Apple MacBook Pro 14in (M1 Pro)

₹ 1,94,900

This is a heavy hitter, in more ways than one. Apple had already hit a home run with the M1 chip in the 2020 MacBook Air, but as expected, that was just the start. 


Refreshing the MacBook Pros needed more than just a revival of ports and removal of a Touchbar and to that effect, Apple didn’t just give us an update of the M1 SoC, but a whole new level of laptop performance never seen before. And with it, also came added bulk that translates into better battery life but also more weight.


The 14in MacBook Pro that we have on test here is the M1 Pro equipped model, but you can also spec it up to M1 Max with a 16in screen that will make you rethink that entry-level hatchback purchase. Both the 14in and 16in versions can be specified with either M1 Pro or M1 Max, depending on your use-case, or crypto-driven profits. But, even in our review sample, the base 14in model with an 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU made every task feel faster than the M1 MacBook Air. It comes with a potent 16GB of unified memory that can be configured 32GB or even 64GB on the M1 Max and while it may be tempting to be “future-ready” with more RAM and an even faster processor, the pricing will be a great counsellor here, making you think long and hard about what you really use your laptop for. 



Display: Maximum smoothness

In many ways, this 2021 refresh of the MBP feels more like an update of the 2012 model, with the inclusion of the MagSafe charging cable, HDMI and SD ports and the more, softer corners instead of sharper cuts. This is Apple bringing back what was loved in addition to offering something we never knew we wanted, just classic Apple. So we now get a stunning 120Hz ProMotion display that uses the same tech as the iPad Pro, which is second only to an OLED display but bettering it in outright brightness.


This Mini-LED screen is capable of an insane 1600nits of peak brightness during HDR content with its array of more than 10,000 mini-LEDs that is free of any blooming issues and more pixels than even the previous-gen 16in MacBook Pro! Like always though, Apple displays are all about colour accuracy and this new-gen display is probably the one that pushes that to the limit. Support for P3 wide colour gamut is of course present, but dig into the display settings and it also lets you choose an HDR profile that best suits your workflow and even manually select refresh rates from the five most common broadcast systems globally.

Facetime: Cam you see me clearly?

While it’s a welcome change to finally have thin bezels on a MacBook Pro, the decision to go with a notch feels more like self-preservation rather than a design requirement. It bodes well with the iPhone family look, but also makes the silhouette instantly recognisable as an icon on every accessory made for the MacBook Pro. Differentiating itself from the crowd is fine, but if Apple had to put a notch, it begs the question “why isn’t there any FaceID”? Whatever the reason for that may be, the even bigger omission is the lack of Centrestage on the new 1080p camera! It’s the tech that allows for face tracking when you move around a little on video calls and with the new larger sensor, new lens, larger aperture and all sorts of computational video, it would’ve only been the obvious thing to do. Besides that rant, the camera performance really has improved significantly, increasing shadow detail and resolution in low light and de-noising and colour correcting during daytime calls. It may well be one of the best video cams on any laptop and it only gets enhanced by better mics and speakers while on a FaceTime call or Zoom meeting.


Apple may be overselling the “studio quality” mic pitch a bit, but the sound from the six-speaker system is impressive indeed. Play Adele’s ‘All Night Parking’ and it sounds as enjoyable as a stand-alone portable Bluetooth speaker, but with even sharper stereo imaging. Thanks to the dense build, even at max volume, there is no creaking from the chassis or distortion from the drivers and the sound just seems to fill the space around the screen without ever giving away the speakers location.

Design: MacBook Pro, but evolved

So until now, we have the best camera, best speakers and one of the best displays on any laptop, but that leaves us with plenty more to talk about. Keyboard, well it certainly has improved leaps and bounds and you won’t get any butterflies in your stomach before thrashing out a 5000-word piece or coding at warp speed. The keys are silent, they have acceptable amounts of clickety travel and the blacked-out background helps in making the keys stand out even better with the backlight, but the biggest change here is the return of the physical F keys. I personally missed the Touch Bar for scrubbing through content and easier auto-filling of email, address etc but I hear this is the more practical choice for people who actually work on their laptops. And, it’s also much more reliable for quick brightness and volume changes, which are sometimes used to get stuck on the Touchbar.

Ports. Yes, we have ports! Although neither the HDMI nor the SD are up to spec with the latest generation, at least we got 'em back! Even the headphone jack is now compatible with high-impedance headphones, eliminating the need for an outboard headphone amplifier unless you’re an audiophile who spends more time reading about gear than actually listening to music.

Performance: Raising the bar

The two areas where the new MacBook Pro really shines through is performance and performance on battery power. Perceptible differences start even with everyday apps that are getting heavier due to increased data and graphical elements, like Apple Music or App store, which now open in an instant as opposed to a few seconds on the Intel-based MacBook Pro 16 that I also had lying around. But it’s when you use the heavier stuff like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign that you realise how immediately even the most demanding RAW reacts to changes in the edit. Everything feels at least twice as quick and an even more shocking revelation is the efficiency of the M1 Pro SoC, which never even kicked up the fans during my time with it. Or it did and they were so quiet that I never even heard (or felt) them whirring away but the bottom of the enclosure never once got too warm for me to go looking for a table to rest it on.


All the testing I did was on battery power, including using all the design, photo-editing and page layout software as well as lending the machine to our video team for a quick 4K YouTube video edit. I say quick because the exporting of files, colour grading, rendering and publishing times were all cut down by a factor of three, much to the surprise and want of the said editor.

Charging times are faster too if you opt for the larger 96W power adapter, but you can also use any one of the Thunderbolt/USB-C ports too. Again, it surprises why Apple chose not to include a similar power adaptor to the new iMac, with a built-in ethernet port on the power brick. In any case, the two efficiency cores along with MacOS Monterey seem to be working in unison to extract maximum productivity from the 14in MBP even on everyday tasks.


I was averaging about 10-12 hours of use before plugging it back in and this included watching videos through the speakers, design and editing software, Apple Music, Google Docs, Safari, Mail, Preview and anything else that was needed to make a living. For this much power at your disposal, this is honestly a nightmare for every Windows PC I know of. Most big, gaming laptops that do come close to the pure processing power of the M1 Pro won’t last beyond an episode of Squid Game on battery power and will be twice the weight and girth of the 14in MacBook Pro.


Stamping its authority all over the case for unified and tight control over hardware and software, the 14in MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip running on MacOS Monterey is the finest expression of Apple’s lifelong philosophy. In terms of build quality, display quality, sound quality, processor performance, battery life...all the things that actually matter, it is simply impossible to fault. Where it does stumble are certain design decisions like the half-baked notch, lack of ethernet port on the power brick, no FaceID or Centrestage...the little things that actually fade in comparison to how much it does get absolutely right.


The large trackpad, the tactile keyboard, the stunning Mini-LED screen and all the benefits of an Apple ecosystem come to the fore on the MacBook Pro. If you can afford it, you have no reason not to consider it, even if you won’t be using more than 50% of its power!

Stuff Says

The best laptop for everyday and professional use with performance and battery life that will leave you head-scratching!
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. M1 Pro is tangibly faster than the M1

  1. Screen, speakers and camera res, all fantastic

  1. Battery life and non-throttled performance

  1. Runs cool even under duress

  1. No FaceID despite the notch

  1. No ethernet port

  1. Expensive, as expected

Display: Liquid Retina XDR (Mini-LED)
Resolution: 3024x1964 @ 254 ppi
Brightness: 1000nits standard (1600nits peak)
Processor: Apple M1 Pro (8-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 16-core Neural engine)
Memory: 16GB unified
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: 3x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI 2.0, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3
Camera: 1080p FaceTime
OS: MacOS Monterey
Dimensions (WHD): 12.3 x 0.6 x 8.7in
Weight: 1.6kgs