Apple has launched its new MacBook Pro models and the old MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar is not getting an update with M3, but there is a new entry-level model of the MacBook Pro 14 with the new base SoC M3. The starting price is now $1,599, which means this is the most affordable MacBook Pro 14 yet, but you only get 8GB of RAM. The M3 SoC offers better single-core performance and increased efficiency, which we already covered in our full review article. Apple has also managed to increase the battery life and the maximum SDR brightness is now 600 nits instead of 500 nits.
This obviously looks good, but it also has some drawbacks compared to more expensive MacBook Pro 14 models as well as the older M2 Pro-equipped MacBook Pro 14. The single-core performance of the new M3 is much better, but the multi-core performance is still lower than the M2 Pro, which is also the case for graphics performance. Apple has also reduced the cooling capabilities of the new base model since there is only one fan instead of two.
There are more limitations in terms of connectivity. The two USB-C 4.0 ports on the left side only support Thunderbolt 3 instead of Thunderbolt 4, but the lack of the third USB-C port on the right side is actually the biggest limitation in practice. SSD performance is also limited to PCIe 3.0 speeds, but this isn’t a hindrance for light workloads either. The new MBP 14 M3 base model primarily targets customers who need a device for daily tasks and are happy with the performance of the MacBook Air, but want a better display.
That’s also completely fine, but that brings us to the older base model MacBook Pro 14 with the M2 Pro, which is already equipped with 16GB of RAM and still on sale for $1,600 to $1,800 (MBP 14 M3 with 16GB RAM costs $1,799) and it’s simply the best overall package. So if you’re buying a base model MacBook Pro 14, we recommend getting the older M2 Pro model for as long as possible. Please see our full reviews for more information on both devices:
I grew up with modern consumer electronics and my first computer was a Commodore C64, which encouraged my interest in building my own systems. I started working as an editor for Notebookcheck during my double studies at Siemens. Currently, I am primarily responsible for managing business laptops and mobile workstations. It’s a great experience to be able to review the latest devices and technologies and then compare them to each other.