2023 MacBook Pro M2 Pro: Two-month experience using the Heavy Gift

Apple’s new 2023 MacBook Pro is quite the heavyweight in more ways than one. On the one hand, this laptop is a beast in terms of performance with the latest M2 Pro chip powering some serious computational horsepower. But on the other hand, this is one heavy laptop, tipping the scales at over 2 kilograms for some configurations. If you’re looking for a featherweight road warrior, the 2023 MacBook Pro probably isn’t it. But if you need a no-compromise powerhouse that can handle intensive creative workloads, the latest MacBook Pro should be at the top of your list, there’s our two-month experience using the M2 Pro.

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Design

If you’re familiar with the 2021 MacBook Pro, the design of this generation is exactly the same as the previous one, with a large touchpad and speaker area occupying the bottom case. The 2023 MacBook Pro has the same sturdy aluminum unibody design of its predecessor, with clean lines and Apple’s signature minimalist aesthetic. The weight of the 2023 MacBook Pro has bumped up a bit from 2.1 kilograms to 2.15 kilograms. If you choose the version with the M2 Max chip, it’ll weigh in at 2.16 kilograms. If you need to haul this around frequently and don’t need top-level performance, you should think twice about the 2023 MacBook Pro as lugging this for long periods can put some serious strain on your shoulders.

2023 MacBook Pro M2 Pro

Performance

We put the 2023 MacBook Pro through a mini stress test by rendering a podcast in the background while playing a dozen 4K movies simultaneously. This pushed both the CPU and GPU in the M2 Pro chip along with the laptop’s thermal design. Even with all twelve movies playing, there were no signs of slowdown and the machine didn’t stutter a bit. Fan noise was so low you had to put your ear up to the chassis to hear it. The keyboard area got warm but not uncomfortably so. Throughout the test, neither the CPU nor GPU seemed to break a sweat, with GPU usage for playing 4K video not even exceeding 50% at any point.

Apple Silicon

One of the most significant upgrades in the 2023 MacBook Pro M2 Pro is the Apple Silicon. The new generation of Apple Silicon has shown significant improvements in performance, and this laptop is no exception. The advantages of the Apple Silicon’s GPU are more evident in productivity tools, and we saw this during our performance test. The MacBook Pro M2 Pro can handle high-load tasks with ease.

Apple’s custom GPU’s strengths seem most apparent in productivity tools and apps. Our impromptu test was more out of curiosity than rigorous benchmarking but still showcased the sheer power and efficiency of the M2 Pro chip. For intensive creative workloads like video editing, 3D modeling, music production, and software engineering, the 2023 MacBook Pro should blaze through them without issue. The combination of incredible performance per watt from the M2 Pro chip and active cooling for sustained workload means this laptop is a beast for power users.

HDMI 2.1 and Wi-Fi 6E

Besides the updated Apple Silicon, the 2023 MacBook Pro finally gets an HDMI 2.1 port, meaning you can connect it to a 4K 120Hz display or higher refresh rate monitor. For me, this is a huge upgrade as hooking the laptop to my 4K 120Hz TV at home often led to choppiness from the lower refresh rate, while 120Hz helps solve this and unleashes the full potential of high refresh rate screens.

MacBook Pro also upgrades from Wi-Fi 6 to the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard and Bluetooth 5.0 to Bluetooth 5.3. Both offer the fastest wireless connectivity currently available.

Is the MacBook Pro M2 Pro 2023 Worth It?

There’s no denying that the MacBook Pro M2 Pro 2023 is a powerful and impressive upgrade over its predecessor. The new M2 Pro chip, make it a tempting choice for those seeking a high-performance laptop.

2023 MacBook Pro is a familiar yet powerful upgrade, focusing on raw performance over radical redesigns. The M2 Pro chip provides incredible power for demanding work, no-compromise power for video editing, software engineering, and other intensive work on the go, the 2023 MacBook Pro should be at the top of your list, just make sure you’re ready to carry around that extra weight!

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Max Hyland
Max Hyland
Long form contributor Apple iPhone, iPad, watch reviews, opinion, editorial

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