At Monday’s Apple Event, dubbed “Scary Fast,” Apple announced an updated line of 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros featuring a range of new M3 chips and Space Black chassis.
Apple now offers the 14-inch model with a base M3 processor for $1,599, the first time the 14-inch laptop has hit that low of a price. Previously, the older13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar came with the M2, while the 14-inch MacBook Pro started at $1,999 with the M2 Pro chip. The M3 Pro will still cost you $1,999, and prices go up from there for configurations with the M3 Max processors. Meanwhile, a base 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 Pro chip will have the same $2,499 starting price as its M2 Pro-equipped predecessor.
The fresh Space Black color option–which looks more like a matte charcoal gray in person–will be available on both 14- and 16-inch systems with M3 Pro and M3 Max chips and helps hide fingerprints better than the classic silver models. The rest of the laptops’ hardware will remain largely the same including features such as Apple’s 1080p FaceTime cameras and six-speaker sound systems. The one small change is that the Liquid Retina XDR displays on the new M3 MacBook Pros can now display SDR content 20 percent brighter than before with peaks of 600 nits (up from 500 nits on the previous generation).
That said, thanks to the new M3 chips, these refreshed MBPs should have some very notable boosts in performance. In general use, Apple claims a 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro is 60 percent faster than a 13-inch M1 model while still offering up to 22 hours of battery life. And if you move up to a laptop with an M3 Pro chip, you’re looking at 40 percent faster performance than an equivalent M1 Pro MBP. Finally, 14- and 16-inch M3 Max systems will support up to a massive 128GB of unified memory for improved workflows in apps like MATLAB, DaVinci Resolve and others. However, the most stunning figure is that when compared to the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pros (which date back to 2021), Apple is touting 11x faster performance for systems equipped with M3 Max chips.
Another important upgrade on the M3 chips is that they support hardware acceleration for both ray tracing and mesh shading. This could prove to be a massive improvement for gamers or people like animators and 3D modelers, who will be able to take advantage of the M3’s more efficient on-chip processing power in supported apps.
Pre-orders for all the new M3 MacBook Pro models go live today with M3 and M3 Pro systems shipping as soon as next week on November 7, with M3 Max configs slated to arrive slightly later next month. The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro will start at $1,599 ($1,499 for education) or $1,999 for one with an M3 Pro ($1,849 for education) while the 16-inch M3 Pro MacBook Pro will start at $2,499 ($2,299 for education).
Apple also introduced a new 24-inch iMac with the M3 processor, which you can read all about here.
Follow all of the news from Apple’s “Scary Fast” October event right here.