Apple MacBook M3 and M3 Pro Review – with Pros and Cons

Apple has unveiled its latest MacBook offerings with the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Pro Max, boasting refined designs, powerful performance upgrades, and a focus on user experience. We delve into the key features, performance, potential drawbacks, and comparison with previous generations of these new MacBooks to help you decide if they’re the right fit for your needs.

You can check out the review of Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max here.

Apple MacBook M3 Max

Build and Quality

Kicking off with the build quality, Apple maintains its reputation for premium construction. Accordingly, it comes with a sleek eye-catching aluminum metal body. The design is the same as the previous generation. Both models now feature a special coating to significantly reduce fingerprints, which is a welcome improvement. These laptops are fairly heavy, weighing between 1.55 – 2.14 kilograms depending on the screen size. This laptop is a little thicker compared to its previous generations and also makes a good impression in the first look.  The weight distribution is good. And the lid opening feels solid and smooth.

Design, Ports & Connectivity

Apple’s signature sleek design continues, with the M3 Pro adding a new space black color option. But the black is not very dark making it feel like dark grey rather than black. The M3 has 2 Thunderbolt USB ports, while the M3 Pro boasts 3 Thunderbolt 4 USB ports. Additionally, both feature an HDMI port and an SDXC card slot. Both models support the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, though we would have preferred Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 6.4.

Input Devices

Keyboard – Both the M3 and M3 Pro share similar keyboard features. Particularly a backlit Magic Keyboard, Touch ID sensor, ambient light sensor, pressure-sensitive drawing capability, and multi-touch gestures. While functional, these features haven’t changed significantly compared to the previous generation.

Trackpad – Similar to previous models, both the M3 and M3 Pro feature a Force Touch trackpad offering precise cursor control and pressure sensitivity. This enables force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing, and multi-touch gestures.

Webcam – The display has a small notch that contains a 1080p HD FaceTime camera. Moreover, it comes with an Advanced image signal processor, which is more than enough for general usage. Moreover, it works well for professional as well as casual purposes.


Moving forward to the most interacting part, the display. The M3 Pro comes in 14-inch and 16-inch variants, while the M3 is limited to the 14-inch size, with minimal bezels. Both feature a mini-LED display with an SDR brightness of up to 600 nits, which is 20% brighter than the M2 generation. It has an HDR peak brightness of 1600 nits and a sustained brightness of 1000 nits. With this Apple can provide HDR content(like on YouTube/Netflix) at very good quality. If you are the one who watches more content then there will be no compromise in the multimedia experience. The Blacks are very deep and the colors are bright and nice. Furthermore, 16-inch variants have a display resolution of 3456×2234 pixels, and 14-inch variants have a display resolution of 3024×1964 pixels, again similar to the previous generation. 

Its display also comes with a 120Hz refresh rate which is particularly a piece of good news if you are a gamer choosing this laptop. Also for normal day-to-day usage, this display looks pretty good in all lighting conditions.


Performance is a key differentiator between the processor variants. The M3 has an 8-core CPU (4 performance cores + 4 efficiency cores) and a 10-core GPU, with a maximum RAM of 24GB. The M3 Pro ups the ante with a 12-core CPU (6 performance cores + 6 efficiency cores), an 18-core GPU, and a maximum RAM of 36GB. The performance cores handle heavy tasks like editing while the efficiency cores are used for casual tasks.

Gamers will be particularly excited by the M3 Pro’s first-ever Mac hardware support for Mesh shading (improved geometry and structure) and Ray tracing (enhanced natural lighting). Games are smooth and it gives pretty good FPS in high settings. Usually, Gamers used to prefer Windows over MacBook due to the lack of eco-system and games. This might change in the future as Apple has started focusing on gaming features. 

Benchmarks show the M3 achieving a GeekBench score of 3174 (single-core) and 12058 (multi-core), while the M3 Pro scores 3189 (single-core) and 15683 (multi-core). This represents a roughly 15% increase over their M2 counterparts. With this power, it can easily handle normal daily tasks and also can fairly support some heavy tasks like 3D-model rendering and video editing. Amusingly, Apple can provide all this power on battery, which is amazing.


Both models pack a six-speaker sound system with force-canceling woofers, they cancel any vibrations and help the audio sound clearer. The speakers are located on both sides of the keyboard. Additionally featuring spatial audio support, it can bring theatre-like sounds. When you are using Dolby Atmos in the built-in speaker it sounds good with amazing deep bass. It is more than enough for all types of content consumption and daily usage. They deliver an immersive multimedia experience when paired with their excellent displays.

Battery Life

Despite the powerful machines let’s talk about its battery life, both the M3 and M3 Pro offer up to 15 hours of web browsing and 22 hours of Apple TV playback. While impressive, this represents no improvement over the previous generation’s battery life. Anyways, we can appreciate the better performance with the same battery life.

Software Experience

Both models come pre-installed with macOS Sonoma, featuring widgets (including the ability to add iPhone widgets to the desktop). Furthermore, they have introduced new wallpapers, a “stay-in-frame” feature in FaceTime, and other updated functionalities. macOS Sonoma delivers smooth performance for everyday use across a wide range of user profiles. However, some users have reported encountering software/hardware bugs when exporting videos from Final Cut Pro X on the M3, requiring an update to address these issues.


Talking about the storage, the base variant comes at 512GB and the top variant of the M2 pro has 4TB. They are sufficient for normal to professional usage. The storage type is SSD better than HDD. Due to this, they have high transfer speeds, which is good enough for normal tasks. There will be no issues in the smoothness of read & write tasks.

In conclusion, even though MacBooks aren’t for everyone, they remain a go-to option for users seeking exceptional performance and ultimate productivity, especially with the incremental improvements offered by the latest generation.

You can check out the review of Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max here.

Apple MacBook M3 and M3 Pro

Nerd Score

Productivity Performance


Gaming Performance




Battery Life


Build and Design


Ports, Upgradability & Speakers


Input devices




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