Sunday, March 26, 2023

How To Choose A Mac Laptop

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Driving External Monitors From A Docking Station

How to Choose a Mac Laptop for Graphic Design

As with power delivery, it’s important to match your laptop’s video-output capabilities to those of the dock. The first thing to take into account are the monitor or monitors you have, or that you may intend to add. Note the maximum resolution and refresh rate of the monitor you intend to connect. Ensuring that your dock and laptop support both specs is essential.

Apple Macbook Pro Audio

Skinny speakers, big punch. I didnt expect much from the MacBook Pros stereo speakers, but I was pleasantly surprised throughout my testing. As I listened to the Master version of Toni Braxtons Gotta Move On on Tidal, my small living room/dining room was filled with the sound of cascading strings, slowly giving way to synthed-out keyboard and a strong beat all of this before the singers world-renowned sultry alto entered the soundscape.

Once it did, I could hear the breaths as she enunciated her words, particularly on the ts or a quick succession of ah, ah, ahs. H.E.R.s electric guitar seared the track, adding its own mournful testimony to the sad love song.

Who Is The Mac Studio Best For

The Mac Studio is for professionals who need a powerful Mac. Prior to introduction of the Mac Studio this group of Mac users had the choice of the 27in iMac, 16in or 14in MacBook Pro or the Mac Pro.

For those who need portability a Mac laptop is the obvious choice, but the world has changed in the past few years and there is a lot less commuting going on, so maybe there isn’t the need to have a Mac you can carry around wiht you that there once was.

More than a decade ago these users would have opted for the Mac Pro, but the current Mac Pro is priced out of the range of the vast majority of Mac users. The 27in iMac was therefore seen as the option for those who used to rely on a Mac Pro. But then Apple removed the 27in iMac from the line up.

What we are left with is a Mac that fills the gap left by the Mac Pro when Apple updated that Mac to the unsuccessful 2009 model. The Mac Studio is the Mac that those who used to own a Mac Pro before the Mac Pro evolved into what it is today.

The new Mac Studio is particularly ideal for graphic design, or those who work with video and images.

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Matthew Murray Head Of Testing

I haven’t put much stake in typing tests since I started regularly hitting 100 wpm in eighth grade. Most of the 29 years since have involved making only minor speed increases, gently refining my technique and maintaining the health of my valuable carpal tunnel. So seeing these decades of work wither before my eyes with a speed of 79 wpm was humiliating, to say the least. What was to blame? The older MacBook Pro’s butterfly keyboard. Designed exclusively for thinness, it bombs at actual typing, with its dearth of travel making the experience only marginally less excruciating than speed-drumming your fingertips on concrete.

The scissor keyboard isn’t perfect. But its keys do move, in acknowledgment of the physical reality that the coordination of the motion of your fingers with the motion of the keys is essential to speedy, accurate and comfortable typing. The scissor keyboard let me clock 103 wpm much closer to my current norm and thus redeem my self-worth. But thanks to the butterfly keyboard, my hands still hurt for an hour afterward something that hasn’t happened to me in 20 years. I thought it was only in chaos theory that butterflies did this much damage.

Winner: Scissor keyboard

Decide Your Graphics Needs

Mac vs. Windows: Which Is Right for You?

Most laptops rely on their processors integrated graphics chipset, usually called something like Intel HD Graphics. This can play simple 3D games at low resolution at low to medium detail settings, but if youre serious about games then youll need a laptop with a dedicated Nvidia or AMD graphics chipset. Its hard to determine how quick a graphics chipset will be from the model number, so we recommend searching for graphics benchmarks online to see how a chipset performs in the latesttitles.

Only very expensive laptops can play the latest games at very high detail levels, so if you have the space it may be worth buying a normal laptop and a gaming desktop PC instead.

Related: Best graphics cards

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Best Performance Laptop: 16

The 16-inch MacBook Pro still has Intel processors, and when configured with higher-end processors and graphics, it remains the fastest Mac laptop in most cases. Users who want an M-series processor in the big-screen MacBook Pro will have to wait a little longer.

Students who need a bit more power, such as artists and designers, can easily find it here. The large, 16-inch screen provides ample working space at a 3072-by-1920 native resolution, perfect for working in programs like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. The option to upgrade to a Core i9 processor means you’ll always have power to spare, regardless of the project.

Depending on what programs students will be running, they have several memory and graphics options available to them. For general use, the base 16 gigabytes of memory will be more than enough for most students and has the added benefit of saving them money. If a student plans on doing extensive video editing or 3D modeling, they can upgrade to either 32 or 64 gigabytes of RAM at an additional cost.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a variety of options when it comes to graphics, as well. The base model features an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M card with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, which is sufficient for most users. However, power users may find that upgrading to the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M option gives them better results when working in programs like Maya or AutoCad.

How To Quickly Switch Microphones From The Menu Bar

If you have the Show Volume in the Menu Bar option enabled in the Sound preferences, theres another way you can switch between audio input devices. Simply press and hold Option, click the speaker icon in the menu bar, and then select the microphone you want to use.

This is the fast way to switch microphones, but you wont be able to adjust the input volume like you can in System Preferences.

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Should You Buy A Macbook Pro Now Or Wait

The 16in models were introduced in October 2021 so you are pretty much safe to buy one now. THe only reason not to buy is if you don’t really need a laptop. If you would be just as happy with a desktop Mac you should condider the Mac Studio, which also offers the M1 Max along with an even more powerful option: the M1 Ultra. This Mac is £500/$600 cheaper than the equivalent 16in MacBook Pro .

Best Macbook For 2022

How to choose a laptop 2016?

With new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the MacBook line offers higher-end options, but you might want to stick with the basic MacBook Air.

With MacOS, a nearly bulletproof build and Apple’s expanded M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max chips now powering the lineup, MacBooks are among the most universally useful laptops you can buy. MacBook laptops range from $999 to $6,000 or more, even though they share a lot of the same design and feature DNA. I get a lot of reader questions about how to decide on a specific model or configuration. Below you’ll find answers to some of those frequently asked questions, as well as our picks for the best MacBook for your laptop needs.

Apple is still offering education deals on MacBooks: Normally, the Apple Store is not the best place to buy an Apple laptop because sales are all but nonexistent. The big exception to the rule is Apple’s education sales, which usually include MacBook deals. If you’re a student or teacher, that can mean $100 off a MacBook Air and a free pair of AirPods, plus a 20% discount on the AppleCare Plus extended warranty . On the other hand, we’ve also found Apple laptop deals through Best Buy’s Student Deals page.

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Who Is The 24in Imac Best For

It’s a desktop Mac, so the 24in iMac is obviously best for someone who doesn’t mind being tied to their desk. Or perhaps you already own a laptop and need a more powerful machine. The great thing about buying an Apple computer is that because everything is tied to your iCloud account all your Safari bookmarks, photos, messages, iCloud documents and applications will be available to you on all of your Macs.

Perhaps the big screen appeals – 24in is bigger than the screen on a 16in MacBook Pro. Of course if it’s a big screen you want you could just plug your Mac laptop into a separate display.

The type of person for whom the 24in iMac is ideal is different to the type who would have chosen the 27in iMac back when Apple was selling it. The now discontinued 27in iMacs used to feature discrete GPUs that would have appealed to creative pro users and gamers, the 24in iMacs feature Apple’s 8-core GPUs . The M1 GPUs hold reasonably well for creative tasks – Apple did suggest that the 24in iMac is capable of up to 2x faster GPU performance for certain apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, as well as having the ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage – so these Macs may be sufficient for creative users. But there are better, cheaper options for this demanding market.

Regardless of whether they are adequate for creative pros, the 24in iMacs are great options for general use.

Macbook Pro Screen Size

If you are leaning towards the MacBook Pro, you have a choice to make: Do you go for the 13-inch model or the 16-inch version? Not only is the latter a larger machine, but it comes with a few extras bundled in: Much better audio, a redesigned cooling system, plus a dedicated graphics chip that can improve rendering and gaming performance.

But the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a trick up its sleeve: Apples M1 chip. This system-on-a-chip integrates a processor, graphics, and memory into one chip, and its performance is amazing. In our MacBook Pro 13-inch review, we found it traded blows with the 16-inch MacBook Pro that is almost double the price.

Apple is expected to bring its own Apple Silicon chips to the 16-inch MacBook Pro this year, perhaps as early as the summer, so that should restore its performance advantage over its smaller sibling.

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Apple Macbook Pro Pricing And Configuration

I had a blast reviewing the $1,899 configuration of the MacBook Pro which has the new Apple M1 SoC, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and Apple M1 graphics. The base model costs $1,299 and has the Apple M1 SoC , 8GB and a 256GB SSD. The $2,299 version bumps the storage up to 2TB. Each laptop comes with a 13-inch, 2560 x 1600 Retina display.

Macbook For Data Science Student

10 reasons why you should choose a Mac® vs PC

Yap X. reached out to me with the following question:

Hi, Im a data scientist and freelance web developer. For data science stuff i can use google colab in a browser. For develop a web, i just need a text editor. Currently, Im considering picking a MBA or MBP.

First, I steered him to my article on choosing a MacBook for a college student, which covers this topic in-depth.

Then, the question was whether he needs more space or RAM. I know that data science projects need a lot of memory, but web developers benefit from more storage .

In the end, he went with MBP, 128GB with 2TB external drive.

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Which Macbook Should I Buy

My TL DR advice is as follows.

  • If you need a MacBook for everyday work, schoolwork, web surfing, movies and light creativity, go with the MacBook Air. For most people, this is all the MacBook they’ll need.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro remains a tough sell. More expensive than the Air, but essentially the same Apple M1 chip. It’s also the last holdout of the Touch Bar.
  • The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the one high-end creative pros have been waiting for. Every video editor and creative pro I’ve spoken to is either excited to get one or has already preordered one, usually with the highest-end M1 Max chip.
  • The 14-inch MacBook Pro can do almost everything the 16-inch can, but in a smaller package. It’s either a really premium mainstream laptop splurge or a work tool for creative types who need something a little more portable.

Goodbye Intel: Testing The Apple M1

Once all of this transitional dust settles, M1 Macs are going to be significantly faster across the board compared with the Intel Macs that preceded them. To demonstrate, we ran a handful of tests on our recommended M1 MacBook Air and Pro configurations, the Intel Core i5 MacBook Air configuration that we recommended earlier in 2020, and a fully loaded Intel Core i9 iMac from 2020.4 Heres what we ran:

  • The Geekbench 5 benchmark, which is good at showing how processors do when performing for short periods of time. This includes both a single-core test, which measures the processors speed when just one of its cores is active, and a multi-core test that uses all available processor cores.
  • Maxon Cinebench R23, which can be used to demonstrate how processors perform over longer periods of time. It also has both single- and multi-core tests, and we ran the 30-minute version of the test.
  • Transcoding an 87-minute movie using HandBrakes 1080p30 Fast preset, to test how quickly each Mac can encode a video.5
  • Running devMEremenkos Xcode Benchmark in using Apples Xcode development environment. This tests how long it takes a Mac to compile code, as youd do before you uploaded an app to one of Apples App Stores.

We chose all of these tests because theyve already been optimized for Apple silicon, and because they represent a mix of basic benchmarks plus activities that actual people do with their Macs.

Geekbench 5 single-core
9 minutes, 13 seconds 139.6 seconds

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Apple Macbook Air: $994 And Up

The Apple MacBook Air, the Cupertino company’s entry-level MacBook, is a great option for a basic, day-to-day laptop computer. With a 13.3-inch Retina display and a weight of 2.8 pounds, it’s the lightest and most portable of the MacBooks. Yet it still retains a premium feel, with an aluminum body and backlit keyboard. It’s powered by Apple’s snappy M1 chip, so it will see you through basic photo editing and light video editing. That’s especially when you upgrade from the base model to a higher-end configuration. Its battery also lasts up to 18 hours.

If you’re mainly using a laptop to browse the web, edit spreadsheets, take notes in class, watch YouTube or communicate on Zoom, the base configuration with 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of SSD storage is more than enough to meet your needs.

Apple also sells an upgraded version of the MacBook Air with an 8-Core GPU and 512 GB of SSD storage. This is slightly better suited for more graphics-intensive tasks such as photo editing and graphic design, but if you’re considering it at that price, know you’ll likely be better off upgrading to the identically priced MacBook Pro 13-inch.

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Best For Battery Life

Although there isnt a huge amount of difference when it comes to battery life, most Mac laptops come equipped with a minimum of 10 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing and/or iTunes video streaming.

Beating the others is the all day battery that is included in the 13-inch MacBook Air, with 12 hours available before you need to use a charger. However, as any Mac users knows, the older a laptop gets, the weaker it charges and quicker a charge disappears, so it is always useful to have a power cord handy when you are planning to use a Mac laptop for a prolonged period of time.

Apple Macbook Pro Display

Its simply not a MacBook without the Retina Display. However, Apple continues to tweak the formula, adding innovative technologies such as TrueTone to the mix. The technology intelligently and almost imperceptibly adjusts the displays color temperature based on how well or poorly lit the environment is, creating an optimal viewing experience at all times. The display also features P3 wide color gamut, which is a wider color spectrum than sRGB. That means more vibrant colors which is always a good thing.

Something I can really do without are the thick bezels surrounding the 13.3-inch, 2650 x 1600-pixel Retina display. When all of your competitors are making the effort to shrink the unsightly black bars to barely-there levels, it makes no sense that Apple hasnt followed suit. Maybe next time.

The trailer for the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, was alive with color. My favorite scene had actress Jennifer Hudson, dressed in a rose red sweater with a powder pink blouse underneath. Her brown skin looked warm and healthy and the detail was so sharp, you could see the sunlight glinting off of individual strands of hair, showing off the chocolate lowlights throughout.

When we tested the MacBook Pros color reproduction capabilities, it registered 78.3% on the DCI-P3 gamut. That is short of our 84% premium laptop average. However, its still better than the Spectre , the ZenBook and the XPS 13 .

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