Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch (2023) Review : Exceptional Performance at a Premium Cost

Apple’s MacBook Pro series has consistently catered to creative professionals, particularly photo and video editors in need of substantial processing power for their multimedia projects. Traditionally, these laptops have been the go-to choice for such demands. However, Apple is now expanding the target audience for its Pro lineup to include not just professionals but also everyday users, small business operators, and even gaming enthusiasts. Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch is Exceptional Performance at a Premium Cost.

 Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch Review
credit to Apple



Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch

The most recent iterations of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are arguably the finest that the brand has ever released. They come with Apple’s latest M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max processors, showcasing a combination of elegance, potency, and performance.

However, these upgrades come with a high cost. Pricing for the entry-level Pro begins at $1,599. For the average user, the MacBook Air, which is equipped with the M2 chip and priced at $1,099, may be a more reasonable option. Indeed, my spouse and I opted for the MacBook Air ourselves not too long ago.

Yet, for those seeking the pinnacle of Apple’s portable computing power, the MacBook Pro stands out as the premier choice.

 Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch Review
Credit to Apple


The most recent versions of the MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch models have remained largely consistent with their predecessors. They maintain the identical array of ports — including three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, one HDMI port of full size, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a MagSafe charging port. Additionally, these models continue to feature the same 1080p resolution webcam and the six-speaker audio system.

The latest MacBook Pros are nearly identical to the models released in January, both in the 14-inch and 16-inch sizes. The notable update comes with the choice of the new Space Black color when you go for the models equipped with either the M3 Pro or M3 Max chips. Apple has incorporated a special anodized finish to the aluminum body, which is designed to repel fingerprints—a common annoyance with most metallic surfaces.

Top-down view of MacBook Pro shows built-in Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and trackpad
credit to Apple


This detail is a subtle but welcome enhancement. As someone who uses a MacBook Air, I can attest to the annoyance of smudges on the finish, but the new Pro models seem to remain smudge-free. While this feature alone may not be the deciding factor in your purchase, it certainly adds to the overall appeal of the new Pro models.

Side view of open MacBook Pro emphasises the thin design
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Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch Review

I’ve been testing a top-tier MacBook Pro 14-inch model that boasts an upgraded M3 Max chip. Unlike the base M3 Max’s 14-core CPU and 30-core GPU, this machine packs a more robust 16-core CPU and 40-core GPU, placing it at the pinnacle of Apple’s chip offerings. It’s a powerhouse of performance. This high-end configuration also comes with 64GB of unified memory and 2TB of storage, with a price tag of $4,299.

Showing the ports on MacBook Pro with M3 Pro or M3 Max chip: left side — MagSafe 3 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports and headphone jack; right side — SDXC card slot, one Thunderbolt 4 port and HDMI port
Credit to Apple


While multitasking extensively—running “Baldur’s Gate 3,” downloading “Lies of P,” streaming music on Spotify, browsing with Edge, and conducting the Cinebench 2024 GPU benchmark—the MacBook Pro demonstrated commendable performance. Although “Baldur’s Gate 3” experienced occasional slowdowns, the MacBook’s ability to simultaneously manage these demanding tasks was noteworthy.

In isolation, without the background activities, “Baldur’s Gate 3” performed flawlessly. Similarly, “Lies of P” delivered a seamless gaming experience, with no performance interruptions. Apple’s foray into the gaming realm is quite remarkable, signaling potential market expansion and growth opportunities for the Mac ecosystem.

Showing the three finishes available for MacBook Pro: Space Black, Silver and Space Grey
Credit to Apple

Apple has historically not been a major player in the gaming industry beyond mobile gaming on its iPhones and iPads. However, with its latest Mac models, Apple is making a significant push into the market. The MacBook Pro 14-inch has demonstrated impressive performance, capable of running many of the most popular games with ease.

For Apple to rival the gaming dominance of Microsoft’s Windows platform, it will need to secure more support from game developers and publishers. Additionally, Apple must address the cost barrier; ensuring that users can have a high-quality gaming experience without the need to invest in a MacBook Pro as expensive as the current model.

Two MacBook Pro laptops back-to-back show the relative sizes of the displays: 35.97 cm (14.2″) and 41.05 cm (16.2″), measured diagonally
Credit to Apple

The 14-inch MacBook Pro excels beyond gaming, showcasing remarkable performance for activities ranging from web surfing, enjoying music, to video streaming. Even with its considerable horsepower, the laptop’s cooling fans remained quiet except during gaming or while conducting performance benchmarks.

Regarding its battery longevity, the MacBook Pro 14-inch stands out impressively. It sustains power well enough to last an entire workday and beyond. The only noticeable depletion in battery life occurs during gaming sessions or when connected to an external display.

Is the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch worth purchasing?

Absolutely, if you require a powerful yet portable laptop. This model excels in demanding tasks such as video editing, CAD modeling, artificial intelligence work, or advanced gaming. For the average user, the base model MacBook Pro, priced at $1,599 and equipped with an M3 chip, 8GB of memory, and 512GB of storage, should suffice. However, it would benefit from more memory. In summary, the MacBook Pro 14-inch stands out in the realm of professional-grade laptops for those willing to invest.

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