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Apple completes its MacBook Pro range with a new 14-inch version equipped with the M1 Pro processor. A double advantage for this laptop that will take advantage of Apple’s CPU to provide top performance and autonomy.
The MacBook Pro 14 completes the range of laptops dedicated to professionals and creatives, which now ranges from 13 to 16 inches. Apple is segmenting its offer not only by screen size, but also by the integrated Silicon processor. Thus, the original M1 is reserved for the 13-inch version, while the new M1 Pro and M1 Max can be chosen on the 14- and 16-inch versions. We’ll take a look at the MacBook Pro 14 and its M1 Pro in its most muscular version, equipped with 10 CPU cores and 16 GPU cores.
Apple hasn’t revolutionized the chassis of its MacBook Pro, which is now well identified and statutory. It’s still a large block with rounded corners and softened edges, now made of fully recycled aluminum. The more knowledgeable will notice the disappearance of the backlit apple for a simple mirror logo, as well as the appearance of a large MacBook Pro inscription under the chassis.
It can still be opened with a finger thanks to the notch in front of the trackpad. Once again, the interior design is unchanged, except for the keys, now black on a black background. We also find the large centered touchpad and two perforation bars on each side of the keyboard for the sound.
The big absence of this MacBook Pro 14 in M1 Pro chip is the Touch Bar, which has simply disappeared in favor of the function keys. As for the keyboard, it follows the Magic Keyboard design introduced with the iMac 24, with the only difference being that the arrow keys are arranged in an inverted T. The Touch ID key is strictly identical, acting as a power button and fingerprint reader to unlock the laptop, among others.
The typing offered by this backlit Magic Keyboard is flawless. The keystroke is long enough and the activation well marked. The trackpad is of the same ilk, with impeccable gliding and (adjustable) gestures that are perfectly taken into account.
The connectivity available on the MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro marks a real return to its roots. In recent years, the Cupertino firm has tended to offer two USB-C ports, which has led to a proliferation of USB hubs of all kinds to address this lack of connectivity. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports are therefore distributed on both sides of the chassis, accompanied by an HDMI 2.0 port (4K at 60 Hz) and an SD UHS-II reader that can theoretically reach a speed of 312 MB / s. A mini-jack and a MagSafe 3 power port complete the package.
A more than welcome connectivity, but we would have liked Apple to push its effort even further by proposing an HDMI 2.1 port (4K 120 Hz) compatible VRR/ProMotion.
Wireless connectivity is not forgotten with wifi 6 (802.11ax) that can reach 1200 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.0. The webcam has a definition of 1080p with a rendering superior to what we are used to find on laptops, but the image suffers in low light situations of a strong smoothing making details blurred.
Under the lights of the photo lab.dark environment.
Cooling is provided by two fans on either side of the M1 Pro chip. A single heat pipe connects the heat sinks by passing just above the SoC. In use, the two fans are activated only when the processor is heavily used and continuously. Thus, after 15 minutes of encoding under HandBrake, the temperature measured at the air outlets under the screen does not exceed 47°C. The keyboard as a whole remains relatively cool since it does not exceed 34°C.
Still under HandBrake, the MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro does not exceed 40 dB, which corresponds to a slight murmur, audible if you are facing the machine, but which will not bother your neighbors. To push the cooling system to its limits, we ran HandBrake and Premiere encoding on the M1 Pro’s GPU cores, which corresponds to 100% usage of all CPU and GPU cores. The cooling system was much more active and we found a noise level of 43.9 dB, which is a doubling of the perceived noise. That’s a far cry from the 52dB we found on the loudest gaming laptops.
Disassembling the MacBook Pro 14 is still possible, but of relative interest. All you have to do is remove the eight panhead screws, then unclip the shell and slide it forward.