(Pocket-lint) - The Apple MacBook has had a tumultuous time since 2016: it lost most of its various ports in favour of a streamlined USB-C experience; it struggled to provide a keyboard that offered a good typing experience; while many found the Touch Bar's presence questionable.
That led to a number of competitors trying to muscle in with viable alternatives for creative professionals keen to get work done while out on the road. Apple's response? Two new MacBook Pro models with new displays, new processors, the removal of the Touch Bar, and a whole host of ports are back once more.
So has Apple righted the wrongs of its MacBook Pro recent past, or has trying to address previous trials and tribulations meant new problems have crept in as a result? We've been using the 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch, complete with M1 Pro processor, to find out...
In 2016 the MacBook Pro effectively veered off course and tried to deliver a 'pro' experience that was packaged in a more 'consumery' format - something that is still very apparent with the 13-inch MacBook Pro compared to the current MacBook Air.
But this new 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max processor sees Apple throw out the playbook it has been using since 2016 and go back to basics, back to the Mac of 2015 and before, almost as if the last few years haven't even existed.
Unlike the MacBook Pro models of recent times, this isn't a device that's merely there to enjoy surfing the web or writing the odd document - that's what the MacBook Air is for - this is a machine that wants to be pushed to the limit. If you opt to customise the configuration even further then you'll be hard pushed to hit that limit too.
However, we do have concerns that those side air vents will cause problems in the long run, are surprised there is no Face ID support in the new notch, and wish there was a SIM card slot for 5G connectivity.
Overall the 2021 MacBook Pro is one super-powered machine that we suspect many pros will be clambering to have in their creative arsenal. Because Apple has put the pro back in the MacBook Pro and found its purpose with this series once again.