Within days of the announcement of the new MacBook Pros with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, the first press tests were published. We read them to understand what the 2023 crop of Apple laptops has in store for us.
On January 17, 2023, Apple announced, without a press conference, the new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, powered by the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, introduced at the same time. If the design does not change anything compared to that of the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max, the interior of these machines has improved a priori. To verify this, we read several press tests that gave their verdict on these Apple computers:
The design hasn’t changed, but it’s still just as good.
The shapes and connections are the same as last year, it must be said that it was a completely new design introduced with the M1 Pro and M1 Max. However, this is not necessarily a problem since the finishes are excellent with an aluminum body. The keyboard and trackpad remain level and we’re still entitled to a power key that also serves as Touch ID, which is very handy.
The connection consists of three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a jack port, a MagSafe connector, an HDMI 2.1 port and an SD card reader, which is quite complete. In addition, we have the return of the notch on the screen, the main purpose of which is to create the identity of the machine. Without Face ID or special technology that requires the integration of a notch: it is only for appearance. What was praised, instead, was support for an 8K external display for the first time (at 60 Hz) or 4K (at 240 Hz).
The screen is always the same, too: a Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED panel with a definition of 3024 by 1964 pixels, offering an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. close contrast. to the values of the OLED screens.
The arrival of Wi-Fi 6E
These Apple laptops are Wi-Fi 6E-enabled, which promises better transfer speeds and lower latency thanks to the use of the 6GHz band. numeral He said he was somewhat disappointed with the observed performance: “ The MacBook Pro M2 Pro achieves Ethernet-worthy speeds when it’s in the same room as your router (a Google Nest Wifi Pro here). On the other hand, as soon as it moves away a bit, the difference is more limited. In some cases, the 5GHz MacBook Air did even better. »
Sometimes 5GHz is even faster, especially for larger files. To toms guide« IThe MacBook Pro M1 Pro delivered similar results in several places as the M2 Max model ».
A consensus emerging in the press around the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips is that for the general public, the power they deliver isn’t really useful. What the MacBook Pro M1 or MacBook Air M2 can offer is more than enough. Devindra HardawaEngadget relates his feelings about the daily use of the computer: ” I didn’t notice any major performance gains over previous models. This isn’t really a criticism of the new computer, it’s more of a testament to what Apple managed to do last time around. » An observation shared by MacWorld for whom the M1 Pro model can work just as well as the M2 Max model. However, the media clarified that “ Apple also said the M2 Pro is twice as fast as the M2, but we didn’t see that on Geekbench. »
The version ” Pro it is most useful for creative people: video editors, animators, architects, etc. But these chips are still the main novelty of these MacBooks, with the addition of additional cores, so they have been extensively tested by the press. For example, ” The results of the Numerama tests confirm the statements of Apple, which promises a gain of 20 to 30% compared to the previous generation. As expected, with a single core, the M2 Pro chip is the most powerful of all (it’s normal, it’s the last one) “. A promise also verified by Engadget. tom’s guide as ” 14-inch MacBook Pro is approximately 9% faster in single-core performance compared to the previous model and 17% faster in multi-core performance ».
Regarding the difference between the two new chips, the edge note that: ” The M2 Max and M2 Pro are neck and neck in the synthetic CPU-related benchmarks we ran. In most cases, the M1 Max was a bit ahead but within the margin of error. “A minor difference that is not verified in the graphic part, in which” the M2 Pro and M2 Max appear to be on different planets. The M2 Max is by far the most graphically powerful laptop chip Apple has ever released. ».
On the autonomy side there is also something better, while the previous version of the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max chips was already excellent on this point. Engadget observed a significant improvement: The previous MacBook Pro lasted 12 hours and 36 minutes during our tests, but the new model lasted 15 hours and 10 minutes. » An improvement also noted by the edgethat was 10 hours of battery life while working with a MacBook Pro 16 M1 Max and increased to 14 on the M2 model.
However, this is not the finding of tom’s guide, which measured similar battery life (continuous web browsing and 150 cd/m² brightness) at just over 14 hours for the MacBook Pro M2 Pro versus its M1 Pro version. The media still hails the consistency of battery life that comes with a gain in performance, which is still a feat. Apple advertises up to 22 hours of movie watch time through the Apple TV app: MacWorld he accepted the challenge and was able to watch a looping full screen video for 27 hours (screen set to 150 cd/m²).
The recharge has also been tested: the journalist from MacWorld relates: ” When I drained the MacBook Pro’s battery to test its lifespan, I found that fast charging worked exactly as Apple advertised: it reached 50% in just under 30 minutes. »
MacBook Pro M2 Pro/Max are too expensive
The cheapest version of this new MacBook Pro series is the 14-inch MacBook Pro M2 Pro, which has risen in price by 150 euros compared to the 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro, up to 2,399 euros. No matter the chip or amount of storage, these new ” Pro they’re overpriced, just like the MacBook Pro M2 was a few months ago. Engadget For his part, he recommends choosing a MacBook Air M2 and that it is interesting” keep an eye out for the M1 Pro and Max machines if you’re looking to save some money » adding RAM in particular. A thought shared by tom’s guide.
Another press consensus to conclude: This new crop of MacBook Pro is a success, but it’s mostly due to the feat accomplished with the MacBook Pro M1 Pro/M1 Max in Fall 2021. The MacBook Pro M2 Pro/ M2 Max is essentially a significant evolution in performance, with some welcome new features as a bonus (Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, support for ultra-HD external displays). the edge goes further by saying that: Even putting performance aside, the MacBook Pro 16 is miles ahead of most Windows laptops in areas like screen quality, audio, trackpad size, and build. For the media, if you can afford a MacBook Pro, go for it.
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