The Macbook Pro M2 Max is Apple’s most powerful laptop, offering unparalleled performance for media creation, gaming and high-end professional tasks. It features a 12-core CPU, a 38-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine, along with up to 96GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD storage. It also boasts a stunning 16.2-inch mini-LED display with ProMotion technology, which adjusts the refresh rate up to 120Hz depending on the content. The design is sleek and sturdy, with a variety of ports including MagSafe, Thunderbolt 4, HDMI and SD card slot. The battery life is exceptional, lasting nearly 27 hours on our test. The only drawbacks are the high price tag, the notch in the display that may be distracting for some users, and the lack of internal upgradeability.
Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of this laptop:
- CPU: The M2 Max chip has a 12-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. This means it can handle multiple demanding tasks at once without slowing down or overheating. The performance cores are optimized for speed and power, while the efficiency cores are designed for low-power tasks that don’t require much processing. The M2 Max chip also has a shared L2 cache of up to 64MB and a shared L3 cache of up to 64MB1, which improve the communication between the cores and the memory.
- GPU: The M2 Max chip has a 38-core GPU that delivers up to 10.4 teraflops of graphics performance. This is more than twice as fast as the previous generation of Macbook Pro with Intel processors. The GPU can handle complex graphics tasks such as rendering 3D models, editing high-resolution videos, playing immersive games and running multiple external displays. The M2 Max chip also has a dedicated memory bandwidth of up to 400GB/s for the GPU1, which allows it to access data faster and more efficiently.
- Neural Engine: The M2 Max chip has a 16-core Neural Engine that can perform up to 54 trillion operations per second. This is a specialized processor that handles machine learning tasks such as face recognition, natural language processing, image enhancement and more. The Neural Engine can accelerate various apps and features on Mac OS Ventura, such as Siri, FaceTime, Photos, Safari and more. It can also run custom machine learning models created by developers using Core ML.
- Screen: The Macbook Pro M2 Max has a 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a native resolution of 3456 by 2234 pixels at 254 pixels per inch. This means it can display over one billion colors with stunning clarity and detail. The screen also supports XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range), which means it can achieve a contrast ratio of one million to one and a peak brightness of up to 1600 nits for HDR content. The screen also features ProMotion technology, which adjusts the refresh rate from 24Hz to 120Hz depending on the content being displayed
- Speakers: The Macbook Pro M2 Max has six speakers with high dynamic range and wide stereo sound. It also supports Spatial Audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos on the built-in speakers or when using compatible AirPods. The speakers deliver crisp and clear sound with rich bass and balanced treble. They are loud enough to fill a room and can handle various genres of music and audio content. They are also great for video conferencing and voice calls, thanks to the studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.
- Webcam: The Macbook Pro M2 Max has a 1080p FaceTime HD camera with an advanced image signal processor and computational video. This means it can capture more details and colors in low-light conditions, as well as apply effects such as portrait mode, live text and emoji stickers. The webcam also supports Center Stage, which automatically adjusts the frame to keep you in focus and follow your movements during video calls. The webcam is located in a notch at the top center of the screen, which may be distracting for some users, especially when using full-screen apps or watching videos. However, you can hide the notch by adjusting the display settings or using third-party apps.
- Video encoding/decoding: The Macbook Pro M2 Max has a media engine that can handle hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW formats. It also has two video decode engines and two video encode engines that can process up to 8K resolution at 60 frames per second. Additionally, it has two ProRes encode and decode engines that can handle up to 6K resolution at 30 frames per second. These features make the Macbook Pro M2 Max ideal for editing and streaming high-quality videos with minimal latency and power consumption.
- Battery life: The Macbook Pro M2 Max has a 100-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery that can last up to 21 hours of Apple TV app movie playback or up to 14 hours of wireless web browsing. This is one of the longest battery life ratings among laptops of this size and performance level. The battery life may vary depending on the usage, settings and environmental factors. The laptop also supports fast-charge capability with a 140W USB-C Power Adapter (included) that can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes
- Ports: The Macbook Pro M2 Max has five ports on the sides of the laptop. On the left side, there is a MagSafe 3 port, which is a magnetic connector that attaches to a USB-C cable for charging. The MagSafe 3 port can also support data transfer and video output with compatible devices. Next to it, there are two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, which can support charging, data transfer, video output and external devices with up to 40Gb/s bandwidth. On the right side, there is another Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) port and an HDMI port, which can support up to 4K resolution at 144Hz for external displays. There is also a 3.5 mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones. Additionally, there is an SDXC card slot on the right side, which can read and write data from SD cards up to UHS-II speed.
- Charging: The Macbook Pro M2 Max comes with a 140W USB-C Power Adapter and a USB-C to MagSafe 3 Cable. You can connect the cable to the MagSafe 3 port or any of the Thunderbolt 4 ports to charge the laptop. The laptop also supports fast-charge capability, which can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes with the included adapter and cable. You can also use other USB-C power adapters and cables that meet the minimum power requirements of the laptop
The Macbook Pro M2 Max is one of the most powerful laptops on the market, but it also faces some strong competition from other brands and models. Here are some of the comparisons:
- Macbook Pro M2 Pro: The M2 Pro version of the Macbook Pro is slightly cheaper and lighter than the M2 Max version, but it also offers less GPU performance and memory bandwidth. The M2 Pro has a 10-core or 12-core CPU, a 16-core or 19-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine and a 200GB/s memory bandwidth. The M2 Max has a 12-core CPU, a 30-core or 38-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine and a 400GB/s memory bandwidth. According to some benchmarks, the M2 Pro and M2 Max have similar CPU performance, but the M2 Max has an edge in GPU-intensive tasks such as video editing, gaming and machine learning. However, the difference may not be noticeable for most users unless they are working with very demanding applications or workflows.
- Dell XPS 17: The Dell XPS 17 is a Windows laptop that competes with the Macbook Pro M2 Max in terms of size and performance. It has a 17-inch display with a resolution of 3840 by 2400 pixels at 500 nits brightness. It also has an Intel Core i9-11900H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, up to 64GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSD storage. The Dell XPS 17 is cheaper than the Macbook Pro M2 Max, starting at $1,549.99 / £1,999 / AU$3,6993. However, it also has shorter battery life (up to 13 hours vs up to 21 hours), heavier weight (5.34 pounds vs 4.7 pounds) and fewer ports (four Thunderbolt 4 ports vs five ports including MagSafe 3, HDMI and SDXC card slot)31.
- Razer Blade Pro: The Razer Blade Pro is another Windows laptop that targets creative professionals and gamers. It has a 17.3-inch display with a resolution of either 1920 by 1080 pixels at 360Hz refresh rate or 3840 by 2160 pixels at touch support. It also has an Intel Core i9-11900H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU
- Razer Blade 14: The Razer Blade 14 is a smaller and lighter gaming laptop than the Macbook Pro M2 Max, but it also offers less screen size and resolution. It has a 14-inch display with a resolution of either 1920 by 1080 pixels at 144Hz or 2560 by 1440 pixels at 165Hz. It also has an AMD Ryzen 9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 GPU, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. The Razer Blade 14 is cheaper than the Macbook Pro M2 Max, starting at $1,799.99 / £1,999.99 / AU$3,699.951. However, it also has shorter battery life (up to 11 hours vs up to 21 hours), fewer ports (three USB-A, two USB-C, one HDMI and one headphone jack vs five ports including MagSafe 3, HDMI and SDXC card slot) and no mini-LED display.
- MacBook Air M2: The MacBook Air M2 is a thinner and lighter laptop than the Macbook Pro M2 Max, but it also offers less performance and features. It has a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels at 400 nits brightness. It also has an Apple M2 chip with an eight-core CPU, an eight-core GPU and a nine-core Neural Engine. It also has up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The MacBook Air M2 is much cheaper than the Macbook Pro M2 Max, starting at $999 / £999 / AU$1,599. However, it also has lower battery life (up to 18 hours vs up to 21 hours), fewer ports (two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports vs five ports including MagSafe 3, HDMI and SDXC card slot), no mini-LED display with ProMotion technology, no Touch Bar and no MagSafe charging
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 is a Windows laptop that offers a lot of customization options and features for business users. It has a 16-inch display with a resolution of either 1920 by 1200 pixels at 400 nits brightness or 3840 by 2400 pixels at 600 nits brightness with touch support. It also has an Intel Core i5, i7 or i9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, RTX 3060, RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 GPU, up to 64GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSD storage. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 is more expensive than the Macbook Pro M2 Max, starting at $2,689 / £2,399.99 / AU$4,499. However, it also has more ports (two Thunderbolt 4, two USB-A, one HDMI, one Ethernet and one headphone jack vs five ports including MagSafe 3, HDMI and SDXC card slot), more security features (fingerprint reader, IR camera with Windows Hello and ThinkShutter privacy cover) and more durability (MIL-STD-810H certified) 1. However, it also has lower battery life (up to 10.7 hours vs up to 21 hours), heavier weight (4.06 pounds vs 4.7 pounds) and no mini-LED display.
|Display||16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology and 3456 by 2234 pixels resolution|
|Processor||Apple M2 Max chip with 12-core CPU (8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores)|
|Graphics||Apple M2 Max chip with 30-core or 38-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine|
|Memory||Up to 96GB of unified memory|
|Storage||Up to 8TB of SSD storage|
|Battery life||Up to 21 hours of Apple TV app movie playback or up to 14 hours of wireless web browsing|
|Ports||MagSafe 3 port, three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot and headphone jack|
|Webcam||1080p FaceTime HD camera with computational video and Center Stage|
|Speakers||Six speakers with high dynamic range and wide stereo sound, Spatial Audio support for Dolby Atmos|
|Keyboard||Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and Touch ID sensor|
|Dimensions||0.66 x 14.01 x 9.77 inches (1.68 x 35.57 x 24.81 cm)|
|Dimensions||4.7 pounds (2.1 kg)|