5.0 out of 5 stars | 14" MacBook Pro vs. 13" MacBook Pro
Capacity: 512 GB
I am writing this review focused primarily on people who are considering jumping from the 13" MacBook Pro to the 14" MacBook Pro, which is what I did. I moved from the 13" MacBook Pro M1 with 16gb of RAM to the 14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro with 16gb of RAM. Size: So, 1" of screen might not seem like a lot on its face, but the difference is pretty substantial, in my opinion. Even the pictures don't quite do it justice. The screen feels considerably larger in a package that isn't considerably larger. For me, it's the perfect sweet spot for someone who wants something larger than the 13" model, but smaller than the 16". I had a 16" MacBook Pro i9 and it was just too much for me. This one feels perfect. Form Factor: The new 14" and 16" MacBooks both adopt a thicker chassis, which is shown in the pictures. As such, Apple decided to make the casing flat instead of gently rounded. It honestly reminds me of the pre-unibody builds, but still sleek and modern. If I didn't know this one was new and you just laid them side-by-side, I might say that the old form factor looks a little newer, but that isn't to say that it looks bad. Aesthetics: Overall, I touched on the aesthetics a bit in the "form factor" section. It looks like a high-end laptop, but at the same time I can see some people thinking it looks dated. I personally like the flatter look over the more rounded look, but it will depend on the person. Another thing I like is moving the "MacBook Pro" branding from under the screen to the bottom of the casing. I just think it provides a cleaner look during use. The black background of the keyboard is also a plus for me. The old space gray background was fine, but I really like the black. Function: Most people probably won't notice a massive difference in the previous iteration and the new iteration. For the 14" and 16" MacBook Pros, the touchbar has been removed. This will make a lot of people happy. For me, I was always pretty ambivalent about the touchbar, but I'm not going to complain about a key row there. The keyboard appears to have ever so slightly more travel and bounce. It's not a huge amount, but it is noticeable. I'll touch on The Notch later. Performance: My 13" had the M1 chip and now my 14" as the M1 Pro. So far, I haven't noticed a tremendous difference when using programs like Logic Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom, but I wouldn't say those are super intensive programs. If you're exporting massive 8K videos, you might want to jump up to the M1 Max. One thing I have noticed is that the thermals are maybe a little bit worse. Just a touch. I have noticed it warming up a bit, but the fan still has not come on once. I only mention this because my 13" M1 stayed cold at all times. It's not as bad as my i9, which sounded like a jet engine revving up while it jumped well over 100 degrees, but it's something to be aware of. The Notch: Honestly, so much has been made of the notch and I think it's mostly overstated. Yes, it's fun to meme the fact that Apple still hasn't found a way around the notch, particularly on iPhones, but it's really not a huge deal. Were it up to me, I would have just left a bezel up there, but I can understand why Apple didn't. I use a Dell XPS for work and it has razor thin bezels with no notch, but at the same time the camera is an absolute joke. Looks like it's from 2002. The Notch (cont'd): The notch behavior can be inconsistent from app to app, but not to the point where it's bothersome. I have seen some programs with very large nav menus up top bump the status bar out of the way to make room. And while this particular phenomenon is not something new for MacBooks, losing a big chunk of that bar to the notch will likely make this a more regular occurrence for people. Do I wish it didn't have a notch? Yeah, probably. Does it hurt the experience? Very, very little. Screen: For everyday indoor use, which is almost exclusively what I do, I think you will be hard-pressed to find a better screen on the market. The 120Hz refresh rate is something I waited a long time to get on the iPhone, so I was pretty shocked to see it implemented on the new MacBook Pros just a month later. It actually has more pixels/inch than the iMac 27" 5K screen, which I also use pretty regularly. All-in-all, the screen is just the best in the business. Overall: It's a great and powerful laptop for someone who is wanting a little more than web surfing and word processing. I use mine primarily for recording music, as well as live performances using standalone plugins, so I need something that is powerful and easy to use. The MacBook Pro has always fit the bill, but now with the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips, I have absolutely no concern for performance or consistency. My 13" M1 did just what I needed in this regard, but I'm someone who wanted a slightly larger screen without drastically increasing my footprint and weight. The 14" MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is just what I needed. If you're someone who needs absolutely top notch performance, I'd recommend upgrading the RAM and going with the M1 Max.
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2021 by Ian
5.0 out of 5 stars | Remarkable
Capacity: 512 GB
Color: Space Gray
I haven't upgraded my computer for more than a decade, so it would stand to reason any recent releases would impress me, but this macbook pro has gone above and beyond in the small time I've had it. The screen is truly something to behold. Smooth, clear, just beautiful. I don't typically care about bezels, but I might start. The expanded screen makes an unexpected difference. Meanwhile, I barely notice the notch. Apple said they'd find workarounds to make it scarce, and they have. The speakers are wonderful as well. I was skeptical at first -- thought I caught some tinny effects on a couple songs, but the more I listen to them, the more I'm convinced the tinniness was in the recording (it was a live album, which might explain it). As for the spatial audio, I've only heard a couple songs, but it's pretty trippy. This is my first experience with it, and it doesn't disappoint. In the short time I've had the computer, it's been nothing but fast. Probably more computer than I need, so if you're a sound editor or photographer, this review probably isn't for you. But for those of you casual users who want a solid machine that will last (as I said, my last macbook pro made it more than a decade), this is the one. Excited as I was for my last macbook, I could see room for improvement at the time. Right now, I don't see how things get better than this.
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2021 by Charlie Carlisle
5.0 out of 5 stars | Best MacBook Pro ever - for a lot of reasons
Capacity: 512 GB
M1 pro chip is super powerful - photo/video editing, graphic design - this thing just kills it. Compared to previous MacBook Pro, it's a giant leap ahead. These tasks are a main reason to buy the pro version of the Macbook. This particularly model is the lower end of the spec you can get for a pro, but it still kicks butt. You can get the Pro Max chip and bump up the RAM to 64GB if you want - and add tons more storage. The 14 inch MacBook pro is the perfect size for a balance of portability and power. It can do pretty much everything the 16 inch version does. The display is stunning. Just gorgeous. 120hz capability (pro motion) gets rid of blur when scrolling and makes for clearer action when viewing movies. The brightness and black levels on the display are awesome. Real HDR viewing - a big difference. You will hear about "the notch" at the top of the screen where the camera is. After 10 minutes I don't even notice it. It means nothing for your experience. Its just something critics have chosen to harp about. in most apps the notch is no even visible. Camera is now a full 1080p and is a big upgrade over previous MacBooks. Six speaker sound system with new woofers - sounds incredible. Music/movies it feels like surround sound. For video conferencing the microphones are studio quality and you can tell - this is great for video conferencing. The keyboard is a dream to type on. Very solid like all MacBooks, no spongy feel you get with so many other laptops. The Apple Magic Keyboard is the best - as is the track pad. Battery life is amazing. I have gone all day on battery without needing to plug in. At best its spec says 17 hours, which is crazy! Especially for this spec...but for real world use with a mix of tasks, it won't be 17 hours but I did a 9 hour session yesterday, and still had a ton of battery left. The power efficiency is ground breaking. They have added back the MagSafe power plug - which is great! And added back an SD card slot and and an HDMI port - which many of us hated the previous macs that deleted these ports. I wish it had at least one USB-A old style port - but it doesn't. You get three USB-C thunderbolt 4 ports that you can use with adapters if needed. They got rid of the touch screen bar at the top of the keyboard from previous pro MacBooks and put back the regular mechanical keys for the controls. Apparently they listened to a lot of users who didn't really like the touch pad. The shape and style of this laptop is great. Some say the edge of the laptop looks "sharp" where your wrists rest. That is BS. I have been typing most of the day and I don't feel any issue with the edge of the laptop at all. Very comfy for typing. Some haters may try to find reasons to bash this new Macbook Pro, but I am telling you - from any perspective, all brand bias aside - this is an amazing laptop - the best Apple has ever made, hands down. And I would say you won't find a better power laptop anywhere. All that said - this is not a gamers machine. Apple is not for hard core gamers. I mean you can play games on it that you get from the app store. I am a hard core gamer and a PC geek - I have a powerful windows PC for gaming. And always will. But for everything else. this MacBook is king. I use to for music, for photo and video editing, for productivity. I can plut into a giant monitor if I want a bigger screen - it works great on my 34 inch IPS panel. So if you are wondering if this Macbook 14 inch pro is the real deal or not - I am here to tell you, its the real deal. I finally upgraded from my 2015 MacBook pro because this new one hits so many sweet spots - revolutionary power and battery life, excellent ergonomic design, great sound, stunning display - its the whole package. If you are thinking of getting one - you won't be disappointed. One last comment. I am an old timer windows guy, and I know all the counter arguments for the Mac. Many wills say this is overpriced compared to a windows laptop with similar spec. First, show me an intel based laptop that can match these new M1 Pro chips - you can't. And aside from that, the Mac OS is secure and stable - rock solid - and is intuitive with amazing features - like the ability to copy and paste text FROM A PHOTO! Whaaat? And the design/ergonomics/quality of these MacBooks is unmatched. So, yes you pay more - but you get more. My last MacBook pro lasted me almost 7 years and it still works great. If you want this laptop - get it! It rocks.
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2021 by Jake