Best Overall: Macbook Air
In mid-2020, Cupertino announced Apple silicon. Six months later, the first non-Intel-based MacBooks in over a decade arrived, starting with the MacBook Air . The best MacBook for students this year, the latest MacBook Air packs a punch for anyone on a smaller budget, starting with its battery life up to 18 hours between charges, depending on what you’re doing.
At 2.8 pounds, the MacBook Air is the lightest Apple tablet on the market despite having the same screen size as the smallest MacBook Pro model. Along with being less weighty, the MacBook Air also contains the same essential internals Apple’s all-new M1 SoC. The laptop also includes a backlit Magic Keyboard and a Touch ID sensor.
No doubt, the MacBook Air is appealing. However, it comes with drawbacks, including fewer Thunderbolt 3 ports, less display brightness, and more inferior speakers than most MacBook Pro models. It also offers 2 hours less battery life between charges than the 13-inch MacBook Pro . None of the disadvantages should stop you from buying it, however.
The MacBook Air is also our favorite Mac for all users this year.
What Are The Best Laptops
Our pick for the best laptop overall is the Dell XPS 13, which packs speedy performance and a gorgeous bezel-less display into an incredibly slim and lightweight design with long battery life. And thanks to Black Friday deals, you can currently get the Dell XPS 13 for a bargain price. If you can afford the more expensive model with an OLED touchscreen, it’s well worth the expense.
If you love the idea of an OLED laptop but want something a bit more affordable, Asus has an OLED-equipped Zenbook 13 that packs great power and amazing battery life, and it’s usually a few hundred bucks cheaper than the XPS 13.
Windows 11 is out now, but even eligible Windows 10 machines may not receive an upgrade offer until 2022. Many of the laptops on this list can now be bought with Windows 11 pre-installed, but not all of them. If you want a laptop right now that’s guaranteed to run Windows 11 and show it off to full effect, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is a great choice. It’s a powerful, well-built 2-in-1 that can do some decent gaming or video editing. The optional $129 Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus is a bit pricey, but it pairs nicely with the Studio and works well on the convertible’s 120 Hz touchscreen.
The Acer Swift 3 is the best budget laptop for shoppers watching their wallets. If you need more ideas for a high-quality budget laptop. For our full recommendations, check out our picks for the best laptops below.
How To Pick The Best Mac For You
We’ve selected the MacBook Air as the best Mac of the year. It’s packed with the features most users need yet omits the ones they do not. Better still, it’s priced right and is easy to carry across the room or back and forth on campus. However, the MacBook Air isn’t the most powerful Mac, nor does it offer the broadest customization options.
Don’t Miss: How To Connect Laptop To Tv Using Usb
Stay Connected: Wired And Wireless Options
A strong wireless-connectivity loadout is essential in any business machine these days. Offices, airports, and client sites demand wireless connectivity for access to real-time email, messaging clients, and cloud services. Few businesspeople work fully local anymore.
Every laptop these days has some flavor of Wi-Fi built in. It should get you satisfactory throughput, but you have to find a hotspot or an unprotected network to surf the web. Look for dual-band Wi-Fi for the best flexibility for your IT organization. The most common kind nowadays, 802.11ax , runs primarily on 5GHz networks, but it will work with 2.4GHz networks as a fallback. Offices in high-density buildings may wish to use the less-populated 5GHz bands, as the 2.4GHz channels tend to get more crowded. Some budget business laptops still sport older 802.11ac Wi-Fi these may offer less reliable connections but are still adequate for most small and medium businesses.
Don’t discount good old Ethernet entirely: You’ll still need it for crowded conferences where the Wi-Fi is saturated. So, if your laptop is too thin to house an Ethernet jack, a USB-to-Ethernet adapter is a worthwhile investment.
Best Macbook For 2022
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.
You May Like: Shut Down Laptop With Keyboard
Are Macbooks Really Worth It
That entirely depends on your needs and wants from a portable computer and whether you’re willing to pay Apple’s asking price. If you’re already familiar with macOS or even Apple’s mobile operating system, it makes a lot of sense to use a computer that’s well connected with those interfaces. You’ll get the most out of every device involved this way, even your MacBook. That level of synchronization is worth it to me as well as numerous others.
The Best Laptop For Students
Lenovos Chromebook Duet is a great convertible laptop for kids, or anyone who wants a reliable secondary driver for browsing and games. Its a nice-looking, well-made 10-inch device that comes with a detachable keyboard and kickstand.
The Duet is tailor-made to be used around the house and on the go, weighing just 2.03 pounds and delivering over 11 hours of battery life. Its MediaTek processor isnt designed to shoulder heavy loads, but its just fine for browsing in a couple tabs, watching Netflix, or playing Android games it even handles photo editing pretty well. The Duet also features a new tablet mode for Chrome OS, which supports an Android-inspired gesture navigation system and a unique Chrome layout optimized for tablet use.
The Chromebook Duet is an absolute steal for its low price, and is the Chromebook to buy if youre on a tight budget.
You May Like: How To Get Phone Screen On Laptop
What Processor Should I Buy
The most popular CPUs for laptops today are Intels eighth-generation Whiskey Lake processors that include low-power Y-series and fast and efficient U-series. For most productivity Windows 10 users, we recommend a minimum of the Core i5-8265U, which is a highly capable processor that can handle most productivity tasks without slowing down. Its also efficient, meaning youll enjoy great battery life. If you skip back to older generations of Intel processors, youll find slower clock speeds and fewer cores at your disposal, meaning you may run into bottlenecks while multitasking or running multi-threaded applications.
Chromebook running on Googles more efficient Chrome OS can utilize slower processors and still perform well, such as an Intel Core i3 or even a Pentium processor. Not many Chromebooks bother with the fastest Core i7 CPU.
If youre looking for a gaming or content creation laptop, we recommend either last years eighth-generation or the most current ninth-gen, ultra-power H-series CPUs. Youll find these in laptops ranging from the Dell XPS 15 to the Razer Blade 15.
What Not To Get
A Macs that is easy to take off your shopping list is the Mac Pro. Its a much more powerful machine than the average student will need, and, if you do, maybe your university has one in the lab.
In a field like 3D animation you maybe enticed by a high-end 16in MacBook Pro or the Mac Studio . But in the vast majority of cases you can confidently opt for a cheaper model.
Also Check: How To Get More Space On Your Laptop
Best Laptop For Enterprise Fleets
- Excellent performance from 11th Generation Intel Core i7
- Long battery life
- Corporate chic styling with aluminum or carbon fiber
- Optional LTE
- Heavier and pricier than Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Occasional fan noise
- Fully rugged without being a hulk
- Bright, full HD touch display
- Dual, hot-swappable batteries
- Secure port covers and garaged stylus
- Quiet operation
- Accidental damage included in three-year warranty
- Top-notch input devices and speakers
- Available with 5G WWAN
- A bit expensive for the performance level
- Tops out with a quad-core processor
Best Macbook For Students 2021
BestMacBook for studentsiMore2021
Whether you’re still in high school or in the middle of college, a laptop is an essential piece of equipment for every student. Apple makes some of the best laptops in the world with its MacBook lineup. Whether it’s the powerful MacBook Pro or hyper-portable MacBook Air, Apple’s laptops will power you through any task you’ll meet. The MacBook Air is the best MacBook for students. It has enough power to face almost any academic challenge you come up against. Depending on your situation, there are other MacBooks to consider, as you can see below.
Read Also: How To Change Msi Keyboard Color
The 2022 Macbook Pro’s Keyboard And Trackpad: Familiar Solid Inputs
The Magic Keyboard feels great to type on, combining the slimness of a membrane dome switch with the satisfying, solid typing feel of the scissor-switch mechanical stabilizers beneath each key. As laptop keyboards go, its quite good, if not the best of the lot trying it side-by-side with the keyboard on the recently reviewed Dell XPS 15 OLED , the Apple keyboard felt shallow.
The Force Touch trackpad is still spacious, though its generous size is no longer an outlier. Large touch pads have become the norm on midrange and premium ultraportable laptops, among them the Dell XPS 13 OLED and the HP Spectre x360 14. The pressure-sensitive controls offered by Force Touch arent as impressive, however, as they seemed back when it was introduced. For many users, the contextual menus and pressure-specific controls are less intuitive than a simple binary mouse click, or straightforward gesture controls. The haptic feedback, however, still remains one of the best implementations weve seen.
How To Choose The Right Laptop For You
While there are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right laptop, we advise that you start by figuring out how much display you need. Most laptops are available in display resolutions ranging from 1080p to 4K , and in screen sizes from 13 to 17 inches. Many Windows machines also offer optional touch displays.
We think a 13 to 15 inch laptop at 1080p is the sweet spot for most people, as youll get very good clarity and a decent amount of real estate within a machine thats still fairly portable and reasonably priced. This class of machine makes relatively few compromises and works well for most users.
- Storage: 512GB or larger solid state drive
- Ports: At least two USB-C connections
A higher screen resolution means you can see more detail when using apps and watching movies, or get more screen real estate for apps , but it can also drive the price of a laptop up considerably. So a 4K display makes the most sense if you do a lot of graphics work or use your laptop as your main entertainment screen for movies and TV, . Also think about how youll be using your laptop a slim 13-inch notebook is ideal for working on the road, while a 17-inch machine isnt quite as portable, but will get you more screen space for working at your desk.
Also Check: Screen Record Dell
Best Macbook In 202: Find The Best Macbook For You
ByAlex Wawropublished 2 January 22
The best MacBooks you can buy right now are all here so you can figure out which is best for you
Included in this guide:
MacBook Pro with M1
The best MacBook for you and your needs is a tricky thing to figure out, especially now that Apple has new MacBook Pro models with entirely new processors and a different design. With the Apple M1 chip now joined by the M1 Pro and M1 Max, MacBooks as we know have changed.
But once you take a closer look at the best MacBooks you can see that one size doesn’t fit all. There are specific reasons why you should opt for the M1-powered MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro M1, or spend more on the newer 14- and 16-inch systems, where you have a choice between the M1 Pro and M1 Max.
Apple’s M1-equipped $999 MacBook Air is our top recommendation for the best MacBook overall. The Apple M1 chip makes it faster than we ever expected the Air to get, and its power efficiency enables much longer battery life, lasting over 14 hours on a charge. The $1,299 MacBook Pro M1 is a bit more powerful and lasts even longer on a charge.
Best Laptops For Programming: What To Look For
Programming can be done on many different types of machines but many programmers want something more than just a basic laptop. While you don’t necessarily need a powerhouse of a laptop to code on, if you need to compile your code, and test out the games you’re working on, for example, then you’ll want a laptop with plenty of RAM and a modern multi-core processor. They are able to compile code much more quickly. And, the less time you have to spend waiting for your laptop to complete complex tasks, the more time you have to do other things such as take on more projects.
Screen size is really important when selecting one of the best laptops for programming. You’ll get more on a 15-inch screen than a smaller one, for example, so it’s easier to read through code and make GUI adjustments. Of course, with a bigger display you sacrifice portability.
Also consider getting an Intel Core i5 processor as a minimum that level of power isn’t exceptional but it will guarantee you enough performance, especially if you’re doing things like working with complex website layouts that have a lot of background code. Large, complex programs compile faster with a faster processor.
Graphics can also be key depending on the development work you’re doing. If you’re working with game development in an environment such as Unreal Engine or Unity then you need to consider the graphical requirements of those apps. Don’t miss our round up of the best graphics cards if this is something you might need.
Read Also: Usb Cable Laptop To Tv
Best Middle Of The Road Macbook
The MacBook Air is powerful enough for everyday tasks. But the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 is better-suited for those who need more power in a laptop that’s not as big as the 16-inch. It shares many similarities with the MacBook Air they both come in nearly identical configuration options, include the same number of ports, and have very similar screens.
But since the MacBook Pro has a fan-powered cooling system unlike the Air, it’s probably better at maintaining high performance for longer periods of time. So if you frequently run heavy workloads that involve crunching a lot of data, for example, the Pro is probably a better bet. Another added benefit: it has slightly longer battery life than the M1-powered Air.
Those are the biggest differences between the M1-powered Pro and Air, but the former’s processor also has an extra core in its GPU at the base level compared to the Air. Its screen is also slightly brighter, and the Pro’s speakers support high dynamic range unlike the Air’s.
Like the Air, the Pro has two USB-C ports, a 720 camera that uses Apple’s image signal processor, Touch ID, and the Magic Keyboard.
Still, that’s exactly what makes it the right choice for buyers who find themselves in the middle. It’s a great option for those who want a bit more than what the Air has to offer along with the benefits of Apple’s M1 chip.
Best Mac Desktop 2022
If you aren’t sold on Apple laptops, they aren’t the only game in town when it comes to Mac. There are also excellent desktop models. Our favorite desktop solution is the 24-inch iMac . The colorful all-in-one offers an Apple M1 system-on-a-chip and is packed with outstanding features. But there are other desktop Macs worth considering depending on your needs.
Read Also: How Do You Screenshot On A Laptop Dell
The Best Macbook: Which Apple Macbook Laptop Should You Buy
CBS Essentials is created independently from the CBS News staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.
The Apple MacBook laptops are well-known for combining power and a robust build in a sleek and minimalist form factor. They’re not only capable enough for content creators with demanding needs, but also built to last, thanks to their solid aluminum body. Meanwhile, the macOS inside offers a seamless environment for smooth, time-efficient workflows.
Top products in this article:
Although the rumored 2022 versions of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro haven’t made an appearance at the Apple Spring Event, it can still be tricky choosing from the current MacBook models available now. That’s especially true for people who aren’t familiar with these Apple laptops.
The good news is, whether you’re a casual user or a professional, you can find an Apple MacBook that’s a good fit for your needs. And you have us to steer you in the right direction. To help you choose the best Apple MacBook for your needs, we have rounded up the newest MacBook models for comparison as well as found the best MacBook deals available right now.