Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 - Full Review with Pros and Cons
With the amazing response for M1 MacBooks, Apple’s first attempt at its own laptop/desktop silicon and serious value for money was a head-turner. And now with the recent launch of the 2021 MacBook pro-line-up, this is Apple’s second attempt. Can it now justify the newer and higher price tag? Let’s find it out in this review.
Build & Quality
Starting off with the build quality of the device, Apple never fails to impress with its solid design and integrity. Now heavier than the last-gen at 1.6 kilos it feels more assuring and thickness being almost the same makes it still easy to carry and move.
Design, Ports & Connectivity
For starters, the new MacBook 14” gets a new design that is instantly noticeable. The addition of newer ports i.e., the addition of an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, with three thunderport 4 ports instead of 2, and the return of the Mag Safe charging port is an appreciable addition. This will ensure that people will not be carrying the additional dongles with the laptop every time and everywhere they travel. Thunderbolt 4 supporting display connectivity as well as a charging feature makes sure that we can juice up the laptop with our conventional type-C chargers.
Jumping towards the display, everyone now notices the new ‘notch’ which seems odd for laptops but provides more screen space with a similar footprint overall. Apple now adds up XDR liquid retina display which is a fancy way of showing newer and higher 120Hz refresh rate in the MacBook. The display now supports more colours i.e., over 1 billion colours compared to half a billion in the last-gen makes it pleasing to the eyes, and the viewing angles are also improved. While some might think higher refresh rates will equate to smoother operations but in reality, the higher refresh rate kicks in only while we scroll fast enough to notice a difference.
Keyboard & Typing
Moving towards typing, now Apple removed the touch bar, which was not much appreciated by users, and now instead it has a full-fledged function key row and that might be liked by many. Typical MacBook typing experience has been a pleasure since the removal of butterfly keyboards, this MacBook has the same old legacy of providing a great keyboard typing experience. As always, the backlighting keyboard feels like a boon in un-evenly lit conditions.
Speakers just like the last-gen are great. Audio quality is nice and rich or as many users say, one of the best in the segment. Loudness is more than enough and the sound signature will be liked by many.
Apple’s second attempt at its homegrown laptop silicon again proves to be a beast. Just like last gen it still maintains 8 cores with now performance cores being 6 and efficient cores being just 2. M1 pro chip is thus now more powerful than ever and the new 120Hz display is a breeze to use with this really powerful chip. People who have tested it thoroughly have said that it can even game and it’s a shock since Apple laptops are never a gamer’s choice. So, in conclusion, this new chip has again proven itself to be a game-changer.
Given the decrease of two efficient cores and higher refresh rate screens we expected the battery life to get worse over its previous gen, yet Apple again surprised all of us with even better battery life than last gen. This is accredited to the fact that the battery capacity was increased significantly to 70Wh capacity. Mag safe charging at 67W ensures that the charging is fast and the chip ensures that the battery life is amazing.
Software is the most important of all, if the software is not optimized properly the performance may have some problems. But, not surprisingly enough the MacBook is a delight to use with very few glitches in the software. On this MacBook, we get Mac OS Monterey and all new features. This new software enables the sharing even easier than before but is limited to only Apple devices. Now they are trying even harder to push the Apple ecosystem by forcing new and better connectivity only on other Apple devices. Yet the software isn’t polished enough, just like last time the app support is not as good as for intel powered macs but with more app support and support for iOS apps, we may be heading towards better app availability. Still, this is one of the only parts where Apple needs to work on.
Pricing is again one of the most important aspects of any device, this 14” laptop now starts at ₹194900 compared to ₹122900 from the previous gen. This 72k difference is not exactly justified as now the touch bar is gone with additional weight and not an amazing performance increase whilst adding newer and higher refresh rate screen, increased battery capacity, and charging support with the addition of more ports still can’t justify the price gap.
In conclusion, this new Mac is impressive, even for its price tag it easily outperforms many of its Windows counterparts and it may even outsell its last-gen model. With not exactly being the fastest laptop and a few software glitches here and there, still, the laptop can easily be called as one the best in the segment if not the best. If you are an Apple fan and want a powerful laptop, save a few bucks and opt for the last-gen M1 chip Mac. It is more value for money proportion and still powerful enough than most of its competitors.