What to look for in a MacBook in 2021
Apple completed The transition from Intel to Apple Silicon for a whole range of MacBooks. All recent MacBooks sold by Apple come with the Apple M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max chip. These Macs have long battery life, run quietly and quietly, and are still incredibly fast. They have great build quality, excellent Apple support, and are generally just great laptops.
MacBooks run macOS from Apple instead of Windows. Plenty of applications support Macs, including productivity staples like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. However, if you are considering switching from PC to Mac, it is worth checking if the software you need will work on your Mac before getting it. For example, most PC games only work on Windows and won’t work on a Mac, even if you get a MacBook with powerful graphics hardware.
Apple Silicon-based Macs can still run old software written for Intel Macs. However, they perform better when running software that is optimized for M1 Mac computers. At the end of 2021, a lot of popular third-party applications have native support for Apple Silicon, including Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and Google Chrome. You can also install iPhone and iPad apps on your M1 Mac!
If you have an Intel Mac, it will still perform well and will continue to work for years to come, but we don’t recommend buying a processor architecture that is on its way out. You may still find some Intel-based MacBooks for sale in some third-party stores, but we highly recommend getting a modern MacBook with Apple Silicon.
There are many benefits to the new Apple M1 chip architecture beyond significant performance gains in improved software. This includes dramatically improved power and heat efficiency for longer battery life, cooler roll, fast uniform RAM, and integrated GPU cores that outlast any Intel-based graphics solution.
However, it should be noted that Apple Silicon-based MacBooks do not support Boot Camp. You cannot install Windows on an M1 MacBook. (However, you cannot install Windows 11 on an Intel MacBook without a workaround as well.) However, you can use Parallels for Mac or CodeWeavers Crossover To run Windows software on M1 Mac. Now, let’s get to the best MacBooks you can buy in the market.
- ✓ M1 Pro chipset means monster performance
- ✓ MagSafe Connector can save your laptop
- ✓ Thunderbolt charging is still supported
- ✓ HDMI port and SDXC ports are useful for professionals
- ✗ More expensive than a 13-inch MacBook Pro
- ✗ Max memory 32GB compared to 64GB on M1 Max chips
- ✗ Less portable than M1 MacBook Air
The best Apple laptop overall is 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chipset. It is more expensive than the M1 MacBook Pro 13 inch from last year, but even if we put the processing power aside, it’s an upgrade in every way.
First, the ports. Apple slowly backed away from its Thunderbolt-only stance and brought back the MagSafe connectors for power to prevent the laptop from flying off the table when someone trips over the power cable.
The company also added an HDMI port and an SD card slot for good measure. The malicious TouchBar a lot and replace it with more standard function keys, but you can still get the TouchID sensor.
Compared to the 8-Core CPU/GPU M1 on the 13-inch model, the M1 Pro chip in the 14-inch MacBook Pro features an octa-core CPU and 14 GPU cores. This model also starts with 16GB of unified memory, which means it’s more future-friendly than the smaller MacBook.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro also benefits from a Liquid Retina XDR display. Not only does this screen look great, but it’s especially useful if you’re editing HDR video.
If you’re looking for a little more power, you can upgrade to a 10-core CPU, a 14-core M1 Pro GPU chip for $200, or a 10-core CPU, 16-core M1 Pro GPU for $300. Storage starts at 512GB, but you can upgrade to up to 8TB of SSD storage, but that will cost you.
Best MacBook overall
14-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, 2021)
Apple Silicon is here to stay, and looking at the performance, it seems like a good thing. The 14-inch MacBook Pro also has more useful ports than the 13-inch model.
- ✓ Fast and efficient performance thanks to the M1 . chip
- ✓ Apple’s smallest and lightest laptop
- ✓ Beautiful Retina screen
- ✓ Excellent battery life of up to 18 hours
- ✗ The lack of cooling means heat throttling occurs faster than on the MacBook Pro
- ✗ Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports only
The 13-inch MacBook Air with M1 chip Starting at $999 for the base model, so you can save more than Best overall selection If you are looking for an entry-level MacBook. The MacBook Air retains its iconic wedge-shaped form factor, but is now completely silent due to the lack of a fan inside.
The base MacBook Air M1 has the same 8 CPU cores as the high-end models but only 7 GPU cores. This is a great way to save money if you don’t think you will be using demanding apps like video editing software or games. You can pick up a version of the MacBook Air with an octa-core graphics processor at checkout for an extra $250 if you don’t want to sacrifice graphics performance.
No fan means MacBook Air can’t work under load as long as MacBook Pro before the start of thermal throttling. Granted, if you’re looking for a budget laptop, you’re probably just looking for light productivity and web browsing, so this isn’t a huge concern.
The MacBook Air still has excellent battery life, with Apple rated it for 18 hours on a single charge. The 13.3-inch Retina display covers the P3’s full color gamut, although it doesn’t get as bright as the MacBook Pro and there’s no Touch Bar above the keyboard. Touch ID is present and allows you to sign in or allow changes and payments using your fingerprint. It’s not the most accurate, but it’s a great addition to MacBooks.
Related: How to turn on your Retina display in original resolution
Best budget choice
- ✓ The M1 chip is fast and efficient
- ✓ Perfect for most college related tasks like word processing and web browsing
- ✓ All-day battery life
- ✓ Perfect weight and thickness to carry around campus
- ✗ The lack of cooling makes the MacBook Air M1 less suitable for tough tasks
- ✗ MacBook Pro might be better for video editing, music creation, and 3D apps
For most students who use their computers to write papers, research assignments, and keep in touch with classmates and teachers, 13-inch MacBook Air with M1 The chip is perfect.
It is smaller and lighter than similar size MacBook Pro at 0.2 pounds (which makes more difference than you think), and still manages all-day battery life. The high pixel density screen is beautiful to look at, with crisp text and colors.
Not to mention it’s $300 cheaper than the M1 MacBook Pro! You can also use the higher education discount at Apple Store To get a deeper discount.
Conversely, if you think you will use your computer for more advanced video or photo editing, you may find the MacBook Air restricted. Instead, the MacBook Pro M1 It will provide you with an extra GPU core and better cooling so that you can run your computer under load for longer without experiencing a thermal penalty. Whether the Pro version is worth upgrading depends on your main and extracurricular activities, but if you need more processing power, you’ll need to go for Pro.
Your MacBook can be made more useful and productive with the right accessories. If you want more space to view multiple documents or web pages at the same time, a Decent budget monitor It can make a big difference. something like that Dell S2721QS It will save 4K real estate for less than $300.
If you are going to type a lot, you may also want to invest in a mechanical keyboard. These peripherals have higher durability, are more comfortable to write on, and may make you a better writer.
Best for students
Budget 4K Monitor
- ✓ M1 Pro has a lot of power, even for most games
- ✓ Upgrading to M1 Max is just another $200
- ✓ Incredible battery life
- ✓ Native games and apps are very fast
- ✗ macOS games are not as popular as Windows games
- ✗ There is no Boot Camp to run Windows games
- ✗ Much more expensive than Windows laptops
It’s a fun time to play on Apple computers, and if you want to save energy while you’re all working on Apple, then MacBook Pro 16-inch with M1 Pro Chip It is your best bet.
The announcement of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets for the MacBook Pro models made a lot of waves. For every article claiming that new laptops were bringing back the “Pro” in the MacBook Pro name, there’s been another claim that these models are still not meant for gaming.
The fact is that Apple no longer sells new Mac laptops with Intel chips. The future, as far as Apple sees it, is in its own chips. On the one hand, this means that you cannot buy new Intel MacBook Pro and install Windows, but on the other hand, it might free developers to focus on games designed for Apple chips.
Developers have been making games for Apple Silicon in the form of iPhone and iPad games for years. This means that even if your favorite big-name developer isn’t shipping a Mac game this year, we’ll likely start to see more games that take advantage of Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, making this a worthwhile upgrade.
In terms of specs, the M1 Pro’s 16-inch MacBook Pro will handle just about anything you can use, with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, plus 16GB of RAM. A 512GB SSD is included at $2499, but you can upgrade to 1TB for $200. If you’re also a creative pro or crave all the power you can get, you might want to upgrade to the M1 Max version for another $200.
The best MacBook for gaming
16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, 2021)
Powered by the M1 Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is one of the most powerful laptops you can buy right now, period. If you need the M1 Max chip, it’s available as an upgrade option.