MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs 24-inch iMac (2021): Which Apple computer should you buy?

MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs 24-inch iMac (2021): Which Apple computer should you buy?

Apple revealed the MacBook Pro 13 (2022) during the main keynote of WWDC22. This addition to its Mac lineup packs the M2 chipset in a classic chassis. It misses out on the recent build overhaul that the company introduced on the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) models. If you’d rather get your hands on the notched Macs, you can buy them as refurbished units for a cheaper price tag. Nonetheless, the 13-inch model from 2022 still packs a lot of power in its outdated body. This is the MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs 24-inch iMac (2021) — the battle between a laptop and an all-in-one (AiO) computer from Apple.

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Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs Apple 24-inch iMac (2021): Specifications

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) Apple 24-inch iMac (2021)
Processor
  • Apple M2 (8-Core CPU)
  • Apple M1 (8-Core CPU)
Graphics
  • Apple M2 (10-Core GPU)
  • Apple M1 (7-Core GPU)
  • Apple M1 (8-Core GPU)
Body
  • 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches
  • 3lbs
  • 21.5 x 18.1 x 5.8 inches
  • 9.83lbs (varies by model)
Display
  • 13.3-inch Retina display (2560 x 1600), up to 500 nits peak brightness, True Tone technology
  • 24-inch 4.5K Retina display (4480 x 2520), up to 500 nits peak brightness, True Tone technology
Ports
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Headphone jack
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Two USB 3 ports
  • Headphone jack
  • Gigabit Ethernet
Storage
  • 256GB
  • 512GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
  • 512GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
Memory
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
  • 24GB
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
Battery
  • 58.2Whr battery
  • Up to 20 hours of video playback
  • 67W charger
  • [none]
Audio
  • Stereo speakers with wide stereo sound and spatial audio support when playing Dolby Atmos content
  • High-fidelity six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers and spatial audio support when playing Dolby Atmos content
Camera
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Color
  • Silver
  • Space Gray
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Silver
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Purple
Price
  • $1,299
  • Starts at $1,299

Design: The iMac packs 24 inches of minimalism

m2 MacBook Pro 13-inch

Design is certainly a subjective matter. Nonetheless, we get to make objective observations about certain build elements to help you choose the better looking Apple computer. The MacBook Pro 13 (2022) features the same chassis that the company has been using for years. It has thick bezels, a Touch Bar, and a very limited port variety. Additionally, it’s only available in Space Gray and Silver finishes.

Apple's 2021 iMac in blue with matching accessories.

With the launch of the M1 chip, Apple started redesigning some of its Mac models. The 24-inch iMac (2021) takes advantage of this design. It features a very clean, sleek, and minimalistic body that looks great on any desk. It additionally introduces the rich port variety, which spares many users the need to depend on docks. That’s not to mention that it’s available in seven vibrant colors to choose from — giving users the liberty to go for the appearance they favor. It easily wins the design round, as it’s simply a gorgeous-looking masterpiece, an artwork that reflects a lot of hard work occurring in Cupertino.

Display: The iMac’s screen truly is a Pro

Having a solid display is essential on a computer. After all, a large portion of people use it for work and stare at it at least eight hours a day. It’s especially important to those who work in media and edit/create a lot of photo and video content. One needs plenty of screen real estate for comfortable multitasking. A higher resolution also enhances the overall experience. In this round, the winner is clear — as one of these computers truly shines over the other.

Side view of 24-inch iMac in green

The M1 iMac (2021) features a stunning 4.5K 24-inch screen. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro (2022) goes for 13.3 inches only. Those seeking the larger display with higher clarity should most definitely go for the iMac. If you’re looking for portability, then the MacBook Pro it is. Ultimately, both Retina screens are more than just decent, support the True Tone technology, and have a peak brightness of 500 nits.

Performance: One generation apart

Apple M2 specifications graphic

Performance is one important aspect to consider when buying a new computer. The MacBook Pro 13 and 24-inch iMac both pack mighty chipsets that reimagine what a device can do. The Apple M2 (2022) and M1 (2020) power these computers respectively. They’re both power-efficient processors that can handle your Pro tasks just fine. Nonetheless, the M2 is even more efficient than the M1, packs two extra GPU cores, and supports up to 24GB of RAM.

m1 chip overview

Both computers support the latest macOS version and have dedicated cooling systems to avoid overheating and throttling the performance. Notably, though, the iMac doesn’t include a battery. So if you don’t have power access at all times, the MacBook Pro might make more sense to you. Though, the iMac packs a 1080p webcam that puts the 720p one in the MacBook Pro to shame. So if you attend plenty of online meeting, you might want to consider this aspect.

Bottom Line: Portability vs Display

In terms of performance, the MacBook Pro 13 is mightier than the 24-inch iMac. Nonetheless, the iMac has a bigger and better display that better suits a home office. If you work on the go, then the MacBook Pro is the right choice for you — as the iMac is an all-in-one, stationary computer that needs constant AC power to run. If you’re looking for the better-looking device, then get the iMac. That’s because it offers a more futuristic body, which you can buy in seven color options. The MacBook Pro only comes in two dull finishes to choose from. However, it exclusively includes a Touch Bar, which many people rely on as part of their workflows.

    The 2022 MacBook Pro 13-inch offers a classic design, reintroduces the Touch Bar, and packs the M2 chip.
    The 24-inch iMac is the perfect option for those who want an all-in-one desktop computer. It packs the Apple M1 chip.

Which Apple computer will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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