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Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) review: Still top notch

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) review: Still top notch

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023)

The excellent Apple MacBook Pro 14 returns with an upgraded processor, better battery life (thanks to said processor), and more cores for the base model. The latest Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) continues to deliver on performance — whether powered or unplugged — to make editing photos, videos, and music smooth like butter.

Quick specs

  • 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display 3,042 x 1,964 pixels, 120Hz, up to 1,600 nits
  • 12-core M2 Pro chip, 19-core GPU, 16GB RAM
  • 3x Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC card reader, MagSafe 3, headphone jack
  • From 1.6kg

Like the previous 2021 models, the 2023 MacBook Pro comes in 14- and 16-inch aluminium-clad versions. The base model with the M2 Pro chip now comes with 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, up from the 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU of the base M1 Pro. The 16-inch models now start with 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU configurations. Both models can also be configured with the M2 Max chips for maximum performance. Default storage and RAM remain at 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM, with up to a maximum 8TB SSD as well as 32GB RAM (M2 Pro) and 96GB (M2 Max). 16GB RAM is more than enough, but those doing heavy 8K video or large audio files will want to increase it. I tested the 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU model.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Besides the faster chip, the new MacBook Pro 14 has similar specs as the 2021 model. The 14.2-inch display is brilliant, and goes up to the same 1,600 nits of brightness. The non-standard 15.4:10 aspect ratio also makes it easy to put windows side by side. Dimensions and weight are similar to last year's model. And I like that at 1.6kg, carrying the MacBook around is a breeze. Though it's not as light as the MacBook Air, obviously. Ports are identical as well, though HDMI is now version 2.1, which supports 8K at 60Hz, or 4K at 240Hz. There's also Wi-Fi 6E connectivity this time around. However, you'll need a Wi-Fi 6E router to take advantage of the improved wireless performance. The base model comes with a 67W charger, but the 12-core CPU version and above come with 97W as default.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Performance-wise, the newer M2 Pro chip shines in our test. Whether you're plugged in, or on battery, the laptop delivers. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are snappy as heck, especially when doing stuff like AI-powered object selection. Final Cut Pro, too, is smooth like butter. Our test laptop easily put out 90-ish fps for Dota 2, more if you're fine with toning down the graphics. I also tested Resident Evil Village, which can tap on Apple's Metal 3 API for MetalFX upscaling. The result is over 120fps when plugged in using Quality upscaling. The laptop isn't hot even at max performance, with the fans kicking in when temps start hitting 60 degrees Celsius. Using Handbrake, a 1-hour video took just 4min 35s to encode at 1080p. Geekbench 5 tests showed a 1,902 single-core and a 14,896 multi-core score. The single-core result is an 8% performance gain over last year's chip.

Battery life remains incredible — two hours of work use only dipped the battery by 6%, and lasted me a whole day (and more) unplugged. Our video-loop battery test which stresses the display's brightness and speakers lasted 6hr 52min, while Apple rates it at up to 18 hours. The Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) doesn't quite shake things up compared with the 2021 model, but refines an already excellent notebook. Get it from Shopee, Lazada, Amazon SG, or Apple.

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Note: Review unit provided by Apple.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Powerful performance and great battery life.

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