Apple follows a very specific pattern when it comes to upgrading their MacBooks and releasing new models with different screen sizes. Choosing the best MacBook for a first-time buyer can seem daunting due to the large number of products available on the market and the different configurations available.
When you are about to buy your next Apple laptop, you should not just be spending thousands of dollars, as it is important to get your money's worth. Also, unless the type of tasks you perform requires the most storage space or the most expensive graphics chip, you can save your hard-earned money and invest in other accessories.
Let us explore the most popular MacBooks available in 2019, new and old models, as well as the reasons why a particular product is best in its class.
See also: Top Best Mac Accessories
Best lightweight MacBook for students
MacBook Air 2018 Edition
The MacBook Air suddenly became a poster child, even though it had been left behind for many years without a new upgrade. The older model had a low resolution display and an underpowered processor with a display with large bezels. Apple officially refreshed the range towards the end of 2018 during an event organized in October.
The MacBook Air 2018 Edition is one of the most attractive laptops you can buy in 2019 if you can afford to pay the high price. But it's not that expensive considering that most new models easily last between three and five years, which gives you a sufficient return on investment. The new laptop is available in three different colors, including Space Gray, Silver and Gold.
Among the three colors available, the Gold version stands out and is very elegant with thin glasses. The updated model is thinner, weighs less and is a compact choice for students in their daily work. In terms of display size, it displays a 13.3 inch screen that offers excellent resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The Retina screen, present in many Apple products, was finally transferred to the MacBook Air after four years of delay.
Students and people who travel a lot always expect the best battery life. The product shines in this area as it promises and offers excellent battery life 12 to help you get through the day. Hardware product specifications work for most users, unless you edit videos and play games. It is powered by an Intel 1.6 GHz Amber Lake processor associated with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
The Thunderbolt port on this laptop is quite powerful, it has two, and surprisingly there is also a headphone jack. The screen is magnificent and the manufacturing quality of the product is up to what one would expect from Apple. If you don't want to spend more on a MacBook Pro and are looking for an ordinary laptop with good battery life, the latter is a smart choice.
What makes the MacBook Air 2018 the best MacOS laptop for students and travelers?
- It has a solid 12 battery life
- The Retina display is fantastic and the ports are powerful enough to use external GPUs or power 4K monitors.
- Apple MacOS enthusiasts who have been waiting for a refreshed MacBook Air for a long time can opt for it and it's more than 200 than the 2015 model, but it's worth it.
Best MacBook for Professionals
MacBook Pro edition 13 inch 2018 inch
The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018 edition is an extremely powerful laptop packed in a compact size. While the 15-inch model offers more screen, this choice is ideal for those looking for an easier moving solution. In addition, it costs a little less than the larger model, even if the laptop is not cheap, far from it. The Pro tag is sold at an exorbitant price of $ 1,800, which should prompt many buyers to think twice; but for professional designers and office workers, this should be a good choice.
In terms of hardware specifications, the Pro edition has a 13.3-inch screen with 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. The increased resolution guarantees a higher pixel count, around 227 pixels per inch, according to Apple. The specifications and the size of the display remain almost identical for all models, but the highest price indicated corresponds to the model with the touch bar. If you are planning to buy a new MacBook Pro in 2019, you should definitely consider the tactile edition, as it is without feeling primitive in a short period of time.
A powerful variant, the MacBook Pro 2018 edition is optimized by an Intel i2.3 quad-core GHz 5 processor. The processor will be coupled with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage so that all your processes are in zippy mode. Buyers have the option of increasing the configuration on an i7 processor and adding up to 2 TB of SSD storage, which will dramatically increase the price of the product. However, if you really need to store files when editing videos, audio files or other high resolution images, this becomes a necessity.
The connectivity aspect of the Pro version is good because it has four Thunderbolt ports to connect all your devices and it is powerful enough to display the display on an external monitor with 4K resolution. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting your devices and enjoying music, but it is more for professionals. You obviously need it to edit video and music files. Fortunately, Apple did not choose to remove it, as it did in all of its iPhones and iPad in 2018. When you spend a small fortune on the MacBook Pro, you also have the option of buying an iMac instead of having a more powerful office configuration, but it all depends on personal preferences and your professional requirements.
What Makes the MacBook Pro Compact and Powerful Business Laptop?
- The laptop has a compact 13 inch screen
- It houses a powerful i5 processor associated with SSD storage and has a touch bar as well as several Thunderbolt ports for easier connectivity.
- professional video and audio editors, designers who need a compact laptop for on-the-go editing, even if it's an expensive option when you go completely i7 with 2 TB of storage
The most powerful MacBook Pro with a bigger notch
MacBook Pro edition 15 inch 2018 inch
Before you start drooling over the hardware specifications and the great product of the 2018 MacBook Pro edition, it's important to know that it's not for everyone. Apple knows this very well, which is why they have pushed the price of the product to unprecedented levels that most people will not be able to buy it, even if they are willing to allocate a small percentage of their salary.
The 15-inch model is one of the best because it has a much larger notch. With the larger Retina display, you will have the freedom to make full use of Apple's video and audio editing software. The resolution combines a larger screen allowing professional designers to use as many tools or plug-ins as necessary to carry out their task. For the average person, pricing or hardware specifications may not make sense at all.
If you are a big fan of games or video editing, know that the new model is powered by a dedicated graphics card. Apple chose AMD, the company known for integrating its graphics cards on a chip and allowing manufacturers to create the thinnest products transparently. The hardware specifications start with the 15.4 inch display which shows a resolution of 2880x1800p. The resolution is more than enough to manage 4K monitors if you plan to connect an external display using the Thunderbolt port.
Under the slim and elegant metal case, the MacBook Pro runs on an Intel i2.2 7 GHz processor of the basic model, combined with 16 GB of DDR4 memory and 256 GB SSD storage. When you are going to spend more than two dollars on a laptop, it does not make sense to have such a limited storage space and most buyers would opt for 1 TB or 2 TB of SSD. It is time to hold your breath as you can go up to 4 TB of SSD and the cost of conversion will be normal.
One of the main advantages of using the 15 inch Pro model is that it is powered by a dedicated Radeon Pro 560X graphics card on the high-end variant. The graphics card allows you to play videos, music and graphics files with the shortest processing time possible. It can also be configured on Radeon Pro Vega 16 and excels in connectivity service with four Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack.
What makes the 15-inch MacBook Pro a great choice for pros?
- It has an AMD ddie graphics card
- The storage space can go up to 4 TB and optimizes the resources you spend for the product with powerful specifications.
- Creative professionals who don't hesitate to spend more than two thousand dollars to be able to work on the move with the most powerful MacOS laptop
Best MacBooks with 12-inch Notch
12 inch MacBook Edition
The range of the best Apple MacBooks could go a long way, as the company added new models in late 2018, and older models are still available in stores. Those interested in purchasing a cheaper MacBook Air or the newer, more powerful Pro edition will be spoiled for choice. While the market is already filled with several Apple laptops in a range of different specifications and prices, there is one more that you should be aware of.
MacBook 12-inch which is neither Air nor Pro but which is available from the company at a similar price. It is not clear if this will be available in the coming years, but you can now buy it in store. The model has the smallest screen, which can attract many people who want a productive tablet with a full keyboard to get things done. If you send a lot of emails, write, work at the office, and if you travel a lot, it might tick all the right boxes.
Some of the unique and highlighted aspects of the 12 inch model include its extremely light design, as it weighs less than 1 kg. You will hardly feel its weight when you use it for long hours during a flight or in class, taking notes. The SSD ensures that it continues to be the most responsive product of all and you can do it comfortably without worrying about corrupting your hard drive or the important data stored there.
For most users, the entry-level model powered by an Intel Core m3 processor is more than enough. It can easily handle emails, browsing and other computer work without cracking. Apple also offers more recent models that use an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, but there is no need to push the pricing any further as this could bring it closer to the MacBook Pro 13 models. The device can last several 10 hours on a single charge and the battery life is long enough for most users for daily use.
What makes the 12-inch MacBook the perfect choice?
- The compact size of the screen allows you to travel easily
- It has a reliable 10-hour battery that should easily last an entire day
- Laptop is exceptionally light and easier for continuous use
- Frequent travelers, students and office users who use their laptops daily for basic computing can comfortably use the lightweight, easy-to-use 12-inch MacBook.
An affordable professional model for creative professionals
MacBook Pro edition 13 inch 2017 without touch bar
The Touch Bar has received mixed reviews since its launch. While some users claim that this blends in perfectly with their daily work, some argue that the extra cost and the unintuitive bar detract from the overall experience. Whatever the intention, you can definitely opt for the 13-inch MacBook Pro model launched in 2017 and which still works because it costs much less than the most recent variant.
The MacBook is quite powerful because it runs on the latest Intel i5 processor. Pricing is the same as the 12-inch MacBook, but the benefit you get is a notch bigger. It sports a 13.3 inch screen which offers more screen and will allow you to see a lot in the available space. Apple has already upgraded its MacBook Air and the future of this product remains mysterious.
For buyers, it offers some advantages, such as better hardware, a larger screen and battery life at the same price as a MacBook. The Intel i3 processor clocking at 5 GHz, combined with a graphics card and RAM 2.3, will allow future professionals to modify videos or sounds according to their needs. Storage isn't the best as you only get the 8 GB SSD in the entry-level model and an external hard drive is required if you want the job done.
Most users will never notice the lack of a contact bar, especially if you've never used one before or if it's the first MacBook you buy to work on the go. Pricing remains onerous and Apple may offer a discount in the near future. You get a bigger screen and much more powerful internal hardware with this model with limited ports. If it meets your needs, you should do it.
What makes the 2017 13-inch MacBook model economical?
- The screen is larger than the 12-inch MacBook and measures 13.3 inches
- For the same price, you get rid of the touch bar, but you get a more powerful Intel i5 processor with a graphics card
- Users who don't have heavy use of the touch bar and need a bigger screen with more powerful specifications can get a full set with the MacBook Pro 2017
Best MacBooks with USB A Ports and SD Card
MacBook Air 2017 Edition
The MacBook Air has already become a traditional laptop since it was launched almost four years ago. Surprisingly, Apple, which decides to end the iPhone X within one year of its launch, sells the old machine with some minor upgrades. The processor, the big boxes and the general appearance of the product are now quite old, especially if you want to compare it directly with the MacBook Air 2018 edition.
However, there are still some things with this laptop that people might like. ThunderBolt ports are the future, but being an older product has its advantages. An SD card and a ddi port are always available on this Air. The advantage is that photographers and others who can use it in their DSLR cameras save files, send them, or browse photos or videos they have recently captured.
Another solution would be to buy an external card reader compatible with the ThunderBolt, but again, many Apple fans are annoyed by the number of additional devices they have to carry. It also has the old USB A port, which allows you to connect USB keys from the past, still used in many places and which should be useful to you. In short, this is one of the best MacBooks you can buy to use external storage devices and which will also allow you to use any hard drive or other accessory you already own with old USB inputs.
Another important point that remains to be discussed is the keyboard used in the past in the MacBook Air. The 2017 edition contains one of the best keyboards you can own which is amazing to type, navigate and use. It should also last much longer, as the new butterfly keys have many complaints about their fragility. Instead of trying to buy this model from the Apple Store which will charge you a standard $ 999 for the base model, you can easily find many deals with local dealers and stores that would sell you a new version for a lot less expensive.
The design and build quality of the 2017 MacBook Air edition is still intact, even if it will look old in two years. It already is, but if you can get it for a good price and use the old ports available, you are definitely ready for a great experience. In addition, you can always upgrade it to the new Air or just use it as a secondary MacOS laptop with a Windows machine.
What makes the MacBook Air 2017 Edition relevant to modern buyers?
- Existing ports, such as USB A and SD drives, are something you can't find in any of the new devices
- It is slightly cheaper, has a sturdy build quality, and uses one of the best keyboards you can find in a laptop.
- Professionals who still need existing ports and who like to pay a little less for the old model can opt for this one
On a final note
Apple, as a brand, offers the best experience in terms of software, manufacturing quality of their hardware and exceptional support for bug fixes and release of updates. To get into the Apple ecosystem, you can choose one of the best MacBooks offered by the company, but be prepared to spend a premium.
MacBook prices start at $ 999 and go up to $ 2,799 or more, depending on the configuration and model you choose. The 2018 models released are the smartest choice for those looking to use them for the long term and who need a reliable, powerful and compact laptop to do their job well.
Choose Pro models only if you are a professional designer working with video, audio or graphic files. The investment you make is optimal when you create content for the masses. The MacBook Air 2018 edition is a great choice for most professional users and students, while the high-end Pro models with 4TB storage are mainly aimed at those who can afford it and need to work on demanding content.