The best MacBook laptop

Kyle Schurman

Fans of Apple products are pretty loyal -- they've likely owned iPhones, iPads, and iPods, choosing Apple over other brands.

However, deciding to own a Macintosh operating system computer like a MacBook laptop is where the fandom sometimes comes to an end. For many years, Macintosh computers just couldn't operate key types of business software. This forced some Apple fans to stick with a Windows operating system computer.

That's no longer the case. The majority of software now is web-based or available through an app, and it runs on any laptop operating system.

If you want to purchase a MacBook and add to your collection of Apple products, it's a great time to do so. Our favorite MacBook is the Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch Retina Display, which is reasonably priced and has an impressively sharp screen.

Considerations when choosing MacBook laptops

Apple offers its MacBook family of laptops in three configurations. Think about how you plan to use the laptop to pick the right model for your needs.

Standard: The standard version of the MacBook represents the budget-priced line of laptops from Apple. This version is a little bigger than the MacBook Air, and it doesn't have as much processing power as the MacBook Pro. The standard version has smaller display screens than Pro, too.
Air: The MacBook Air is Apple's lightest and thinnest model of laptop. It's perfect for those who need to take a laptop with them everywhere they go. It's not as powerful as the Pro model, and it costs more than the standard MacBook model.
Pro: MacBook Pro laptops are the most expensive Apple portable computers. They contain the newest processors and the highest levels of performance. They also have the largest screens, making them a great option for photographers or video editors.


As with any laptop, finding the right MacBook for your needs is easier when you understand the components involved.

RAM: Random access memory is a type of memory that stores software and data currently in use. Having more RAM available in the MacBook allows it to run faster.
Storage space: MacBooks either use a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) or the newer solid state drive (SSD). SSD storage costs more per GB, but it gives you access to data much faster than an HDD. SSDs are more reliable in the long run.
Screen size: MacBook laptops have screen sizes measuring between 11 and 15.4 inches diagonally.
Keyboard size: If you choose a MacBook with a screen size of 12 inches or less, it will have a below average sized keyboard. Those with screen sizes of 13 inches or larger have standard sized keyboards.

MacBook laptop prices

MacBook laptops are expensive pieces of hardware. You can pick up a Windows laptop or Chromebook for quite a bit less, but if you want the Mac operating system on a laptop, paying a premium is worth it.

Entry-level MacBooks cost $900 to $1,500. These laptops have basic processors and less RAM than advanced models. Higher-end MacBook laptops cost $1,500 to $3,000. They have fast processors, large storage capacities, and extremely sharp display screens.


Q. How do I know how much storage space to select?

A. Whether you select an HDD or a SSD, you need to have the right amount of storage space for your needs. Those who often shoot photos and video need 1TB or more of storage space. Those who stick with word processing and internet usage can get by with 256GB or less. For typical users, 512GB is adequate.

Q. If I select a MacBook, do I have to use only Apple software?

A. Not necessarily. Manufacturers offer virtual machine software that allows the Macintosh laptop to simulate Windows. The majority of MacBook laptop owners won't need to do this, however, because modern software often is available for both Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

MacBook laptops we recommend

Best of the best: Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch Retina Display

Our take: Excellent graphics and audio quality make this MacBook a great choice for those wanting to stream video and audio.

What we like: Reasonable price for an Apple laptop. Retina Display provides amazing visual quality.

What we dislike: Solid state drive is limited to 256GB of storage.

Best bang for your buck: Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Display

Our take: Low price for a MacBook, and it has up to 12 hours of battery life for on-the-go computing power.

What we like: Contains 8GB of RAM for fast performance. Laptop body measures only 0.68 inches in thickness.

What we dislike: Only has 128GB of SSD storage. Doesn't offer the fastest processor on the market.

Choice 3: Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Display

Our take: High-end Apple laptop that provides the speed and processing power you need for any task.

What we like: Contains four USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports. Has 512GB of fast SSD storage space.

What we dislike: Expensive. Display screen could be larger for a laptop in this price range.

Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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