Is it well worth the improve?

  • Apple

    Apple MacBook Professional 14-inch (M3, 2023)

    Our high choose

    New design, extra energy, extra options

    The latest M3 processor is barely the highest of the good-news iceberg for the latest MacBook Professional. With the swap to the 14-inch chassis, the bottom model of the MacBook Professional will get all the latest tech – an excellent show, keyboard, design and higher port choice. All of this for a little bit of a value enhance looks as if a discount.


    • Extraordinarily quick M3 SoC
    • New design for the most affordable MacBook Professional
    • All of the options of the dearer variations

    • 8GB of RAM in a base mannequin of a Professional laptop computer is disappointing in 2023
    • The bottom mannequin is dearer now
    • If you happen to appreciated the Contact Bar, it is not accessible

  • Untitled-1-2


    Apple MacBook Professional 13in (M2, 2022)

    Nonetheless nice

    A secure, conservative alternative to avoid wasting cash

    MacBook Professional M2 was a bit overshadowed by the MacBook Air M2 when it got here out. It was a pleasant laptop computer, however with the outdated design and never many modifications apart from a spec bump, the information about it got here and went reasonably rapidly. Now that the brand new technology is in, with all of the modifications that it brings to the desk, how does the Cinderella amongst MacBooks evaluate?


    • Lively cooling lets the M2 stretch its legs a bit extra
    • No notch
    • (For the lovers) Contact Bar remains to be right here

    • The design is extraordinarily dated
    • The show is dim and solely 60 Hz
    • (For all the remainder) Contact Bar remains to be right here

The bottom mannequin MacBook Professional has lastly been refreshed. After years of preserving the outdated look – even after transitioning to Apple Silicon – it lastly got here time to see not solely a spec bump but additionally a brand new search for the bottom mannequin. Meet the 14-inch MacBook Pro M3.

Associated: What is the Apple M3 chip and how does it compare to M2?

Throughout the Scary Quick occasion, Apple launched its new M3 processors, together with a couple of new machines operating them. Surprisingly, this additionally meant shrinking the product catalog. As an alternative of a considerably sophisticated stack of 13-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Professionals, we now have solely the 2 latter ones.

With the retirement of the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2, 2022), this is how the brand new 14-inch MacBook Pro (M3, 2023) compares to its older sibling.

Value, availability, and specs

The 13-inch MacBook Professional M2 was launched in 2022, and on the time was priced at $1299 for the bottom 8/256GB configuration. Nonetheless, after the Scary Quick occasion you will not discover that machine on the market on Apple’s web site anymore – it was fully changed by the brand new, 14-inch mannequin. Nonetheless, you may nonetheless simply get it by means of different retailers – equivalent to Amazon.

The brand new 14-inch MacBook Professional M3 was unveiled on 30 October 2023, in the course of the Scary Quick occasion. The value for the bottom mannequin went as much as $1599 for the bottom 8/512GB configuration. The machine is available for pre-order now and begins delivery on 7 November.

Listed here are the specs of each of those machines:

  • Apple MacBook Professional 14-inch (M3, 2023) Apple MacBook Professional 13in (M2, 2022)
    CPU 8-core CPU Apple M2 Chip
    Storage 512GB (configurable as much as 1TB or 2TB) 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
    Battery As much as 22 hours 58.2WH, As much as 20 hours use, 67W charging supported
    Show (Dimension, Decision) 14-inch, Liquid Retina XDR, 3024 x 1964 pixels, 254ppi, 1600 nits 13.3in IPS, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 227ppi, 500 nits
    Ports SDXC, HDMI, 3.5mm, MagSafe 3, 2xThunderbolt (USB 4) 2 x Thunderbolt, 3.5mm
    Dimensions 155 x 313 x 22mm, 1.55kg 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm, 1.4kg


14-inch MacBook Pro open on wooded table beside cup

The very first thing you will discover when evaluating the outdated base mannequin MacBook Professional to the brand new is undoubtedly the design – lastly. The 13-inch MacBook Professional with the M2 chip was actually dated – its appears went again to the 2016 mannequin, so it went on for seven years with none main change.

So, with the M2 MacBook Professional, you get lots of the last-gen quirks. Most likely most controversially, there was the Touch Bar – a contact floor that changed the operate row. Whereas it was helpful for some, the overwhelming majority of customers hated that characteristic, and Apple lastly changed it with the 14-inch MacBook Professional M3.

Except for that, you’ve all the usual issues that you just’d count on – an excellent keyboard, a 13.3-inch display screen with skinny facet bezels, and a 720p digital camera within the higher bezel. Nonetheless, when in comparison with the brand new MacBook Professional M3, the older mannequin appears extraordinarily dated. The brand new base mannequin MacBook Professional takes the design from the earlier technology of 14-inch MacBook Professionals, however it’s now additionally accessible with the lower-tier SoC inside, making it each extra premium, but additionally extra reasonably priced than the earlier gen.

With this package deal comes a slew of enhancements. The laptop computer itself is a little more boxy and heavy (weighing in at 3.4lbs, in comparison with 3lbs of the M2 Professional), however it stays simply as slim because the earlier technology. Additionally it is a tad greater, however this additionally signifies that the display screen is considerably bigger, rising as much as 14.2 inches.

Associated: Apple’s Magic Mouse misses out on USB-C and my heart bleeds

Nonetheless, the display screen’s design can be the most important controversy of the present technology, as Apple launched a notch to their latest MacBooks. This cut-out in the course of the highest fringe of the display screen homes a FullHD digital camera, however it is usually fairly deep and thick, making Apple’s seamless design not-so-very-seamless.

There are a couple of extra modifications that include the brand new design that you must count on. The audio system on the 14-inch MacBook Professional must be significantly better than the outgoing 13-inch. The M3 variant gives a 6-speaker setup that sounds superb (and never even superb for a laptop computer), and gives a pleasant, balanced sound. The 13-inch remains to be first rate in that regard, however it pales compared to the brand new MacBook Professional M3.

The keyboard on the 14-inch MacBook Professional M3 can be new. Not solely are the keys black, however the entire background behind them can be black now, versus the colour of your laptop computer within the 13-inch mannequin. The keys additionally received significantly better. The M2 MacBook Professional, happily, did away with the butterfly switches of yesteryear, however the brand new chassis of the M3 Professional permits for extra key journey, making typing on the newer mannequin way more intuitive and correct.

The M2 MacBook Professional is available in two colours – Silver and Area Grey. The identical is true for the M3 model, however should you spec it as much as a special processor, you can even get the laptop computer within the new Area Black coloration that replaces Area Grey.


Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch review photo 6


One of many massive points with the last-gen MacBook Professional was its display screen. It was tremendous, however it actually did not stay as much as the “Professional” identify. It was a primary (albeit superb), 13.3-inch LCD panel with a 2560 x 1600px decision, 500 nits of max brightness and a lowly 60Hz refresh charge.

The brand new base mannequin MacBook Professional M3 lastly shakes issues up. It inherits the M2 Professional/M2 Max design, so it additionally comes with its superb mini-LED Tremendous Retina XDR display screen. This 14.2-inch panel is a marvel to take a look at, providing a better, 3024 x 1964px decision and a much-improved brightness – 600 nits for SDR content material and as excessive as 1600 nits in HDR mode. What’s extra, there may be additionally the silky-smooth (and adaptive) 120Hz refresh charge. There is just one “however” – the notch. It may not trouble you as a lot, however it’ll all the time be there, and a display screen with no notch is undoubtedly higher wanting than a display screen with one.

Processor and specs

M3 chip - 1


The headlining information of Apple’s Scary Quick occasion was the introduction of their latest SoCs – the M3, M3 Professional and M3 Max. The primary one of many three is the beating coronary heart of the bottom mannequin MacBook Professional 14″ and it brings about fairly a couple of vital enhancements. Then again, the 13-inch MacBook Professional M2 was launched solely a 12 months in the past, so its processor can be nothing to scoff at – each of those laptops are nice, and should not have any downside coping with your every day duties.

Nonetheless, it must be mentioned that the M3 chip brings many new capabilities to the latest MacBook Professional, each by way of its CPU and GPU efficiency, in addition to different vital options.

The brand new M3 chip is manufactured utilizing TSMC’s latest 3nm node. In comparison with the M2’s 5nm node it ought to outcome each in decrease energy consumption, and better efficiency. Furthermore, it makes it doable to suit extra transistors onto a same-size die. M2 has 20 billion transistors, whereas the M3 has 25 billion transistors.

Each of those chips are SoCs (System on a Chip), that means they’re an built-in unit of CPU, GPU and reminiscence, together with a Media Engine, Pure Engine and different helpful issues crammed on a single die. The CPU in each of those consists of 8 cores – 4 effectivity cores and 4 efficiency cores. Apple claims that M3 efficiency cores are round 15 per cent sooner than M2 efficiency cores, whereas M3 effectivity cores are as a lot as 30 per cent sooner than M2 effectivity cores. This could translate to round 15-20 per cent higher efficiency for the brand new mannequin.

The GPU in each of those processors comes with 10 cores. There may be additionally an 8-core variant, however it’s not accessible within the MacBook Professional, being reserved for lower-powered gadgets. Despite the fact that each of those have the identical variety of cores, the M3’s GPU makes use of a totally new structure, permitting it to be as much as 30 per cent sooner than the M2.

Associated: What is a 3nm process chip and what does it mean for you?

That is not all modifications within the GPU division. The brand new GPU structure that Apple designed depends on Dynamic Caching. It is a course of or real-time reminiscence allocation to the GPU, which considerably reduces the time wanted to speak between the CPU and GPU, and makes GPU rendering a lot sooner. What’s extra, this new structure additionally allowed Apple to introduce hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading. Each of those processes are extraordinarily vital particularly in fashionable video games, as they use them to realize real looking lightning results and reflections. The introduction of those applied sciences additionally ensures that the latest video games will run on the brand new Macs, as video games equivalent to Alan Wake 2 require mesh shading with a purpose to work correctly. If you happen to’re a gamer and wish to swap to a Mac, the M3 MacBook Professional may be an excellent entrance level.

It is also price noting that each of those MacBook Professionals assist just one exterior show. If you need (or want) extra, you will should spring for the M3 Professional or Max (or go for the older M-series Professional or Max chips). Lastly, the M3 additionally introduces a brand new Neural Engine, which is claimed to be 60 per cent sooner than the M1. Which means that the distinction between the M2 and M3 will probably be smaller – we’re anticipating round a 20 per cent uplift in efficiency in AI-related duties.

Each of those SoCs are additionally actively cooled. The 13-inch MacBook Professional is utilizing a single fan to chill the M2 chip, and the 14-inch is supposedly doing the identical, though earlier 14-inch MacBooks had been utilizing two followers. Apple might be saving some cash on the bottom configuration of the latest MacBook Professional, as the usual M3 chip doesn’t want that beefy cooling resolution. The M3 Professional and M3 Max configurations will probably be getting the entire double-fan setup.

Lastly, each of those MacBook Professionals include 8GB of RAM as normal, and they are often expanded as much as 24GB. There’s a change within the base inside reminiscence. Whereas the M2 MacBook Professional got here with 256GB of storage within the base mannequin, the M3 MacBook Professional bumps it as much as 512GB. It is a step in the suitable path, however nonetheless providing 8GB of RAM normal in a “Professional” laptop computer in 2023 feels a bit felony.


Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch review photo 19


One of many largest complaints that many individuals had concerning the earlier technology of MacBooks was their lack of ports. Positive, that they had Thunderbolt 3, however nothing extra, making them not so versatile.

Because the M2 MacBook Professional is the remnant of that period, its ports are equally restricted. It solely has 2 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C 4 ports which additionally assist charging.

Issues change for the higher with the 14-inch MacBook Professional M3. It retains the 2 Thunderbolt/USB-C ports however provides to them an HDMI port, an SDXC card reader, and the brand new MagSafe 3 port for charging. Charging your MacBook Professional will not restrict you to 1 leftover port, which must be a reduction for nearly anyone attempting to flee the dongle-hell.

Battery life

Best MacBook - MacBook Pro M2 Pro

It must be mentioned that each the outdated and the brand new MacBook Professionals have excellent battery life. That is the magic of Apple Silicon – it sips battery, permitting you to work away from the socket for hours on finish. Nonetheless, Apple was not content material with the stellar scores of the M2 MacBook Professional and the brand new mannequin is even higher. As we have talked about, the 13-inch MacBook Professional’s battery life was excellent. Apple claims it may keep powered on for as much as 20 hours and 14 hours of watching movies, and these are some severe numbers.

The latest 14-inch MacBook Professional M3 beats even that. Apple says that their latest base mannequin will keep powered on for as much as 22 hours, with 15 hours of video playback. In fact, we’ll should confirm that in our evaluate, however the battery life numbers that Apple supplies are often fairly spot-on. It appears then, that the upcoming MacBook Professional M3 will probably be a beast in the case of energy effectivity.

Needless to say, on high of all of that battery life, MacBook Professionals – each the M2, and the M3 model – provide the identical efficiency each on battery, as effectively plugged in. It is a element that Apple loves to spotlight.

Apple MacBook Professional (M3, 2023) vs MacBook Professional (M2, 2022): Which one must you select?

The case of the MacBook Professional is kind of an fascinating one, as such a mixture doesn’t occur typically. Only one 12 months after the 13-inch MacBook Professional’s launch, the subsequent technology brings each enormous enhancements to the efficiency, and a totally new design (a minimum of for the bottom mannequin).

On the efficiency facet, Apple claims 35 per cent enchancment over the M1, so round 15 per cent over the M2 – a minimum of in the case of the CPU. The GPU is supposedly a lot sooner, and Apple claims as excessive as 40 per cent enchancment over the M2. That’s on high of all the brand new options, equivalent to dynamic caching, ray tracing and mesh shading. The design and different options are a lot improved, too. The display screen is a mini-LED show, it will get a 120Hz refresh charge, and is eye-scorchingly vibrant (it reaches 1600 nits peak brightness in HDR content material). Plus, even the decision is increased.

What’s extra, you get a greater choice of ports, together with the brand new MagSafe charging, in addition to higher battery life and a better-looking design. You do should pay a bit extra for all of those modifications, however they appear to be effectively well worth the value – particularly contemplating the upper base storage.



Apple MacBook Professional 14-inch (M3, 2023)

Editor’s Alternative

That mentioned, the 13-inch MacBook Professional will not be a foul machine in any respect – it is only a bit boring. It nonetheless is lots quick, and because of its energetic cooling resolution, it may take advantage of out of the M2 chip inside. So if you have already got the M2 MacBook Professional, you should not actually fear about falling behind – it is nonetheless an excellent machine. What’s extra, you would possibly discover it on sale fairly quickly – possibly throughout Black Friday – and with a lower cost it may very well be an excellent entry-level MacBook.

Apple MacBook Pro 13in (M2, 2022)


Apple MacBook Professional 13in (M2, 2022)

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