14" MacBook Pro Review 2021
I already reviewed the 16 inch version of the m1 macbook pro, so you know i know some folks reviewed both of them together and there are a lot of overlapping similarities, but theres also some key differences, so i thought i would do them separately. Is this as great, as you might think – well, probably so, but were going to find out now so the 14 inches, obviously a new size for apple. They havent made a 14 inch laptop, and i dont know how long, but you know 14 inch is the new 13 inch now that we have smaller bezels, you get a bigger screen and what used to be the footprint of a 13 inch laptop? In fact, the footprint is not so much bigger compared to the 13 inch m1 macbook pro. This is, however, a little thicker and a little bit heavier and thats the the thing here when i say the difference between the 14 and the 16 inch theres, some overlap. Probably for some of you trying to decide, should you get the 13 inch macbook pro or the 14 inch, but probably nobodys thinking you should get a 13 inch or a 16 inch. You see what i mean different use cases different competing laptops. Well talk about. Some of the competitors too, including performance and other metrics, so you probably know by now. This is a big overhaul for apple. We have the m1 pro and the m1 max processors inside using apples system on chip unified architecture here.
So the ram and ssd storage are all part of the chip, which is part of what allows it to be radically fast, not unlike the m1 macbook air and 13 inch macbook pro its astounding, and that also means very its very power efficient, which we saw again With the air and the 13 inch macbook pro – and that also means it runs a lot cooler and a lot quieter, which is what you want from a laptop right. The idea is its supposed to not burn you its supposed to run for a decent amount of hours on battery all that sort of stuff and those are the things weve kind of foregone with a lot of laptops over the years. Okay, im not pointing fingers at intel and all that, but you know what i mean. What else can we say about this new mac? You get a mini, led display, which is an oled light technology in terms of contrast, black levels, brightness and contrast all that good stuff display. Here you also get the notch which, to be honest, does look dorky, and you know i. I do suspect that apple wanted to include face id and they did. There was part shortage and they couldnt do it and thats. Why we have it. It is a 1080p high quality webcam. So nowadays, with everybody, video conferencing that is nice to have, and the usual three mic system for picking up high quality audio. But the good thing about the notch is, if you can say, theres a good thing about the notch.
Is that its still a 16 by 10 aspect, ratio display and the notch and the menu bar live above that so youre not losing any of that 16 by 10 real estate? The resolution on this is pretty high, its not quite 4k resolution, but for a 14 inch display. I think its perfectly acceptable its the usual wide gamut p3 well calibrated at the factory and 500 nits in brightness in your standard use modes in standard definition like on the desktop, and you can do 1600 nits in hdr mode, including if youre playing video in a Window that window can be hdr, while your desktop is still sdr. Its pretty neat stuff anyway, its gorgeous theres, not much blooming, which means white text or objects on a black background. Dont show much light blooming around the white stuff, its sweet and thats. One of the things that sets it apart from the 13 inch macbook pro, which has a conventional ips display, not mini, led so certainly not as gorgeous looking theres, no fancy hdr mode, all that sort of thing so a little more pro. What else is pro here are the ports, so i i can imagine apples kind of laughing right, so so many pc manufacturers went and sort of copied them and said: okay well, just have usbc thunderbolt, 3 ports right or thunderbolt 4.. Well. Apple now has brought back the legacy port so for pro people, for example, the m1 13 inch macbook pro can only drive one external display with this one, you can go up to four.
Just like the 16 inch. You can have three 6k plus a 4k display. Its all 60 hertz, its crazy youve, got an hdmi 2.0 port. You have three thunderbolt 4 ports, usbc style connector, one less, but thats, okay, because we now have a separate magsafe connector for charging. So youre not using one of those to charge anymore and we have a uhs sd card slot, uh s2 and not the very fastest, is available but ill. Take it its wonderful for creative pros. You got your cameras, you got your sd cards its and you have a three and a half millimeter headphone jack, of course, that supports high impedance headphones for you, audio files out there, so the ports and stuff and the external monitor support. This is more. What pros want so that sets it apart from the 13 inch macbook pro right there having nothing to do with pro or not pro. The touch bar is gone if you like, the touch bar the 13 inch still has that for you, but the 14 inch and the 16 inch do not. So you have an fn row up top with your physical escape key, your brightness controls being buttons again and all that sort of thing im. Fine with that, i was not a huge touch bar fan, so its gone here r.i.p. You still have that touch id fingerprint scanner and no longer will you get any indicator that tell you when you need to press it, since there is no well touch bar with graphical display on it, but other than that its magic keyboard is fine.
I mean for those of you who are used to it. I still dont appreciate how low travel it is at .9 millimeters, but it is very tactile very crisp, scissor keys, the reliable kind, butterfly keyboard, long gone and all that sort of thing its once you get used to the travel on it, its actually nice to type On and the trackpad is still the same giant haptic trackpad thats class leading here so that stuffs good, not much different from your 13 inch in that respect that trackpad so like i said we have that magsafe, 3 connector now so theres, two different power chargers. If you get the base model of the 14 inch macbook pro, you get a 67 watt hour. If you get the anything but the very base model, then you get a 96 watt hour charger which supports fast charging so 50 charge in a half an hour which is pretty darn fast and mag safe. The good thing you know you kick the cord youre not going to pull the laptop off the coffee table. That sort of thing. If you do need to fall back on usbc charging, you can do that as well. Now lets talk about performance, it almost exactly parallels the 16 inch models that are reviewed pro and max now. Here we only have the pro base model because i figured thats the one sufficiently different from the other two watch. My 16 inch review. If you want to hear about the more powerful pro and max configurations, so the base model is two thousand dollars here, and that starts with an eight core cpu six performance cores, two efficiency cores and as 14 core gpu all integrated system on chip.
So thats a little bit different, every other 14 inch model as you go up the food chain in price and with all of the 16 inches. Those are 10 core cpus with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores. So, as you might guess, if you go at the base model, youre not going to get quite as much cpu performance here still going to be faster than a 13 inch macbook pro, which has four performance cores and four efficiency cores and just like the 16 inch Model, if you want to go to the max model thats, where youre going to get more gpu cores after you step up from the base model, you can still get a pro with the same number 10 core cpu. But if you want to move up to the 24, the 32 core gpu for your creative professionals, who are doing a lot of video editing, for example, or 3d rendering, then you move up to the max processor model now for ram. You can get the pro with either 16 or 32 gigabytes of memory with the max you can get it with 32 or 64 gigabytes of memory, so thats a lot of data and thats great heres a little bit more data, though so for ram again part of The system on chip, so everything is soldered and its not even literally soldered its part of one big chip. The base model has 16 gigs of ram, and if you want to go higher than that, you can go up to 64 max for the storage 512.
Gigs is a starting. You can go all the way up to 8 terabytes, so youre going to pay god through the notes for that 8 terabytes. So probably most of you are going to use external storage on this thunderbolt usbc, whatever you want to do with that. So thats a lot of data right. What does this mean to you if youre just liking the macbook pro 14 inch model, because you want to hook up external monitors a couple of them instead of just one, then you can go with the lowest end configuration you. Dont have great demands. You do everyday office work, even if youre you know doing photoshop and lightroom, and all that sort of thing, not as a working creative professional who triages a thousand photos a week or something like that. But like thats, a lot of normal people do right. You edited photos you added some video that you took with your iphone or any other device, and the base model is actually fine. I mean lets face it. The m1 air and 13 inch macbook pro were very performant if youre somebody whos doing coding and youre doing smaller projects or youre doing it for school. The base model is just fine for you, honestly, you might even be able to make do with a 13 inch. Macbook pro, but for those who are coding commercially for bigger companies – and you have millions of lines of code thats when youre starting to say i should move up to that.
Amazingly fast beats the pants off of any pc processor 10, core cpu model, which starts at 2500 dollars. So you go to 500 bucks, its probably worth it for that. If youre a video, editor and youre looking for something small to take with you, instead of a 16 inch macbook pro, i mean i get that the 16 inch macbook pro is 4.8 pounds. This one is 3.5 pounds which is 1.6 kilograms. It is an easier carry. Then certainly consider the 24 core or the 32 core gpu, if youre working with 4k footage, multiple streams or even 8k, and that sort of thing youll get nearly the same performance as on the 16 inch. The only limiting factor here is smaller chassis, less room to dissipate heat, but honestly, this one doing the cinebench r23 test, which is our favorite test to get any laptop overheating and throttling and cutting back on his performance. This one still can do cinebench r23 multi core multiple rounds of that long test and maintain 90 degree centigrade core temperatures thats when the fans kick on around 90 degrees, just like the 16 inch, so yeah, its pretty impressive in terms of thermals lets talk a little More about those thermals when doing things like working in final cut pro with multiple 4k streams and not even prores footage which is more efficient but less efficient, codecs and all that sort of thing uh, this typically even doing exports. The cores are, in the 50 to 60 centigrade range for temperature.
Thats great. The 16 inch will stay a little cooler it pretty much just stays at 50 to 53 centigrade, so yeah this can handle anything. You wont hear the fans much when they do kick on. Theyre not loud typically theyre anywhere from 1500 rpms to 2400 rpms. It doesnt get burning hot, its really darn impressive, its nice stuff. So what about battery life then thats? Another part of this efficiency thing right. Battery life is pretty good, not as good as the 13 inch macbook pro so again for those who are trying to decide if your needs are not super heavyweight and particularly not needing that way. Extra cores for the gpu, this one apple claims around 11 hours of actual real world use and 17 hours if youre streaming apple tv and my test actually doing real world tests which took forever. Because let me tell you you can surf in safari for a long time before that ever budgets from 100 charged. I was getting about 11 hours at 200, nits of brightness multiple tabs in safari, going doing some photoshop editing some slack. Some zoom calls all that sort of stuff office work all the productivity and a little bit of creative work, but not spending my entire day and final cut. The amazing thing is, if you are doing final cut or even adobe premiere, where this holds up well and actually in c, exceeds some high performance intel core i7 and core i9 gaming laptops uh.
Even there youll get most of your performance apple doesnt throttle back as much as windows. Pc makers do – and i can actually edit on this 14 inch for about five and a half hours in final cut on a charge without even trying, without even dropping my brightness below my comfort level, which is about 300 nits and all that sort of thing. Its superb really is now one thing to note about battery life is, i would expect an hour shorter, run times with the max processor. This is based on my testing of the 16 inch with the pro and the max processors on the bigger mac theres a little bit more of a delta, but so far from what ive heard and seen its going to be about an hour shorter runtime. For your 14 inch, if you go with the max processor, so while were talking about pc laptops and comparisons, you saw the graphs that were going across the screen there, i its highly performant. If you look particularly at the 10 core cpu model, its going to be everybody in geekbench 5., its going to be in terms of code compilation times, even if youre looking at something like alienware, x17, okay were talking very powerful laptops here. So, despite the fact that its that small, it is almost uniquely positioned in terms of its performance. Besides the 13 inch macbook pro at the low end as a competitor, theres, also well surface laptop studio now for creatives, who want the touch screen and want the pen its a no brainer its the surface laptop studio is a lovely machine its for you.
In terms of cpu performance, that surface laptop has only a four core, i7 cpu, so not nearly as fast, and it has an rtx 3050 ti max, cube and honestly similar performance to a bit less, depending on the task youre doing if youre doing davinci resolve or Premiere or final cut, or something like that – well, obviously not final cut in the pc uh, the mac will win, but for gaming, which is another topic well, the surface laptop still has an advantage because it has nvidia graphics, then theres, the asus rogue zephyrus g14, with The rtx 3050 ti inside and a ryzen processor, which is more power efficient and a bit cooler running than an intel. So that ones two thousand dollars too, and that one is actually a good competitor in terms of performance. Again. Thats good battery life, but not as good youre, going to get a higher quality display here, youre going to get better cpu performance surprising because i love ryzen, but in terms of things like code compilation times and even performance inside of adobe premiere than that so barrier Direct competitors and apples holding its own, except for when it comes to gaming. Why? Because this is an arm architecture. This does not support boot camp into windows, youve got parallels, which is a vm virtual machine and its arm so youre going to run windows arm version and then, if youre, trying to run an x86 game from steam or something like that or gog or wherever you Get your games from then windows is going to handle that virtualization over to x86 and its just not high performance for that sort of thing.
So not so much i mean you can use mac steam games that are going to run under rosetta little performance penalty. There not as much, but this is just not really a machine for gaming and its just an x86 world for gaming right now so thats, the 14 inch macbook pro with m1 processors for 2021 and apple has done it again, just like, with the 16 inch model. Its an amazingly high performance, yet compact and good looking machine that actually brings back some useful ports has a stunning mini, led display that holds this again against oled has very good battery life runs cool, runs quiet. All those things that you want from a laptop in a portable package, im lisa from mobile tech review, be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech videos and be sure to hit the notification bell.