Notebook Review

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) review: the most powerful laptop for professionals


  • Specifications Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021)
  • Design and construction
  • Connectors and connections
  • Keyboard and touchbar
  • MacBook Pro (2021) display
  • Component performance
  • Webcam and sound
  • Autonomy Apple MacBook Pro (2021)
  • Total
  • Should I buy
  • Review Apple MacBook Pro laptop (2021) - video
  • The first Apple MacBook came out back in 2006 andimmediately became very popular. Gradually, MacBook Air and Pro models appeared for different types of tasks, every year the company made some unique changes, although not all of them were successful - remember at least the "butterfly keyboard". But, Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) is the first laptop where the company finally listened to the requests of users, ceasing to impose its "vision of the future."

    There are two versions of the MacBook Pro (2021) to choose from:with 14 "and 16" displays, I tested the first option. Apple recently introduced two flavors of the M1 processor, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max, so you can choose between them when you buy a MacBook Pro.

    14-inch MacBook Pro (2021) on M1 Max is perfectsuitable for complex tasks. In terms of performance, no other laptop compares to it, although the 2021 model is good for more than that. If you have been annoyed by uncomfortable keyboards or a small number of connectors before, you can breathe a sigh of relief. For most professionals, the new MacBook Pro is the perfect laptop.

    READ ALSO: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Review - The Best Convertible Laptop For Creative Users

    Specifications Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021)


    14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR resolution3024 × 1964 (254 ppi), brightness up to 1000 nits (typ.), Up to 1600 nits (peak), contrast ratio 1,000,000: 1, 1 ppm. colors, Wide color gamut (P3), True Tone technology, ProMotion for adaptive refresh rates up to 120 Hz, fixed refresh rates: 47.95 Hz, 48.00 Hz, 50.00 Hz, 59.94 Hz, 60.00 Hz


    Apple M1 Pro, 8-core processor with 6 performance and 2 efficient cores, 14-core GPU, 16-core neural engine, 200 GB / s memory bandwidth

    Apple M1 Pro 10-core with 8 performance and 2 efficient cores, 16-core GPU, 16-core neural engine, 200 GB / s memory bandwidth

    Media engine

    Hardware accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW, video decoding engine, video encoding engine, ProRes encoding and decoding engine

    Versions and Builds

    Apple M1 Pro with 10-core processor and 14-core GPU

    Apple M1 Pro with 10-core processor and 16-core GPU

    Apple M1 Max with 10-core processor and 24-core GPU

    Apple M1 Max with 10-core processor and 32-core GPU

    Apple M1 Max with 10-core processor and 24-core GPU

    Apple M1 Max with 10-core processor and 32-core GPU


    16 GB, 32 GB (M1 Pro or M1 Max) or 64 GB (M1 Max)

    Inner memory

    SSD 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB or 8 TB

    SSD 1TB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB or 8TB


    Wi-Fi 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, IEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0


    FaceTime HD 1080p, advanced image signal processor

    Audio and sound

    High quality speaker system, Dolby Atmos support

    Three studio quality microphones with high S / N ratio and directional beamforming

    3.5mm headphone jack


    Up to 17 hours of movie playback on the Apple TV app, up to 11 hours on wireless


    Lithium Polymer 70 Wh


    67W USB-C Power Adapter (included with M1 Pro 8-Core)

    96W USB-C Power Adapter (Included with M1 Pro 10-Core and M1 Max)

    USB-C to MagSafe cable

    Connectors and ports

    HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, MagSafe 3, 3 × Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) with support: DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 4 (up to 40 Gbps), USB 4 (up to 40 Gbps)

    Dimensions and weight

    1.55 x 31.26 x 22.12 cm, 1.6 kg


    From 1999 $ (148.5 thousand rubles)

    From $ 2499 (185.5 thousand rubles)

    Design and construction

    Both versions of the MacBook Pro (2021) are quite large and heavy at 1.6kg, just like Apple's older laptops. Materials of construction are premium, although the case is made from 100% recycled aluminum.

    There are two body colors to choose from:silvery and "gray space". The device, although not as compact as the MacBook Air, has many connectors and the most powerful hardware. The bezels around the screen are 3.5mm thick, which is 24% thinner than previous models on the sides and 60% thinner on the top.

    At the top of the display is a notch (bangs) withfront camera, like on an iPhone, which is annoying. The camera itself, although it shoots at 1080p, does not support Face ID, and the cutout can only be hidden by dark wallpaper on the desktop. On the other hand, it allowed for a smaller top bezel and more screen real estate. It is curious that the cursor disappears under the bangs, although the menu items smoothly bend around it. In any case, the "bangs" could have been made smaller.

    Connectors and connections

    If you are constantly plugging in a lot of peripherals, the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) finally saves you the hassle of fiddling with adapters and USB hubs.

    Here we get three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a connector3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI, SD card slot and MagSafe charging port. All that is missing is USB-A, but as for Apple, the set is already large. The HDMI 2.0 connector supports 4K TVs at 60 fps, and the data transfer rate from SD cards reaches 250 Mb / s.

    For those who work professionally with video,there is support for external monitors. The assemblies on the M1 Pro processor can connect two external displays with a resolution of 6K and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. For systems on the M1 Max - three 6K monitors and one 4K @ 60 Hz.

    Keyboard and touchbar

    Apple finally ditched the butterfly keyboard entirely, so all new MacBook Pro 14 uses the Magic Keyboard scissor.

    Gone is the almost useless Touch panelBar. Instead, you will have a standard set of function keys, which is much more convenient. The physical keys are much more convenient for changing the volume and brightness of the screen. And while the Touch Bar made it easy to navigate to the right moment in the video, overall it wasn't worth it.

    MacBook Pro (2021) display

    The Apple MacBook Pro (2021) has Liquid Retina XDR displays with a 120Hz refresh rate. The monitored 14.2-inch version has a screen resolution of 3024 × 1964 pixels with a density of 254 ppi.

    However, the most important update here is the matrixminiLED, which has 8040 mini LEDs distributed over 2010 local dimming zones. Thanks to this, the display has an incredible maximum brightness of 1600 nits, as well as high detail and contrast.

    Immersive when watching HDR contentmuch stronger than the LCD displays on older MacBooks. With a 1,000,000: 1 contrast ratio and P3 color space, the MacBook Pro's screen is great.

    Apple's new ProMotion technology has also appeared.regulating the refresh rate of the display from 10 Hz to 120 Hz. The option can be disabled by setting constant one of the following values: 47.95; 48; 50; 59.94 or 60 Hz. However, there is no particular point in giving up 120 Hz, so I advise you to leave the ProMotion technology enabled.

    Component performance

    While there are many good updates to the new MacBook Pro 14 (2021), the main focus has been the move to the newer versions of Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max processors.

    Chipsets are made using a 5nm process technology and use16-core Neural Engine, while the number of cores, as well as the amount of RAM and internal memory have increased. The number of possible configurations is really great. If you choose the 14-inch model with the M1 Pro, an 8- or 10-core CPU is available, as well as a 14- or 16-core graphics chip.

    In the version with M1 Max, you can select the centrala processor with 10 cores, and a graphics processor with 24 or 32 cores. The combined memory is 16GB or 32GB for Apple M1 Pro laptops, while the M1 Max has the option to expand the RAM up to 64GB. SSD capacities start at 512GB with options 1, 2, 4, or 8TB. Powerful characteristics, right?

    If the budget is unlimited and you need the maximumperformance, it is worth choosing the Apple MacBook Pro (2021) on the M1 Max chipset. It is the most powerful laptop available today and is ideal for 4K video editing and graphics processing.

    For example, on MacBook Pro (2021) conversionshort video from 4K to 1080p by Handbrake test takes 4 min. 50 seconds. Last year's MacBook Pro takes almost 8 minutes, while the Razer Blade 14 takes 7 minutes. 30 seconds. It is also important that many programs over the past year have already been optimized for Apple M1 processors - they no longer need the Rosetta emulator.

    In the performance test GeekBench 5 laptopApple scores 1,766 points in single-core and 12,357 in multi-core. Impressive because the last MacBook Pro on the M1 scored 7470 points. No Windows laptop comes close to achieving this score, with the Surface Laptop Studio at 5874, the Razer Blade 14 at 7403, and the Dell XPS 15 at 7477.

    But with games, the situation is more complicated, because mostmajor new products are not available on macOS, and most of the supported games here are not optimized for M1 chips. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p, the result is 65-70 fps, so it's best to play on a PC with a Windows operating system.

    Webcam and sound

    Over the past two years, video calling has become an important part of many people's lives, although webcams on most laptops are still weak.

    However, on the Apple MacBook Pro (2021), things aremuch better - Apple has installed an excellent 1080p webcam here. Yes, it's not 4K, but the image remains clear even in low light. When you turn on portrait mode in FaceTime, you will appear to be filming with a full-fledged digital camera. The quality is really impressive.

    As for sound, MacBook Pro (2021)a system of six speakers is installed: four woofers and six tweeters, which sound amazing. It is pleasant to listen to music or watch movies even without headphones, although the new AirPods are supported by the feature. Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking.

    Autonomy Apple MacBook Pro (2021)

    The only aspect the new MacBook Pro 14 is a little disappointing with is battery life.

    Build with M1 Max works on one charge for about8.5 hours when watching a video, which is an average for modern top-level laptops. Considering the results of last year's MacBook Air (14 hours) and MacBook Pro (18 hours), I expected more from the new model.

    By disabling ProMotion, you will receivean extra hour of autonomy, but even this is not always enough for a full working day. For some reason, the Chrome browser consumes a lot of energy - about 40% of the battery power is spent in 4 hours of web surfing.

    Fast charging saves - through the included adapter with a power of 96 W, 50% of the energy is restored in half an hour. You can charge your MacBook Pro using either a MagSafe adapter or USB-C.


    If you are a professional looking for a laptop withmaximum performance, you will not find a better option than the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) with an M1 Max processor. However, the market may soon see significant changes with the release of the 12th generation Intel Alder Lake processor. Perhaps it will outperform all Apple and AMD processors in terms of speed.

    For computational tasks and work with graphicsMacBook Pro (2021) has no competitors yet, although the laptop is not suitable for games, and not everyone likes macOS. In general, sheer productivity is not the only factor in choosing a working machine. Apple continues to dominate the laptop market.

    Should I buy

    Beyond the performance of the MacBook Proexcellent display, lots of ports, great keyboard and high quality webcam. Yes, this is an expensive laptop, but the specs are also adequate.

    Yandex Market Review of Apple MacBook Pro laptop (2021) - video

    Alexander Shaman Alexander has been writing foralmost two decades. Initially, he collected technology news for the local media. His love of science fiction has sparked an immense thirst for knowledge. Trying to understand how it works and whether it can work better, he gets so carried away, as if he is immersed in a trance. For this, among his colleagues at TehnObzor, he received the nickname - Shaman. The Best and Most Powerful MacBook for Professionals Design and Ergonomics 95/100 Display and Media 98/100 Keyboard and Input Devices 95/100 Connectors and Ports 95/100 Performance 98/100 Connectivity 95/100 Runtime 90/100 Total 95.1 MacBook Pro (2021) is the best laptop for creative professionals to buy right now. It offers amazing performance and a superb display. Advantages and Disadvantages Many ports Brilliant performance The best screen on a laptop Awesome performance High cost