The very first reviews of Apple's brand new MacBook Pro are in, and the results all tell the same story. Armed with the new M3 chip, and especially the M3 Max, the new MacBook is Apple's most potent ever and the record shows that with these initial reviews. There's also some love for the entry-level M3 MacBook Pro, a newcomer in this year's line-up. Here's a roundup of what people are saying so far.
"This thing is a beast — in pretty much every sense. It’s a big, heavy, powerful system, with a bright display, massive battery life and impressive power under the hood." TechCrunch's review describes the new 13-inch M3 Max as "a desktop among laptops"
"Max power for creators," CNET says the new MacBook Pro is very fast, with an excellent screen, and great battery life. However, drawbacks include its weight and a slightly disappointing webcam. Their multicore tests show absolutely insane gains for the M3 Max, especially in Geekbench 6 and Cinebench 2024 CPU multicore tests, which show performance gains of more than 30% over the M2 Max Mac Studio. More impressively, the Cinebench 2024 GPU single core test reveals more than double the performance from M2 Max to M3 Max.
"Staggeringly fast and future-proof," Independent marked the new MacBook Pro up for its "super-fast performance" and great battery life, but like pretty much everyone else noted it's steep price tag.
"The MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3) is the latest and greatest version of Apple's powerful prosumer laptop. With a choice of the new M3 Pro or M3 Max chips, and support for up to 128GB unified memory, this is an incredibly powerful laptop that's ideal for heavy workloads, especially graphically intensive ones. With a boosted GPU coupled with macOS Sonoma's Game Mode, this is also the first MacBook we'd recommend as a gaming device. At this price it won't be for everyone, but it's an incredible bit of tech."
"The MacBook Pro 14-inch with M3 chip delivers blistering performance and an even brighter display along with surprisingly robust graphics and super-long battery life. And at $1,599, it’s relatively affordable. However, Windows systems in this price range are better for gaming, and you get one less port than the pricier M3 Pro MacBook."
On the new base-model 14-inch M3, Tom's Guide notes the big jump and excellent display, but marked it down for having fewer ports and no Space Black Option compared to M3 Pro.
"Apple’s 16-inch M3 Max MacBook Pro crams Ultra-level speed into a laptop."
Back to the base model M3, The Verge says the new model is "exactly as expected" but blurs the line between Air and Pro more than ever.
As you can tell, the new MacBook is absolutely blazing fast. Just silly levels of performance. However, everyone reviewing the 16-inch model has an M3 Max model worth upwards of $4,000. Two things then, are abundantly clear from these early reviews. M3 delivers performance the likes of which we've never seen before, but you're going to have to pay through the nose to get it.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9