Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max review – with Pros and Cons

Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max - Full Review with Pros and Cons

Apple’s latest offering, the Apple MacBook M3 Max, is here to turn heads with its sleek design, powerful upgrades, and user-centric features. This in-depth exploration will guide you through everything you need to know, from its impressive build to its mind-blowing performance, indeed helping you decide if it’s the perfect match for your needs. Moreover, this article provides insight into choosing between the current M2 Max and upgrading to the M3 Max by expanding your budget. It helps you decide which option is best suited for you.

Apple MacBook M3 Max

Build and Quality

Starting with the Build quality, Apple stays true to its reputation for premium quality with the M3 Max. It comes with a premium aluminum metal body. The sturdy build feels comfortable in your hands, and the new fingerprint-resistant coating is a welcome addition. The appearance and design are similar to the M2 Max. These laptops are pretty heavy, tipping the scales at 1.55 – 2.16 kilograms depending on the screen size. This laptop feels a tad thicker than the older ones. The weight balance is spot on and feels good in hand. Opening the lid feels sturdy and smooth.

Design, Ports & Connectivity

The signature sleek design continues with the M3 Max, now boasting a stunning new space black color option. But the black body is not as dark as expected. It comes equipped with 3 Thunderbolt 4 USB ports(two on the left and one on the right), an HDMI port, and an SDXC card slot for seamless connectivity. While some might have preferred the latest Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 6.4, the M3 Max still offers excellent connectivity with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. You can connect up to four screens in 6K and 60FPS resolution.

Input devices

Keyboard – The M3 Max features the familiar and functional Magic Keyboard, complete with a Touch ID sensor, ambient light sensor, and multi-touch gestures. Although these features remain largely unchanged from the previous generation, they continue to deliver a comfortable and efficient typing experience.

Trackpad – The M3 Max retains the same excellent Force Touch trackpad known for its precise cursor control and pressure sensitivity. This enables a variety of functionalities like force clicks, multi-touch gestures, and even pressure-sensitive drawing, perfect for creative workflows.

Webcam – The screen’s got this tiny notch with a 1080p HD FaceTime camera. Plus, it’s got this fancy image signal processor that’s good for everyday stuff. This is ideal for professional as well as casual purposes.



Moving on to the display, this is where you’ll be mostly interacting with your laptop. Even though people won’t buy this laptop just for multimedia, Apple also covers this part in its style. Available in both 14-inch and 16-inch variants, the M3 Max boasts a stunning mini-LED display.

It comes with an impressive SDR brightness of 600 nits(20% brighter than M2 Max), an incredible HDR peak brightness of 1600 nits, and a sustained brightness of 1000 nits. This display is perfect for any type of content consumption, movie nights, and all other kinds of stuff. This gives you a theatrical feel while watching movies. Additionally, the 16-inch versions offer a display resolution of 3456×2234 pixels, while the 14-inch versions have a resolution of 3024×1964 pixels, similar to the M2 Max. Further, the display has a notch containing a 1080p HD Facetime camera other than this bezels are very less in this laptop. The display also supports seamless gaming both in low and high settings with a 120Hz refresh rate.


Moving on to Performance, it is where the M3 Max truly shines. It boasts a powerful 16-core CPU (12 performance cores + 4 efficiency cores) and a 40-core GPU, with a maximum RAM of 128GB and storage options up to a whopping 8 TB. The performance cores are for heavy tasks while the efficiency cores are used for casual tasks like browsing. This makes it ideal for demanding tasks like advanced video editing, 3D-model rendering on Blender, multitasking, and heavy gaming.

Gamers will be particularly excited about the M3 Max’s first-ever Mac hardware support for Mesh shading and Ray tracing, which significantly enhance graphics and lighting. But the catch is, there are no games available on Mac that support hardware-enabled ray tracing until now. Additionally, the new Game mode(with Low Latency) optimizes the system for a smoother and more immersive gaming experience.

Compared to its predecessor, the M3 Max demonstrates significant performance improvements. In Cine-bench 2024, it scores 142 in single-core (a 17% improvement) and a staggering 1684 in multi-core (a 60% improvement). After all, these numbers speak for themselves, consequently solidifying the M3 Max’s position as a true powerhouse. It provides all this giant power on battery without a power connection.


Talking about Speakers, the M3 Max packs a six-speaker sound system on both sides of the keyboard. Also comes with force-canceling woofers to make the sound clearer and with Dolby Atmos audio support. It has spatial audio which brings theater-like sound from the movie or video you’re watching, so that sound seems like it’s coming from all around you. This, combined with the stunning display, creates a truly immersive multimedia experience, making it perfect for both work and entertainment. The sound quality is impressive, especially the bass is deep. This setup is sufficient for various content consumption needs and everyday use.

Battery Life

Despite its immense power, the M3 Max offers up to 15 hours of web browsing and 22 hours of Apple TV playback, which is on par with the previous generation. While not a groundbreaking improvement in battery life, it still provides ample power for most tasks on the go. Nonetheless, the performance is better with the same battery life.

Software Experience

The M3 Max comes pre-installed with macOS Sonoma, featuring several exciting updates like widgets (including the ability to add iPhone widgets to the desktop), new wallpapers, a “stay-in-frame” feature in FaceTime, and an AV1 decoder for more efficient streaming and video playback. Eventually, this refined software experience ensures smooth performance for everyday use.


Looking at the storage, the base variant comes at 512GB and the top variant has 8TB, good enough for casual and professional usage. The storage type is SSD which is better than HDD-type storage. Due to this, there will be no issues in the smoothness of read & write tasks. It has high transfer speeds, which is good enough for normal day-to-day tasks.

In conclusion, if you have an M-series MacBook (M1 Max or M2 Max), it would not make a meaningful difference in your workflow if you upgrade to M3 Max. This is an ideal machine for the one who demands humongous power and needs maxed-out performance at any cost.

You may also check out the Full Review of the Apple MacBook M3 and M3 Pro here.

Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max

Nerd Score

Productivity Performance


Gaming Performance




Battery Life


Build and Design


Ports, Upgradability & Speakers


Input devices




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