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Wesley Reyes
Wesley Reyes

Best Macbook To Buy Right Now

The best MacBook for you is a tricky thing to figure out. Not only does Apple still offer 2021's MacBook Pros sporting the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but it also has new MacBooks packing the latest Apple M2 chips. On top of that, MacBooks with the M1 chip are still viable machines.

best macbook to buy right now


Once you take a closer look at the best MacBooks, you can see that one size doesn't fit all. There are specific reasons why you should opt for the M2-powered MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro M2, or spend more on the 14- and 16-inch systems, where you have a choice between the remarkably powerful M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.

The MacBook Air M2 is simply the best laptop for the money based on our testing. You get stellar performance, a vibrant display and superb battery life all wrapped up in a design that is delightfully portable. Yes, $1,119 is a steep price, but we would easily recommend this system over the $999 MacBook Air M1 staying in the lineup because of its better performance and display, along with sharper webcam and MagSafe charging.

The MacBook Air was always the best MacBook for most people, but now it's better for even more people than ever before. Apple's decision to replace its Intel processors with its own Apple Silicon, starting with the M1 chip in the MacBook Air, is reaping serious rewards. This laptop's 14 hours and 41 minutes of battery life n the Tom's Guide battery test is the best for a MacBook Air ever. Plus, the M1 delivers crazy-fast performance, so much so that it can run serious games smoothly.

The MacBook Air's webcam has also been upgraded, as the M1 chip provides signal processing tricks to improve clarity and color accuracy. And, of course, the Magic Keyboard is still here, which provides a comfy typing experience. Dolby Atmos audio support means that some movies and TV shows will sound even better than before. The MacBook Air is now not just the best MacBook for your average Apple user, but it's closer to the title of the king of the laptops than it's been in years.

On top of that, the MacBook Pro's 434.8-nit display is brighter than the Air's 365.8-nit panel. And on the Handbrake video transcoding test, it converted a 4K movie to 1080p in 7 minutes and 44 seconds, beating the already speedy MacBook Air's 9:15.

To find the best MacBook, we run each through our gauntlet of benchmarks and real-world tests, and then use them as our main computer for as well. Only then are we comfortable recommending them (or not) for your purchase.

We use a Klein K-10A colorimeter to test each MacBook's screen to find its average brightness and color quality (so we don't just assume Apple's ratings are correct). When it comes to general performance, we use the Geekbench 5 (CPU performance) benchmark, and time how long the Macs will take to transcode a 4K video to 1080p.

We also run the BlackMagic storage speeds test to see how fast these MacBooks' SSDs are (spoiler alert: they're all pretty fast). Then, we run our custom battery test to see how long each MacBook (at 150 nits of brightness) can last browsing the web over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.

The best MacBook for each person will differ, but there's a great option for virtually anyone in Apple's laptop lineup in 2023. Apple's ARM-based M1 chip kicked off a new era for MacBooks in 2020 and it hasn't taken its foot off the accelerator. Apple's in-house SoC brought massive performance and battery life improvements to the entire MacBook range.

Now joined by the M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max, Apple has you covered regardless of your needs. The M2 MacBook Air and Pro are among the best laptops available today and the latest 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models are once again setting a high bar for creator laptops early in 2023.

The MacBook Air M1 remains the best MacBook for most people. What about the MacBook Air M2? It's a fantastic laptop that we'll cover next on this list, but the reality is that for the majority of users the upgrades aren't necessary and Apple is keeping it around in order to maintain that sub-$1,000 starting price. Best of all you can often find it for $899 or less.

As long as you don't mind the older design, the MacBook Air M1 remains one of the best laptop deals even when it's not discounted and should draw strong consideration from anyone considering a new MacBook.

The list of upgrades also includes a brighter display, a quad-speaker array and the new 1080p webcam. That first will be particularly welcome to those that are using the Air M2 on the go and may be faced with less than optimal lighting conditions.

And despite cramming so much power into such a slim and sleek chassis, the Pro lasted for an almost unbelievable 18 hours and 20 minutes on our battery test, which simulates real-world testing. That was enough to land it atop our list of laptops with the best battery life.

Starting at $2,499 for the M2 Pro model and $3,099 for the M2 Max model, the 16-inch MacBook Pro isn't for everyone. However, if you are a creative professional or someone that just wants the biggest and best without concern over cost this absolutely belongs on your short list.

While I still would recommend a gaming laptop with a discrete GPU for those that want the best overall gaming experience, but 16-inch MacBook Pro is finally at least competing in this realm enough that casual gamers will be happy.

We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and DCI-P3 color gamut of a laptop's display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 5.4 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.

We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over roughly 10 hours to be a good result. Of course, these tests are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.

The M1 MacBook Air uses Thunderbolt 3 for all connectivity, including power. (The only other port is a 3.5 mm headphone/mic jack.) This means that if you own any hard drives, scanners, printers, thumb drives, or card readers that use USB Type-A ports, you need a hub or adapter; similarly, if you want to use an external display or projector, you need the right video adapter.

Andrew Cunningham is a former senior staff writer on Wirecutter's tech team. He has been writing about laptops, phones, routers, and other tech since 2011. Before that he spent five years in IT fixing computers and helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He also co-hosts the book podcast Overdue and the TV podcast Appointment Television.

Apple is still offering education deals on MacBooks: Normally, the Apple Store is (ironically) not the best place to buy an Apple laptop (really, almost any Apple product) because sales are all but nonexistent. The big exception to the rule is Apple's education sales, which usually include MacBook deals. If you're a student or teacher, that can mean $100 off a MacBook Air and a free pair of AirPods, plus a 20% discount on the AppleCare Plus extended warranty (which I have mixed feelings about). On the other hand, we've also found Apple laptop deals through Best Buy's Student Deals page.

The key question is how to make sure you're not buying too little MacBook -- or too much. What is the best MacBook for your needs? For most people, the 13-inch Air remains the default choice and rightly so. The new 14-inch and 16-inch Pro models are more powerful, but in a way that only people who need heavy GPU support will appreciate. Yes, you get a better display, new camera and more ports with those, but if you're buying a new Pro just for that, be aware that you're essentially making a vanity purchase.

Read our full review of the M2 13-inch MacBook ProThat means it's less likely to be your best choice for a MacBook. But there are some reasons you may still want the 13-inch MacBook Pro over either the new MacBook Air or the much-more-expensive 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro. We outlined the most obvious reasons here, and they include:

To choose between the best Apple MacBook laptops, we started with extensive personal experience: All the computers here have been road-tested and reviewed in some way. Then, we added in-depth research by cross-referencing third-party reviews with specs sheets, first-party benchmarks and user experiences. Rest assured, we know the ins and outs of all these machines, so you can choose the perfect one for you.

With Apple's introduction of the latest M2 MacBook models, it's time to take another look at which is the best MacBook to buy in 2023. Buying the newest MacBook isn't always the right decision since Apple has several tiers of performance, as well as various sizes. There are several MacBook models available, designated MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, with varying memory and storage configurations, as well as four kinds of processors, providing a wide selection to choose from.

The MacBook Air M2 is a great budget option for anyone looking to update to Apple Silicon or switch to a Mac for general computing on the go. It's small and light enough to disappear in a tech bag and can easily be carried around all day. The 500-nit Liquid Retina display is bright enough for most environments, an important feature for a laptop. Equally important is the MacBook Air M2's long battery life, which lasts up to 18 hours during video playback with the Apple TV app. Apple includes a 30-watt USB-C charger (35-watt with the M2 10-core, 512GB storage model). but it's compatible with a 67-watt USB-C power adapter.

On the topic of appearance, the MacBook Air M2 has two new color choices, Midnight and Starlight. Starlight is a pale gold tone that lacks the pink tint of the previous-generation's gold. Midnight is nearly black, which looks striking, with a hint of purplish-blue under the right lighting conditions.

The new MacBook Air M2 can be configured with up to 24GB of memory, 50% more than the older model supported, and memory is one of the best upgrades to invest in since it makes multitasking faster and more efficient, reducing the need to temporarily move data to storage when running several demanding apps at once. 041b061a72


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