- CPU: Apple M1 Pro (10-core) / Apple M1 Max (10-core)
- Graphics: Integrated 16-core / 24-core / 32-core GPU
- RAM: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB Unified memory
- Screen: 14.2-inch, 3,024-by-1,964 Liquid Retina XDR display (mini-LED, 1,000 nits sustained brightness, wide color P3 gamut, ProMotion technology)
- Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD
- Ports: 3x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, SDXC card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, MagSafe 3
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
- Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD webcam
- Weight: 3.5 pounds (1.6kg)
- Size: 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches (31.26 x 22.12 x 1.55cm; W x D x H)
The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is the smaller of Apple’s two new MacBook Pros (the other is the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), and it’s now powered by Apple’s most amazing CPUs to date, the M1 Pro and M1 Max.
Apple has undoubtedly developed the greatest laptop for creative professionals. In the past, Apple has been criticized for prioritizing design above utility, despite user requests, which resulted in earlier MacBooks having a meager number of ports in order to be thin and light. The good news is that Apple has not only listened to its customers but has actively sought out their comments.
Thus, the new MacBook Pro 14-inch features an impressive port selection, including three Thunderbolt 4 connections, one HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, and a MagSafe 3 charging port. If you’ve ever had to rely on a dongle to connect additional devices, such as an external display or the memory card for your camera, you no longer have to with the 14-inch MacBook Pro. By targeting the MacBook Pro 14-inch squarely at professionals seeking a genuine mobile workstation and leaving the thin, light, and sleek design to the more mainstream MacBook Air, Apple has created a gadget that is perhaps more niche, but significantly more successful.
This means that for the majority of individuals, this is not the laptop for them. It provides a level of power that the majority of people will never require, and with a starting price of $1,999, it is also likely to be prohibitively expensive for the majority.
However, if you require this level of performance for editing 8K film, writing extensive musical scores, or developing and testing complex code, there is simply no better laptop available.
Not only have the internals been upgraded with the addition of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but the screen has also been redesigned. It has been increased in size from the 13-inch model and now features a Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED technology. The mini-LED technology is identical to that found in the new iPad Pro, and it performs just as well here, with a massive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. If you’re dealing with photographs or HDR movies, your stuff has never looked better. Additionally, ProMotion technology is integrated, which enables refresh rates of up to 120Hz to be adjusted in response to the motion of the material on the screen. Not only does this improve the look of movies, but it also improves the sense of scrolling around web pages, which now seem fluid and responsive. Additionally, as with prior MacBook Pro displays, it supports the P3 broad color gamut.
Additionally, battery life has been significantly increased, reaching 17 hours, which is exceptional for a workstation laptop of this grade. Additionally, the MacBook Pro 14-inch continues to churn through complicated tasks while on battery power, rather than limiting speed to conserve battery life as other laptops do.
This is where Apple’s control over both hardware, via its own M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, and software, via macOS Monterey, pays off, as it enables the company to fine-tune performance and power consumption, resulting in a powerful laptop that outlasts – and outperforms – the competition.
A redesigned 1080p camera and studio-quality speakers round out Apple’s enhancements here. These features are especially valuable in today’s world when many of us work remotely, and they all add up to a genuinely excellent business laptop. If you’re a professional content creator in the market for a new laptop, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is the greatest option currently available.
The screen is the most eye-catching element of the MacBook Pro 14-inch. As with the larger 16-inch model, this is the best display available in a laptop at the moment, owing to its Liquid Retina XDR technology and mini-LED panel, which produces amazingly colorful and detailed images. Due to the high contrast ratio, bright colors appear extraordinarily dazzling, while dark colors appear rich and deep.
Additionally, the P3 broad color gamut is supported, ensuring accurate color reproduction. Viewing your images on the MacBook Pro 14-inch display is just fantastic. The screen measures 14.2-inches diagonally and features a resolution of 3,024 x 1,964 pixels. Although this is not the highest-resolution screen available, it still looks excellent. Surprisingly, the MacBook Pro 14-inch has the same pixel density as the MacBook Pro 16-inch, owing to the larger MacBook’s greater resolution.
As a result, both displays have a pixel density of 254 pixels per inch (PPI). The higher the PPI, the more detailed and sharp the image. Typically, larger screens have a lower PPI, which results in weaker image quality; however, this is not the case with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Again, this implies that you may choose between the 14-inch and 16-inch models without sacrificing visual quality; rather, the screen size will be determined by your personal desire.
The MacBook Pro 14-inch now includes a 1080p Face Time webcam, an upgrade over the previous model’s 720p resolution, as well as studio-quality built-in microphones. Many of us now rely on video conversations to communicate with friends, family, coworkers, and clients, so these enhancements are quite welcome. We were thrilled with the sharpness of the webcam’s footage throughout our time with the MacBook Pro 14-inch, particularly in low-light conditions, and the mics performed admirably as well.
The MacBook Pro 14-inch is quite a departure from the 13-inch model in terms of style. Naturally, there is a larger screen, but Apple has also significantly decreased the bezels surrounding the display, giving the laptop a much more modern appearance.
This also meant that Apple did not significantly increase the overall size of the new MacBook Pro. It measures 12.31 x 8.71 0.61 inches (31.26 x 22.12 x 1.55 cm), which is not much larger than the 13-inch’s measurements of 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm). It is, without a doubt, far more compact than the 16-inch variant. If you travel frequently, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is an excellent choice.
Due to the slimmer bezels, there is a distinct notch around the webcam that protrudes from the screen. This has proven to be a highly polarizing design decision for Apple, and it may deter some users. However, after a few minutes of use, you’ll forget about the notch, and the additional screen real estate it provides is a reasonable trade-off.
Additionally, the MacBook Pro 14-inch features a variety of new ports. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI port, an SDXC card reader and a MagSafe 3 port are included, up from two or four Thunderbolt ports on prior models. This enables you to connect an external display or memory card from your camera directly to the laptop without the use of an adaptor. It’s one of the most user-friendly decisions Apple has made, and for that we applaud them.
The MagSafe 3 port is used to swiftly charge the laptop. As with previous MagSafe ports, it is kept in place by magnets, which makes it simple to attach while also allowing it to safely separate from the MacBook Pro if yanked too hard, reducing the risk of injuring the laptop or the port.
The keyboard and touchpad both feel fantastic to use, with the keyboard being particularly tactile and responsive. It features the updated ‘Magic’ keyboard, as opposed to the prior MacBook Pro’s ‘Butterfly’ keyboard. This is a positive development, as the earlier keyboard was shallower and more prone to failure if crumbs or dust fell between the keys. Additionally, Apple has eliminated the Touch Bar, which ran across the top of the keyboard and included context-sensitive buttons. However, it has retained the Touch ID button, which lets you log into macOS (and securely pay for items) using only your fingerprint.
In comparison to the MacBook Pro 16-inch with the identical M1 Pro chip, the MacBook Pro 14-inch performs similarly. That’s fantastic, as that means you’re getting a highly powerful workstation laptop in a little package. macOS Monterey, Apple’s latest operating system, performs flawlessly, and we were able to work contentedly with many applications open while also browsing the web across multiple tabs in Safari and Chrome.
The MacBook Pro 14-inch handled everything we threw at it with ease. Loading and editing photographs in both Photoshop and Affinity Photo was lightning fast, with effects previewing and being applied nearly instantaneously, with even the most complicated AI-driven tools working flawlessly. As previously said, the screen did an excellent job of displaying the photographs we altered, and while the 14-inch size seems slightly more cramped than the 16-inch model, the smaller MacBook Pro’s more portable design is a worthwhile trade-off if you travel frequently.
The battery life, on the other hand, was the most impressive aspect of the MacBook Pro 14-inch’s performance. We edited photos and browsed the web entirely on battery power, and not only did performance match that of the plugged-in model, but the battery lasted well beyond expectations. We ran a looped 1080p video until the battery expired in our battery life benchmark, and the device lasted an astonishing 16 hours. It falls short of the over 19 hours the 16-inch model lasted in the same test, but it is still an outstanding performance that outlasts many Windows laptops with comparable power.
While the M1 Max model of the 14-inch MacBook Pro is significantly more expensive, we found the M1 Pro to perform admirably for photo editing.
The MacBook Pro 14-inch is an imposing workstation notebook ideal for creators. With a good selection of connections and a gorgeous screen, it’s a gadget that makes video and photo editing a breeze. Additionally, it provides excellent performance and exceptionally extended battery life.
Most importantly, it matches the 16-inch model in many ways, including performance and screen quality, while being significantly smaller and lighter. If you don’t mind working on a smaller screen and want a powerful laptop that you can easily transport while editing in the field, this is the model to choose.
However, it is quite expensive, and the level of performance may be excessive for many users. If you don’t require the additional power offered here, you’re better off purchasing a less expensive laptop, such as the MacBook Air.
Apart from that, we have no complaints about the MacBook Pro 14-inch. Apple has created a powerful editing machine that its competitors will find difficult to match.