The Apple MacBook Pro “M1 Pro” 8-Core CPU/14-Core GPU 14-Inch (2021) model features a 3.2 GHz Apple M1 Pro processor with eight cores (6 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores), a 14-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, 16 GB of onboard RAM, and a 512 GB onboard SSD. Both the RAM and the SSD can be upgraded at the time of initial system purchase, but not subsequently. Apple MacBook Pro 14-Inch “M1 Pro” 8 CPU/14 GPU 2021 Specs
Offered in silver and a darker “Space Gray” color, this notebook has an integrated 1080p FaceTime HD webcam, a “high-fidelity six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers,” a backlit “Magic Keyboard” with a “Touch ID” sensor (but no “Touch Bar”), and a gigantic “Force Touch” trackpad. Core
Additionally, it has a high-resolution LED-backlit 14.2″ widescreen 3024×1964 (254 ppi, 1000 nits sustained, 1600 nits peak, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio) “Liquid Retina XDR” display, and a integrated battery that provides an Apple estimated 11-17 hours of runtime.
Connectivity includes 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, three Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C connector), an HDMI 2.0 port, an SDXC-capable SD card slot, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a “MagSafe 3″ power connector.
Compared to its predecessor, the 14” “2021” MacBook Pro has little in common. The “2021” MacBook Pro models have a better quality display, simpler keyboard, much more significant external connectivity, and a completely different internal architecture that boasts faster performance.
When you pull out the new MacBook Pro 14, you will immediately notice the high weight and the bulky chassis for Apple standards. Contrary to recent MacBooks, the chassis is not tapered and the thickness is therefore pretty much the same around the chassis. Despite the slightly bigger footprint compared to the MacBook Pro 13, the MacBook Pro 14 appears much more massive and denser. The basic design on the other hand did not change, and you still get a unibody aluminum chassis in silver or space grey. In addition to the black keyboard, the spacing between the keys is now black as well. This is definitely a matter of taste, but we preferred the spacing in the chassis color. You now also get a stamped-in MacBook Pro lettering on the bottom panel.
Once you turn the MacBook on, you will immediately notice the large notch in the upper center of the display. According to Apple, the notch helps to keep narrow bezels, which is a success (screen-to-body ratio: 88%). The display also offers more pixels (menu bar is basically put on top the actual 16:10 screen), but the notch just does not look very nice. Apple MacBook Pro 14-Inch “M1 Pro” 8 CPU/14 GPU 2021 Specs
Both the stability as well as the build quality of the chassis are excellent; there are no creaking sounds and you cannot dent the case anywhere. The slim lid is a little more flexible and you can provoke ripples on the screen with a lot of concentrated pressure, but you really have to try and it should not be an issue in practice. The central hinge is almost perfectly adjusted, because it keeps the display well in position (also at small angles) and avoids wobbling, but you can still comfortably open it with one hand. The maximum opening angle on the other hand is not very generous at 135 degrees. Depending on your arm position you might also get imprints from the edge of the high base unit during typing, which can be uncomfortable.
MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch) review: Price and release date
- Pricey out the gate at $1,999
- The 13-inch MacBook Pro didn’t get updated
This stings: the 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 starts at $1,999. That’s $200 more than the $1,799 MacBook Pro it replaces, though it adds a whole lot so it’s not a huge issue.
That said, it’s also $700 more than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1, which went without an update this year. For your two Gs you get the M1 Pro system-on-chip with an 8-core CPU (6 performance cores, 2 efficiency cores) and a 14-core GPU, 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM.
MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch) review: Ports
- The return of the MagSafe charging port, HDMI and SD memory reader
- Still no USB-A port
This is more like it. The 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 trades Apple’s previous philosophy — essentially “USB-C dongles are good enough” — for most of the ports that people need. One, though, is still in absentia. Apple MacBook Pro 14-Inch “M1 Pro” 8 CPU/14 GPU 2021 Specs
On the left side of the MacBook Pro, you find arguably the most welcome port to return to the MacBook Pro: the MagSafe charging port. Apple (and its fans) spent years extolling the laptop-saving virtues of this magnetically-attaching power jack, which simply pops out whenever a more-than-minor amount of tension is applied. Previously, you could only charge the MacBook Pro via a USB-C cable, and those puppers could pull your laptop clear off your table — and where/how they’d land, who knows?
It looks like Apple finally accepted that having only USB-C ports is not really the solution, because the new MacBook Pro 14 once again offers a MagSafe power connector, a full-size SD-card reader as well as an HDMI video output. The latter is unfortunately limited to HDMI 2.0, so 4K displays are limited to 60 Hz (HDMI 2.1: 4K@ 120 Hz or 8K@ 60 Hz). All three USB-C ports support the latest Thunderbolt 4 standard including DisplayPort ALT mode. If you get the MBP 14 with the M1 Pro, you can drive two external screens at up to 6K and 60Hz; users of the MBP 14 with the M1 Max can attach two 6K screens (60 Hz) as well as another 4K display (60 Hz).
Video output worked well both via HDMI and Thunderbolt, but we did notice some minor performance issues via HDMI, but more on that later. 4K playback at 60 Hz worked well on a modern 55-inch OLED TV from LG and you can also activate HDR for the external screen.
We managed to record transfer rates of more than 2.5 GB/s with an external SSD. If you use docking stations, there still seems to be a bug in macOS that limits transfer rates to USB 3.0.
The MagSafe connector works as well as always and the small status LED shows if the battery is charging or full. The braided cable leaves a high quality impression and is sufficiently long at 2 meters. You really have to ask yourself why Apple ever removed the connector in the first place. It is also possible to charge the MBP 14 via USB-C (up to 100 W).
We secretly hoped for a Gigabit-Ethernet port, maybe included in the power adapter like we saw on the current iMac M1. You can at least use corresponding Thunderbolt adapters for wired networks.
MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch) review: Specs
||14-inch MacBook Pro 2021
||14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024×1964 pixels, 254ppi)
||M1 Pro (8-core CPU, 14-core GPU or 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU), with optional M1 Max with up to 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU
|Battery life (claimed)
||Up to 11 hours of web surfing over Wi-Fi
||512GB to 8TB
||16GB to 64GB
||Thunderbolt 4 (x3), HDMI, MagSafe 3, headphone jack, SD memory card slot
||1080p FaceTime HD camera
||802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
||12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
8-core CPU with 6 performance cores
and 2 efficiency cores
16-core Neural Engine
200GB/s memory bandwidth
Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
Video decode engine
Video encode engine
ProRes encode and decode engine
M1 Pro with 10-core CPU and
14-core GPU, M1 Pro with 10-core
CPU and 16-core GPU, M1 Max
with 10-core CPU and 24-core GPU, or
M1 Max with 10-core CPU and
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