MacBook Professional M2 13-inch vs MacBook Professional 14-inch: Which Apple laptop computer is for you?

The newest 13-inch and 14-inch MacBook Execs aren’t simply the identical laptop computer in two totally different sizes — they’re two totally totally different machines. Whereas the brand new 13-inch MacBook Professional has Apple’s newest and best M2 processor for churning by means of demanding duties, it additionally has a years-old design that’s beginning to present its age. In the meantime, the 14-inch MacBook Professional is a little bit of a reinvention for the Mac pocket book, delivering some large upgrades (like a greater show, webcam and speaker set) whereas bringing again some issues we missed (like bodily operate keys and precise ports).

That being stated, the 13-inch MacBook Professional M2 nonetheless has some main advantages — notably its a lot decrease beginning worth of $1,299 in comparison with $1,999 for the 14-inch. Questioning which one to spend your money on? We’ve examined each of those high-end laptops extensively, and are right here to make that call simpler for you.

Processor Apple M2 Apple M1 Professional/M1 Max
Reminiscence 8GB / 16GB / 24GB 16GB / 32GB / 64GB (M1 Max solely)
Storage 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB SSD 512GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB / 8TB SSD
Show 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 Retina show 14.2-inch, 3024 x 1964 Liquid Retina XDR show
Digital camera 720p FaceTime HD digital camera 1080p FaceTime HD digital camera
Audio system Stereo audio system with Spatial Audio assist Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio assist
Keyboard Magic Keyboard with Contact Bar Magic Keyboard with bodily operate keys
Ports Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (2), headphone jack Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (3), SDXC card slot, HDMI port, headphone jack, MagSafe charging port
Battery life (rated) As much as 20 hours As much as 17 hours
Dimension and weight 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches, 3 kilos 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches, 3.5 kilos



You need the most cost effective MacBook Professional — and one which’s nonetheless loopy quick

Mike Andronico/CNN

One of the vital interesting issues concerning the MacBook Professional M2 is its worth. At $1,299, it’s probably the most reasonably priced MacBook Professional in Apple’s present lineup, and considerably extra reasonably priced than the $1,999 14-inch mannequin. You’re not skimping out on a lot at that worth both, because the 13-inch mannequin is the one MacBook Professional that packs Apple’s blazing new M2 processor.

The M2-powered MacBook Professional delivered among the quickest speeds we’ve ever seen from a laptop computer, even outpacing its bigger on some particular exams. Whereas the 14-inch MacBook Professional is able to stronger general efficiency because of its extra superior processor choices (extra on that later), the M2 MacBook Professional is simply concerning the quickest laptop computer you may get for the worth, and may have no downside dealing with your intensive Photoshop, video enhancing and music manufacturing wants.

Mike Andronico/CNN

Apple’s Contact Bar is polarizing to say the least, however in case you care about having one, the 13-inch MacBook Professional is the one Mac that also options it. A mini touchscreen that rests above the keyboard and reacts to no matter app you will have open, the Contact Bar enables you to finely comb by means of video clips, shortly mute your self throughout video calls, and make the most of emojis and predictive textual content when chatting in iMessage, simply to call a couple of makes use of. I’ll personally take bodily operate keys over the Contact Bar any day, however Apple’s touch-sensitive strip does have its makes use of in case you’re keen to dig into it.

Mike Andronico/CNN

When it comes to which of those two MacBook Execs lasts longer, your mileage will possible differ primarily based on which processor you outfit your 14-inch MacBook Professional with. However primarily based on our anecdotal testing — and Apple’s personal claims — you’ll get longer endurance from the 13-inch MacBook Professional M2 mannequin in lots of instances.

The newest 13-inch mannequin has frequently gotten us by means of full workdays with loads of battery to spare, whereas our 14-inch mannequin (which packs an M1 Professional chip) typically faucets out in lower than 8 hours. Each laptops have been closely taxed by our battery check (which consists of steady 4K video playback), although the 14-inch mannequin lasted a couple of half hour longer than the 13-inch mannequin. Nonetheless, in on a regular basis real-world use, the 13-inch MacBook Professional has confirmed to be the winner in our expertise.

Michael Andronico/CNN

Whereas each of those laptops are ridiculously quick, the 14-inch MacBook Professional is the higher choice in case you actually want best-of-the-best efficiency for heavy workloads. Whereas the 13-inch MacBook Professional’s M2 chip is notably higher than the bottom M1 processor you’ll discover within the 2020 MacBook Professional and MacBook Air, the 14-inch mannequin’s alternative of M1 Professional and M1 Max processors are largely in a category of their very own.

We might lavatory you down with all of the cores, transistors and different jargon that set these chips aside, however you actually need to look no additional than our primary efficiency benchmarks between a 13-inch MacBook Professional with M2 and a 14-inch mannequin with an M1 Professional processor. Whereas the M2 MacBook Professional simply barely edged out the 14-inch Professional on our Geekbench 5 single-core check — which provides a superb indication of how a pc handles primary duties — the 14-inch MacBook Professional pulled forward all over the place else by a large margin.

MacBook Professional M2

MacBook Professional 14-inch

Processor Apple M2 Apple M1 Professional
Geekbench 5 (single-core) 1,892 1,768
Geekbench 5 (multi-core) 8,904 12,463
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (1080p, max settings) 29 fps 47 fps

Apple’s 14-inch laptop computer posted considerably greater Geekbench 5 multi-core scores, which means the system is extra succesful in relation to multitasking and working demanding apps. The bigger MacBook Professional was additionally considerably higher when it got here to gaming, working the graphically intensive motion of Shadow of the Tomb Raider at max settings at a easy 47 frames per second — a giant leap over the simply barely playable 29 fps we bought from the 13-inch mannequin.

Take into account that these sturdy scores got here from a 14-inch MacBook Professional with an M1 Professional processor — you may get even higher efficiency in case you splurge for a mannequin with Apple’s M1 Max chip, which begins at $2,899. The 14-inch mannequin additionally permits for greater most storage and reminiscence at as much as 8TB and 64GB respectively, which means extra free house for these large video information and extra respiration room for easily leaping between plenty of apps directly. The M2 MacBook Air remains to be an absolute monster for the worth, however the 14-inch is the way in which to go if the majority of your day consists of additional intensive inventive or visible work.

You need one of the best show, webcam and audio system on a MacBook

Mike Andronico/CNN

Past its superior efficiency, the 14-inch MacBook Professional gives a considerably higher multimedia expertise than its smaller sibling. Its display is greater — clearly — however what’s extra important is that it has slimmer bezels, a a lot greater decision and extra superior Liquid Retina XDR know-how that every one combines for a extra immersive viewing expertise.

After we performed the identical 8K nature video side-by-side on the 13-inch and 14-inch MacBook Execs, there wasn’t an enormous night-and-day distinction — although some great benefits of the bigger mannequin have been fairly apparent straight away. Other than merely having the ability to see issues extra simply because of the larger show space, the video’s detailed wildlife pictures merely seemed sharper on the 14-inch thanks in no small half to its crisper 3024 x 1964 display decision. However the 14-inch mannequin stood out much more throughout primary day-to-day use — I might merely see extra directly — and makes the 13-inch look particularly dated each time I get again to it.

The distinction in audio high quality between the 2 laptops is even starker, because the 14-inch MacBook Professional’s six-speaker setup blows the 13-inch mannequin’s stereo audio system out of the water. The sunny various rock of Tigers Jaw’s “Cat’s Cradle” sounded booming and crisp on the 14-inch mannequin, to the purpose the place the identical track sounded gentle and tinny on the 13-inch mannequin by comparability. Contemplating the 13-inch MacBook Professional nonetheless trumps most different laptop computer audio system, that’s actually saying one thing.

Mike Andronico/CNN

The 14-inch MacBook Professional additionally has a bonus within the webcam division, sporting a 1080p FaceTime digital camera in comparison with the 720p shooter on the smaller mannequin. Whereas each of those webcams shall be completely appropriate in your every day video conferences, I did discover that my face seemed barely sharper and extra true-to-life on the 14-inch when evaluating selfies I snapped on each laptops.

Mike Andronico/CNN

Right here’s what actually excites me concerning the 14-inch MacBook Professional in comparison with its smaller siblings: it has precise ports! Whereas the 13-inch MacBook Professional is restricted to 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports for each charging and equipment, the 14-inch mannequin will get you a complete of three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot for simply accessing photographs out of your digital camera and an HDMI port for connecting to exterior shows.

Simply as considerably, the 14-inch mannequin additionally has a MagSafe charging port and respective cable — you already know, the identical type of magnetic, easily-detachable-if-someone-trips-on-them charger you may bear in mind from the MacBooks of previous. On prime of lowering the possibilities that your MacBook instantly goes flying, the MagSafe cable prices extraordinarily shortly, and retains your three USB-C ports free for necessary peripherals. By comparability, you’ll possible want to choose up a USB-C hub in your 13-inch MacBook Professional in case you plan on plugging lots of issues into it.

I can’t overstate how good it feels to have a set of enormous, bodily operate keys on a MacBook, and the 14-inch Professional delivers simply that. Doing issues like adjusting quantity, brightness and media playback is simply simpler and extra satisfying with a single bodily click on, and I nonetheless discover myself pissed off each time I’ve to carry out a number of contact inputs simply to do the identical factor on the Contact Bar.

Mike Andronico/CNN

The 13-inch MacBook Professional and 14-inch Professional are each two of one of the best MacBooks you should purchase, and selecting between the 2 largely comes all the way down to your funds, efficiency wants and the way a lot you worth issues like a greater show or a wholesome quantity of ports.

At $1,299, the 13-inch MacBook Professional is a worthwhile choose for “prosumers’ who need lots of muscle for primary video enhancing or graphics work however don’t wish to pay upwards of $2,000 for a laptop computer. It’s the quickest laptop computer you’ll discover at its worth, and whereas its design isn’t as modernized as its 14-inch counterpart, it nonetheless has an awesome keyboard and show.

The $1,999 14-inch MacBook Professional is the higher choice for critical execs who want as a lot energy as doable. And even in case you’re an everyday shopper that has the money to spend, it’s possible you’ll discover its superior show, audio system and webcam to be well worth the worth of admission. Plus, you don’t need to cope with that pesky Contact Bar.

These leaning in the direction of the 13-inch MacBook Professional also needs to preserve a watch out for the brand new MacBook Air M2, which is ready to launch this month beginning at $1,199. It combines the speedy efficiency of the M2 chip with among the extra fashionable touches of the 14-inch MacBook Professional (like a greater webcam, a Liquid Retina show and bodily operate keys), all for $100 lower than the 13-inch MacBook Professional. We’ll have extra to say on the brand new Air as soon as we get our palms on one, so keep tuned.

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