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Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3) Review: Remarkably Powerful

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3)

4.5

Overall

4.5/5

The Good Stuff

  • Choice of fast CPUs
  • Very impressive battery life
  • Impressive & bright miniLED display
  • Plenty of ports & SD card slot
  • Impressive speakers
  • Includes Touch ID
  • Impressive keyboard and trackpad
  • Comes with a new Black color

The Bad Stuff

  • No USB-A & FaceID
  • Can't upgrade RAM or SSD after purchase
  • Expensive

 

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3)

The new Apple MacBook Pro comes with new M3 chips, giving more power, a longer battery, a brighter display, and a dark persona. 

Specs

DISPLAY: 14.2-in mini LED (3024 x 1964), ProMotion (120Hz) | CPU: Apple M3/Pro/Max | RAM: 8GB/18GB/32GB/128GB | STORAGE: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB SSD | OS: macOS 14.1 Sonoma | Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD camera | MISC: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 2/3x USB/Thunderbolt, HDMI 2.1, SD card, headphones | Weight: 1.55 /1.62kg

 

 

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3): Overview

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro 14 is here, bringing a wider range of chip options, a surprising price drop, and a sleek new black colorway. But it’s not just about aesthetics – this upgrade promises even greater performance and battery life to keep you productive on the go.

Starting at £1,699 (€1,999/US$1,599/AU$2,699), it’s still not exactly a budget buy. But a welcome £450 reduction compared to the previous model makes it significantly more accessible to a wider audience.

The familiar design remains, blending retro charm with modern sophistication. The aluminum construction is as sturdy as ever, exuding a quality feel that justifies the price tag. The port selection stays consistent, thankfully including the much-appreciated HDMI port and full-size SD card slot for seamless connectivity.

MacBook Pro 14

The display continues to be one of the best in the laptop world, delivering a sharp, smooth, and incredibly bright experience for all your tasks, whether it’s working on documents or enjoying vibrant HDR content.

And it gets even better – the brightness has been boosted by 20% compared to its predecessor, making it easier to work even under the harshest winter sunlight.

But the real magic lies under the hood. The new chip options ensure you have the perfect balance of power and efficiency, tailored to your specific needs. And when it comes to battery life, prepare to be amazed – this MacBook Pro can keep up with your busy day without breaking a sweat.

So, whether you’re a creative professional, a demanding student, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in tech, the upgraded MacBook Pro is worth considering. With its enhanced performance, improved battery life, and more affordable price tag, it’s a compelling proposition that promises to elevate your computing experience.

Unveiling the New Space Black

Apple’s 2023 refresh introduces a stunning new color option for the MacBook Pro 14: Space Black. While technically a very dark grey, it’s as close to black as anodized aluminum can get, offering a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic.

MacBook Pro 14

But it’s not just about looks – the new finish also repels fingerprints more effectively than previous models, keeping your MacBook Pro 14 looking sharp and pristine. However, this dark beauty comes with a slight caveat. The Space Black option is reserved for the mid-and high-end configurations of the machine, starting at a price point of £2,099 (€2,499/US$1,999/AU$3,499).

So, if you crave a MacBook Pro that exudes both power and elegance, the new Space Black color might just be the perfect choice. Just be prepared to pay a premium for this exclusive touch of darkness.

Apple Unleashes the M3 Chip

Apple has once again pushed the boundaries of laptop technology with its latest M3 family of chips. These cutting-edge processors are built on a process inaccessible to other manufacturers, resulting in impressive performance gains alongside reduced power consumption and heat generation.

The new MacBook Pro 14 lineup welcomes the M3 chip as its entry point, offering a significant 20% performance boost compared to the M2 chip found in the MacBook Air and other models. This translates to a remarkable 40% leap in performance compared to the original M1 chips released in 2020.

However, the base model M3 configuration comes with limitations. It supports only a single external monitor and ships with a standard 8GB of RAM, which may suffice for now but could become inadequate in the future. Upgrading memory requires an upfront payment of £200 and cannot be done afterward.

MacBook Pro 14

For those who demand more power, additional ports, and the ability to connect multiple external displays, the M3 Pro chip offers a compelling solution. This powerful processor effortlessly handles demanding tasks and is likely the ideal choice for professionals using the MacBook Pro for work.

At the pinnacle of performance sits the M3 Max chip. This powerhouse delivers an unprecedented level of power within a laptop form factor. While overkill for most users, it will undoubtedly be embraced by those seeking workstation-level performance and willing to pay a premium for it.

With the M3 family of chips, Apple has once again redefined the landscape of laptop performance and efficiency. Whether you’re a casual user or a power-hungry professional, there’s an M3 chip perfectly suited to your needs.

Apple’s M3 Powerhouse

Apple’s M3 chips are not only at par with their Intel counterparts in PCs, but they also boast significant performance increases compared to Macs released three to five years ago. However, Apple’s true advantage lies in power efficiency.

This translates to double or more battery life compared to rivals, allowing you to work unplugged without compromising performance. Unlike competitors, who experience performance drops when not plugged in, Apple’s M3 chips maintain their peak performance even on battery power.

This makes the M3-powered MacBook Pro a true champion of efficiency, ideal for those who demand both power and portability.

MacBook Pro 14

Even when pushing the limits with the most powerful M3 Max configuration, you can expect a remarkable 16 hours of productive office work. This includes word processing, browsing, note-taking, and spreadsheet wrangling.

That’s more than an hour longer than last year’s model and double the endurance of most competitors. The M3 chip models can reach an astonishing 20 hours of similar work, while the M3 Pro models fall somewhere in between.

Need to tackle demanding photo editing tasks? No problem! The battery can still deliver around 12 hours of editing power on a single charge. When it’s time to refuel, the included 96W adapter can fully charge the battery in about 90 minutes, reaching 50% in just 30 minutes.

So, whether you’re a busy professional or a content creator on the go, the M3 MacBook Pro offers the battery stamina to keep you powered through your day.

The Sustainable Choice

Apple prioritizes sustainability with the MacBook Pro, incorporating 32% recycled materials, including aluminum, rare earth elements, tin, gold, and plastic. Their environmental report provides a detailed breakdown of the computer’s eco-impact, demonstrating their commitment to responsible manufacturing.

The MacBook Pro is designed for repairability, with available repair manuals and battery replacements offered by Apple for £245.

While repair specialists like iFixit praised its modular design, they criticized the use of software locks on replacement parts, which restrict third-party repair options and earned the machine a four out of ten repairability score. To further promote sustainability, Apple offers trade-in programs and free recycling schemes, even for non-Apple products.

The Price of Performance

The starting price for the MacBook Pro 14 is £1,699 (€1,999/US$1,599/AU$2,699) with an M3 chip, 8GB RAM, and 512GB storage. Upgrading to models with the M3 Pro chip begins at £2,099, while the M3 Max configurations start at a steeper £3,299.

To put it in perspective, the M2-powered MacBook Air starts at a more affordable £1,149. In comparison, Windows laptops that offer similar performance to the new MacBook Pros, like the Dell XPS 15, sit around £2,000. Other contenders include the Razer Blade 14 at £2,499 and Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio 2, which starts at £2,069.

Ultimately, the price of the MacBook Pro reflects its cutting-edge performance and efficiency. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option, it offers a compelling value proposition for professionals and power users who demand the best in portable computing.

Verdict

The 2023 MacBook Pro 14 lineup presents a wider array of options than ever before. The lower starting price of £1,699 is a welcome change, albeit still a significant investment.

However, the base model’s M3 chip, while undeniably fast, might lack the raw power for professional work. Additionally, the limited 8GB RAM further restricts its appeal.

This makes the base model a difficult sell compared to the exceptional MacBook Air, especially for Apple users. But the M3 Pro and Max configurations are a different story. They continue Apple’s dominance in delivering unparalleled power and efficiency, unmatched by any other manufacturer.

The 14-inch size remains the ideal balance in the laptop world, further enhanced by the stunning display, best-in-class trackpad and keyboard, and a solid port selection. While not cheap, it’s one of the absolute best work laptops available for those not specifically requiring Windows 11.

And let’s not forget the sleek new black color – a truly eye-catching addition.

 

LGMadyibi

Working in construction projects full time, and promoting mobile computing devices part-time, I'm an ICT and project management graduate using this platform to help fellow web surfers find tech solutions to solve daily problems.

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