Saturday, June 25

14-inch MacBook Pro: 5 Reasons to Buy & 3 Reasons to Skip

Apple’s new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops are now available for purchase. The M1 Pro and M1 Max processors found in each device represent a new era for Apple’s silicon chips. These laptops are a huge improvement over their Intel-powered predecessors. With sharp displays, a long-lasting battery, and exceptional performance, the new MacBook Pros are worth getting excited about.

There is no doubt that hardcore Apple enthusiasts have already secured their orders for the new laptops. But what about the ones on the fence? Considering the power of the new devices, in this case, the 14-inch model, even those who have never bought an Apple product may want to seriously consider it.

Here are reasons to buy the 14-inch MacBook Pro along with a few arguments for considering another device.

  • Apple 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021) review
  • MacBook Pro 2021 (16-inch) review: power beyond belief
  • Plus: The iPhone could soon save your life by stealing this Pixel feature

14-inch MacBook Pro: Reasons to buy

Impressive mini-LED display

The Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display produces clear, sharp and vibrant images. 4K HDR movies look stunning, with colors that pop on the screen. The 120Hz refresh rate provides smooth on-screen movement. Even fast-paced action scenes run smoothly. It should come as no surprise that simple acts like scrolling through pages are also fluid thanks to the display and refresh rate.

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

The screen is pretty bright too, putting out up to 487.8 nits according to our light gun. We were only able to get the brightness up to 520 nits, which is less than the advertised 1,600 nits. Despite that, the screen brightness is nothing to oppose.

The ports are back!

You’ll find just about every type of port you can imagine on the 14-inch MacBook Pro. This differs from previous MacBooks that only had USB-C ports.

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

The MagSafe cargo port makes its triumphant return, much to the delight of Apple enthusiasts. Because the magnetically attached MagSafe comes off with a simple pull, you won’t have to worry about someone accidentally pulling the power cord and destroying your expensive new toy.

You’ll also find three Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 ports, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. The SD card reader is essential for transferring photos from the camera to the MacBook Pro. Considering that the two new MacBooks are phenomenal workstations for creatives, the SD card reader is very welcome.

Blazing M1 Pro performance

The 14-inch MacBook Pro is, for lack of a better word, a beast when it comes to performance. In all but one category we tested, the 14-inch MacBook, with its 10-core M1 Pro CPU and 32GB of RAM, reigned supreme.

It scored 12,477 on Geekbench 5’s overall performance multi-core test. Compare this score to 7,571 for the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro and it’s almost no competition. Laptops like the Razer Blade 14 (7,471), XPS 15 (7,477), Surface Laptop Studio (5,820), and Dell XPS 13 (5,400) don’t come close.

Our review has a full breakdown of the 14-inch MacBook’s performance, but the M1 Pro laptop is clearly no joke. Although he – and his M1 Max-powered older brother – fall short when it comes to gaming performance, the laptop is unrivaled in most categories.

Finally, a 1080p webcam

Online video conferencing became an essential tool for those of us who work from home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, it’s great that the two new MacBook Pros come with a 1080p camera. The camera produces bright, clear images, revealing more detail than the 720p camera on the Intel-based MacBook Pro 2020. Whether you’re attending a business meeting or chatting with a friend or significant other, 1080p will make you look your best.

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Stellar battery life

Related to the previous point, if you work from home, you need a long-lasting laptop. The 14-inch offers this in abundance with its impressive battery life.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro lasted 14 hours and 9 minutes in our web browsing-based battery test (set to 150 nits). That is good enough to get you through a whole day. Older MacBooks, like the 13-inch (10:21), 15-inch (10:21), and 16-inch (10:55) ones pale in comparison. If you wanted a durable MacBook, you got it.

14-inch MacBook Pro: reasons to avoid

Um, there is a notch

One of the biggest complaints people have with the two new MacBook Pros is the notch located at the top center of the display. The notch exists due to the slimmer bezels on the laptop. As noted in our review, people like tech enthusiast Quinn Nelson have reported that the notch doesn’t work well with the iStat Menus utility, with menu bar options on the left and icons on the right reaching a breaking point.

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

To be fair, you get used to the notch after a while and the menu bar lines up well with the notch. However, it is clear that most are not happy with the notch. It will be interesting to see what Apple plans to do about it, if anything, with future MacBook iterations.


This is a complaint you can press on almost all Apple products, but the starting price of $ 1,999 for the 14-inch MacBook Pro is certainly a great investment. It costs $ 200 more than its $ 1,799 MacBook Pro predecessor and $ 700 more than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1. Of course, the M1 Pro-powered machine is superior to the two MacBooks mentioned above. But if you’re on a budget, the 14-inch laptop is hard to justify.

No USB-A ports

USB-C is effectively the default port used by most electronic devices today. But there are still many devices that use USB-A. If I wanted to connect my Samson microphone to the MacBook Pro, I would have to use a USB-A adapter. As we said in our review, you shouldn’t have to carry an adapter to use these accessories on the go.

Outlook 14-inch MacBook Pro

There’s no question that the 14-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s next generation of silicone-based hardware. This is what MacBook fans have long longed for, with its vibrant display, blazing-fast performance, slimmer bezels, and more. Those on a budget may want to steer clear, but if you need a heavy duty work laptop under the hood, you can’t go wrong with this device.

  • Plus: The MacBook Pro M1 Max is a real beast and a complete waste for gamers

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