- Only some MacBooks have a high refresh rate display, with the first models to offer this feature being the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models launched in 2021.
- The newer 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro variants from January 2023 also feature a 120Hz display, but the 13-inch MacBook Pro model does not.
- Having a 120Hz display on a MacBook enhances the user experience, making the interface feel smoother and more fluid, while also conserving battery life. However, Apple reserves 120Hz displays for MacBook Pro models only.
Most flagship smartphones these days offer 120Hz displays, but only some MacBoook models have high refresh rate screens. While Apple has offered high refresh rates on the iPad Pro since 2017, 120Hz screens were only introduced on the iPhone in 2021 with the iPhone 13 Pro. This was also the year that Apple unveiled its first Mac with a 120Hz display.
The first MacBooks to feature 120Hz displays, or as Apple calls it, a ProMotion display, were the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models based on M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. Launched in October 2021, these laptops feature a Liquid Retina XDR display capable of achieving a peak brightness of 1,600 nits (HDR content) and a pixel density of 254 ppi. They were also the first models to feature an iPhone-like notch on the top. Thanks to the ProMotion display, these MacBooks also saw a significant jump in battery life.
Not All MacBook Pro Models Have 120Hz Displays
The other two Macs that feature 120Hz displays are the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro variants that came out in January 2023. These notebooks run on Apple’s latest M2 Pro or M2 Max chipsets, which provide up to 12 CPU cores and up to 38 GPU cores for handling the most demanding workflows. Like the Macs from 2021, these models also offer a Liquid Retina XDR Display with a similar peak brightness and resolution. Apple also borrowed the design language from its predecessors, which includes symmetrical bezels on three sides with the iconic notch on the top.
One might think that the 13-inch MacBook Pro released in 2022 also comes with a 120Hz display, but that is not true. It runs on the less powerful M2 chip, which features a 10-core CPU and a 16-core GPU. The display’s peak brightness maxes out at 500 nits, and has lower pixel density of 227 ppi. None of the MacBook Air models feature a 120Hz display either.
Having a 120Hz display on a MacBook improves the overall user experience. It makes the user interface feel smoother. On a 120Hz display, everything from animations, to gestures, to scrolling feels more lively. Users can even change the refresh rate and set it as per their liking. Further, since the ProMotion display allows the screen to go below the 60Hz limit, it helps save battery life. Unfortunately, it appears that Apple is reserving 120Hz displays only for its MacBook Pro models, just like it does for iPhones and iPads.
Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)
The 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023 model) is powered by Apple’s M2 Pro chipset featuring a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. Combined with 16GB of Unified Memory, the notebook can handle even the most advanced editing and designing workflows. Buyers get a 120Hz ProMotion display, 18-hour battery life, and plenty of ports to connect the notebook to other devices. The 2023 MacBook Pro also features a six-speaker audio setup that produces unmatched sound.
- Space Gray
- 512GB SSD
- Operating System
- macOS Ventura
- 18 hours
- 1x HDMI, 3x Thunderbolt 4
- Display (Size, Resolution)
- 14.2-inch, 3024 x 1964