Apple revolutionized the laptop world with their introduction of the MacBook Air in 2008.
Today, many people still consider them to be the most influential manufacturers in the market. This article will bring some of the best to you.
Back in 1975, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had dropped out of college. Both were members of the Homebrew Computer Club, who would meet bi-weekly to discuss emerging computer technology. While there, Steve Wozniak discovered the Altair 8800 which inspired him to build his own home computer.
Wozniak displayed his new machine at the computer club, and Jobs saw the marketing potential behind it. After selling their first computer, the Apple 1, to a local computer store, they were joined by Ronald Wayne. Together they formed Apple on 1st April 1976.
42 years later, and Apple is now a multinational company worth $1 trillion.
We personally use Mac computers to develop the content for this site. We love the products. There are great Windows-based laptops out there, but we are fans of Apple design, durability and ease-of-use.
In this article, we have selected the best Apple laptops available, to suit different requirements and budgets.
5 Best Apple Laptops By Category
Apple MacBook Pro
Ask any PC owner what the problem is with Apple computers, and most likely their first response will be the price. The fact is, that they are expensive.
But the good news is, they don’t have to be.
As long as you are happy at not having the latest model, there are some bargains to be had. The best example of this is the Apple MacBook Pro. Ok, it will not have some of the benefits of the newer Apple laptops, but if you want a machine that is still powerful and reliable, there are worse new PCs on the market.
Despite being a few years old, the Apple MacBook Pro still has the capability of running the latest OS X. This system offers improved efficiency, greater performance and reduced overall memory usage compared to the earlier systems.
One of the pleasing aspects of Apple laptops is that the design has not varied over the years. All the familiar aspects are here in the recessed keyboard, upward facing dual speakers and generous touchpad. For the Apple-uninitiated, they will most likely not know the year of your laptop.
A large 15” screen, together with mid-2014 Retina display is more than adequate for everyday use. Performance is excellent with the proven 2.53 GHz Intel Core i7 processor and memory is a nice 16GB with 512GB of fast SSD storage.
Two USB 3.0 and two Thunderbolt 2 (USB-C) ports means adding peripherals or data transfer is easy. It is also Bluetooth enabled.
As this is an earlier model, the more modern features such as Thunderbolt ports and solid state drives simply were not a feature when this model was made. So, it is a little unfair to compare.
However, thinking back to when it was first released, at the time I was disappointed. Mainly, that it was not made in more colors and wished the graphics card was better for rendering games. But that’s just a personal recollection.
- Four USB ports
The Apple MacBook Pro is a laptop that still stands up today for performance. You won't be able to run high-end games on it, but chances are you would not be buying it for that reason.
For someone who wants to venture for the first time into Apple machines, or wants a reliable backup to their current laptop - this refurbished MacBook Pro is a good choice for the price.
Apple laptops are not the first computers that spring to mind when looking for a gaming machine.
However the Apple 15" MacBook Pro with the new i9 8 core processor is a machine that can run even the most demanding of games sufficiently well. It is an ideal laptop for Apple adherents who do not want a separate computer for their ‘downtime’. And with Bootcamp, you can have both Windows and OS X on the same laptop.
Apple MacBook Air 13.3in
This is a trendy little notebook computer that combines a lot of things that people tend to be after in an Apple laptop - speed, convenience, and the unique experience afforded only by the more recent versions of iOS. At 13.3”, it will fit neatly into a briefcase, backpack, carry-on,, or even just on top of a stack of textbooks to be carried from class to class, but still includes enough real estate on the keyboard to handle typing, browsing, and even a certain amount of editing work.
The physical specifications on this model are understandably modest - it weighs in at a little more than two pounds, with an LED screen measuring 13.3 inches on the diagonal. The processor is an Intel Core i5 unit running iOS X, with 128 and 256 gigabyte hard drives available for storage.
It is worth mentioning that this product is not sold directly by Apple, but through a partnership program with Amazon. This has considerable benefits to the buyer; the product comes at a relatively low cost, with Amazon's eighteen-month warranty and a certificate of inspection that makes sure you are covered inside and out against any defects the unit might have.
This same arrangement also occasions two main drawbacks for a buyer, especially one worried about the quality of the laptop in question. The first problem is that both Amazon and the manufacturer consider this computer to be ‘used’, which can have implications for returns or getting it serviced; the manufacturer warranty in particular is likely rendered invalid.
Besides the warranty, this laptop will also not include any of the additional merchandise that might have come with a brand new model. Some Apple computers will include such things as an Apple mouse or headphones - this model will ship with a charger and the unit itself, nothing more.
Apple MacBook Pro
Enter your text here...This unit is also provided by Amazon’s refit service, and although it shares the same 13.3” screen as the first item as the last item on this list had, it packs on just a little extra weight to make room for a truly impressive variety of ports; Thunderbolt, HDMI, USB, and SD are all represented for file transfer, and a standard headset jack allows for audio in and out.
Wireless connectivity is on offer as well, of course, with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 WiFi both fully supported. Both features perfectly compliment the 720p integrated webcam, allowing for easy video conferencing with no external equipment of any kind.
Battery life on this model truly shines through, to a degree that many Apple users have been asking for for some time. Unlike the shorter-lived predecessors, this laptop can go for as much as 12 hours on a single charge and with ordinary browsing activity, making it a realistic option even for long-haul passengers or taking to work sites with you.
All of this happens on an Intel Core i5 processor, which is enough for dated games or casual video editing, and supports up to 256 GB of solid-state hard drive. The Unit runs iOS x by default, so you are unlikely to need to upgrade it straight out of the box.
Buyers should be awara that this unit’s slew of extra ports makes it both heavier and wider, so it might not fit into smaller bags for notebook computers. Additionally, the warranty on this product extends only ninety days from that of receipt, making it a somewhat riskier investment for the buyer to take on.
New Apple MacBook Pro
In an abrupt departure from the previous two, this model goes after the desktop-replacer market in no uncertain terms, spotting a hefty 16” screen and proportionate keyboard to give the benefits of a home or office monitor without needing to attach an external screen to anything. It backs up the larger screen with Retina technology, considered one of the leading edges of the screen market, and a True Tone Technology system to blend colors and shading better than any previous iteration has managed.
To handle larger and more advanced computing, Apple has included Intel’s Core i9 CPU, and AMD Radeon dedicated graphics to allow for heavy video processing and seamless gameplay on any supported title. Processor memory starts at eight gigabytes and only goes up, with unprecedented read and write speeds to blow away larger downloads or server work.
Speaking of larger downloads, go right ahead - with eight terabytes of solid-state drive on board, the manufacturer is practically challenging the usr to try and fill it all up. It doesn’t need to be from the internet, of course - this laptop has multiple Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports that let you hook it up to anything you need or want to move and store.
At the very top of the keyboard you’ll find a feature that is only just starting to make its way onto the laptop market, although mobile devices have had it for some time - the small, blank square at the top isn’t a key at all, but a fingerprint reader, placed discreetly out of the way of the user’s hands when not needed. This miniature sensor is considered by many to be the next step in authenticating new devices, secure video meetings, and online payments, just to name a few of the applications.
Users should keep in mind that all of his comes at a fairly steep markup compared to other laptops - the most basic version of this MacBook is likely to set you back around two thousand dollars. It is both large and heavy enough that it may be unsuitable for certain users - students in particular may find this model too large and heavy to integrate easily into their lifestyle.
Apple MacBook Pro ME665LL/A
More pedestrian users will enjoy the all-around feel of this model - with the standard 15.6” screen and keyboard, it complies with the measurement norms most people have come to expect from their laptops. The technical specifications provide similarly solid performance, while not emphasizing any one thing enough to make it prohibitively expensive; there is an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and 512 gigabytes of solid-state drive for storage.
The unit weighs in at roughly four and a half pounds, an average weight that includes a healthy selection of ports and an integrated battery that will last for approximately seven hours of ordinary usage. Popular Apple applications like Siri and FaceTime are already installed and set up to the laptop’s various hardware points, making it quick and easy to switch from your older device; among those apps is iCloud, giving you the option to sync files quickly and simply between Apple devices.
For all of that convenience, there are some things that a potential buyer should take into account before deciding on this unit. First and foremost, although the price is not outlandish for the specifications of the unit, it is not particularly cheap either, and so budget shoppers may want to look elsewhere.
Besides this, this unit displays the common trait among well-rounded computers that while it is good at most tasks, it does not shine in any one field. Users looking to maximize a certain aspect of their apple laptop, such as portability or graphics performance, might be better advised to seek out a uit more particularly suited to their needs.
Apple MacBook Air MD711LL/A
If you’re someone who likes to pack light and spend little, this machine is right up your alley. By trimming away some of the less-used functions and features, Apple delivers a small but serviceable iOS X experience into a chassis that measures just 11 inches on the diagonal and weighs in at a breezy two and a half pounds.
With such a small device, it’s only natural to wonder what might still be inside it, and the answer might surprise you - this little computer still includes four processors running the Intel Core i5 set, and four gigabytes of RAM to provide a smooth browsing and video playback experience. A 128 gigabyte solid state storage drive allows for both rapid boot times and a decent amount of file storage as well, all far faster than the conventional hard disk.
One noticeable advantage that this laptop has over some other Apple models is the choice of aluminum for the clamshell case, giving it a durability that is often lacking in Apple hardware. Full-size USB ports and an SD card reader provide an acceptable amount of versatility, and an integrated 720p camera allows you to carry out high-quality video conferencing wherever you might find yourself.
There are a few potential drawbacks to this model, mostly that it does have a very ‘bare bones’ feel to it to those who are used to a larger and more powerful Apple laptop. There are fewer ports than one might want from a brand new laptop, and the lack of either a particularly powerful processor or a dedicated graphics card means that this model will struggle to run recent gaming titles and even some higher-definition video files. .
Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop
When Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air back in 2008, it was groundbreaking. At that time it was the thinnest laptop on the market, and redefined how other manufactures approached their products.
Since then, the MacBook Air has continued to have a serious following, and with the Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch priced at around $840.00, it’s easy to see why.
The aesthetic design is exactly the same as its predecessor. In fact, this has not changed since 2010 (except the inclusion of additional ports). But as it was an attractive machine back then, there is no need to change.
Portability with the Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch is a pleasure. Weighing in at 2.96 pounds it’s a good machine to have on the move, although it is a little heavier than the Lenovo Yoga Pro.
The portability aspect is further reinforced by its very impressive (actual) battery life of over 12 hours for continuous web browsing.
The main improvements over its predecessor is the inclusion of a powerful 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor and a memory upgrade of 128GB SSD. Data transfer is improved on the earlier model too, with the inclusion of a Thunderbolt port for seriously fast speeds.
The keyboard is the usual chiclet-style, with the sleek beveled edges as a surround. Response is fast and comfortable. It is perfectly suited for those people who complete extensive keyboard input throughout the day.
The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch is a great laptop, but there are just a few issues that could have pushed it into the top spot. First, the other laptops in the Apple line have been upgraded to the Retina display. With a 1440 x 900 pixel screen, This model would seriously benefit from this inclusion.
Having already enjoyed the function of the Force Touch tracking pad on the MacBook Pro, going back to the standard pad is a little disappointing. It’s a shame it was not included in this model.
The only other issue is more down to particular taste. The keyboard has travel of 1 mm, where most of the other Apple machines are about 1.5 mm.
- Improved processor and memory from the earlier model
- Lightweight design
The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch has always been a good laptop, and this incarnation is no different. Sleek, fast, compact and lightweight, it delivers excellent performance for less than $850.
It just loses out on the best overall for a slightly disappointing display and lack of Touch Force.
Apple MacBook Air 13
Despite what people say, size is everything. It’s especially applicable where laptops are concerned.
Depending on requirements, either a ridiculously large or a small compact machine could be ideal. The excellent Apple MacBook Air Retina falls into this latter category.
As one of Apple’s cheaper products in their lines (if there is such a thing), it’s a tempting machine.
Especially if portability is going to be its “raison d'être”. Measuring just 7.56 x 11.8 x 0.68 inches and weighing 2.75 pounds, this is not a laptop that is going to put any stress on your backpack.
It has more ports than the MacBook 12-inch, having two USB 3.0 and one Thunderbolt. If you are going to be using this laptop on the move, it’s rare that this number will be insufficient. In addition there is also a 3.5 mm headphone port.
The display is spectacular, with 2650 x 1600 pixels. The brightness is very impressive, being able to work in the strongest of sunlight.
The Apple MacBook Air has a 1.6 GHz Intel core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM providing enough speed for swift opening and multitasking. The Intel UHD graphics 617 is perfect for a laptop of this size, being able to power demanding games at around 35 fps.
The keyboard is responsive and the touchpad is the typically generous Apple size. Like the MacBook Pro there is Touch Force and Touch ID.
The lack of an SD card slot, we believe, is the main failing behind the computer. Yes, it is a small machine, but competitor models can manage to adequately fit them in.
- FaceTime HD Camera
The Apple MacBook Air is a lightweight, compact laptop, with fast processing and a perfectly good display for a decent price.
Best For Gaming:
Apple 15" MacBook Pro
From the outside, this machine looks the same as the previous model. But as that machine looked beautiful anyway there is no problem with that. The touchpad has increased to a pleasing 7 inches, with the user-friendly Touch Force.
For gaming, the display is ideal. A 15.4” Retina display combined with 2880 x 1800 resolution gives clear and crisp imaging with some impressive brightness control. Equally, if photography is your business, you would struggle to find better true color rendition.
The 2.9 GHz quad core Intel i7 processor, along with 16GB of RAM, means this is a fast machine. The graphics card, Radeon Pro 560, is the most suitable for gaming you are going to find in an Apple laptop. Ok, it’s not the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, but it works well for most gaming needs.
Battery power is excellent, with genuine internet browsing lasting over 15 hours. This makes it perfect for being on the move, although, with a weight of 6.4 pounds, it will stress the backpack slightly.
The only criticism we have is the ports. Firstly, there is no SD card port. But that is not the major issue. Apple has discarded all the standard ports on this model, leaving behind only Thunderbolt 3. Hence for older peripherals, you will require an adapter.
- 10-bit HEVC hardware acceleration.
- Radeon Pro 560 graphics card.
- Innovative Touch Bar
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
For gaming, you need three main things, a powerful graphics card, fast processor and generous memory. Out of all the Apple laptops on the market, the MacBook Pro MPTT2LL/A fulfills these requirements the best.
The price is a bit steep but the quality is guaranteed.
It cannot compete with laptops purely designed for gaming, there’s no overclocking in this machine. But, if you need a laptop for home or business use, while still utilizing it as a gaming machine, the MacBook Pro MPTT2LL/A is the best choice.
Apple 15 Inch MacBook Pro Retina Display
The Apple MacBook Pro has always been the mainstay of the Apple line.
Now, the Apple 15 Inch MacBook Pro MJLQ2LL/A returns with serious improvements over its predecessors.
Firstly, this model includes Apple’s inventive Force Touch (4” x 3”) touchpad. The sensitivity of clicking on the pad itself is customizable. This results in varying pressures allowing for different functions.
What’s more, the Force Touch means that vibration feedback is given through the fingers. There is no clicking, giving a satisfying user experience. There is even the ability to zoom into images, or fast forward through videos, by increasing pressure.
Apple’s top-end laptops have continually been designed with an aluminum casing and black border, and the MacBook Pro reassuringly carries on that tradition.
Absence of seams, sleek thin design and inconspicuous keyboard speakers gives that all-important professional feel.
The ‘Retina display’ in the full name of this laptop is there for good reason. The 2880 x 1800 pixel display shouts out color on the 15.4” screen. Crystal clear is an overused cliche, but in this circumstance it’s perfectly apt.
The usual chiclet-style keyboard remains, with a pleasing 1.35 mm travel. Fast, responsive and light to the touch.
With a 512GB flash SSD and 2.6 GHz Intel core i7, the Apple MacBook Pro boots quickly and opens large files with ease. Even hard-hitting multitasking does not apparently slow this machine down at all.
This laptop is designed to provide nine hours of battery power. Our experience, and other customer testimonials, indicate that it’s not a number picked out of the air. This machine can happily exceed the nine-hour mark with continuous web use.
Data transfer is swift. This MacBook Pro includes 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x Thunderbolt ports enabling a transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps, or 20 Gbps when running concurrently.
Although the Apple MacBook Pro has an impressive Retina display, it does lack some brightness capability. Especially when used in natural daylight. In addition, the speed of this machine can enable it to be a second or casual gaming machine.
- Force Touch haptic response touchpad
- PCIe-based flash storage for fast booting and quick application opening
- 2 x Thunderbolt ports
This laptop, priced at around $2200, looks professional and sleek, and it’s not a design that hides inside flaws.
Fast performance, a Retina display that screams colors and the impressive tracking pad with Force Touch make for an all-round serious machine.
At times, Apple laptops have come under some criticism:
To be fair, these criticisms do have worth. It’s also worth remembering though, that in many cases, Apple do have a lot of positives too:
Overall, the decision whether to go down the PC or Apple route is one of personal choice.
However, as we have shown in this article, there are some great value Apple machines that are able to cope with virtually any computer-based requirement.