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But, which MacBook is best for you?

MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which is right for you? | Cult of Mac

Despite there only being three model lines in the MacBook range with their own sub-variants , picking the right model for your needs isn't always obvious. Do you go for power? Or both? We look at the Apple MacBook lineup and help you pick out the best Mac for your own needs and budget. Each has its strengths, but rest assured that not one is a dud.

Apple has built a solid reputation for its excellent hardware, and there's a reason why its customers are so evangelical about the brand. Any one of the laptops above would do you proud for day-to-day computing. If you need to step up to harder-going graphics tasks, think Pro. For value, not something normally associated with Apple, go Air. First up, let's talk value — you can save yourself a few hundred dollars by picking up the MacBook Pro without a TouchBar, compared to the inch Pro with a TouchBar let alone compared to the eye-wateringly expensive inch Pro. You'll still get a very powerful laptop that's ideal those with high demands from their hardware.

The inch Pro includes a seventh generation Intel processor and that stunning Retina screen. The MacBook Pro without TouchBar is only available as a inch model, however — if you want a bigger screen, get your wallet out for the inch model with TouchBar. That's something to consider if speed is a bigger concern for you than absolute portability.


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Verdict — You can live without the TouchBar and save. The MacBook Air had been slightly neglected compared to Apple's other offerings lagging behind the inch MacBook, but a update to the Air model brought it bang up to date. With an 8th generation i5 processor under the hood, it more than packs a punch now. It's also received an upgrade to its screen, with a super-sharp Retina display. With a hour battery life, the Air will last you an entire day out of the office, and the day standby time means you can be up and running at a moment's notice, even if you haven't plugged it in for weeks.

It may not be as slim or light as the MacBook inch, but it's still impressively svelte, and will pack into your bag without taking up too much room or ruining your posture. It's also something of a bargain for a MacBook, that is. In fact, its latest update makes it more powerful than the standard and more expensive inch MacBook. For all but the most demanding of users, the Air is a fantastic all-rounder, available at a decent price.

See our full MacBook Air review. Only choose this model if you have to have the slimmest MacBook possible. The MacBook is Apple's smallest, slimmest laptop. If you're wondering why anyone would pick up inch MacBook Air instead, it's because the inch MacBook costs more and is actually less powerful than the Air model.

The MacBook has always felt like it was designed to replace the Air, but with the Air newly updated, the inch MacBook now occupies a slightly odd space.

Which Mac to Buy in 2018? MacBook vs Air vs Pro!

Choosing between the Macbook and Air isn't immediately obvious, but our advice is to save some money and go for the Air instead. Apple seems to agree with us, having ditched the inch MacBook from its line-up entirely. The MacBook has seventh generation Intel Core processors powering the range, versus the 8th-gen processor in the new Air. Is this a bad laptop? Not at all.

The affordable choice: MacBook Air

It's stunning, beautifully portable and if you pick one up, it'll be sometime before you're looking for a replacement. However, we think you're better off with the only-slightly-larger MacBook Air, which will save you some money and give you more power, too. Verdict — The inch MacBook is a great choice if you want the slimmest model possible.

Which Mac should you buy?

But the newer released MacBook Air is a smarter purchase, and only a little larger. An extraordinary laptop that will make any designer happy, but the price is high. That's right, it's not cheap. For the money, you get a lot of laptop.

Even at entry-level, that means a powerful quad-core, Intel Core i7 processor — plus a dedicated graphics card with the inch models. At the top end, Apple has recently implemented a 9th generation 8-core i9 processor, to the MacBook Pro range, giving it some serious firepower. Then there's TouchBar, of course. Lastly, the Retina display could be a bit brighter, as it registered less than nits on our tests.

See our full MacBook Air review. Pros: The inch MacBook Pro crams a lot of power into a slim and light 3-pound chassis. You'll also get less power and less storage compared to the pricier Pro. See our full inch MacBook Pro review. This model also offers a bright and colorful True Tone display that adjusts its color based on ambient lighting, and more important, a keyboard with a new mechanism that's designed to prevent reliability issues.

MacBook Pro 15-inch With TouchBar

The battery life, at 8 hours and 41 minutes, is decent; however, other ultraportables last longer on a charge. We'd also like to see Apple make the design a bit lighter while trimming down the screen bezels. Pros: It all starts with the new keyboard. Yes, Apple finally ditched the Butterfly-style keyboard in favor of a more traditional scissor mechanism.

The new keys not only offer better travel but they also feel soft yet clicky. Apple will likely update other models with the new keyboard, but, so far, only the inch MacBook Pro sports the new keys. Like the inch model which this version replaces , the inch MacBook Pro should provide exceptional performance whether you're editing gobs of RAW photos, tackling 4K video editing projects or compiling code.

The high-performance, fully loaded, simply beautiful inch PowerBook G4 will satisfy students and creative professionals who can afford to sacrifice cash for style. Apple's rightfully popular inch MacBook gets a decent incremental upgrade, but we're still looking forward to the next version. It's a strong alternative to the more expensive Pro line, if you can live without extras such as an SD card slot.

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Apply Filters Cancel. Notebook Type Notebook. Screen Size 12 in 13 in 14 in 15 in 17 in and larger. Weight 2 lbs or less 3 lbs or less 4 lbs or less. Apple MacBook Air inch While still a great all-around useful laptop, the inch MacBook Air is stuck with a lower-res display and a design that's no longer cutting-edge.

Best Mac 12222: the best Macs to buy this year

Apple MacBook Air The MacBook Air's long overdue makeover adds welcome additions like a high-res screen and Touch ID, but it includes some unwelcome trade-offs -- including a much higher price. Apple MacBook inch, With a subtle tweak to the keyboard and better component choices, this cult favorite mini MacBook suddenly feels like it can be your everyday laptop.

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar inch, The MacBook Pro inch laptop delivers the serious computing muscle that power users and creative pros crave -- but everyone else should wait for the rest of the line to be updated. Apple MacBook Air inch, The MacBook Air lives to fight another day, thanks to its mainstream price and long battery life, but this classic laptop is definitely in its twilight.