As my almost 6 year old Windows laptop needed to be replaced, I had to decide: Windows PC or Mac? I used a Mac until 10 years ago, followed by 2 Windows devices. Due to the great current Apply laptop lineup, I decided to switch back to Mac.
I tried the 14“ MacBook Pro already in early 2022 and was impressed. In contrast to my conclusion back then I now chose the 14“ model over the 13“ model as my new laptop, mainly due to my casual photography use.
The major 14“ model benefits over the 13“ model for me:
- The screen of the 14“ model is exceptional. Color representation and sharpness is simply great, as a bonus you can enjoy HDR video content as well (my laptop doubles as our household‘s TV).
- A simple but welcome thing is the integrated SD card slot, which is convenient for transferring photos from the camera.
- The price difference between 13“ and 14“ was only about 15% in the configurations interesting for me - given the 14“ model is simply the higher quality device.
I went for a 14” Apple MacBook Pro with base M1 Pro and extended the RAM to 32GB. It‘s my learning from almost every computer I bought in my life: Purchase double the RAM you think you need in the beginning, you‘ll need it in a few year‘s time. This is especially crucial if the RAM is not extendable as in many current devices by Apple and others.
My overall impression of the MacBook Pro after one and a half months is very good.
The build quality is great, I like that they chose a more robust and solid build over the thinnest possible design.
I also enjoy the battery life of several days in my personal use. While I mainly used laptops plugged-in before, I almost exclusively use the MacBook Pro on battery power. It does not compromise performance and lasts long, so it’s absolutely practical to run it like a tablet or a phone.
The performance does not need to be discussed especially, it is simply great (in my use for photo editing and normal web use). Last time I ran a Lightroom export test with the M1 Max model against other devices. I repeated the test with my M1 Pro model, the exact same export is now even consistently faster - there must have been additional software improvements in the meantime. I never experienced any performance-related hiccups in any tasks I did on my device. So, measured and perceived performance is exceptionally good with a lot of headroom for more challenging tasks and applications.
My overall conclusion is simple, the 14“ MacBook Pro is the best laptop I have ever used. I am confident that it will serve well as part of my lean & high quality casual photography setup in the years to come.