Handson: The new 14inch MacBook Pro is a stunning return to form

The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models have officially arrived. I paid a visit to my local Apple Store this morning to pick up a 14-inch model, plus a few Apple Polishing Cloths (don’t ask me why). Head below for some quick first impressions after unboxing Apple’s latest and greatest MacBook Pro, which is a return to form in many ways.

My configuration

While I have used (and greatly enjoyed) the 16-inch MacBook Pro form factor released in 2019, I downsized this year to the new 14-inch model in silver. The 16-inch MacBook Pro form factor can get unwieldy pretty quickly, so this year I opted for the 14-inch, which should be far more manageable for things like travel.

Here are the specs of the machine I purchased:

  • 10-Core M1 Pro CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 1TB SSD Storage

If I were doing it over again, I would probably have opted for 32GB of RAM rather than the 1TB of SSD storage (which is a bit overkill for my needs). Nonetheless, this is the configuration I was able to get for day one pick up, and I’m pretty happy with it.

What notch?

I didn’t believe the notch rumors, so I was amazed when they turned out to be true and slightly disappointed at the notion of having a notch without the added benefit of Face ID. After a few hours with the new 14-inch MacBook Pro, I still wish Apple would bring Face ID to the Mac, but I’m not bothered by the notch at all.

The notch on the new MacBook Pro exists almost entirely inside the macOS menu bar that has been a staple for years. The way it works is that you have a 16:10 display below the notch and menu bar area. So one way to look at things is that the menu bar and notch area is pure bonus screen real estate.