The 14-inch MacBook Pro just got a new entry-level model with an M3 chip, and it ostensibly replaces the 13-inch MacBook Pro that is now discontinued. Starting at $1,599 / AU$2,699, the new MacBook Pro M3 is $400 less than the more powerful 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro, but it's also $300 more than the previous 13-incher.
So what do you get for you money? A seriously powerful laptop with a 3nm chip and breakthrough graphics technology, a brighter display and up to 22 hours of rated battery life. Here's everything you need to know about the new MacBook Pro M3 14-inch.
MacBook Pro M3 release date and price
The new MacBook Pro M3 is available to order now and the release day is November 7. The starting price is $1,599 / AU$2,699 with the M3 chip, 8GB of unified memory and 256GB of storage. You can upgrade to 1TB of storage for $1,799 / AU$2,999 and 2TB of storage for $1,999 / AU$3,599.
MacBook Pro M3 specs
|Row 0 - Cell 1
|M3 chip (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU)
|512GB, 1TB, 2TB
|14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024x1964)
|Battery life (tested)
|Up to 22 hours
|Thunderbolt 4 (x3), HDMI, MagSafe 3, headphone jack, SD memory card slot
|1080p FaceTime HD camera
|12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
MacBook Pro M3 design and ports
The MacBook Pro M3 sports an identical design to its predecessor, which means you get the same aluminum chassis with easy-to-open lid. You can choose from Space Gray or Silver for your color options, but note that the new Space Black color is reserved for the more expensive $1,999 / AU$3,599 MacBook Pro with the M3 Pro chip.
The port selection includes 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, a full-size SD Card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You'll also find a MagSafe port for charging. Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro M3 can only support one external monitor at a time; only the M3 Pro model can handle dual external displays.
MacBook Pro M3 display
The 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 display sports a similar 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with 3024 x 1964 pixels, but there's a brightness boost. Now SDR (standard dynamic range) content goes up to 600 nits of brightness, which is 20% brighter than before.
If you're watching HDR content, the MacBook Pro M3's panel is rated for 1,000 nits of sustained brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness.
MacBook Pro M3 performance
The M3 chip is the real reason to get the new MacBook Pro 14-inch, and it promises serious power and especially graphics performance. This 3-nanometer chip promises to be up to 60% faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1.
Thanks to a next-gen GPU, the MacBook Pro M3 offers a new technology called Dynamic Caching, which enables the GPU to allocate local memory in hardware instead of software in real time. The result should be better GPU utilization in pro apps and games.
Speaking of games, the new M3 GPU supports hardware-accelerated mesh shading for better efficiency for rendering complex scenes, as well as hardware-accelerated ray tracing for rendering more realistic lighting and shadows.
In terms of workloads, Apple says that render performance in Final Cut Pro is up to 60% faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 and spreadsheet performance is up to 40% faster.
MacBook Pro M3 battery life
This could be one of the most underrated features of the new MacBook Pro M3. While the M2 model was rated for 12 hours of wireless web surfing and 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback, the M3 model is rated for up to 22 hours of endurance.
We'll be running the Tom's Guide web surfing battery test on the MacBook Pro M3 to see just how long it lasts on a charge.
MacBook Pro M3 Outlook
The new MacBook Pro M3 looks like a winner on paper with its more powerful chip, brighter display and cheaper price. The up to 22 hours of rated battery life is another big plus. I'm especially excited by the graphics performance boost, though our testing will determine how much of a leap the new GPU is.
However, $1,599 / AU$2,699 is significantly more expensive than the previous $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro. Fortunately, you get a bigger and brighter display, a sharper 1080p webcam and more ports. Our full MacBook Pro M3 review will show if this premium is worth it.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.