The best MacBook: Which Apple MacBook laptop should you buy?

The best MacBook: Which Apple MacBook laptop should you buy?

By Fox Van Allen, Michelle Uy

/ Essentials

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The Apple MacBook laptops are well-known for combining power and a robust build in a sleek and minimalist form factor. They're not only capable enough for content creators with demanding needs, but also built to last, thanks to their solid aluminum body. Meanwhile, the macOS inside offers a seamless environment for smooth, time-efficient workflows.

Top products in this article:

Best 13-inch MacBook Pro deal: 13" Apple MacBook Pro, $1,215 (reduced from $1,299)


Best MacBook Air deal: Apple MacBook Air, $1,148 (reduced from $1,249)


Great 16-inch MacBook Pro deal: 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro, $2,450 (reduced from $2,499)


Although the rumored 2022 versions of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro haven't made an appearance at the Apple Spring Event, it can still be tricky choosing from the current MacBook models available now. That's especially true for people who aren't familiar with these Apple laptops.

The good news is, whether you're a casual user or a professional, you can find an Apple MacBook that's a good fit for your needs. And you have us to steer you in the right direction. To help you choose the best Apple MacBook for your needs, we have rounded up the newest MacBook models for comparison as well as found the best MacBook deals available right now.

Apple MacBook Air: $994 and up

The Apple MacBook Air, the Cupertino company's entry-level MacBook, is a great option for a basic, day-to-day laptop computer. With a 13.3-inch Retina display and a weight of 2.8 pounds, it's the lightest and most portable of the MacBooks. Yet it still retains a premium feel, with an aluminum body (in silver and space gray) and backlit keyboard. It's powered by Apple's snappy M1 chip, so it will see you through basic photo editing and light video editing. That's especially when you upgrade from the base model to a higher-end configuration. Its battery also lasts up to 18 hours.

If you're mainly using a laptop to browse the web, edit spreadsheets, take notes in class, watch YouTube or communicate on Zoom, the base configuration with 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of SSD storage is more than enough to meet your needs.

The best MacBook: Which Apple MacBook laptop should you buy?

Apple MacBook Air (Apple M1, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD), $994 (reduced from $999)


Apple also sells an upgraded version of the MacBook Air with an 8-Core GPU (as opposed to a 7-Core GPU) and 512 GB of SSD storage. This is slightly better suited for more graphics-intensive tasks such as photo editing and graphic design, but if you're considering it at that price, know you'll likely be better off upgrading to the identically priced MacBook Pro 13-inch.

Apple MacBook Air (Apple M1, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD), $1,148 (reduced from $1,249)


13" MacBook Pro: $1,215 and up

A step up from the MacBook Air, the slightly weightier (3.0 pound) 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with some nice additional features. It boasts a powerful active cooling system, which helps keep the 8-Core GPU running fast, plus up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, and a brighter Retina display. And instead of physical function keys at the top of the backlit keyboard, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a dynamic Touch Bar that changes based on what program you're using.

Like the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with 8 GB of memory and 256 GB SSD storage. It's a more powerful machine than the MacBook Air, so it's better suited for photo and video editing on the go as well as some light gaming.

13" Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD), $1,215 and up (reduced from $1,299)


If you need a MacBook Pro with a little bit more storage space, Apple also sells a version with a 512 GB SSD drive for $200 more.

13" Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Chip, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD), $1,349 (reduced from $1,499)


14" MacBook Pro: $1,949 and up

The latest model to join the MacBook Pro line, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a couple of levels above the 13-inch model. This is where the line cements its pro status, with either an M1 Pro or an M1 Max powering it as well as a variety of ports that creative professionals rely on (including an SDXC card slot) and a 3024 x 1964 Liquid Retina XDR display. Speaking of the display, it boasts 1,600 nits peak brightness, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, and P3 wide color gamut -- features that a video editor would greatly appreciate.

A 14-inch Apple MacBook Pro powered by an M1 Pro chip with 8‑core CPU and 14‑core GPU is the current base configuration, and it comes with 16 GB of memory and 512 GB of storage space. This should offer plenty of power for creative professionals looking for a portable that can handle their lighter workloads while on-the-go.

14" Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Pro, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD), $1,949


Need something with more processing and graphical power as well as more storage space for your large files? The 14-inch Apple MacBook Pro with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16 GB of memory and 1 TB SSD storage may be better suited for you.

14-inch Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Pro, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD), $2,429


16" MacBook Pro: $2,450 and up

The 16-inch MacBook Pro's bigger form factor allows it to have a bigger Liquid Retina XDR display, which is a boon for content creators who want to simplify their workflow. Having more screen real estate means you can spread out and have your tools more readily accessible. This premium MacBook Pro comes with a lot of power, with either an M1 Pro or an M1 Max powering it and up to 64 GB of memory. That's more than enough power to edit 8K videos. You also get three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port and a SDXC card slot -- another benefit of its larger size.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro, with its larger screen and more powerful guts, is aimed at professionals who need a seriously powerful laptop that can handle graphics-intensive applications such as video rendering and CAD with ease. Just bear in mind that it also has a professional-level price tag.

16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Pro, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD), $2,450 (reduced from $2,499)


If you want an even more premium MacBook experience, you can upgrade to an Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 32 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD storage for a few hundred more.

16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Pro, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD), $2,890


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First published on February 25, 2022 / 8:04 AM

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