Which MacBook Is Right for You?
Apple has been hard at work drastically changing each MacBook in its lineup, apart from the 13-inch MacBook Pro. With Apple offering multiple MacBooks in various configurations, it can be time-consuming to determine which laptop is perfect for your needs.
To help you out, we’ll break down each MacBook model so that you can better understand which one is the right laptop for you.
M1 MacBook Air: Best for Students
We’ll start with the M1 MacBook Air, which Apple released in November 2020. Even though the M1 version is over two years old, it still holds up in performance and battery life compared to newer models. The M1 MacBook Air is also Apple’s most affordable laptop. It starts at $999, and you can certainly find it on sale, frequently for around $799.
While it may not offer features such as MagSafe and a Liquid Retina display, the M1 MacBook Air is more than enough for students who require a reliable computer that can last all day on a charge without breaking the bank. In fact, the M1 Air is one of the best value-for-money laptops on the market.
M2 MacBook Air: Best All-Rounder
Next, we have the M2 MacBook Air, announced during WWDC 2022. The M2 version introduced a new design that resembles the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, ditching the wedge-shaped form factor for the first time. As the name suggests, it packs the second-gen M2 chip, which offers moderate improvements over the original Apple silicon processor, the M1.
Even though the chip is more powerful, the M2 MacBook Air still gets up to 18 hours of battery life, according to Apple. The price tag is also one of the best reasons to purchase the M2 MacBook Air. It starts at $1,199 for the base model, and you can get a version with a better chip and more storage for $1,499.
We highly recommend the M2 MacBook Air if you want a modern laptop that can easily handle your day-to-day tasks. However, if you want your machine to sustain heavy workloads for long durations, you may need to step up to the MacBook Pro models.
13-Inch MacBook Pro: Best Budget Powerhouse
When Apple released the M2 MacBook Air, it also brought the M2 chip to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. While it may seem like a dull and pointless update, the MacBook Pro can be a suitable laptop for certain people. But why would you buy the M2 MacBook Pro over its predecessor?
The M2 version has an 18% faster CPU and a 35% faster GPU than the already powerful M1. You also get more RAM with the M2 version, up to 24GB of unified memory, compared to 16GB of memory on the M1 version. In addition to more RAM, you still get a fan in the MacBook Pro, which will help the more powerful chip stay cool.
If you are on a budget but still want a decently powerful machine, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a great choice, especially if you’re not too concerned about the design.
MacBook Pro 14-inch: Best for Portable Power
If you need a versatile high-end machine that is still reasonably portable, look no further than the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Apple refreshed it in January 2023 with the M2 Pro chip, giving the machine even more power. You can also get up to 8TB of SSD storage and up to 96GB of RAM if you need the flexibility.
Its performance makes it one of the best laptops for video editing, so this laptop will be excellent if you are a content creator. Additionally, the 14-inch MacBook Pro offers a solid selection of ports: MagSafe, three Thunderbolt 4-enabled ports, an SDXC card slot, and HDMI 2.1.
Lastly, the 14-inch MacBook Pro features one of the best displays in laptops; the Liquid Retina XDR display, which is essentially a mini LED panel with a 120Hz variable refresh rate. Overall, you can rely on the 14-inch MacBook Pro to get your work done, and it is one of the best MacBooks Apple has ever made.
MacBook Pro 16-inch: Best for Professionals
Even though the 14-inch model offers excellent performance, there is a costlier option for professionals who want the most power while on the go; the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
It not only packs the same specs as the 14-inch model but also features High Power Mode on the M2 Max-equipped variants, which allows the fans to run faster to help cool down the machine during CPU and GPU-intensive tasks. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also has a larger display, which can be helpful by allowing you to see more of your content.
In addition to the larger screen, the 16-inch MacBook Pro offers the longest battery life of any MacBook in the lineup—up to 22 hours. So, if you don’t mind carrying a larger laptop, it’s perfect to work on while traveling. And if time is money, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is an outstanding laptop that can be a vital tool to help you get your work done efficiently.
Choose a MacBook That Fits Your Needs
It’s easy to go crazy and overspend on a MacBook, then end up not utilizing all its power. But you don’t have to spend excessive money to get a capable MacBook these days, thanks to Apple silicon. If you are a student or content creator on a budget, the 13-inch MacBook Pro or the M1/M2 MacBook Air is a perfect fit.
But for those who need a portable powerhouse to work efficiently, the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros with the higher-end M2 Pro and M2 Max chips would best suit your workflows. Now that you know about all these models, you can finally make an informed decision.