Windows laptops aren’t for everyone, especially if you’re locked into the iOS ecosystem. To that end, you might be eyeing up a shiny new MacBook as your next computer. There aren’t too many models to pick from, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a choice. Here’s our list of the best Apple laptops available right now.
See also: Best MacBook deals
Apple keeps things simple with just two lines of laptops: the lighter MacBook Air and the heavy-duty MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro comes in 13-inch and 16-inch versions as well, and we’ll touch on both configurations.
The best Apple laptops:
- 16-inch MacBook Pro
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (4 Thunderbolt ports)
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (2 Thunderbolt ports)
- MacBook Air
- 12-inch MacBook (Honorable Mention)
Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best Apple laptops regularly as new devices launch.
1. MacBook Pro (16-inch)
Apple has phased out the 15-inch MacBook Pro and replaced it with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, its most powerful laptop yet. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a beast that can handle just about anything you can throw at it — for a hefty price. Apple’s most powerful laptop can be yours from $2,399 if you skip the optional improvements.
At the base price, you’ll get a 9th-generation Intel Core i7 chip and 512GB of storage as well as the new (read old) Magic Keyboard with scissor switches. The Core i7 chip has a standard speed of 2.6GHz with turbo speeds of up to 4.5GHz for a little extra power. Apple includes 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage in the base model along with an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card.
While the base specs are nothing to scoff at, it’s pretty easy — though not cheap — to kick the Apple powerhouse into overdrive. You can swap for an Intel Core i9 chip at 2.4GHz with eight cores of power. The RAM and storage can rise all the way to 64GB and 8TB respectively, which should be plenty for nearly any task. You can beef the graphics up to AMD Radeon 5500M and top the price off at $6,099.
No matter how you configure this monster, you’ll get four Thunderbolt 3 ports, Bluetooth 5.0, and a powerful 720p front-facing webcam. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is available in Silver and Space Gray.
2. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 4 Thunderbolt ports)
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is probably the best Apple laptop for most people, regardless of the configuration. Apple has upgraded both models with the new Magic Keyboard. Also, the four Thunderbolt version is the best bet for processor junkies as it’s loaded with the latest 10th-gen Intel hardware. There are a few more key changes that boost the starting price to $1,799.
See also: The best Apple MacBook accessories
For starters, this version of the MacBook Pro comes standard with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Both can be upgraded to 32GB and 4TB respectively, and Intel Iris Plus graphics bring your work to life. You can also choose between an Intel Core i5 and Core i7 chip, the latter of which runs at 2.3GHz. Expect to shell out nearly $3,600 if you opt for the top-of-the-line configuration.
Like the larger 16-inch model, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in both Silver and Space Gray. All configurations are equipped with the Touch Bar that some people love and others hate, as well as the large Force Touch trackpad.
3. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2 Thunderbolt ports)
If you want the best budget-friendly Apple laptop with a Pro designation, the two Thunderbolt version is your best bet. It’s only equipped with 8th-generation Intel processors, but it does have the upgraded Magic Keyboard as well as the Touch Bar and Force Touch trackpad. Even better, the two Thunderbolt edition of the MacBook Pro starts at just $1,299.
As the most affordable MacBook Pro, this version ships with a base configuration including 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and the aforementioned Intel Core i5 chip. You can jump up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage for an added cost and an Intel Core i7 processor will top you off at $2,599.
If you don’t need the latest processing power but you want a MacBook Pro, this is the best Apple laptop for you. It’s available in the same standard colors as the previous options and Intel Iris Plus 645 graphics are great for streaming and light gaming on the Retina display.
4. MacBook Air
The MacBook Pro steals much of the thunder, but the Air was actually the first 13-inch MacBook to receive the Magic Keyboard and the latest Intel processors. Unlike the MacBook Pro, all three MacBook Air setups are rocking 10th-gen chips and the Core i3 version comes in at just under $1,000.
See also: 2020 Apple MacBook Air review
The Core i3 MacBook Air relies on 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD to get the job done along with Intel Iris Plus graphics. If you’re looking to splurge but you don’t want to go for the Pro, an Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage should complete your high-end machine. The top-tier configuration will jack the price to $2,249.
There are plenty of reasons to choose a MacBook Air — the slim wedge design, leaving the temperamental Touch Bar in the dust, and even the 100% recycled aluminum body. However, the MacBook Air sacrifices a bit of cooling power in favor of the slim body.
5. Honorable Mention: MacBook (12-inch)
Unfortunately, the 12-inch MacBook has gone the way of the dodo. It was a short-lived replacement for the MacBook Air that was manufactured from 2015 to 2019. If you want the absolute smallest Apple laptop around, the MacBook is still worth a look. The Intel Core m3 edition retailed at $999 but only the Intel Core i5 version seems to be available.
If you manage to find a base configuration Apple MacBook, you can expect 256GB of storage paired with 8GB of RAM and one single, lonely USB-C port. As you might have guessed, you won’t find brand-new Intel hardware either — the MacBook is rocking a 7th-gen processor. On the bright side, you can upgrade to 512GB of storage and choose from Silver, Space Gray, and Rose Gold finishes.