4 reasons why I prefer the MacBook Pro 14-inch over the MacBook Pro 16-inch

Macbook Pro 14-inch 2023 vs MacBook Pro 16-inch 2023
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There’s no denying that the new MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2023 are some of the best MacBooks currently available. 

While they retain the same design as their immediate predecessors, the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021, the Apple M2 Pro and Apple M2 Max chips in the new laptops make them extremely powerful.

I’ve had a few solid weeks with both new MacBook Pros and find them great overall. To be specific, I’m referring to the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch with an M2 Pro chip (10-core CPU, 16-core GPU) and 16GB of RAM and the MacBook Pro 16-inch with an M2 Max chip (12-core CPU, 38-core GPU) and 96GB of RAM. While the latter seems to have an advantage in terms of size and power, I tend to favor the 14-inch notebook for everyday usage.

Here are 4 reasons why I prefer the MacBook Pro 14-inch over the MacBook Pro 16-inch.

Same great design features 

Both MacBook Pros feature the same squared-off aluminum chassis in either Silver and Space Gray. They’re equally sturdy, great to hold and look great in any environment. The laptops also have identical ports, including three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, a headphone jack and an SD memory card slot.

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023

The MacBook Pro 14-inch is just as stylish and elegant as its larger counterpart. (Image credit: Future)

In short, I lose nothing in terms of design features by going with the MacBook Pro 14-inch. It’s effectively the same as the 16-inch version, only smaller. It also has the same ports, which is important since I like having an HDMI port built into the laptop. MagSafe is something else I like about both machines.

Then we have the mini-LED panel. The crisp 3024 x 1964 resolution and buttery smooth 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate are perfect for both work and play. Yes, the 16-inch laptop has a larger display that's arguably better for watching streaming content, but the 14-inch model doesn't disappoint — even when compared to its bigger sibling.

More portable

I’ve used a MacBook Pro 16-inch with an M1 Max chip that Apple loaned me to test games like Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky. This has been my non-work notebook for a while, and I find it easy to type on, as I discussed in my I review laptops for a living — and these have the best keyboards piece. The laptop is objectively good at what it provides but it’s not as portable as I’d like. The same is true for its current iteration. The 16-inch MacBook Pros are enormous.

On the other hand, I barely notice when I have the MacBook Pro 14-inch in my backpack because it’s so light in comparison. Yes, the MacBook Air M2 is even lighter, but when it comes to Apple’s Pro laptops, the 14-inch version is the smallest and lightest. Its greater portability also makes it easier to carry the laptop around in my apartment or at the office.

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 in hand

(Image credit: Future)

I tend to carry a lot of stuff with me, so a laptop that doesn’t add substantial weight to my backpack is preferable.

M2 Pro is powerful enough 

As I said in my review, The MacBook Pro 16-inch with an M2 Max chip is a beast. You could argue it has more power under its hood than most people need. But if you’re a professional video editor or 3D artist, Apple’s laptop should help you tear through projects and power through your workload. It’s even great for gaming, especially for titles optimized for Macs.

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MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023MacBook Pro 16-inch 2023
Starting price$1,999$2,499
Screen14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024x1964 pixels, 254ppi)16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3456 x 2234, 254ppi)
ProcessorM2 Pro (10-core CPU, 16-core GPU or 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU), with optional M2 Max with up to 12-core CPU and 38-core GPUM2 Pro (12-core CPU, 19-core GPU) or up to M2 Max (12-core CPU, 38-core GPU)
Battery size70Wh100Wh
Battery life (tested)Up to 14 hours of web surfing over Wi-Fi18:56
Storage512GB to 8TB512GB to 8TB
Memory16GB to 96GB16GB to 96GB
PortsThunderbolt 4 (x3), HDMI, MagSafe 3, headphone jack, SD memory card slotThunderbolt 4 (x3), HDMI, MagSafe 3, headphone jack, SD memory card slot
Webcam1080p FaceTime HD camera1080p FaceTime HD camera
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6EWi-Fi 6E
BluetoothBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.3
Dimensions12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches14.0 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight3.5 pounds (M2 Pro) - 3.6 pounds (M2 Max)4.7 pounds (M2 Pro) - 4.8 pounds (M2 Max)

Though I can configure a 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 Max chip, I don't require that much power for my everyday computing needs — which include web browsing, word processing and watching streaming content. I also enjoy playing the best PC games, but I can only really do that on the best gaming laptops and the best gaming PCs.

So outside of gaming, which isn’t exactly robust on Macs compared to PCs, I only need a MacBook for basic computing. To that end, the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch with an M2 Pro chip is ideal for me.


I don’t own a MacBook Pro but the latest versions have made me consider getting one of my own. The reasons I’ve listed above make the 14-inch model with an M2 Pro chip more appealing, but the real clincher will likely come down to price.

Presently, the entry-level 14- and 16-inch laptops cost $1,999 and $2,499, respectively. The 14-inch laptop isn’t exactly cheap, but a $500 difference is pretty significant. I think this is true for most people. On price alone, the MacBook Pro 14-inch is the clear winner for me.

But that's how I feel about this. If you need help deciding which premium Apple laptop to get, be sure to read our piece, MacBook Pro 14-inch vs MacBook Pro 16-inch: Which new MacBook should you buy?

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.

    Don't get me wrong. I love Macs and MacOS. Just wish I could shout from the mountain tops how truly bad they are for anyone living in humid climates.

    You can't replace components. There are, basically, two solid-state things: computer (including battery) and screen.

    And they have hectic design flaws. Butterfly keyboard, anyone?

    Had a 2019 MacBrick Pro. Cost almost a month's salary. Lasted 10 months here on the beach. And it was plagued with phantom butterfly keystrokes! So I wasn't that sad to see it die.

    Warranty claim was refused, however. Water damage, they said.

    You could clearly see the damage on the motherboard. Right on each side where they SUCK air in at the base. Rather than blow.

    I quickly bought a MacBook Air to replace it, so I could restore and continue working. That one lasted 15 months.

    And the real moral of this story is. You can't replace components in Mac 'books'. And data is virtually irrecoverable from soldered-in SSD.

    They are beautifully engineered devices for a perfect environment. But beware.