Reliable, Trusted and Stylish – We Review The Best Rated MacBooks
Selecting the right Mac laptop isn’t easy, with three core models and four versions of the MacBook Pro – Apple’s most powerful and versatile laptop – to choose from. Given that you’ll likely pay more for a MacBook than a competing model from HP, Dell, or even Microsoft, it’s important to weigh your options. Here, we’re going to break it down for you, so that you get the right machine for your requirements.
Apple essentially now has six laptops to choose from: MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (13 and 15 inch screen), and the same 13 and 15 inch MacBook Pro, equipped with a Touch Bar for usability, and Touch ID for a biometric security level. Mac laptops generally come with a minimum of 10 hours WiFi web browsing and/or iTunes video streaming, and as always, it pays to buy as much processor and RAM, preferably 16GB and up, as you can afford.
First introduced in 2015 and re-released in 2017, this is Apple’s core Mac laptop. There are three base models to choose from:
1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3
1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
You then have the option of 8GB or 16GB memory, and a hard drive of either 256GB or 512GB. All the models are nicely slimline and light, making this an ideal choice for students.
Cheaper than the MacBook, it has a 13’’ screen, and despite its name the MacBook is actually lighter than the Air. There are two core models available:
This device, due to sticking with the 2015 processor, isn’t suitable for gamers, or anyone who needs a high performance Mac. But would fulfill the requirements of students who want a cheaper Mac for studying, unless you are taking a computing, games or video course.
Ideal for professionals, gamers, developers and designers, the Pro is the workhorse of the Apple stables. There are several options with this laptop:
MacBook Pro – 13.3-inch – 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
MacBook Pro – 13.3-inch – 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
MacBook Pro – 15.4-inch – 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz
MacBook Pro – 15.4-inch – 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
Memory sizes range from 128GB to 1TB for the 13 inch, and 256GB to 1TB in the 15 inch version. Since the Pro processor is a quad-core, it’s significantly more powerful than the others – not that the others aren’t powerful, they just aren’t as powerful as a top-of-the range Pro.
Here’s our take on the best selling MacBooks around.
With Retina display, and Touch ID security options, this 15’’ MacBook Pro is a top-of-the-range machine. Four Thunderbolt 3 ports provide an awesome range of possibilities. True Tone technology, 32GB and Apple’s 8th Generation Intel 6-core make this a force to be reckoned with. It also has a jaw dropping SSD speed of 3.2GB/s, Touch Bar, and Radeon Pro discrete GPU for impressive graphics.
What We Like
This is a super impressive Mac. With unrivaled image quality, and the ability to render in ultra fluid, real time performances, it’s a must for designers, developers, and, of course, gamers. Apple have stepped their already admirable security up a notch by adding their T2 chip – which includes a secure enclave coprocessor, and brings the ever helpful, and always delightful Siri along for the ride. With Apple’s usual thoughtfulness, everything here is customizable, allowing greater productivity.
We can’t rate this machine highly enough – it has everything we could ever want, and more!
What Needs Improving
For some reason best known to themselves, Apple doesn’t include the extension cord for the power adapter anymore. We bought one for next to nothing, so it hasn’t stopped us.
Impressively powerful, unbelievably fast and invincibly secure!
Apple MacBook Pro (15" Retina, Touch Bar, 2.2GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - Space Gray (Latest...
- Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology
- Touch Bar and Touch ID. Line voltage- 100V to 240V AC. Frequency- 50Hz to 60Hz. Operating altitude- tested up to 10,000 feet. Maximum storage altitude- 15,000 feet. Maximum shipping altitude: 35,000 feet
This Air comes with a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and an SSD storage of 128GB. The display is 13’’ of LED backlit with a pretty decent 1440-by-900 resolution. With an improved battery life of 13 hours, this is an ideal machine for students.
What We Like
The Air is never going to beat the Pro on performance or power, but we like this machine for its sheer versatility and usefulness. Great for carrying around and for working on the go, the battery life is excellent for a Mac. It syncs like a dream and keeps a steady connectivity. The screen, despite not having Retina technology, is great – the colors are true to life and beautifully crisp, with smoothly efficient scrolling.
What Needs Improving
The keys can be a little loud for using in the all encompassing silence of a college library, but it’s not a deal breaker.
The Apple Air is a great machine at a decent price. Ideal for students and commuters, it’s definitely one worth considering if you need to work on the move.
- 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 Processor
- Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
- 8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory
- 128GB SSD storage
- Intel HD Graphics 6000
This is the latest model of the old favorite – the trustworthy and ultra reliable MacBook.
Beautifully slimline, it’s deceptively powerful with Apple cramming every piece of technology into its svelte frame. Intel Core m3, i5 and i7 processors and a 14 nanometer process combines pure energy efficiency with a powerful performance.
What We Like
This MacBook doesn’t need a fan to keep cool as it runs on a tiny 5w of power, making it virtually silent. With an onboard memory of 16GB, 512GB of SSD storage and a full size keyboard, this is a really useful machine, capable of anything you could throw at it. Apple’s Retina display provides over 3 million pixels, and with edge to edge glass, images leap off the screen in glorious detail. A Force Touch trackpad allows almost intuitive customization and commands – an impressive thing to behold. It’s fair to say we like this MacBook rather a lot.
What Needs Improving
It could do with a couple more ports, but it’s perfectly adequate as it stands, and with Thunderbolts decreasing in price every day, this isn’t a deal breaker.
Solidly reliable, there’s a reason why MacBooks are still top of the game, and this one demonstrates it admirably. Highly recommended.
- 1.2 GHz Dual-core Intel Core m3
- Intel HD Graphics 615
- Fast SSD storage
- 8GB memory
- USB-C port
See our other top rated reviews: