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Best MacBook and Macs Built For Power and Affordability

Before we delve into finding the best MacBook and Mac money can buy right now, let us make it abundantly clear that we have nothing against any other laptops or PCs. From OS preferences to optimization levels, and from the aesthetic choices to the flexibility of use, each has their own.

It does look straightforward when you come across something like the MacBook Pro 2018. But these are the days when Apple laptops have a larger range of choices available to you than ever before. Not only that, everyone doesn’t have the buying capacity needed to purchase the best Mac computers or laptops at the offer.

Picking The Best MacBook As Well As Mac Models

In our testing for the top products, we were able to pick not only the most premium Mac laptop you can buy but also the most affordable, albeit one year older, MacBook Air 13 Inch laptop. As you will get to learn, the enormous difference of price between our two top picks is based on a number of factors.

For instance, the level of connectivity offered by the device, as well as the power that it hosts. Since ease of use and speed both are the deciding factors, it will matter if there is a Thunderbolt 3 / USB C port or a Thunderbolt 2. You will also make similar choices between processors like 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 (Kaby Lake) and the superior 1.3GHz Kaby Lake Core i5.

Additionally, the amount of flash offered as well as the screen resolution and display size can hike up the prices phenomenally for Apple MacBook models.

Premium Mac Book

Premium Mac Book

MacBook Pro 2018

Raw power, ruthless pricing.

The MacBook Pro 2018 is the latest and greatest from the Apple MacBook line up, that actually competes with some of the Macs on sale. At the least, you will get a 512 GB SSD and a 16 GB RAM. Oh, and its powered by an 8th gen processor!

While you can get even better specs in the MacBook Pro 2018 too, you will only need to go there if your work involves some serious processing power. Other than that, even the basic variant is as good as any.

Affordable Mac Book

Affordable Mac Book

MacBook Air 13 Inch 2017

As cheap as it gets!

We know it is an older version and not with the most high-end specifications, but the MacBook Air 13 Inch is still a satisfactory performer and as cheap as a worthy MacBooks can get.

For a couple of hundred bucks less than $1000, you can bring home a super fast 128 GB SSD coupled with an 8 GB RAM powering 1.8-GHz Intel Core i5, albeit 5th gen. This is the best MacBook for people who are on an ultra-tight budget.

MacBook Air 2018

best MacBook Air 2018

So you do want a MacBook on a budget but don’t want to buy an older model like the MacBook Air 2017? For a couple of hundred dollars more, the newer MacBook Air is exactly what you need. At a little over $1000, this is still affordable given that it doesn’t miss out on the Retina Display, and also has a better design.

The strikingly thin bezel gives it a more upgraded look deserving of the new Butterfly Keyboard of Apple as well as the new color choices. The ports aren’t as plentiful as they were in the older MacBook Air 13 inch, but you also get Touch ID. At the most basic levels, it is powered with an 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD.

While the aforementioned specs aren’t huge, and some might worry about storage issues, Apple does make you rely a lot on Cloud these days. Make use of that and the MacBook Air 2018 will not disappoint. But not having bigger hardware storage is, nonetheless, one of the drawbacks.

Additionally, there is the bump in price that the Apple laptop came with after being upgraded for 2018. As compared to our most affordable pick, it will make you spend a few hundred dollars more. If that is not a problem, we don’t see why you’d need to skip a newer, better version of the MacBook Air for an older one.

Technical Specifications:

  • CPU: 8th Gen Y-Series Intel Core i5
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB
  • Display: 13.3-inch (2,560 x 1,600) Retina display, Backlit LED, IPS
  • Storage: 128GB – 1.5TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
  • Ports: 2x Thunderbold 3, Headphone Jack
  • Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds

Pros

  • Very good looking design
  • Satisfactory power
  • Touch ID and other newer features

Cons

  • Costs more than the predecessor
  • Only 128 GB SSD

Apple iMac Pro

Apple iMac Pro best macbook

We figured it would make the research full circle if we included a choice of desktop Mac computers for those who might want one. On that front, the Apple iMac Pro is not only the most high-end choice you can make but also the most demanding one.

With processor choices and RAM levels that are literally unparalleled so far, all your multi-core processing jobs will look like a walk in the park. This is the go-to model for space engineers to videographers since it was released in 2017. Thanks to a large 27-inch screen that packs a 5K display and wide color gamut flaunting P3, the display is the most accurate we have come across.

The basic iMac Pro model comes with eight cores and a gigantic 32 GB RAM that can be upped to 128 GB! There is a 1TB SSD too as well as an 8GB Pro Vega 56 card. All in all, this is something you’d want to keep as your workstation for a good long time since Apple might not need to release an upgrade for a while now.

So what is the problem here? Even the basic iMac Pro starts from $5000, and you could buy six MacBook Air 13 inch laptops for that. So the question is whether you really need such a professional grade Mac computer or not.

Technical Specifications:

  • CPU: 8 – 16 core Intel Xeon W
  • Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 56 – Radeon Pro Vega 64
  • RAM: 32 – 128GB DDR4 ECC
  • Display: 27-inch 5K (5,120 x 2,880) Retina display (P3 wide color)
  • Storage: 1TB – 4TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
  • Dimensions: 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm

Pros

  • Good Value for Money
  • On The Go Wifi
  • Satisfying Quality of Print

Cons

  • High Cost of Printing
  • Bulky in Size

MacBook Air 13 Inch 2017

MacBook Air 13 Inch 2017

The good old Mac Book has been more than just middling it for over a year now. Since it is an older model, at the turn of this new year it is more affordable than ever. You will be able to get you hands on a good Amazon deal for a fair amount less than $1000.

In all honesty, we are already eyeing the MacBook 2019 models for obvious reasons. And in comparison the premium MacBook Pro models, the price of the 2017 model is only a fraction. But you will have to sacrifice on specifications. For instance, it packs a 5th gen processor, which despite being 1.8 GHz as compared to the 1.6 GHz of the MacBook Air 2018, is still slower.

The display is IPS, lacking a retina display and settling for a 1440 x 900p resolution only. There is an 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, but there are models with much bigger ones too. We did, however, love how it still competes well in terms of battery life. Out of the proclaimed 12 hours, we are able to keep it running for a good 11 hours.

Moreover, connectivity and ports are another area that the MacBook Air 13 Inch 2017 doesn’t disappoint in. Despite having such a slim profile at 3-17 x 325 x 227mm, it has a full feature set. Here’s a rundown: 2 x Two USB ports, 2 x Thunderbolt 2 ports, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 2 power port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Technical Specifications:

  • CPU: 1.8-GHz Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Display: 13 inches (1440 x 900 pixels)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Ports: Two USB 3, Thunderbolt 2, SD Card
  • Weight: 2.96 pounds

Pros

  • Best MacBook on a thin budget
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No retina display
  • Lower resolution
  • 5th gen processor

Mac Mini 2018

Mac Mini 2018

Apart from suggesting you the best MacBook you can buy, we have also looked into desktop solutions for the high end as well as entry level. While the Mac Mini isn’t new, this is the latest and upgraded version. Obviously, it isn’t the complete package but it will let you experience the Macintosh if you just replace the CPU in your existing rig.

That being said, the new mini Mac computer much-improved specifications despite the same form factor. At a comparable size to your hands, it performed more than satisfactorily with the 8GB DDR4 as well as the super fast SSD.

It is far from the most expensive Macs that Apple is selling, but the Mac Mini 2018 still costs more than its predecessor and all competition. But isn’t that the case with all Apple products? The justification is how it performs exceptionally better too.

At the smallest size that the company is selling, the Mac is great for development, video editing, and even good enough for office space. There are multiple variants available, and you will be able to pick from different specifications. As a result, the prices have a difference of about $300 between the basic model and the fully loaded one.

Technical Specifications:

  • CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i3 – Core i7
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe Flash
  • Ports: 2 x Ethernet Ports, Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6cm

Pros

  • Smallest Mac computer
  • Great speed and performance
  • Can fit right into an existing setup

Cons

  • Price isn’t too affordable
  • Not a complete solution

MacBook Pro 2018

Best MacBook Pro 2018

If the biggest selling point of the older MacBook Air 13 inch was its affordable price, the MacBook Pro 2018 will only be skipped by buyers for its high price. Because other than that this impeccable beauty has no competition. As long as we are not talking about Macs i.e. the Apple computers for desktops, this is as powerful as it gets.

You can juice up the RAM to a gigantic 32 GB, and match it with nothing less than a hexacore i9 processor! The Intel UHD Graphics 630 card makes the 15.4-inch retina display a wonder when running at full 2,880 x 1,800 resolution. Talking of, such high-end content would also require bigger and faster storage, which is where the 4TB SSD comes in.

Apple laptops have been around for a while now and even with their own mix of hardware, they have topped most of the competition. While the MacBook Pro 2017 started it, the MacBook Pro 2018 will only strengthen their dominance. or a slim 1.55 cm profile, such power is rarely going to face competition.

Thanks to the high-end specs, the Apple laptop is a great use for professional users who’d want a video and photo editing machine and for compiling and rendering drills. Whether it a highly demanding software or some of the new games, MacBook Pro 2018 will stick around for a good long while.

Technical Specifications:

  • CPU: 6-core Intel Core i7 – i9
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 540X – 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • RAM: 16 – 32GB
  • Display: 15.4-inch (2,880 x 1,800) Retina display
  • Storage: 512GB – 4TB SSD
  • Dimensions: 34.93 x 24.07 x 1.55cm

Pros

  • Beast of a hexa-core processor
  • Huge RAM
  • As good as Apple MacBook gets

Cons

  • Insanely high priced
  • 15.4 inch large screen doesn’t suit everyone

Buyer’s Guide

    Clearly, all Apple laptop models are pegged for portability so you should first decide what screen size is appropriate for your usage. From 12 inches to as large as 15.4 inches, there is a vast range of choices now, but the MacBook gets insanely expensive as you go bigger.

    For an affordable solution among Mac Book models available these days, you will have to give up on a number of high-end specifications. The MacBook Air 13 inch was our budget pick and still, it costs over $800. Best MacBook products like the MacBook Pro 2018 or the high-end mac computers cost a multifold more. But then again, you can look for hexa-core processors, 32 GB RAM, 4TB SSD, and whatnot.

    What is the technical difference between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro?
    Originally, the Mac Book Air was launched as the epitome of portability with premium quality. Hence it was a step up from the good old Mac Book. Since the latter has now been discontinued, MacBook Air is the Macintosh laptop line that serves at the entry level. MacBook Pro, as the name suggests, is the high-end professional grade range of Apple laptops.

    Can you purchase AppleCare after you buy a MacBook?
    If you find the need for additional protection coverage, you can opt into AppleCare or AppleCare+ at the time of purchase or even after you have bought the Apple laptop. Either way, you will get 90 days free Apple support, as well as a short warranty.

    Which MacBook is best for college?
    Out of our top choices i.e. the MacBook Pro 2018 and the MacBook Air 13 inch, the latter is the best MacBook for most student wallets as it costs below $1000. But that isn’t the only reason. Since is an Air model, it is slimmer, less heavy for the bag, and flexible enough to allow enough ports for on the go connectivity.

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