The Apple MacBook holds a place of its own in the laptop world, favored especially by creative souls but coveted by a large section of the computing audience. There was a time when Macs were considered useful for anyone in multimedia-oriented fields such as animation and photography.
With time, however, the number of loyalists has only gone up.
A Mac can be the perfect laptop not only for filmmakers but also for programmers, gamers, students and business people. It is an aesthetically pleasing, high-performance line-up that has established itself for superior security, stability and design.
Aficionados of Windows-based laptops often gripe about compatibility issues with some MacBooks. Also, these Apple laptops are usually expensive; it is only recently that sub-$1000 models have been launched.
However, despite these apprehensions, there are plenty of reasons to consider buying a Mac. In this article, we cover some of the choicest MacBooks you can find today along with their top selling points.
Interestingly, another feather in Apple’s cap is that the Mac line-up isn’t very crowded. With limited options to choose from, that, nonetheless, cater to a variety of needs, the amount of pre-purchase research you need to do goes down.
Why Get a MacBook?
Here are some of the top pros of a typical MacBook:
- Performance: Macs come with no bloatware, superior processors, lots of storage space, and high-performing graphics. The performance is well-suited to grueling pursuits like programming, mathematical simulation and video editing. Many users note that Macs rarely crash and are stable during use.
- The Retina display: The display on a MacBook is truly enviable, offering dazzling color accuracy, text clarity, and brightness as high as 500 nits. Many MacBooks offer a P3 wide color gamut which is a blessing for creative professionals.
- Security: Macs are less likely to attract malware or virus threats. Users report a safe experience that only gets enhanced by features like an updated security chip and touch ID.
- Resale value: If you need to change your laptop in the future, a MacBook is likely to offer you a better deal than many Windows-based laptops.
- Design: This has always been Apple’s mainstay. Lovers of aesthetics can rarely find many choices that compare to the glory of a MacBook with its sturdy chassis, stable hinges, large touchpad, and compact construction.
- Battery life: This is possibly the surprise element with a MacBook that charms users each time. The MacBook Pro 16”, a powerhouse in the truest sense of the word, can run on one charge for up to 11 hours. It is rare to find that kind of unplugged juice in a corresponding Windows laptop. Battery life can make a significant difference for users for whom travel is an intrinsic part of life.
Note: If you are a gamer, the following set of MacBooks may not be the best go-to list for you. Many professional gamers side with Windows laptops, although casual gamers should be able to get along fine with a Mac.
Our Picks: Top 3 Best MacBooks 2021
In the list below, we have covered the best Apple laptops you can find in the marketplace in 2021. They span across screen sizes and cater to different audiences, including students, multimedia professionals and business people.
Whether you want to purchase a MacBook for everyday use on the campus or engage in demanding pursuits such as multimedia production and programming, there should be something here that fits your needs.
While making a choice, it is a good idea to consider not only your usage pattern but also your budget, priorities such as portability, and overall fitment to your lifestyle.
1. Apple MacBook Pro 13 Inch – Best Budget MacBook
With a price tag of $1499, the New Apple MacBook Pro 13 Inch is the best budget MacBook you can buy.
It comes with the power of an Apple M1 Chip, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage (SSD), and a dazzling Retina display.
The 8-core GPU with up to 5x faster graphics performance, resulting in desktop-class graphics.
Further, the 500-nits monitor offers True Tone technology and 25% more colors than sRGB to realize an engaging visual experience. These specifications are well-adapted to activities like photography, video editing, gaming and coding.
To its merit, this laptop is also the best portable and powerful MacBook since it weighs only 3lbs and is equipped with a Touch Bar for enhanced productivity.
When combined with an Apple T2 Security Chip, this touch-based access creates a highly secure working environment.
A well-balanced MacBook, this device includes a Thunderbolt 3 port to facilitate rapid charging and connectivity to any peripherals or devices you may require.
It helps that this computer can run unplugged for up to ten hours and comes with a backlit keyboard with a butterfly mechanism. The resulting comfort of use makes it the best MacBook for most users.
2. Apple MacBook Air 13 Inch – Best MacBook for Students
If you are looking for the best cheap MacBook, then the Apple MacBook Air 13 Inch at $999 offers a good deal.
It is powered by an Apple M1 Chip, up to 8GB RAM, and up to 512GB SSD, and offers a bright Retina display for an immersive multimedia experience.
The monitor uses True Tone technology for color accuracy and delivers 48% more colors. The text-clarity is exceptional, making this laptop the best MacBook for college students who need to pursue reading material on their screens. During multimedia playback, too, the output is magnificent, thanks to the stereo speakers that deliver greater bass and better volume.
On the portability front, this lightweight device (2.8lbs) scores well. It offers a quiet keyboard with scissor mechanism, backlighting, and a large trackpad. Fingerprint-based access is also enabled, adding to the security delivered by the Apple T2 security chip.
This means you can work in shared settings without fretting about data breach. Finally, the aluminum-alloy chassis—100% recycled—is strong, durable and beautiful to behold.
Bonus: This computer offers pretty goof unplugged usage—up to 15 hours of wireless web. On standby, it can last for as many as 30 days.
3. Apple MacBook Pro 16 Inch – Best MacBook for Creators
This laptop comes with an Intel Core i9 CPU, 16GB RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics, and as much as an 8TB SSD; this kind of storage is among the highest in its league.
The Retina display, with 500 nits brightness and P3 wide color gamut, offers a visual experience that is truly fantastic.
If you are into pursuits like photo editing, gaming or photography, this can be the ideal computer for your needs. It is also possibly the best MacBook for video editing; you can even opt for an extra 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.
What about the sound output? Well, those into music production or game development can rejoice in the six-speaker sound system, the two force-cancelling woofers and a studio-quality three-mic array.
Thankfully, Apple has balanced its tremendous performance with an effective cooling mechanism. The revised thermal architecture includes a larger heat sink and fan blades than improve the airflow significantly. Add to that unplugged usage to the tune of 11 hours, and you have a machine that travels well in addition to being a powerhouse.
- 10 Best Windows Laptops 2021
- Top 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing 2021
- The 10 Best Laptops for College Students
MacBook Pro 16-inch vs MacBook Pro 13-inch vs MacBook Air 13-inch
With several form factors and screen sizes available in the market for MacBooks, it can be daunting to settle down on one that fits your lifestyle best. So, should you opt for the MacBook Pro 16-inch, the MacBook Pro 13-inch or the MacBook Air 13-inch? Let us make a quick comparison of the main specifications and features.
In many face-offs, clearly, the MacBook Air presents a great option. It is a budget-friendly MacBook that offers an excellent display, competent performance, lightweight build and the design brilliance for which Apple is known. It is rare to find a sub-$1000 MacBook, especially one that does not cut too many corners to achieve its affordability.
However, there are still multiple reasons to side with a Pro, too, especially if you need several ports for external display and peripherals or seek awe-inspiring sound.
For all its merits, the MacBook Air offers only two Type-C ports, which can be rather limiting. Performance-wise, too, the Pros offer higher-end processors and more memory and storage.
So, if your pursuits are as demanding as programming or video encoding, it is a smarter choice to pick a MacBook Pro.
Note that while the Air has a scintillating display, is a tad inferior to that of the Pros: an sRGB color gamut as opposed to a P3 and 400 nits brightness instead of the 500 nits offered by the 16” Pro.
This brings us to the next question: which screen size should you pick while choosing between the Pros? The larger model (16”) is a better pick, delivering unparalleled performance and storage along with long battery life and stellar connectivity.
It also supports Dolby Atmos and a thrilling six-speaker system that is a blessing for multimedia connoisseurs. The magic keyboard is another point in favour of the 16” Pro.
The experience is quieter and more comfortable than the earlier keyboard that the 13” model is still stuck with. (Interestingly, the MacBook Air also uses the all-new magic keyboard with backlighting, a large trackpad, and a Touch ID for security.)
It is interesting to note how Apple has focused on keeping its laptops portable. Even the 16” MacBook Pro, a behemoth in the realm of performance, is sleek and fairly light.
Of course, if mobility is your top consideration, the MacBook Air that weighs less than 3lbs is your safest bet. It has a reliable aluminum-alloy build that makes it perfect for travel and working on the move.
The competition in the laptop marketplace is fierce, with multiple players peddling their offerings for contemporary audiences. However, even amidst the cutthroat competition, a MacBook continues to retain an edge when it comes to performance, multimedia and design specifications.
Whether you are a student, working professional, traveler or business person, a MacBook can make things easier for you alongside adding oodles of style.
The best part is that the brand has endeavored to stay in tune with the times by packaging performance with portability; even the advanced 16” MacBook Pro is fairly lightweight and sleek enough to travel in backpacks.
MacBooks are also renowned for being committed to security, and the latest line-up remains true to this by employing T2 security chips and fingerprint-based access. You can also access high-speed Thunderbolt ports that simplify day to day connectivity needs and allow rapid data transfer.
While the Apple umbrella traditionally covers the MacBook Pro in different screen sizes, the new Air series is also promising in terms of both affordability and user experience. Depending upon your needs and budget, you can side with a good old Pro or opt for the MacBook Air to enjoy the best computing experience Apple has to offer.