Product Listing

Apple 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023) review: The Rolls Royce of ultraportable notebooks

By Kenny Yeo - 28 Mar 2023


Note: This review was first published on 2 February 2023.

Apple has updated the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros with newer, faster processors.

Spec-bump update

Many regard the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros from 2021 to be the finest notebooks Apple has ever made. Well-built, supremely powerful, possessing a good selection of ports and a brilliant display, there is no doubt that they are landmark Mac notebooks.

The TL;DR version:

With its combination of gorgeous display, top-notch build quality, great battery life, and out-of-this-world performance, this is the best ultraportable notebook you can buy. 

A year or so later, Apple has naturally tinkered with them and made them a little better. I’ll cut to the chase, the newest 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro are spec-bump updates. The big news is that they have new processors. They are now powered by the new M2 Pro and M2 Max. There are also some minor updates here and there which I’ll get to later. But the big news is the processors.

The Liquid Retina XDR display uses a mini-LED panel and looks gorgeous.

The rest of the hardware is unchanged, which is no bad thing. Build quality is high and they are relatively portable considering the levels of performance that they offer. The Liquid Retina XDR display continues to impress with its dazzling colours even if they still suffer from blooming issues. The camera notch is still there and sadly doesn’t do Face ID. The keyboard, trackpad, and speakers are all best-in-class items and will not disappoint.

To find out more about the design, display, keyboard, and trackpad of the MacBook Pro, read my review of the M1 14-inch MacBook Pro here.

Say hi to M2 Pro and M2 Max

(Image source: Apple)

As usual, Apple is coy on the specifics of its new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. What we do know is that they are built on the success of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips and feature more cores and performance. 

Here are the high-level details.

  • Built on a second-generation 5nm process
  • Up to 40 billion transistors in M2 Pro, and 67 billion transistors in M2 Max
  • Now up to 12 CPU cores 
  • Up to 19 GPU cores in M2 Pro and 38 GPU cores in M2 Max
  • Up to 32GB memory in M2 Pro and 96GB in M2 Max
  • Next-gen 16-core Neural Engine, up to 15.8 trillion operations per second
  • Unified memory architecture

The end result of all these indigestible facts and figures means that you can expect up to 20% more CPU performance and 30% more GPU performance over the last-generation M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros. That’s quite a substantial improvement given that it’s only been a little more than a year since Apple unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

Other improvements

Connectivity is better on these new MacBook Pros. To start, the HDMI port now support the newer 2.1 standard which means support for 8K external displays at up to 60Hz and improved support for 4K external displays at up to 240Hz. 

The new MacBook Pros can now output to an 8K external display at up to 60Hz.

There’s also support for Wi-Fi 6E. However, this feature is less likely to appeal to users here in Singapore since the 6GHz spectrum has yet to be cleared for us by the IMDA. Regardless, this means the ability to tap into the relatively uncontested 6GHz band with compatible Wi-Fi 6E routers like Google’s Nest Wifi Pro

Battery life, according to Apple, has been improved thanks to the more efficient M2-class chips and other optimisations. The 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro now last an hour longer respectively than the models they replace so battery life is now up to 18 hours for the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 22 hours for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. They last very long but I’ll need more time to test if the battery life has really improved. I’ll report back on this later.

Join HWZ's Telegram channel here and catch all the latest tech news!
  • Design 9
  • Features 9.5
  • Performance 10
  • Value 8
  • Mobility 9
The Good
Peerless performance
Gorgeous display
Great battery life
Class-leading build quality
HDMI 2.1 support
USB-C Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports
The Bad
Upgrade options are pricey
Display still has blooming issues
Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may earn a small commission.