Like almost everyone else, food and gadgets are two of my favourite things. Some people eat when they are hungry, and some people eat for fun. I eat whenever I can, no reason required. But choosing a menu for the day is not complex for me. If I feel like eating TWO dishes today but can reasonably eat only one, no problem! I simply order the other dish when I consume my next meal. Simple, isn’t it?
When it comes to electronics though, matters get complicated. One needs to evaluate and compare and ensure the shiny new toy meets as many of your requirements as possible. Apple has made such a decision more complex with their 14” and 16” MacBook Pro models. They have the same hardware at their core, the same types and number of connectivity options/ports, and even the same display types.
How does one solve this conundrum? Well, we shall take a deeper look at both these fantastic MacBooks and analyze if and how they differ.
The first noticeable difference is in the number of model variants – the 14” MacBook Pro has a lot more variants available across multiple regions, as compared to the 16” MacBook. While the processor options between M1 Pro and M1 Max are identical for both the systems, the 16” MacBook Pro has an additional “power boost” mode for applications such as high-resolution video processing. Power boost mode improves performance considerably and it is exclusive to 16” models. It is worth noting that the larger size of the 16” model allows usage of a bigger heat sink /fan, resulting in better cooling efficiency as compared to the more compact 14” model, allowing it to deal with the higher heating the CPU/GPU during the power boost mode.
The base model of the 14” MacBook Pro starts with an 8-core CPU, whereas the base model of the 16” MacBook Pro starts with a 10-core CPU.
The obvious difference between the two models is of course the size. The bigger chassis of the 16” model makes it a little unwieldy to carry on the move compared to the more compact 14” model. However, due to the larger size the 16” model has a better 100 W battery compared to the 70W battery of the 14” MacBook Pro. As a result, the 16” unit gives longer battery life between charges – approximately 21 hours of streaming from Apple TV+, as compared to 17 hours for the 14” MacBook Pro.
As can be expected, with the bigger battery the 16” MacBook Pro comes with a 140W charger, whereas the 14” MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger for M1 Pro with 8 core CPU and a 96W charger for M1 Pro with 10 core CPU / M1 Max CPU. The 16” model comes with a rectangular charger whereas the smaller model comes with a square-shaped charger.
On the 14” MacBook Pro, only the 96W charger supports fast charging.
Due to its bigger size, the 16” MacBook Pro weighs 500 gm. more at 4.1 KG, compared to the 3.6 KG weight of the 14” model. The 16” model offers a considerably larger touchpad compared to the 14” model.
The 16” MacBook Pro has an approximately 30% larger screen size with a resolution of 3456 by 2234 pixels, compared to a max resolution of 3024 by 1964 pixels on the smaller MacBook Pro. The larger screen and higher resolution make the 16” model a better choice for video editors, content creators and media-related professions.
The 16” MacBook Pro has slightly larger speakers as compared to the smaller model. It delivers better quality sound, more particularly better base performance as reported by several analysts and researchers.
Finally, there is a 500 USD difference between the prices of base models for 14” and 16” MacBook Pro. The smaller model starts at USD 1999/- whereas you have to shell out a minimum of USD 2499/- for the base model of the 16” MacBook Pro.
In conclusion, both the 14” and the 16” models of the MacBook Pro are superlative products that are almost identical with few but important differences. The 14” model is built to meet a particular price point and has had to make some compromises as a result – in terms of display size, sound quality (in comparison to 16”) and cooling. However, this model is much more portable due to its lower weight and size.
The 16” model delivers higher performance, longer battery life, better sound, and a bigger trackpad. It is suited for applications that demand higher processing and larger screens, typically in image /video processing.
Depending on your usage profile, you can opt for either model. What is reassuring is both these models deliver very high results in most benchmarking tests for CPU and GPU performance, video rendering, and battery performance and boast of the high-quality build standards that Apple is renowned for.