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Apple MacBook Pro 14 – Top 5 Pros and Cons

Long have we waited, M1 Max activated. This is the motto of Apple enthusiasts when they saw the announcement of the M1 Pro and M1 Max-equipped MacBook Pro laptops. Apple has always done things their way, which then turns out is the way that every other manufacturer starts doing things.

This happened with the notch on the iPhones, which many mocked at first, but then quickly adopted, including the biggest players in the smartphone market. Now, we have a notch on the new MacBooks, along with ARM-based processors, which seem to be performing really well, while also offering great power efficiency.

Today we are presenting you with LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the Apple MacBook Pro 14.

Apple MacBook Pro 14: Full Specs / In-depth Review


3 reasons to BUY the Apple MacBook Pro 14

1. Design and build quality

If there is one thing that Apple always gets right, it’s the build quality. The MacBook Pro 14 comes with an aluminum chassis that is robust and durable, with next to no flex from both the lid and the base. The design is very simplistic with round corners and edges. The matte finish is nicely contrasted by the glossy Apple logo on the lid. In terms of dimensions, the laptop is pretty light, stopping the scales at 1.6 kg and having a profile of 15.5 mm.

The lid opens easily with one hand, revealing thin bezels and a notch, which has found its way onto the laptop world. The thing looks ridiculous, but Apple does give you a way to hide it, and the Liquid Retina display certainly gives a black enough color. The way we look at it is that for now, the notch is useless, with there being no FaceID system inside (we suspect it will be coming this or next year).

 

The base houses two speaker cutouts, a keyboard with average key travel, due to the slim profile, and very responsive feedback. The power button also has an embedded fingerprint reader. Also, the TouchBar is gone, for better or worse. The touchpad has a decent size, extremely accurate tracking, and a haptic clicking mechanism, which will definitely polarize the Apple community.


2. Display quality

The laptop uses a 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR. It uses a total of 8040 Mini LEDs that are spread across 2010 dimming zones for backlighting. With a resolution of 3024 x 1964p and a 14:9 aspect ratio, you get a very high pixel density, along with a 120Hz refresh rate. The panel has great viewing angles, a max brightness of 1600 nits with the HDR more and 500 nits with the SDR mode. Furthermore, the panel covers 99% of the DCI-P3 gamut.

The accuracy is pretty good out of the box, with Apple giving you several presets with predetermined brightness.

Unfortunately, the panel uses PWM to adjust brightness across all brightness levels, including when using the predetermined brightness option (right).


3. Performance

CPU benchmarks

We are delightfully surprised by the performance of the Apple silicon. We tested the 8-core M1 Pro, which showed decent results in Cinebench R20, albeit still slower than the Intel and AMD competition. However, the results are also misleading, since the benchmark itself still isn’t properly optimized for Apple silicon.

CPU BenchmarksCinebench R23
Apple MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro (8C/14C)9564
Dell XPS 15 951011315
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro (14″)9905
ASUS VivoBook Pro 14X OLED (M7400)12608
CPU Benchmarkssingle/multi Geekbench 5
Apple MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro (8C/14C)1764/9955
Apple MacBook Air M11732/7574
Apple MacBook Pro 13 M11727/7564
Apple iPad Pro 11 20201118/4636

Looking at the tables above, we see the M1 Pro is very competitive in other benchmarks, such as Cinebench R23 and Geekbench 5.

GPU benchmarks

The M1 Pro offers either a 14-core or a 16-core GPU. We tested the 14-core variant, which performed somewhere between the level of the 45W and the 60W RTX 3050 Ti.

3DMark Wildlife Extreme
Apple MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro (8C/14C)9142
Dell XPS 15 9510 [RTX 3050 Ti (45W)]8633
MSI Sword 15 [RTX 3050 Ti (60W)]10618
GPU BenchmarksGFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (1080p offscreen)GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 (1080p offscreen)GFXBench Aztec Ruins OpenGL (1080p offscreen)GeekBench 5 Compute OpenCLGeekBench 5 Compute Metal
Apple MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro (8C/14C)818 fps496 fps394 fps3526238692
Apple MacBook Air M1404 fps273 fps214 fps
Apple MacBook Pro 13 M1407 fps274 fps215 fps

Here you can see the M1 Pro against the M1 of last year.

2 reasons NOT to buy the Apple MacBook Pro 14

1. Upgradeability

As the laptop comes with an SoC, we have zero upgradeability present, as all RAM and Storage are part of the chip itself. You get up to 32GB of RAM for the M1 Pro and up to 64GB for the M1 Max. The maximum configurable amount of storage is 8TB.

Here is our teardown video, which shows how to access the components inside.


2. I/O

While the I/O is definitely better, eliminating the need for some dongles, it still lacks USB Type-A ports of any kind. What you get is three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5 mm audio jack, an SD card reader, and an HDMI connector.


All Apple MacBook Pro 14 configurations: