Practice: Apple's new 14-inch MacBook Pro in space black (and why I bought it)

Today I went to the Apple Store in Austin to purchase the new 14-inch MacBook Pro in Space Black. I wasn't planning on buying it, but the reviews and hands-on videos we saw earlier this week really piqued my interest. I will have longer term thoughts to share in the future, but here are some very quick practical images and thoughts.

My current Mac setup is an M1 Max Mac Studio with a 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, 1TB of storage, and 64GB of RAM. For my mobile Mac, I have a 15-inch MacBook Air with 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM.

I'm planning on teaming up with one Mac with this new 14″ MacBook Pro. Time will tell if this is a mistake, but Apple's extended holiday return window is in effect, so I have time to think it over. This move to merge onto one Mac was partly inspired by Stephen Hackett, so if I don't like it, I'll send him a bill for any financial losses I incur.

There are pros and cons to splitting up your life. between two different Mac computers. I love Mac Studio and I love having my Mac always on. I can sit in Mac Studio every day and know that everything is exactly as I left it. On the other hand, it means that your life is divided between two devices.

If I change one setting on one Mac, I'll have to remember to change it on the other. If I download one new app on one Mac, I need to be sure to download it on the other as well. iCloud Drive exists to solve some common problems in the multi-Mac lifestyle, but it's not foolproof. Several times I downloaded a file to my Mac Studio but forgot to move it to iCloud Drive and then couldn't access it on my MacBook Air.

Given this new 14-inch MacBook Pro will be my main computer – and I'm selling two different Macs to pay for it – I chose a relatively high-end configuration. I chose the M3 Max chip with a 14-core CPU, 30-core GPU, 36GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. And of course, I bought it in space black.

  • Compared to my Mac Studio, I get four more CPU cores and six more GPU cores. The additional CPU cores consist of 10 performance cores and four efficiency cores. The M1 Max in my Mac Studio has eight performance cores and two efficiency cores.
  • I bumped up the RAM, from 64GB in my Mac Studio to 36GB in the new MacBook Pro. I'm interested to see if I notice this, but I doubt I will.
  • It's only been a few hours, but I'm already excited to receive a MacBook Pro with ProMotion and a mini LED display. This is truly the best thing about the current generation MacBook Pro.
  • Space black… blacker than Space Gray, but still not quite black. I think I like the midnight color of the MacBook Air better.
  • However, the space black finish has a new anodized seal that reduces fingerprints. I'm curious to see how it will hold up over time, and I have to admit that my first impressions are pretty bad. However, I think it shows fewer fingerprints than the midnight MacBook Air.
  • I will be using this new MacBook Pro connected to my Pro Display XDR, plugging it in at the start of each day and taking it with me at the end of each day. I have an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock, which means there is only one cable that can be connected to the MacBook Pro itself.
  • Every time I go through the process of setting up Touch ID on a new Mac, I & I am reminded that Apple still hasn't introduced Face ID to Mac. Or cellular.
  • How much difference will I notice in screen size between the 14-inch MacBook Pro and the 15-inch MacBook Air?

That's all for now. I will write more about this experiment in the future, but here are some more photos. Have questions? Tell me about them in the comments.

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