Apple’s current range of Mac hardware is a confusing jumble of very powerful machines, especially after the introduction of in-house M1 silicon. At the top of the food chain is the MacBook Pro, also known as the “Cheese Grater Mac,” aimed at professionals looking for upgradeability and top performance. Then you have a machine like the MacBook Air, which has been hailed as one of the most reliable – and powerful – portable computers on the market. Sounds like a win-win scenario for Apple, doesn’t it? But for buyers, the situation when choosing the right Mac is a bit tricky.
Let’s start with the laptop form factor. Before you get into any MacBook model, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself, such as: B. How important is portability to you? How many ports do you want on your computer? What kind of work do you want to do on your MacBook? Is a 13-inch screen big enough for your creative work? And the budget too, because these Apple machines aren’t cheap.
Best overall result: M1 MacBook Air
In his review of the MacBook Air with M1, Pocketnow’s Jaime Rivera called it “the best computer for most people” and that it is the best computer for the money on his recommended list. There is really a lot to like here. You get the familiar metallic construction that’s as appealing as laptops can be, unless there’s one more surprise – the fanless design. The 13.3-inch retina display with a resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels is crisp, bright and offers acceptable viewing angles.
Inside, the M1 chip keeps things going, and the battery life has increased thanks to the benefit of a new circuit with an ARM-based SoC. Apple offers up to 15 hours of wireless Internet surfing and a maximum of 18 hours of video playback on a single charge. The port selection is still quite slim, as you only get two USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports that support the USB-4 standard. Fortunately, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is there for authentication, while the Wi-Fi 6 support ensures a smooth connectivity experience.
The big upgrade is of course the M1 chip based on the 5 nm process and octa-core architecture. In case you’re concerned about its performance, Apple claims CPU performance has increased 3.5 times compared to a MacBook Air with Intel’s Core i7 processor. Additionally, Apple claims its in-house chip delivers 3 times the CPU performance per watt, while the integrated octa-core graphics engine doubles graphics performance. Would you like to find out more about the machine? Check out this resource page.
The MacBook Air starts at $ 999 for the base configuration with a 7-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of onboard storage. Keep in mind, however, that the internals are not upgradeable, which means you should probably be better off spending a few hundred dollars more to double (or quadruple) the storage depending on your needs.
Check out the MacBook Air M1 on Amazon
Best desktop: 24-inch iMac
Appearance is only half the picture here. Apple redesigned the iMac after years of the same aesthetic profile. Aside from an impressively thin design, the new 24-inch iMac also comes in a few bright colors, including blue, green, pink, silver, purple, orange, and yellow. But there’s a lot more to talk about, so let me sum it up briefly here.
The iMac 2021 offers a 24-inch 4.5K retina display that covers the P3 color space, offers 500 nits of peak brightness and is supported by in-house True Tone technology. Under the slim case is the Apple M1 chip, which thanks to the new 16-core NPU should offer up to 85 percent faster CPU performance, 2x faster GPU performance and up to 3x faster machine learning performance. A major upgrade is the 1080p front camera, which is now supported by an ISP on the M1 chip.
Just like the MacBook Air mentioned above, the new M1-powered 24-inch iMac comes in two models – a base model with a 7-core GPU and a more powerful version with an 8-core GPU. You can combine this with up to 16 GB of RAM and 2 TB of onboard storage. Speaking of port selection, depending on the model, you get up to 4 USB-C Thunderbolt ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port. In addition to the six-speaker system, Spatial Audio is supported when viewing Dolby Atmos content.
To get your hands on the new 24-inch iMac, you’ll need to spend at least $ 1,299 on the base configuration with a 7-core GPU and a paltry 256GB of onboard storage. For the more powerful 8-core model, you’ll need to spend at least $ 1,499 on that extra graphics power and a redesigned Magic Keyboard with a Touch ID button.
Check out the iMac 24-inch M1 on Amazon
Best budget – Mac Mini
Recently, my sister asked me for advice on which Mac hardware to use for her college programming course. After consulting a few developers I know, the general consensus has been that the new M1-powered Mac Mini is a great machine, especially for those getting into the software and app development game and a taste of the Apple -Want to get into the ecosystem without making major compromises in terms of raw firepower – or cremating your wallet.
The new M1-powered machine delivers brute power in the same stadium as the new M1-powered iMac or MacBook Pro. Configurable with up to 16 GB of RAM, 2 TB of storage and a choice between a 7-core and 8-core GPU variant, the new Mac Mini is the perfect Mac computer for you if you are not looking for portability and are planning on using it to a monitor (and other accessories) of your choice.
Equipped with two Thunderbolt ports that can control a 6K display or two 4K panels, an equal number of USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port, the M1 Mac Mini won’t have you too make very worried about the port selection. The best thing about the M1 Mac Mini is that it is significantly cheaper at $ 699, while the cheapest M1 MacBook Air costs at least $ 1,000.
I’ve been plugging the device into my LG monitor and trusted Logitech mechanical keyboard all day, and from what I’ve seen every day so far, it would be a difficult decision for me to work on a different device. To me, this is the best combination of affordability and performance Apple has offered in a while and you should definitely consider this one.
Check out the Mac Mini M1 on Amazon
The best for creative people – 16-inch MacBook Pro
The 16-inch MacBook Pro, touted as the most powerful notebook of all time by Apple, is nothing short of every developer’s dream machine. As one of the last MacBooks to rock an Intel chip and the splitting Touch Bar, this device has enough power to chew anything you throw at it with ease. Did I mention there is a physical Esc key on the keyboard too?
The 16-inch Retina display with a peak brightness of 500 nits and P3 color space coverage is a treat for tasks like media editing, while the studio sound system with six speakers is some of the best you can find on a laptop. But let’s address the elephant in the room – raw strength.
You can equip this bad boy with up to an octa-core Intel Core i9 processor, which can be combined with up to a massive 64 GB DDR4 RAM and up to 8 TB storage. In the graphics department it goes up to the AMD Radeon 5600M graphics with 8 gig HBM2 memory. Keep that in mind and check out this collection of the best Mac accessories you will find there.
Whether you are using Logic Pro X, Autodesk Maya or Maxon Cinema 4D, this device can handle it all and also has enough space to store all of your files. Apple claims that the 100 Wh unit built into the device will last up to 11 hours on a single charge. For connectivity, this device offers four Thunderbolt ports with a throughput of 40 Gbit / s and support for the simultaneous handling of two 6K monitors.
Once you’ve chosen this device, check out our roundup of the best docking stations for the Macbook Pro, as well as the best protective cases to keep it in pristine condition.
Check out the Macbook Pro 16-inch on Amazon
Best desktop upgrade: iMac 27-inch
What if you want the best Apple device to adorn your desk, both in terms of looks and raw firepower? Well, look no further than the 27-inch iMac. This is due soon for an in-house Apple silicon upgrade too, but the current model with an Intel chip inside is still a beast of its own.
On the front, you are greeted by a gorgeous 5K retina panel that offers 500 nits of peak brightness, True Tone technology, and P3 color space coverage. It also borrows the nano-textured glass coating of the Pro Display XDR to reduce glare. In my personal experience, I have never come across an AIO with a display as beautiful as this machine. But this computer beast has a lot more to offer than meets the eye.
You can equip it with up to a 10-core Intel Core i9 processor with a top clock speed of 5.0 GHz. You can also combine this fire-breathing Intel silicon with up to 128 GB of RAM and 8 TB of fast SSD storage. The graphics, on the other hand, extend up to an AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series GPU with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. Whether it’s 3D graphics rendering or video editing, this device can handle everything without any problems.
The port selection on this Apple-branded AIO isn’t bad either, as you get a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB Type-A ports, a Gigabit-class Ethernet port, an SDXC card slot, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack preserved Good. You don’t have to deal with poor quality video calls either, as the 1080p front camera and studio-quality three-microphone array make for a great experience.
Check out the iMac 27-inch on Amazon
The current Mac portfolio from Apple is bursting with powerful devices, each of which serves its own target group. But one device that really impressed me with its outstanding value is the new M1-powered MacBook Air. It not only offers a significant increase in performance and battery life, but also retains the familiar MacBook Air look and feel. All from $ 999.
If you look in the Windows ecosystem for thin and light computers that offer comparable computing power, you will find options such as the Dell XPS series and Microsoft’s Surface laptop family, both of which are significantly more expensive. Overall, Apple has succeeded in offering an excellent ratio between performance, performance and price with the new MacBook Air.
I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years and have worked with names like NDTV and Beebom in the past. Leaving the latest news aside, I’ve checked out my fair share of devices that range from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I’ve also interviewed technical executives and acted as a host on YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.