All M3 MacBook pros reviewed: Same cars, better engines


Apple M3 chip family
Apple unveiled the M3 and didn't make Mac users wait for the M3 Pro and M3 Max.
Image: Apple

To paraphrase many of the M3 MacBook Pro reviews coming out Monday, Apple’s new lineup is like new car models that look like the old ones but have much better engines under the hood.

Other than the inclusion of blazing-fast M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, reviewers made note of the new Space Black color for the M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBooks. And some poked a little fun at Apple for even having a MacBook Pro with an option for only 8GB of RAM (the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro model).

M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro review roundup

M3 MacBook Pro

It seems no one will miss the 13-inch MacBook Pro with its much-maligned Touch Bar. A review of the M3 MacBook Pro that replaces it, from The Verge, echoes that sentiment.

The M3 MacBook packs the least-powerful chip of the three new models (though it’s about as fast as claimed) as well as lower memory and storage options and a lower price of $1,600. For many users, that model will work great.

CNN also reviewed it, finding its performance boost most welcome while some other attributes fall a little short.


  • Great performance for entry-level machine
  • 18% – 20% faster than 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro
  • Long battery life
  • Quiet even during intense tasks


  • Starts with just 8GB of RAM (not great at $1,600 price).
  • Loses one Thunderbolt port (has 2, not 3).
  • You can’t get it in Space Black.
  • Even though this model has the new Dynamic Caching, go to a higher-spec model for better gaming.

M3 Pro MacBook Pro

The top two new MacBook Pro models now come in a space black aluminum finish.
The top two new MacBook Pro models now come in a Space Black aluminum finish.
Photo: Apple

For the two higher levels of MacBook Pro — the 14- and 16-inch M3 Pro and M3 Max machines — reviewers rejoiced in both performance metrics and in the new Space Black color. TechCrunch seemed doubtful about Apple’s claims the new color isn’t a fingerprint magnet.


  • Blazing speeds
  • Excellent battery life
  • 3 Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of 2
  • Dynamic Caching means better gaming.
  • Space Black!


  • Space Black might be a fingerprint magnet like the Midnight Blue MacBook Air.
  • 16-inch version isn’t the best travel companion.
  • No major design or feature changes since 2021.
  • Expensive

M3 Max MacBook Pro

CNET, Ars Technica and MacWorld offered in-depth reviews testing out the M3 Max MacBook Pro.

Given the high prices of Apple’s top laptops, for many folks the question of whether to upgrade so (relatively) soon after buying a high-end M1 or M2-powered machine will be tough to answer.

“But as someone with an M1 Max Mac Studio from only a year and a half ago, uh … the M3 Max is so much faster that it’s making even me question my upgrade cycle,” said Jason Snell on his blog Six Colors.

But as some reviewers implied, it’s worth it if you need the speed.

“Returning to my M1 Max Mac Studio, I started a CPU-intensive podcast transcription task and wondered why it was taking so long,” Snell added. “I had already gotten used to the speed of the M3 Max for intense tasks like that.”


  • Incredible CPU performance that can match and even outrun M1 Ultra and come close to M2 Ultra.
  • Great GPU performance (but it understandably tends to fall short of Ultras due to lower core count).
  • Worth the price if you need the speed.
  • 3 Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of 2
  • Dynamic Caching means better gaming.
  • 128GB storage


  • Very expensive at higher specs.
  • No big design or feature changes since 2021.

Watch video reviews:


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