Apple still manages to deliver outstanding battery life – up to 22 hours video playback – despite the beefy performance. The efficiency of the M2 Pro and M2 Max chip means excellent real-world usage time even under heavy workloads.


The maximum configuration priced at $6998 is firmly in mobile workstation territory. But there are few laptops that can match the combination of performance, display quality, premium design and macOS software app ecosystem. As a production machine for creative pros it’s virtually unrivaled.

Price and Configurations

The base 16-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro (12-core CPU, 19-core GPU), 16GB RAM and 512GB storage is priced at $2499. Upgrade options:

  • M2 Max (12-core CPU, 30-core GPU) – +$400
  • 32GB unified memory – +$400
  • 64GB unified memory – +$800
  • 96GB unified memory – +$1600
  • 1TB storage – +$200
  • 2TB storage – +$600
  • 4TB storage – +$1000
  • 8TB storage – +$2400

Fully loaded with M2 Max chip, 96GB RAM and 8TB storage it retails for $6998. The ideal sweet spot hovers around 32GB RAM and 1-2TB storage configurations.

Which MacBook Model Should You Buy?

Here is a summary of key factors to help choose the best M2-powered MacBook for your needs:

  • MacBook Air – Best for students, general users on a budget who want a lightweight ultraportable. Good mainstream performance at an attractive price.
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro – Ideal portable for professionals who want good performance in a compact chassis plus Touch Bar.
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro – The best balance of power, display quality, and mobility for creative pros.
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro – Ultimate workstation-class muscle and gorgeous display for hardcore creatives who can justify the premium price.

M2 MacBook FAQs

Should I upgrade to a MacBook with M2 chip?

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The M2 MacBook models deliver significant speed improvements thanks to the new chip. Upgrading from an Intel-based MacBook will provide a major performance boost. Even versus M1 models, expect around 20% quicker speeds for CPU and up to 40% faster graphics.

Is the M2 chip better than M1 Pro and M1 Max?

The M2 offers faster performance than M1 for entry-level MacBook Air and 13-inch Pro models. But the M1 Pro and M1 Max in high-end 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops still deliver more processing power for demanding creative workloads.

How much RAM do I need?

Most users are fine with 16GB RAM for great performance in everyday tasks, gaming and moderate creative work. Power users doing intensive video editing, 3D modeling etc will benefit from 32GB RAM or more. Check apps you use for their memory requirements.

Should I upgrade SSD storage?

The base 256GB SSD in MacBook Airs may feel cramped for many users – consider 512GB or 1TB. Pro users working with large media files will want 1TB or higher. Physical storage upgrades aren’t possible with Apple silicon MacBooks so choose wisely.

Which screen should I get?

The MacBook Air and 13-inch Pro have sharp, color-accurate Retina displays that work great unless you need a larger screen. Creative pros who value screen real estate should get the 14 or 16-inch models with stunning Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED displays.

What’s the battery life like?

All the new M2 MacBook models deliver excellent battery runtime thanks to Apple’s power efficient Arm-based silicon. Even under load you can expect all-day battery life for work on the go. The MacBook Air lasts longest but the 16-inch Pro still impresses at up to 22 hours video playback.

Should I wait for the rumored 15-inch MacBook Air?

Apple is rumored to be launching a larger 15-inch version of the MacBook Air in early 2023. This could be an interesting middle ground option between the 13-inch Air and 14-inch Pro. But details remain limited. The current M2 Air and Pro models are still great choices delivering the latest performance.


Apple’s new MacBook laptops with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips continue the company’s trend of delivering industry-leading ARM silicon for both consumers and professionals. These advanced notebooks combine excellent performance, efficiency, design and macOS software ecosystem into powerful mobile packages.

The MacBook Air is theentry option offering swift speeds and premium features at a reasonable price. Power users should consider the 14 or 16-inch MacBook Pros configurable with the muscular M2 Pro and M2 Max chips – desktop-class performance in a portable form factor ideal for creatives.

Overall Apple has raised the bar yet again with the M2 MacBook generation.

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