MacBook Pro 14

MacBook Pro 14 Review – The sweet spot

MacBook Pro 14 Review – The sweet spot

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  • Post last modified:April 30, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
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  • Reading time:15 mins read
MacBook Pro 14

The recently released MacBook Pro 14 has proven to be a fan favorite over the bigger 16-inch model. This laptop comes loaded with industry-leading performance while still maintaining a rather fair price point. This was a long-awaited machine as there was a gap between the MacBook Pro 13 and the MacBook Pro 16; hence it is referred to many as the sweet spot.

Despite having a smaller footprint, it offers exceptional performance with the upgraded M1 pro and M1 max chips with the latter being more powerful. Due to these custom-fitted chips, you should expect excellent battery life even while running at maximum performance. In this article, we are going to discuss its design aesthetic, crazy performance, battery life, webcam, storage, RAM and I will finally give you my final thoughts.


  • CPU – M1 Max or M1 Pro chip
  • Display – 14.2-inch (3024 X 1964) resolution at 254 pixels per inch
  • Brightness – Peak (1600nits) Sustained (1000nits)
  • RAM – 16GB, 32GB (M1 Pro), 32GB, 64GB (M1 Max only)
  • Charging – Fast-charge capable with 96W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Storage – 512GB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB
  • Ports – HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm Headphone jack, 3 Thunderbolt 4 (USB C), MagSafe 3 and an SD Card slot.
  • Keyboard – Backlit Magic Keyboard
  • Security – Touch ID
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6 wireless networking (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible)
  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • Webcam – 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Audio – High-fidelity six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers
  • Microphones – Studio-quality three-mic array
  • Headphone – 3.5 mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones
  • Weight – 1.6 kg (3.5 pounds)
  • Operating System – MacOS Monterey
  • Color – Space Grey or Silver
  • Starting Price – $1999

Design language.

MacBook Pro 14

There is no doubt that the redesigned MacBook Pro 14 is appealing as compared to the previous generation MacBook. It is thicker and boxy with sharper edges giving it a whole new aesthetic. Some people love it while others have mixed reactions about it. Nonetheless, looks are subjective at the end of the day. The Apple logo at the front is now relatively larger as compared to its predecessors and they etched the name MacBook at the bottom of the device; subtle but classy.

As we have come to expect from Apple, this laptop is made out of recycled Aluminum which gives the machine a premium feeling. As a differentiating factor from previous MacBooks, the keyboard layout in this laptop is all black with white markings for letters, symbols and numbers. In previous generation MacBooks, the chassis part of the keyboard was silver. Again, subtle but classy.

One of the biggest improvements in this iteration is the display. For the first time in a MacBook, we finally get Pro motion display. This simply means a 120Hz display. In addition to this, it is adaptive meaning the display will vary the refresh rate depending on the task being handled. For example, a lower refresh rate will be used when reading an article but it will automatically be bumped up to 120Hz when gaming or even scrolling. It can typically go as low as 24Hz.

MacBook Pro 14

In terms of display quality, Apple really upped their game. Both the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 models will come with an upgraded mini-led display with a maximum brightness of up to 1600nits which is just awesome. As compared to a standard LED panel, as the name suggests, Mini-led features a lot of tiny backlight LEDs which overcome most of the standard LED shortcomings such as low black levels. This MacBook has 8000 Mini-LEDs to be exact and the results are absolutely phenomenal. The black levels are stunning and it is mostly noticeable when watching HDR content in a dimly lit room.

The Notch.

MacBook Pro 14 on a white surface

This is by far the most controversial statement in this device’s build. To be honest, it absolutely disturbing at first but after some time you get used to it. The most disappointing thing about this notch is that it only features a webcam. As big as it is, Apple should have at least added an IR sensor for login. Nonetheless, most people get used to it.

In fact, when you are using the laptop, most apps black out the top of the screen and since this laptop features a mini-led display, the blacks are decent enough such that it appears as if it was manufactured that way. It is also worth noting that when taking a screenshot, the notch is automatically ignored and the image appears as if it was not there.

Ports, Battery, Webcam and speakers.

MacBook Pro 14

As compared to previous MacBooks, I think we can all agree that Apple deserves a pat on the back when it comes to ports. In this iteration of MacBooks, Apple incorporated a HDMI 2.0 port, 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C), a 3.5mm headphone jack, a full-sized SD Card slot and finally the MagSafe 3 port.

For those wondering, the MagSafe 3 is a proprietary Apple port used solely for charging. Unlike USB-C which clamps tightly on the port when charging, MagSafe can easily be plugged off while still being strongly attached to the device at the same time. This comes in handy when you trip over the MagSafe cable. The charger will disconnect easily but if it was charging through USB-C, there are high chances that the laptop will fall down. Its not essential but nonetheless, very thoughtful of Apple.

Despite the wide array of port selection, the HDMI 2.0 is very disappointing for a high-priced machine such as this. If you don’t understand what this means you can read along. Just as there are CPU generations, some ports such as USB and HDMI also have generation. The latest HDMI generation which was announced in 2017 is the HDMI 2.1. This generation brought a lot of features on the table which the next gen consoles boast.

MacBook Pro 14 ports

These include support for up to 4K 120Hz and 8K 120Hz. In contrast, HDMI 2.0 supports up to 4K 60Hz and does not support 8K at all. The good news is that you are better off with the Thunderbolt 4 as it supports 4K 120Hz (single display) or 8K 60Hz (Single display).

Aside from that, the battery life in this laptop is pretty impressive. In fact, it is one of the best in the market right now. Apple rates it at 17 hours for video playback and 11 hours for web browsing. These numbers are purely theoretical and they may differ in the real world depending on factors such as the type of work being handled and the rate at which the battery is degrading. As a rule of thumb, your device should be at 80% of its original capacity after 1000 full charging cycles.

Anyway, this laptop can maintain a steady 14 hours when doing light to medium tasks. As your load increases, the battery life automatically decreases. This is very impressive and to put it into perspective, this laptop can last up to 6 days for the average user who watches YouTube videos, browses the internet lightly, checking emails and doing light tasks for a limited amount of time per day.

MacBook Pro 14 with an iPad and gaming accessories
Credit: The Every Day Dad

Although MacBook webcams were always above average as compared to what the competition offered, this year they made a major revamp in this department. The webcam was upgraded from 720P to 1080P. This was an addition that was well overdue but nonetheless it is good to finally see it here. As you would expect, it is much better from the previous models. However, there is an elephant in the room. And that would be center stage. For those who have not heard of it yet here is a simple to understand explanation. Center Stage is a feature which was first introduced in the Ipad Pro series back in 2021 and is now featured in all the latest Ipads including the Ipad Mini 6.

This feature uses advanced machine learning to detect the subject in focus and tracks its movement to keep the subject in frame. For example, if you are on a FaceTime call and you happen to move a bit out of frame the camera will detect your movement to keep you at the center of the frame hence the name center stage. In addition to this, it can also detect if another person enters the frame and uses the Ultrawide camera to zoom out in order to keep everyone in frame.

Since center stage requires an Ultra-wide lens, here is where the MacBook faces its first hurdle. Until Apple finds a way to incorporate an ultra-wide lens into the webcam, center stage will remain absent in their laptops.

MacBook Pro 14

As we have all come to expect, MacBooks offer the best speakers in any laptop period! The MacBook Pro 14 features 6 high fidelity speakers with force-cancelling woofer offering industry leading sound quality once again. For all the audiophiles here are some in depth specs on the speaker system. The system consists of 2 large tweeters and 4 force-cancelling woofers.

This results in 80% more bass and Apple claims that the 4 force-cancelling woofers can go half an octave deeper than before. On the same note, Apple’s improved studio quality mics on this laptop have a 60% better signal to noise ratio than before. The Speakers and mics in the 14 and 16-inch MacBooks are identical hence the specs above also apply to the bigger model.


MacBook Pro 14

As we have come to expect from M1 chips, the performance is nothing short of amazing. The newly released M1 Pro and M1 max chips take the performance to a whole new level with the latter being more powerful.

With both the 14 and the 16-inch MacBooks, you can choose either the M1 pro or the M1 max. Depending on the applications that you mainly use, it is very important to choose the processor that will be mostly beneficial to your workflow.

For the M1 Pro, the range kicks off with an 8-core CPU with a 14-core GPU as the base spec for the 14-inch MacBook Pro. The other specs include a 10-core CPU with a 14-core GPU and finally the highest end 10-core CPU with a 16 core GPU. It is worth noting that for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the only spec available for the M1 Pro is the highest end 10-core CPU with the 16 core GPU.

M1 Pro vs M1 Max

For the M1 max, there are two spec options; a 10-core CPU with a 24-core GPU and the 10-core CPU with the 32-core GPU. All these specs are pretty amazing but which one is right for you? First of all, all these options are pretty capable and they offer exceptional performance. But if speed is your priority, you might as well go for the highest spec model.

Furthermore, if you do graphic intensive tasks with apps such as blender, Adobe Premiere pro just to mention a few, the 32-core GPU would amaze you. Just for the sake of clarity, intensive tasks include tasks like rendering 8K footage in premiere pro or Final cut pro, rendering complex 3D scenes in blender; you get the idea. For 4K renders or even 1440P the base model can handle it pretty well. While we are at it, it is important to note that the M1 Pro starts off at 16GB RAM and tops off at 32GB while the M1 max starts off at 32GB and tops off at 64GB RAM.

Final thoughts.

MacBook Pro 14

The 14-inch MacBook Pro is definitely the sweet spot in terms of size and performance. It is not too small like the MacBook Pro 13 neither is it too big like its bigger counterpart, the 16-inch model. Performance wise, it is as good as they come. The 1600-nit Mini-led display is one of the best in the laptop market and coupled with Pro-motion, it is almost unbeatable. All in all, it is the best all-round laptop and if you budget fits the spec you want, you should definitely go for it.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Davenport Reuben

    Progressive innovations for MacBooks.

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