December 9, 2021

Herald of Fashion

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Apple MacBook Pro 14 Inch M1 Pro Review: Productivity on the Wipe

Apple did not revolutionize the chassis of its MacBook Pro and is now well recognized and legal. It is still a large paving stone with rounded corners and smoothed edges, now in fully recycled aluminum. Those who know more will notice that the backlight for the logo of a simple mirror is missing from Apple and the appearance of a large MacBook Pro inscription under the chassis.

The card of the MacBook Pro 14 is completely flat. © Digital

The opening is always carried out with one finger thanks to the ceiling placed in front of the trackpad. Again, except for the keys the interior design remains the same and they are now black on a black background. There is a large centered touchpad and two perforated straps on each side of the keyboard for sound.

© Digital

What is missing from this MacBook Pro 14 is the touch bar, which has disappeared in favor of functional keys. The keyboard takes on the design of the Magic keyboard introduced with the iMac 24, the only difference being that the arrow keys are set in reverse T. The Touch ID key is strictly identical, acting as a power button and fingerprint reader to unlock the laptop among others.

The keyboard piano is now black.  © Digital

The keyboard piano is now black. © Digital

The typing provided by this backlit magic keyboard is not affected by any defect. The stroke of the keys is long enough and the activation is well marked. The trackpad was accurately accounted for with impeccable slip and (adjustable) gestures.

The link available on the MacBook Pro 14 M1 Pro represents true homecoming. Cupertino has been offering two USB-C ports in recent years, enough to see the proliferation of all types of USB hubs to respond to this lack of connectivity. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports are distributed on either side of the chassis, along with an HDMI 2.0 port (4K at 60 Hz) and a UHS-II SD reader that can theoretically reach speeds of 312 MB / s. A mini-socket-jack and MagSafe 3 power port complete this package.

So welcome connection, but we would like Apple to further its efforts by providing an HDMI 2.1 port (4K 120 Hz) compatible with VRR / ProMotion.

Connection is a satisfying thing.  © Digital

Connection is a satisfying thing. © Digital

Wireless connectivity with wifi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0 up to 1200 Mb / s is not forgotten. The webcam has 1080p resolution, better rendering than we find on laptops, but the image blurs the details with strong smoothing in low light conditions.

Under the lights of the photo lab.
Dark environment.

Cooling is provided by two fans arranged on each side of the M1 Pro. A single heat pipe connects the radiators slightly above the SoC. In use, both fans are triggered only when the processor is in high demand and constant. Thus, after 15 minutes of encryption on the handbrake, the temperature measured at the level of the air stations under the screen does not exceed 47 C. The entire keyboard is relatively cool because it does not exceed 34 C.

Heat output is particularly well controlled.  © Digital

Heat output is particularly well controlled. © Digital

Still under the handbrake, the MacBook Pro 14M1 Pro does not exceed 40 dB, which is a bit like a hiss, which can be heard if you encounter the engine, but it does not bother your neighbor. To push the cooling system to its limits, we introduced HandBrake and Premiere encoding on the M1 Pro’s GPU cores, which are 100% usable for all CPU and GPU cores. The cooling system was very active and we noted a noise level of 43.9 dB, which is double the perceived noise pollution. However, that is far from the 52 dB we could find on laptops. Sports Very noisy.

Extraction of the MacBook Pro 14 is possible, but relatively interesting. All you have to do is remove the eight pentallobe screws, then unscrew the shell and move it forward.

The layout may be correct, only the battery is replaceable.  © Digital

The layout may be correct, only the battery is replaceable. © Digital

With the exception of the battery – or set of batteries – you can eventually replace and all components are disassembled on the motherboard.

The Apple MacBook Pro 14 tested here is an Apple Silicon M1 Pro SoC equipped model with 10 CPU cores and 16 GPU cores. 16 GB of integrated memory and 1 TB SSD completes this configuration.

Processor performance code.  © Digital

Processor performance code. © Digital

Needless to say, the M1 Pro embedded in this MacBook Pro 14 is a real workhorse. Thus, it allows itself to get the code of 86 in all our utility tests with two powerful processors from Intel and AMD. The most impressive thing is that it is in virtual silence, whether it is inserted or not.

Performance code of processor / graphics card pair.  © Digital

Performance code of processor / graphics card pair. © Digital

By enabling GPU acceleration in our various tests, the M1 Pro marks the time with an index of 93. It is difficult to compete against a processor and a dedicated graphics card that receives a code of 96 or 95. However, the performance is remarkably significant. Performance. The Apple MacBook Pro 14 uses a maximum of 85 W per socket when using its CPU and GPU cores simultaneously. In comparison, the MSI Z16 Creator uses almost 170W from the outlet.

We briefly tested the gaming capabilities of the MacBook Pro 14 with the game Shadow of the Tomb Rider. So, while the details are set to “very high” at 1920 x 1200 px, the M1 Pro and its 16 GPU cores reach an average of 47 fps – the M1 on the MacBook Pro 13 does not reach 20 fps.

The M1 Pro allows you to play in good condition, even in emulated games.  © Digital

The M1 Pro allows you to play in good condition, even in emulated games. © Digital

The SSD holds its promises of 6,635 MB / s readability and 5,238 MB / s in writing, which is enough to bring your urgency back immediately.

SSD is particularly fast.  © Digital

SSD is particularly fast. © Digital

The MacBook Pro 14 is adorned with a liquid Retina XTR display. The 14.2-inch mini-LED-backlit IPS panel behind this marketing name shows 3024 x 1964 px, with HDR compatible 24 to 120 Hz upgrade rate. An entire program!

Hide this invisible climax.  © Digital

Hide this invisible climax. © Digital

As usual, Apple has not lagged behind in the quality of its screens. Color measurement is almost perfect with Delta E 1, the human eye can only sense sliding above 3. The guaranteed brightness of 500 cd / m² is measured at 495 cd / m². The anti-reflective coating is especially effective for glossy panels with an average reflectivity of 25.3%. However, the best matte layers are usually 15%.

The color temperature is slightly higher with 6902 K, the video standard recommends 6500 K. Variation is at the level of an Oled panel, i.e. close to infinity. Their depth could not be measured in our study either. So, it’s a real pleasure to watch dark movies or series especially HDR enabled.

Finally, the backlight of the panel is 15 ms, which is almost at the level of the best laptops Sports.

From left to right, gamma curve, color temperature and delta E.

From left to right, gamma curve, color temperature and delta E.

Like its big brother, the 2021 MacBook Pro 14 is fitted with two tweeters under the grille and four woofers on the front of the chassis. The latter also benefit from mechanized openings in aluminum to express themselves freely.

The famous woofer in the corner, there are four like this.  © Digital

The famous woofer in the corner, there are four like this. © Digital

When listening, the volume of the sound is very important, but it does not prevent it from being accurate and rich. To detect a bug in this audio system which is one of the best in laptops, we will retain a small summary at the maximum level.

The headphone jack is the same as the speakers. Decay is low with 0.0014%, especially with a wide dynamic range (115 dB) and limited crossover (60 dB). So you can make more use of stereo effects. We especially remember the 340 MVRMS output size, which can manage even audiophile headphones with very high resistances.

© Digital

The MacBook Pro 14 measures 31 x 22 cm and is 1.56 cm thick. Weighing in at 1.55kg, it fits easily in your bag. The weight of the 94W charger is 365 grams. You can change the pinout of the charger (for example, with the US or UK version) or replace it with an extension cord, which is unfortunately an option on the Apple site.

On the left, the charger for the 16-inch MacBook Pro;  On the right, 14 inches.

On the left, the charger for the 16-inch MacBook Pro; On the right, 14 inches.

If you’ve ever picked up an Intel MacBook Pro 13, the dimensions are almost identical, but this 14M1 Pro version, once placed on the table, is a little taller at its feet. Hood low dome and very monolithic.

With its bird’s appetite, the MacBook Pro 14 sets Netflix’s loop and its screen at 200 cd / m² with autonomy for 13 hours and 40 minutes under Chrome. If you use Safari, you can extend it to almost 5pm.

© Digital

We were able to use our entire test procedure, which allows us to calculate our performance index simultaneously and without any reduction in performance. The MacBook 14 Pro was disabled for about 6 hours after various requests (rendering, encryption, definitions). This opens up new opportunities for moving professionals.

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