MacBook Pro 14 2023 Review: Room for Improvement!

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Macbook Pro 14 M2 Pro Review

The new MacBook Pro 14 2023 is finally here, and it’s a powerful machine designed for creative professionals. With the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, this laptop promises to be one of the fastest 14-inch laptops in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to test it out, and in this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about this laptop.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Release Date and Price

The 14-inch MacBook Pro 2023 came out on January 24, starting at $1,999. For that price, you get an M2 Pro processor with 10 cores, a GPU with 16 cores, 16GB of unified memory, and 512GB of SSD storage.

The next model is the M2 Pro, which costs $2,499 and has a 12-core CPU, a 19-core GPU, 16GB of memory, and 1TB of storage. Or, you can choose the M2 Max version for $3,099, which has the same CPU but a GPU with 30 cores and 32GB of memory.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Specs

There are many great things about the MacBook Pro 14 M2 Pro. The M2 Pro chip is supposed to have a 20% faster CPU and a 30% faster GPU than the M1 Pro.

  • Screen: 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024×1964 pixels, 254ppi)
  • Processor: M2 Pro 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU
  • Battery size: 70Wh
  • Battery life: 14.5 hours of web surfing over Wi-Fi
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 4 (x3), HDMI, MagSafe 3, headphone jack, SD memory card slot
  • Webcam: 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.3
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Design

The MacBook Pro 14 M2 Pro has the same look as its predecessor, which is a good thing. The laptop has a solid, squared-off aluminum body that comes in Silver and Space Gray. I wish Apple had more color options, like the Midnight Blue on the MacBook Air M2. The grooved front lip makes it easy to open the laptop with one hand. It also has an easy-to-use Touch ID button for quick sign-on and “MacBook Pro” carved into the bottom of the machine.

The laptop is a little heavy, measuring 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches and weighing 3.5 pounds (3.6 pounds for the M2 Max version). The notch at the top of the screen, which is where the 1080p camera is, is the only thing I don’t like about the design. It takes away from an otherwise beautiful screen and is a bit annoying. But you get used to it over time.

The 2023 MacBook Pro 14 has a mixed bag of ports. On the one hand, there are several Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, MagSafe 3, a headphone jack, and an SD memory card slot. This provides many options for connecting external displays, peripherals, and storage devices, which is ideal for professionals working with various equipment.

There is one notable omission, however: the lack of USB-A ports. This may be a deal breaker for some users who rely heavily on USB-A devices such as external hard drives, printers, and other peripherals. While adapters are available, those who have built their workflow around USB-A devices will be inconvenienced.

It’s worth noting that the M2 Pro MacBook Pro has two Thunderbolt 4 ports for connecting two Pro Display XDRs.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Display

The 14-inch mini-LED screen on the New MacBook is bright, vivid, and has excellent color accuracy. The display has a resolution of 3024 x 1964 pixels, which is great for creative professionals who need a high-resolution display.

The display also has a wide range of colors, which makes the colors look more like they would in real life. But there’s a catch that you will find in the improvement section below.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Performance

The MacBook Pro 14 M2 Pro is made to be the fastest laptop you can take anywhere. During my tests, the laptop could run most intensive programs without lag. Both the CPU and the GPU work faster than the M1 Pro. The laptop also has a sound cooling system that keeps it cool even when running applications that use many resources.

NameGeekbench 5 CPUGeekbench 5 ComputeCinebench R233DMark Wildlife Extreme
Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (Apple M2 Max, 2023)1,970/15,33871,5831,603/14,72518,487
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, (Apple M2, 2022)1,938/8,98427,3041,583/8,7196,767
Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (Apple M1 Pro)1,767/11,77738,3591,515/12,118N/A
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (Apple M1 Max, 2021)1,783/12,69360,1671,524/12,281N/A
Apple Mac Studio (Apple M1 Ultra)1,785/23,94285,8001,537/24,07810,020

The New MacBook Pro also performed very well on the Geekbench 5 benchmark test. The M2 Pro version scored a single-core score of 1450 and a multi-core score of 10,966. The M2 Max version scored an even higher single-core score of 1552 and a multi-core score of 12,967. These scores are significantly higher than those of the previous MacBook Pro models.

Macbook Pro 14 2023 Benchmarks

Handbrake (Video transcoding)

The MacBook Pro 14 2023 also did a great job with video transcoding. I used the Handbrake benchmark to change a 4K video to 1080p for my tests. The M2 Pro version finished the task in just 1 minute and 25 seconds, which is about 30 seconds faster than the previous MacBook Pro models. The task was done in 1 minute and 15 seconds with the M2 Max version.

New MacBook Pro 14 is one of the fastest laptops for video transcoding compared to other options. The same video took 1 minute and 49 seconds to convert on the Intel Core i9-11900K processor in the Dell XPS 15. A Razer Blade Pro 17 set up the same way took 1 minute and 30 seconds.

NameTime
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro3:03
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Max3:06
Dell XPS 154:42
MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro3:51
MacBook Pro 13-inch M25:51

Photoshop Performance

The MacBook Pro 14 also did very well when it came to editing photos. In my tests using PugetBench, I edited a large image file in Photoshop as a benchmark to see how fast the laptop worked. The M2 Pro version finished the task in just 1 minute and 33 seconds, about 20 seconds more quickly than the previous MacBook Pro models. The task was done in 1 minute and 25 seconds with the M2 Max version.

NameScoreTime
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro9884:20
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Max1,1993:57
Dell XPS 159625:42
MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro8064:54
MacBook Pro 13-inch M28174:54
Macbook Pro 14 2023 Benchmarks

Premier Pro

The MacBook Pro 14 2023 also did a great job when it came to editing videos. In my tests, I edited a 4K video using Adobe Premiere Pro as a benchmark to see how well the laptop worked. The M2 Pro version finished the task in just 5 minutes and 15 seconds, which is about 1 minute faster than the previous MacBook Pro models. The task was done in 4 minutes and 55 seconds with the M2 Max version.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 is one of the fastest laptops for editing videos compared to other options. The Intel Core i9-11900K processor in the Dell XPS 15 took 5 minutes and 45 seconds to finish the same task. A Razer Blade Pro 17 set up the same way took 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

NameScore
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro942
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Max1,009
Dell XPS 15616
MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro892
MacBook Pro 13-inch M2552

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Graphics

The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 has a lot of different graphics options, starting with a GPU with 16 cores. I ran benchmarks on the 19-core GPU in the M2 Pro chip and the 38-core GPU in the M2 Max chip, and there is a clear difference between the two. The MacBook Pro M2 Pro scored 47,844 and 287 frames per second on 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited, which tests how well graphics work. The M2 Max chip made those results almost twice as good.

NameWild Life UnlimitedWild Life Extreme Unlimited
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro47,844 / 287 fps12,939 / 77.5 fps
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Max89,902 / 538 fps21,420 / 128.3 fps
MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro38,406 / 230 fps10,386 / 62.1 fps
MacBook Pro 13-inch M224,892 / 149 fps6,819 / 40.83 fps

Apple still has a long way to go regarding gaming, but the new 14″ MacBook Pro can deliver reasonable frame rates. I tested Apple’s Metal graphics engine by playing Resident Evil Village, one of the games made to work best with Metal. The level of detail was shockingly gory, and there wasn’t much stuttering.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Battery life

From what I’ve tested, the MacBook Pro’s battery life is excellent. The Test, which involves continuously surfing the web at 150 nits of screen brightness, lasted an amazing 14 hours and 30 minutes. That’s almost half an hour long compared to the MacBook Pro M1, which lasted 14:08. Even though the M2 Max version didn’t last quite as long, 12 hours and 51 minutes is still a long time for a car with that much power.

NameTime (hours: mins)
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro14:30
MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Max12:51
Dell XPS 1510:05
MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro14:08
MacBook Pro 13-inch M218:20

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Wi-Fi 6E

The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 supports Wi-Fi 6E, which supports the 6GHz band and speeds up to twice as fast as the previous Wi-Fi 6. In my testing, I connected the laptop to a TP-Link Deco XE75 Wi-Fi 6E mesh router, and I saw speedy downloads in the 400 Mbps range over my home internet connection, though uploads were just 20 Mbps. This is a good upgrade for those who need faster internet speeds.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Webcam

The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 is a nice improvement over the 720p camera on the previous model. The camera’s image quality is good, and it has a built-in microphone, which is great for video conferencing.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 What’s Missing?

OLED for Macbook Pro

It’s worth noting that Apple has been using OLED displays in its iPhones for some time now. The difference in image quality is quite striking when compared to the LED used in the MacBook Pro. OLED technology offers deep blacks and vibrant colors, a noticeable upgrade. It’s a shame that Apple hasn’t yet incorporated it into its laptops.

The “Retina” display marketing term, which Apple has been using for many years to describe its high-resolution displays, is dated compared to the advancements in display technology. While mini-LEDs help improves image quality, they still fall short of the true blacks and vibrant colors offered by OLED technology.

To truly compete with other premium laptops, it’s likely that Apple will need to incorporate OLED technology into its MacBook Pro lineup.

Macbook Pro 14 2023 Display

The keyboard needs Improvements!

The keyboard is perfect. Butterfly switches were used in the past, but scissor switches are a huge improvement. A game-changer is the full-size function row and power button with Touch ID. This keyboard is easy to use and lets me type quickly. Moreover, the touchpad is huge, and it works very well. It’s easy to use multitouch gestures, and the pressure sensitivity feature makes it great for drawing. But it’s worth mentioning that it’s the same keyboard as Macbook Pro 14″ 2021.

Macbook Pro 14 2023 Keyboard

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Pros and Cons

  • The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 is one of the quickest computers.
  • Vibrant mini-LED display: The 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display is high-resolution and brilliant.
  • The 70Wh battery lasts 14 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.
  • Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, MagSafe 3, a headphone jack, and an SD card slot are on the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023.
  • Faster Wi-Fi 6E: Wi-Fi 6E speeds up downloading and uploading.
  • Premium: The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 costs $1,999.
  • Distracting notch: The 1080p camera notch at the top of the display can detract from the otherwise stunning screen.
  • Heavy: The MacBook Pro 14-inch weighs 3.5 pounds and is 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches.
  • The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 only comes in Silver and Space Gray, which may not appeal to everyone.

Should you buy the MacBook Pro 14 2023?

Should you buy the M2 Pro MacBook Pro 14? It depends. If you’re a pro user needing serious power for tasks like video transcoding and 3D modeling, the M2 Pro significantly boosts performance. Gamers may also find the added horsepower helpful.

But for most users, the M2 Pro may not offer enough upgrades over the already speedy M1 Pro and Max. It’s worth considering if you don’t have a MacBook Pro yet and are in the market for one, but there’s no pressing need to upgrade if you’re already satisfied with your current model.

Remember that the M2 Pro is a powerful machine with limitations like lack of OLED, and the design is not much changed from previous versions. Overall, it’s a good option for pros but not a must-have for everyone.

Get Macbook Pro 14 2023 from Amazon with M2 Pro

Get Macbook Pro 14 2023 from Amazon with M2 Max

If you’ve finally decided to for M2 Pro Macbook Pro 14, here’s a quick guide that’ll help you to migrate data from the old MacBook to M2 Pro-based Macbook.

MacBook Pro 14 2023 Verdict

The MacBook Pro is a powerful computer made for people who work in creative fields. With the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, this 14″ laptop could be one of the world’s fastest. The laptop looks great, has a small LED screen, and has a lot of ports. The graphics and performance are also excellent. The battery life is also good, and the Wi-Fi 6E is a nice improvement. The only bad thing is that it costs a lot, but you get a high-end device with high-end specs. Overall, the MacBook Pro 14 2023 is an outstanding laptop you should consider buying if you need a powerful computer.

Adeel Younas
WRITTEN BY

Adeel Younas

Adeel Younas, Editor in Chief of TechWafer, is a tech reviewer and creator specializing in PC hardware and artificial intelligence.

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