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It’s been a busy 2023 for tech companies and it is only January. That also means it’s been busy for me as I’m Parade’s resident tech expert. For the last five days I’ve been typing away on Apple’s brand new 14-inch MacBook Pro.

The higher-end MacBook from Apple didn’t get a full redesign or a fresh coat of paint, but rather got supercharged under the hood. Apple rolled out the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2021, since then it’s been pretty much universally acclaimed.

They got a lot right—a larger, more expansive display that stretches to the right edges, the ditching of the touch bar for a snappy full-sized keyboard, and a chunkier, sturdier build throughout.

So what’s new? Well, it’s the latest in Apple Silicon, aka the company’s own proprietary processors and systems on a chip. Specifically it’s the M2 Pro and M2 Max, both of which boast more transistors and raw horsepower to power through any tasks. Simply put, if the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the standard M2 was “wicked fast,” the M2 Pro 14-inch is extremely fast.

Ahead I’ll lay out just how well Apple’s latest 14-inch MacBook Pro performs and who it is best for.

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It’s All About The M2 Pro Chip

None of the other MacBooks in Apple’s current line are slouches by any means and that thanks to the switch to Apple Silicon. Originally pegged as a two year transition, we’re now in year three and the results have been felt across.

Apple’s Mac family of laptops and desktops offer a go-getter attitude that can breeze through even more demanding tasks. Heck, you can edit a 4K film and export while leaving a plethora of apps open on the M1 or M2 Air. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with an “active cooling fan” extends this further as it can push the processor harder. And, you guessed it, but the M2 14-inch takes this even further.

I’ve been able to plug away with my daily workload without noticing any hiccups or slamming of the breaks. On the daily, I’ve fired up Chrome and Safari each with about 20 tabs open at a minimum with Slack, Messages, Notes, Calendar, Pixelmator Pro, Music, Pages, and Excel open in the background. Layered on-top are various meetings in the likes of Webex and Zoom with FaceTime calls throughout the day.

This all runs fine on a MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro, but on the 14-inch there is an upgrade in terms of the responsiveness. Applications open much quicker and in a way that is best described as instantaneous. Furthermore, as I called out with the M2 13-inch, applications that aren’t optimized for macOS with Apple Silicon that get passed through a translator of sorts called Rosetta open much faster on the 14-inch. Instead of it being delayed by a few seconds on the first open, it’s closer to instant.

When it comes to more creative tasks in Photoshop or Pixelmator Pro, edits to an image are all applied real-time and exports happen quickly. Same for batch edits in which an effect or change is applied to several photos at once. With video editing, maybe for your next viral TikTok or Instagram Reel, in Final Cut Pro it’s really just a breeze. As a whole, the 14-inch with the M2 Pro chip really shines thanks to the extra GPU (graphics processing unit) cores. There is no waiting on renders for HD, 4K, and 8K files, but the export time is also cut down drastically.

Specifically, I’ve been testing a 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro chip featuring a 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, and 32GB of RAM paired with 2TB of storage. That’s a bit more “Pro” than the base M2 Pro 14-inch with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU. I wouldn’t stress over the entry-level models performance chops though.

The M2 Pro chip inside the 14-inch MacBook Pro makes for a laptop that is likely more than capable for your workload, even on the most intense days. Like any other Apple Silicon product, there is a good chance you won’t hear the fan regularly and when it kicks it won’t side like a jet engine. No more Chrome causing that annoying wind machine to turn on. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is quite good with regulating temperature and even with an intense video export with a dozen apps open, I didn’t encounter the top or bottom case getting overly warm.

Battery Life

Similarly, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is good with controlling power and delivers the same experience when it is plugged or when it’s running off the battery. You can expect a full day of use, with over 14 hours of screen on time. Apple says you can get up to 18 hours of battery life, a full hour over the M1 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro, for video streaming.

When it is time to recharge, let’s just say there is no concern of the laptop shaking off the table as MagSafe is here. Yes, Apple’s cable that magnetically attaches and will quickly snap off without pulling your MacBook with it. Included with the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a woven MagSafe 3 to USB-C cable and a 96-watt power brick. With this setup you can recharge the MacBook Pro from 0% to 50% in just about 30 minutes.

If you currently have an M1 Pro 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, I’d say unless you’re feeling that stumble with tasks—which is very unlikely—you can skip this generation. The improvements and leapfrogging are more noticeable if you’re coming from an Intel-powered MacBook Pro.

While the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro is mighty powerful, you can likely knock out most of these tasks on an M1 or M2 laptop, the tasks might just take a few more seconds (in some cases mili-seconds) to complete versus here. Likely video and photo exports along with coding or 3D animations might take a bit longer.

A Vibrant Display In A Sturdy Build That Thankfully Packs The Ports

Unlike the MacBook Air which is focused on being thin and light or the 13-inch MacBook Pro which opts for a classic design, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is fresh. When this chunkier, all aluminum design with a better screen, better keyboard, and a larger selection of ports dropped, it was kind of like the past meeting the present. And two years down the road in 2023 that still stands.


The 14-inch MacBook Pro boasts a slightly larger footprint than the MacBook or 13-inch MacBook Pro. It’s heavier at 4.7-pounds, but not to the degree that this will not weigh you down in a backpack or bag. I traveled from NJ to NYC with it, used it at a coffee shop once there—I needed to fuel up with an Iced Chai Latte—and found it plenty comfortable to use on my lap while on the train. Yes, it’s heavier and a bit thicker at 0.66-inches, but it feels more substantial and better for the cost of a laptop.

That thickness also allows for more ports. Next to MagSafe on the right are two USB-C ports and an audio jack. This way if you’re rocking wired headphones or earbuds, you can plug in. The left side features an HDMI port which now supports up to an 8K resolution, an additional USB-C port, and an SD card slot. It feels like a MacBook Pro from the past, in the best way possible.

It comes in Space Gray or Silver only. Sadly, Apple did not opt for a Midnight version of the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pros this time, though you can get the new HomePod in Midnight to well obviously play Midnights on Taylor Swift with. Music playback, as well as audio playback in general, isn’t a slouch on the 14-inch MacBook Pro either.


To the left and right of the keyboard are two speaker grilles which contain the six speaker setup that also feature force-canceling woofers. For instance “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift streamed via Apple Music sounds good and gets surprisingly loud. It’s also not tinny or muddy, but crisp with sounds that properly mixes the various aspects of a track.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard itself ditches the TouchBar—Apple’s touchscreen and adaptable function row—for a full row of function keys. Things like brightness, volume, and playback controls are all a key press away. The typing experience is quite nice with keys that eagerly pop back up after a key press. Each key cap is large enough to easily hit the desired key without missing it. It works well in tandem with the large trackpad that supports gestures.

For easy authentication of purchase and unlocking of the MacBook Pro there is a Touch ID sensor built-into the power key on the function row. It is easy enough to set up and has worked well in my testing so far. It does leave me wondering if we’ll ever see Apple add Face ID to the mac though.

Especially when you realize there is a notch in the wonderfully vibrant 14.2 Liquid Retina XDR Display. It’s a decent sized cutout centered at the top that doesn't stretch further than the top menu bar. Like the notch on the iPhone, you’ll surely learn to live with it and forget about it, but with the space here it likely could have fit the various sensors to enable Face ID. Rather, it contains a souped up 1080pHD FaceTime camera which makes you look better on video calls. Something we can all be happy about, especially with remote work.


As for the display, it’s really one of the best I’ve ever tested in a laptop let alone a MacBook. Colors pop and details are packed in a screen that can get very bright. Watching an episode of “Emily in Paris” via Netflix or catching up on Ted Lasso via AppleTV+ is a very nice, immersive watch. Working behind the scenes to make visuals pop is a range of mini LEDs which give it more precise control across the 14.2-inches for creating an image.

Aiding in the experience is the fact that it’s a ProMotion display meaning that it’s buttery smooth with movement. Specifically, it can scale up to 120Hz refresh rate which speaks to how many times in a second the display can refresh itself.

Is The 14-inch MacBook Pro Worth It?

All-in-all the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro is a wonderful laptop and easily one of the most powerful laptops that I’ve tested. It not only leaps past the previous M1 Pro on benchmark tests, but it also scales past the M1 Max models. It offers a tremendous amount of power for really any computing tasks, but especially shines with creative tasks, coding, or animation. All of course in a build that is easily portable.

There is a price to pay here though as the 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999.99, though it’s already $50 off on Amazon. The unit I’ve been testing is a bit more and the 16-inch starts at $2,499.99.

It ultimately will come down to what you want from a laptop. Do you need a larger screen? More bandwidth for those creative tasks? If it’s a yes, then the 14-inch or 16-inch size is definitely worth considering. The respective displays are smoother and produce a more compelling image.

Then again, Apple also sells the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 for $1,299, the M2 MacBook Air for $1,199, and the M1 MacBook Air for $999. All three are fast performers with long battery life as well.

Apple’s new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are up for order now and will begin shipping on Jan. 24 2023.