(Pocket-lint) - If you're looking for an Apple laptop, you've come to the right place. Here we'll look at the different models available to help you decide which is best for you.
The first thing to decide is which of the main device types to go for - you can then start looking at the different configurations.
Here we've rounded up everything from the MacBook Air to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, to help you work out what each model offers, how much they cost, how they can be configured and what their pros and cons are.
All new MacBooks now include Apple's new-style Magic Keyboard but make sure you are buying a model released since late 2019. Straggler 15-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pros may be cheaper, but they might encounter keyboard issues.
All MacBooks now use USB-C ports. You'll need adapters to transfer images from an SD card for example, as well as connect to USB-A devices.
Coincidentally, 2017's 12-inch MacBook is now no more, replaced by the cheapest MacBook Air. Read on to find out which Apple MacBook is the one for you.
The MacBook Air is the cheapest MacBook available overall, and the lightest option. It also offers the longest battery life, Touch ID and a Retina Display with True Tone technology. After a full refresh it was updated in 2019 and then again in March 2020. 2019 models are still available at present, so we've kept the latest prices alongside the 2020 models below.
The MacBook Pro 13-inch is the 13-inch model for those who want the Touch Bar as well as more Thunderbolt 3 ports on the higher two models (of four). It was updated in May 2020 with new processors and the Magic Keyboard. The lower-end models don't offer more than the MacBook Air now in terms of power and graphics, but the higher models obviously have more grunt.
Finally, the Macbook Pro 16-inch is the king of the MacBooks with the best power and largest storage options, biggest screen and the Touch Bar and Touch ID features. It is also the most expensive, however, and this probably isn't the MacBook you'll want if you're constantly on the move.
Apple MacBook Air (2020)
- Dimensions: 304.1 x 212.4 x 41-156mm, 1.25kg
- Display: 13.3-inches, 2560 x 1600 (227ppi), 400nits brightness, True Tone
- Connections: Two USB Type-C ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Battery: 12 hours
The MacBook Air got a full design update in October 2018. There was then a small update in July 2019 and a more significant refresh in March 2020. All models retain the iconic wedge shape. It's now thinner, lighter and it features Touch ID, a Retina Display and True Tone technology. The 2020 version has a the same refreshed keyboard as the MacBook Pro.
In terms of the 2020 models, the Air is upgraded to 10th generation Intel Core processors (the 2019 had 8th-generation).
The base model is well priced and has a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (doubled from 2019), while the other off-the-shelf configuration has a quad-core 1.1GHz Intel Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB of configurable storage. It's the first time there's been a quad-core MacBook Air.
All models feature Intel's latest Iris Plus integrated graphics and can be upgraded to 16GB of RAM. Once more, the Air comes in Silver, Space Grey and Gold. The only bum note is that all the FaceTime HD webcam sticks with 720p resolution. It's about time we moved on.
The Air is a little more flexible than the old MacBook (or old Air) when it comes to ports, in that it offers an extra USB-C port for a total of two.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) and (2020)
- Dimensions: 304.1 x 212.4 x 156mm, 1.4kg
- Display: 13.3-inches, 2560 x 1600 (226ppi), 500nits brightness, True Tone
- Connections: Two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Battery: 10 hours
Despite being updated in early 2020, 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar doesn't offer a great deal more than the MacBook Air now, but of course it can be configured with a higher specification. The Pro does also gives you the Touch Bar, of course, as well as support for the P3 Colour Space on the display.
Some of the 2019 models are still available (with the older-style keyboard), so we've kept those prices above. If you're looking for the latest and greatest, the 2020 ones are here:
The 13-inch MacBook Pro boasts quad-core Core i5 processors as standard across the range. By default, these are clocked at 1.4 or 2.0Ghz respectively.
The chips used 8th generation on the bottom two models and 10th generation chips on the top two versions - there are four standard versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro now.
You can also configure up to 10th generation Core i7 at 2.3GHz with maximum Turbo Boost speeds lof 4.1Ghz.
The MacBook Pro 13-inch is available in Silver or Space Gray.
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2019)
- Dimensions: 358 x 246 x 16.2mm, 2.0kg
- Display: 16-inches, 3072 x 1920 resolution (226ppi), 500nits brightness, True Tone
- Connections: Four Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Battery: 11 hours
Our final Macbook is one of the most powerful machines Apple has ever produced, an absolute powerhouse that, in all honesty, is definitely overkill for most people.
It's got Apple's biggest ever laptop battery, its biggest-ever laptop screen with beautiful colour range and crisp detail, an all-new and amazingly satisfying keyboard, and processing power that will crunch through any task.
That said, it's also massively, hugely expensive, and that chunky battery doesn't stop the huge display from absolutely eating up its power, struggling in our experience to get near the 11 hours Apple's claiming. It's also, obviously, not the most portable laptop given its size. Still, if you want the absolute maximum in power that Apple can offer, it's a bit of a monster.