Not sure which MacBook to buy? These Apple laptops are of quite quality, with powerful hardware and an optimized and stable operating system to work and obtain the highest productivity. It is a better alternative to Microsoft Windows in almost all aspects, except in the amount of software and drivers available, which is still greater in the case of Windows. For that, you have the best alternatives to the MacBook.
Even the price of the hardware makes many advanced users prefer to buy a Macbook and then remove macOS and install the operating system they normally use, such as some GNU/Linux distribution, FreeBSD, etc. This way you can get a premium laptop at a high price, but we probably won’t find something like that if we go for the non-Apple alternatives. Also, since macOS has become free, you don’t pay for a license, so you don’t invest in that if you plan to get rid of it.
There are two variants of the Macbook, which are the Air and the Pro. In the case of the Air, it has a very thin thickness, that is, we are facing an ultrabook with high mobility and autonomy. On the other hand, in the case of Pro, it is a laptop with a little more performance.
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with M2
MacBook Air M2
Apple’s latest MacBook Air M2 comes with a ton of upgrades both inside and out, justifying its price increase. In design, we have a squarer style and two new colors. The screen is also bigger and brighter, and it comes equipped with an updated webcam. At 13.6 inches (versus 13.3 inches for its predecessor), the Liquid Retina panel has thinner borders, 500-nit screen brightness, and a notch that houses a 1080p sensor.
As for the ports, we go back to the MagSafe ones of the higher-end MacBook Pro models. This MacBook also comes with fast charging if you purchase the 67W USB-C Power Adapter. You can charge it up to 57% in just 30 minutes.
But the best is inside, with the new Apple M2 chip, which offers up to a 14% increase in performance compared to the M1. The M2 is an 8-core CPU that you can choose from alongside an 8-core or 10-core GPU.
The MacBook Air M2 is an ideal choice for those whose workloads, like video editing, don’t warrant a beefy chip like the M1 Pro or M1 Max, but are too graphics-intensive for the M1. If you can, I suggest you upgrade the RAM to 16GB to finish getting a true beast of value for money.
MacBook Pro M2
The new 13″ MacBook Pro M2 was intended to be a real revolution but we have been quite disappointed. Beyond the new M2 chip (the same one in the new MacBook Air), it doesn’t offer any major upgrades. It still comes with the same 13.3-inch screen, a 720p webcam, and two Thunderbolt ports. The only difference is the added support for high-impedance headphones on the audio jack, which provides a bit more fidelity.
Unlike the Air, it has a fan, allowing the processor to get a bit warmer and draw more power for a longer period. This helps if you work at a professional level, such as in video editing. Other advantages over the Air include slightly longer battery life and the Touch Bar on the top of the keyboard. It’s also a little heavier, but the same size as the Air and very thin.
It also shares the same M2 chipset as the Macbook Air, which includes an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, giving it a boost in graphics performance thanks to the two extra cores.
Seeing how little has changed since the 2020 version, it’s hard to recommend the new MacBook Pro based solely on its specs. It may not be powerful enough for heavy workloads. If you want to save money and don’t need the extra processing power, we suggest looking at the MacBook Pro M1 below.
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with M1
MacBook Air M1
There is also the Macbook Air with the M1 chip. A design that aims to provide greater mobility due to its thinness and lightness. But it ensures maintaining very high performance. It is very quiet since it is fanless, that is, a design without a fan so that it does not emit a sound. That makes it ideal for music producers.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new MacBook, the 2020 MacBook Air with the M1 chip is one of the best powerful laptops worth buying for the price. Also, if you are looking for it to work, it is great because the battery will last you an 8-hour day without a problem.
It comes with 256GB of storage, but you can opt for another model with an additional graphics core and 512GB. Unless you need more storage, the extra core isn’t worth the price increase. Instead, it’s worth paying $200 more for 16GB of RAM, which will allow you to run more apps simultaneously without slowdowns.
MacBook Pro M1
It is the monster, the older brother of the Air. This Pro version is designed to offer higher capacity and longer battery life than the previous one (at the cost of a slightly thicker profile). You can expect a plus in terms of processing power and graphics, while the rest of the features will be common to the Air.
You can choose between the models with the M1 Pro or M1 Pro Max chip. The 14-inch MacBook Pro has slimmer bezels on the display, so it’s fairly similar in size to the 13-inch MacBook. The same goes for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but it feels quite a bit bigger and heavier.
Both sizes come with mini-LED displays (providing deeper blacks and rich colors like the iPad Pro), a 120Hz refresh rate, physical keys instead of the Touch Bar, a 1080p webcam, and sound from six speakers.
Apple also introduced a wide variety of ports, including an HDMI port, three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, an SD card slot, and a high-impedance headphone jack. There’s also a MagSafe charging port that allows you to magnetically attach the charger to the MacBook Pro.
Models with both processors are significantly more powerful than most people need. If you work primarily in a web browser as a writer or on simpler jobs, these are overkill and we’d recommend sticking with a MacBook Air instead. 4K video editing? 3D modeling in CAD? Producing music? Then these versions are for you.
Advantages of Apple chips in Macbooks
Apple decided to swap out its x86 chips from Intel for its designs. This is known as Apple Silicon, and one of the first designs to hit the desktop world was the Apple M1.
The Cupertino company already did it with its chips for mobile devices, with the A-Series. Therefore, taking this step was only a matter of time, and the problems that Intel was registering in recent times with its microprocessors (both vulnerabilities and problems going beyond the 14nm node) would accelerate this step.
These new designs are based on the ARM ISA, although they are not Arm IP cores as some think. In other words, Apple doesn’t just license Arm core designs and put them on its chips, as many others do. In this case, Apple is responsible for designing its implementation, its microarchitecture, from scratch.
Therefore, the relationship between Arm and Apple is different. They simply have to license the architecture so they can use it in their products. Similar to what was already happening in his A-Series. Only the M-Series have higher performance since it is aimed at the notebook market.
The first performance tests have given very positive results, although you have to take them a bit with tweezers. However, the performance of these chips is quite good, and they have shown that they do not have to depend on Intel.
In addition to that, they have other advantages :
- They are quite energy efficient which prolongs battery usage. The figures that Apple has given are 14 hours and 41 minutes of autonomy in the MacBook Air, while the MacBook Pro reaches up to 16 hours and 32 minutes. Be careful, though, because Apple’s tests were done with 15 nits of screen brightness, which isn’t very realistic. With more usual figures they would exceed 10h.
- It integrates other units in the SoC, such as the Neural Engine unit, an accelerator for applications that use artificial intelligence that makes the performance higher than in Intel chips.
- They are not affected by certain security vulnerabilities that affect Intel chips.
- Ability to run both software compiled for x86 with Rosetta 2 and native binaries for Apple Silicon.
Why choose a Macbook?
- Security: macOS is based on UNIX and that already makes it much more stable, robust,, and secure by default than Microsoft Windows. Therefore, you will be able to browse safely without malware problems, although it is recommended to have an antivirus installed.
- Cloud – Apple has a cloud-like iCloud so if you have other Apple devices it would be a good option for you. You can sync your photos, apps, contacts, etc., and have them available on all your Apple devices.
- Interface and Design – The graphical interface of macOS is very simplified, minimalist, and highly usable. For this reason, you will not find an easier operating system to use, so it would be a good option for those who are not so fond of technology. The design and qualities of the laptop are also very good, without a doubt Apple wins in that, and it must be recognized.
- Technologies Made In Apple: Apple provides its computers with some features or technologies that you will not find in many of the alternative laptops to Macs. For example, they have a technology to stop the mechanical hard drive in case the laptop falls ( protects the drive from bumps), the TouchBar is able to perform many functions from a touch bar built into your keyboard, and TimeMachine to easily back up your data to an external storage drive, keyboards with good performance, Target mode for FireWire, AirDrop sending documents, one-touch file preview, a very efficient Dock to keep your desktop tidy, and more.
- Optimization: hardware and operating system are highly optimized, therefore you will find a fast and agile computer that hardly needs maintenance.
- Apps: In macOS, you will have several pre-installed applications that are already coming and that will surely help you in your daily work, such as Numbers, Pages, PhotoBooth, iMovie, etc.
If this has convinced you or you were already convinced before reading these reasons, let’s see which Macbooks we recommend choosing.
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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.