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In addition to the new processor, Apple also goes back to some design elements of earlier MacBook Pro models. The touch bar is gone and the minimalistic approach in terms of the ports seems to be a thing of the past as well. The When you pull out the new MacBook Pro 14, you will immediately notice the high weight and the bulky chassis for Apple standards. Contrary to recent MacBooks, the chassis is not tapered and the thickness is therefore pretty much the same around the chassis.
Despite the slightly bigger footprint compared to the MacBook Pro 13 , the MacBook Pro 14 appears much more massive and denser. The basic design on the other hand did not change, and you still get a unibody aluminum chassis in silver or space grey. In addition to the black keyboard, the spacing between the keys is now black as well. This is definitely a matter of taste, but we preferred the spacing in the chassis color.
You now also get a stamped-in MacBook Pro lettering on the bottom panel. Once you turn the MacBook on, you will immediately notice the large notch in the upper center of the display. The display also offers more pixels menu bar is basically put on top the actual screen , but the notch just does not look very nice.
Both the stability as well as the build quality of the chassis are excellent; there are no creaking sounds and you cannot dent the case anywhere. The slim lid is a little more flexible and you can provoke ripples on the screen with a lot of concentrated pressure, but you really have to try and it should not be an issue in practice.
The central hinge is almost perfectly adjusted, because it keeps the display well in position also at small angles and avoids wobbling, but you can still comfortably open it with one hand. The maximum opening angle on the other hand is not very generous at degrees. Depending on your arm position you might also get imprints from the edge of the high base unit during typing, which can be uncomfortable.
As we have mentioned before, the footprint of the new MacBook Pro 14 is actually not that much bigger compared to the MacBook Pro 13 and the height is comparable as well, but it still feels much bulkier to use due to the higher weight. You also have to consider the PSU with a weight of grams including the MagSafe 3 cable during transport. The latter is unfortunately limited to HDMI 2. We managed to record transfer rates of more than 2.
If you use docking stations, there still seems to be a bug in macOS that limits transfer rates to USB 3. The MagSafe connector works as well as always and the small status LED shows if the battery is charging or full. The braided cable leaves a high quality impression and is sufficiently long at 2 meters.
You really have to ask yourself why Apple ever removed the connector in the first place. We secretly hoped for a Gigabit-Ethernet port, maybe included in the power adapter like we saw on the current iMac M1. You can at least use corresponding Thunderbolt adapters for wired networks. The full-size SD-card reader is back and is once again located at the right side, like it was on MacBook Pros years ago.
SD cards protrude from the chassis similar to old MacBook Pros and are not suited for permanent storage expansion. However, we are pretty sure you will get corresponding microSD adapters, which will sit flush with the chassis, pretty soon. Apple only implements familiar communication standards with Wi-Fi 6 Apple advertises a maximum transfer rate of up to 1.
The Windows competition with MHz support is superior and even the old Intel-based MacBooks have an advantage in this regard. This is unfortunately not always ideal since the signal quality of laptop antennas is usually better and the smartphone will use quite a bit of power. Still, we would have liked to see an even better module considering the size of the notch, perhaps the 12 MP front camera of the iPad Pro.
The Center Stage feature, which is also familiar from the iPad, is not supported, either. Apple fans will be pleased to find two black Apple logo stickers in the box, which were previously reserved for the Mac Pro models. We usually do not talk about the packaging of the laptops, but Apple has changed it for the new MacBook Pro. You now open the brown box via a strip 2. After that, you can open the two sides and you see the actual box of the MBP.
This is great for the initial product presentation, but makes it harder to use the box again. The lower panel is secured with pentalobe screws, but there is once again an additional slider mechanism in the middle of the two sides. You cannot just lift the cover, but you have to slide it towards the front, which can be a bit tricky when you want to put it back in. The internal layout looks nice, but you cannot do anything here and there is no reason to open the case.
According to our colleagues from iFixit , it is easier to replace the battery of the new MacBook Pro models and the connectors for MagSafe and USB are not soldered, either, so they can also be replaced. The biggest change of the new MacBook Pro 14 is the lack of the Touch Bar, where the usability always depended on the software support. It was most likely just a gimmick for many users though and many simple actions like changing the display brightness or the volume often required one additional touch.
Apple now returns to simple buttons, but contrary to the current MacBook Air, they have the same vertical size as all the other keys. The shortcuts for the keyboard illumination have been replaced and you now get special keys for search, microphone and "Do Not Disturb". The keyboard brightness can be controlled via Control Center or you just let the brightness sensor do its job, which works really well.
The basic mechanism of the scissor keys did not change. The key stroke seems to be slightly more muffled in a direct comparison with the MacBook Pro 13 M1 and the old MacBook Pro 16 , but the feedback of the keys is still identical. The feedback is very precise, but key travel is still limited. Considering the thickness of the base unit, we would have liked to see longer travel, because the subjective typing experience is just not as good as on many other high-end devices like business laptops from Dell, HP, and Lenovo, or SteelSeries keyboard in MSI laptops and the keyboard can be improved here.
The Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the power button on the top right corner now has an additional ring, but the functionality is still the same compared to previous models. It works flawlessly and is very comfortable to use. The large TrackPad is also unchanged from previous MacBooks, but this is no problem at all. Some Windows competitors have closed the gap, but Apple's TrackPad is still the reference when it comes to touchpads.
Gliding capabilities are excellent, you can control the cursor very precisely, and gestures work great thanks to the perfect integration with the operating system. Apple still does not equip its MacBook with touchscreens. The notch at the top of the screen would usually be a part of the display section, but we think it deserves its own chapter.
Like on the iPhones , you will probably get used to it after a while, but we think the small black bar just does not look very good. There are also some functional issues that have to be resolved. The area next to the notch is basically reserved for the menu bar and the area of the notch is not supposed to be used by menu items. However, it looks like some apps do not know that yet, with one example being the iStat menus.
The menu bar is automatically blacked out when you use apps in full-screen mode, so you pretty much have the standard panel. This works well with Apple's own apps like Safari, but quite ironically the meeting app for Apple's own press briefing used the full display size and the icons on top were not visible anymore. Apple created additional and unnecessary work for itself as well as the developers.
Apple traditionally uses very good displays and the new MacBook Pro 14 is no exception. The resolution of x pixels also ensures sharp and vivid pictures on the We have already reported about the brightness of the new panel , because Apple only lists the brightness values for HDR contents in its spec sheet.
We can confirm that the panel manages a maximum brightness of 1, nits with corresponding HDR contents all the way up to an APL of 50 average picture level; even distribution of bright and dark contents and still more than 1, nits on a completely white screen at least a video with small black bars on the top and bottom.
The HDR image is really impressive, suitable contents just look amazing, and the HDR capabilities except for the screen size are comparable to good TVs. However, this does not help in everyday situations, where you use SDR contents for the majority of the time. The display will provide higher HDR brightness levels when an application like Safari with a corresponding YouTube video or a preview screen in Final Cut requests it. But otherwise, the brightness is limited to nits and therefore similar to the smaller MacBook Pro 13 M1.
You still benefit from the vastly improved contrast ratio, but we think Apple should mention this in the official specs. Otherwise you will probably be disappointed if you expect a brightness of up to 1, nits for all contents when you want to work outdoors, for example. The integrated brightness sensor and the TrueTone technology automatic adjustment of the color temperature based on the ambient light work really well and you quickly get used to these comfort features.
Some Windows devices also support automatic adjustments of the color temperature, but the systems often do not work as well as on Apple's devices. Thanks to the Mini-LED technology, there is no backlight bleeding; a black picture is just completely black, even at the maximum brightness. There are no limitations for the viewing-angle stability, either.
However, the Mini-LED technology still has its share of issues. The frequency is very high and should not be an issue for the majority of users, but you will not be very happy with the screen if you are very sensitive to flickering. The response times are also pretty slow, but the constant PWM flickering makes it tricky to determine the exact values. Subjectively, we can say that ghosting is not as noticeable as on Windows laptops with similarly slow response times.
Maybe the ghosting is somewhat reduced by the Hz refresh rate. Apple states that every single display is calibrated in the factory and we can confirm this claim after our analysis with the professional CalMAN software as well as the X-Rite i2 Pro 2 spectrophotometer. The DeltaE deviations for the grayscale as well as the colors are already smaller than 3 out of the box compared to the DCI-P3 reference color space , which means the human eye cannot see a difference to the reference colors.
The panel covers the DCI-P3 reference completely and we were not able to improve the performance with our own calibration, which is why we do not offer a calibrated profile at this point. This means you can start editing pictures and videos right away. The system automatically decides when to increase the refresh rate, like when you scroll through documents, while it is reduced for static images to save power.
You can also set a fixed frequency 60, The system works well in practice, but not all apps support it yet even Apple's own Safari browser. The following video enhances the issue slightly but is otherwise a good representation of what the human eye sees at the maximum panel brightness. The frequency of Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. If PWM was detected, an average of minimum: 5 - maximum: Hz was measured.
The MacBook Pro 14 has a glossy screen surface, but it is not as reflective as many Windows devices with touchscreens. The MacBook also benefits from the good brightness and the extremely high contrast ratio, so you can still work comfortably in bright environments as long as you can reduce reflections from direct light sources or bright objects like walls.
The cores themselves are pretty much identical to the regular M1 SoC, which is available in the MacBook Air, for example. Apple can increase the yield thanks to multiple chip versions, because all M1 Pro chips, for example, are basically identical. You get a CPU with an efficiency cluster 2 cores and two performance clusters four cores each. The base model just does not use two performance cores. The M1 Pro chips have two GPU clusters with 8 cores each, and two of them are deactivated on the core models.
The performance cores run at up to 3. There might be some apps that benefit from the larger cache and additional memory, but we did not notice it during our benchmarks. However, it looks like the CPU clusters consume the same amount of power as in the M1 Pro with 10 cores, which offers more performance. The performance of the M1 Pro is stable both under sustained workloads as well as on battery power and the fan noise is just a quiet murmur during pure CPU loads. More CPU benchmarks are listed here.
The emulation of apps via Rosetta 2 also works really well even though there can be some apps with more problems. The new MacBook Pro 14 is primarily intended for content creators and programmers, but you should really think about how much performance you actually need and if you might be better off with the faster M1 Pro or M1 Max. It is hard to quantify the performance difference in these scenarios because the workload is different for every user and there are not that many benchmarks for macOS.
Our entry-level model is equipped with a GB drive, and you can use GB after the initial set-up. More SSD benchmarks are available in our Tech section. Like on the processor side, the M1 Pro versions with either 14 or 16 GPU cores are technically identical.
They have two GPU clusters with 8 cores each, but the entry-level model only uses 7 cores per cluster. The maximum power consumption is 15 W and the performance is once again stable both under sustained workloads and on battery power.
More GPU benchmarks are available here. Gaming is still a touchy subject on macOS. There are some native games nowadays like Eve Online , World of Warcraft and some titles are emulated via Rosetta 2. We often used an external screen for our benchmarks, because the resolution of the internal display is quite uncommon and you often cannot select traditional resolutions. We noticed that there were more stutters when we connected the external screen via HDMI and the performance was also a bit lower.
So far, we did not find a reason for this, but the experience was noticeably smoother via Thunderbolt. You can obviously use Apple's Arcade games collection as well and these titles run perfectly. You also have other options to run Windows games on the Mac. In addition to Parallels there is CrossOver, where the compatibility is limited but applications can use all the resources of the Mac which is not the case for Parallels. You will have to experiment a bit, but we managed to play Grand Theft Auto V at normal settings and The Witcher 3 high settings without Nvidia HairWorks without major issues.
F1 on the other hand only ran with low details, and higher settings resulted in massive graphics issues. We cannot offer our standard benchmarks with these titles since we still have to find a reliable way to capture the fps numbers. Apple traditionally prefers quieter fans at the expense of higher temperatures. The two fans of the MacBook Pro 14 can reach maximum speeds of 5, rpm left and 6, rpm right , respectively.
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