Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
There are plenty of 15.6-inch laptops, but 16-inch models like the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus are something of a rarity. The 16-inch display is a great size since the laptop is barely bigger than a 15.6-inch model, but you get more room for work and a roomier keyboard and touchpad along with it. For this Inspiron, Dell packed in performance parts including Nvidia discrete graphics and the display covers 100% sRGB and 81% AdobeRGB color gamuts, which is good enough if you’re getting started with creating web content. Also, the laptop has a more premium fit and finish than we’re used to seeing in the Inspiron line.
How We Test Macbook Laptops
We put MacBooks through extensive benchmark testing both synthetic and real-world before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display brightness, speaker volume and system heat.
We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of a laptop’s display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.
To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings and 1080p resolution.
We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over the category average to be a good result. Of course, these tests are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.
The Best Multimedia Laptop
Most thin and light laptops share one significant weakness thin, tinny audio. Thats not the case with the Lenovo Yoga 9i. This 14-inch convertible has a rotating soundbar in its hinge, meaning that no matter how its positioned, the speakers face outwards. You can expect clear, booming sound whether youre using the 9i in tablet, tent, or clamshell mode.
Theres a lot more to like as well. You get an excellent 1080p touch display and a built-in stylus for easy artwork and note-taking. The 11th-Gen processors deliver satisfactory performance and all-day battery life. The audio quality, screen, and convertible form factor all add up to an unbeatable machine for multimedia entertainment.
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Are Chromebooks Worth It
Yes, they are, but they’re not for everyone. and Chromebooks — laptops that run on Chrome OS — are great for people who do most of their work in a web browser or using mobile apps. They are secure, simple and, more often than not, a bargain. What they can’t do is natively run Windows or Mac software.
Which Laptop Is Best For Gaming Or Creating
You can play games and create content on any laptop. That said, what games you play and what content you create — and the speed at which you do them — is going vary greatly depending on the components inside the laptop.
For casual browser-based games or using streaming-game services like and Xbox Cloud Gaming, you don’t need a powerful gaming laptop. And similarly, if you’re just trimming video clips, cropping photos or live-streaming video from your webcam, you can get by with a modestly priced laptop or Chromebook with integrated graphics.
For anything more demanding, you’ll need to invest more money for discrete graphics like Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs. Increased system memory of 16GB or more, having a speedy SSD for storage and a faster processor such as an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 will all help you get things moving faster, too.
The other piece you’ll want to consider is the display. For gaming, look for screens with a high refresh rate of 120Hz or faster so games look smoother while playing. For content creation, look for displays that cover 100% sRGB color space.
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Which Macbook Is Right For You
It should be pretty clear that now’s a great time to buy a new MacBook. Apple’s laptop business has gone from strength to strength since the debut of the M1 chip in late 2020, and the Apple silicon train shows no signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future.
Even the cheapest M1-equipped MacBook is more performant and power-efficient than most similarly-priced laptops, and if you can afford to splurge the new MacBook Pros are the most powerful MacBooks we’ve ever seen.
The things to think about before you buy are: how big of a screen do I want, and what kinds of ports do I need? How often do I plan on carrying this thing around? And most importantly, what can I afford?
Now is a good time to buy, because you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a great machine no matter how much you spend on a new MacBook.
Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Tired of trying to work on documents or spreadsheets on a small widescreen display? The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 uses one of Acer’s bright VertiView displays, a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As the name implies, it gives you more vertical room to work, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. Between that and its battery life, which lasted nearly 13 hours in our tests, you’ll be able to get more work done in a day with this Chrome OS laptop — and it’s still thin and light enough for an everyday carry.
The latest version of this Chromebook is the first to receive Intel’s Evo verification, which means you’ll be getting the best possible mobile experience with this model. It’s also the first with Thunderbolt 4 support, which lets you connect to multiple external displays as well as providing fast data speeds and networking.
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Macbook Air Vs Macbook Pro
With the discontinuation of the MacBook, picking up an Apple laptop has never really been easier. You’re basically left with the choice of either the Air or the Pro but which should you opt for?
The gap between the two MacBook models is closing all the time, and the introduction of that M1 Chip has muddied the waters even more. It used to be the case that if you wanted power, you went Pro, but the Air’s new upgrade means that it has plenty of processing capability. In fact, the entry-level Air and Pro both use exactly the same processor. The MacBook Air is an ideal everyday machine that won’t slouch.
However, if you’re someone that is running demanding apps, and wants a smaller-form, 13-inch screen, then the Pro 13 has the slight edge here as it features a fan in the chassis to keep the MacBook cooler for longer. This means that it can run power hungry software for longer without slowing down to reduce heat. It also had the added benefit of Apple’s TouchPad and Touch Bar. So, if you want a little more power without breaking the bank, go for the MacBook Pro 13.
Should You Buy A 13in Macbook Pro Now Or Wait
Apple introduced the M1 MacBook Pro in November 2020 so, assuming you are happy to take on the first generation of a new technology, now is a good time to buy one of those M1 models.
It’s possible that later in 2022 Apple will update the 13in MacBook Pro with a M2 chip – but the 2022 could actually spell the end of the 13in MacBook Pro, if rumours that Apple will introduce a colourful 13in MacBook instead. Read more here: New colour MacBook 2022 rumours.
If you want to buy one we recommend you check out our round up of MacBook Pro deals.
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How We Test The Best Macbooks
To find the best MacBook, we run each through our gauntlet of benchmarks and real-world tests, and then use them as our main computer for as well. Only then are we comfortable recommending them for your purchase.
We use a Klein K-10A colorimeter to test each MacBook’s screen to find its average brightness and color quality . When it comes to general performance, we use the Geekbench 5 benchmark, and time how long the Macs will take to transcode a 4K video to 1080p.
We also run the BlackMagic storage speeds test to see how fast these MacBooks’ SSDs are . Then, we run our custom battery test to see how long each MacBook can last browsing the web over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.
We’ve tested various computer games on MacBooks, with Civilization VI being one of our current favorites to run.
- Desktop roundup: The best computers you can buy
The Best Macbook Pro For Everyday Users
If youre looking to buy an M1 MacBook for heavier workloads thats not as mind-numbingly expensive as the most recent releases, youll want to look at the late-2020 MacBook Pro. It starts at $1,299, which is $300 more than the late-2020 MacBook Air.
The MacBook Pro has a slightly different design and look than the Air, as well as a few additional features like the Touch Bar. But the two have the same processor. The main difference is that the Pro includes a fan , which means it can sustain heavy workloads for a longer period of time without needing to throttle its performance. But you wont notice much of a performance difference between the two MacBooks unless youre routinely pushing heavy tasks for long periods of time.
If thats you, though, go for the Pro. We were able to run a number of hefty Premiere Pro exports and didnt see a dip in times. The Pro also achieved a significantly higher score than the Air in a 30-minute loop of Cinebench R23 the scores were closer together after a single run.
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How To Buy The Best Macbook For You
Why should I buy a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop?
Mac OS has a sleek, clean interface that tends to appeal to professionals in the creative industries more than Windows 10. Couple that with the fact that MacBooks tend to be stylish, lightweight and quiet and you have a set of computers perfect for everyone from photographers and students to writers and visual designers.
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Whats more, Apples computers tend to come with a better suite of free software out of the box when compared to similarly priced Windows machines. Perhaps the biggest plus to considering a MacBook is the Retina display glossy and vibrant screens with expressive colours and deep blacks. Mac computers can also be more secure than Windows units since theres less software that is considered harmful on that platform.
What is the best MacBook to buy right now?
This question comes down entirely to preference. If you’re buying a MacBook to use as your everyday workhorse machine then a MacBook Air should suit your needs. However, if you work in the creative industries, or spend a lot of time on processor-intensive applications such as video-editing software, then a Pro model with its increased specs and performance will be better.
How much should I expect to spend?
READ NEXT: Apple MacBook Pro 16in review
How long will my MacBook last?
What is the Apple M1 chip and why is it important?
Buying A Used Mac Laptop: How To Avoid Scams And Find The Best Deals
Save money with a refurbished Mac laptop. Here’s a guide on how to buy used machines, including considerations and important cautions.
I got an interesting letter from a reader who wanted to save some money buying two Mac laptops for his college-age twins:
I am currently shopping for MacBooks… My twins are in the Junior year of college and it’s time to replace their Asus Chromebooks and MacBooks from like 2003… So…which model? Which ‘year’ of construction? What is the ideal trade off for refurbished Mac performance at ‘gotta buy two’ pricing?
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Who Is The 14in Macbook Pro Best For
The 14in MacBook Pro are designed with pro users in mind – the kind of people who need the best graphics options and more memory .
Apple claims that the 10-core CPU in the M1 Pro and M1 Max offers 70 percent faster CPU performance than the M1, which has a 8-core CPU.
The M1 Pro offers 14-core or 16-core GPU options, compared to the 7-core or 8-core GPU in the M1. The M1 Max, which you can get as a build-to-order option with the 14in MacBook Pro, has a 24-core or 32-core GPU option. Apple says that the M1 Pro offers up to 2x faster GPU performance compared to the M1, while the M1 Max is 4x faster than M1.
If power is what you need, the decision isn’t a choice between 14in and 16in MacBook Pro, it’s a choice between the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The main difference between the 14in and 16in models are the larger screen and better battery life of the 16in MacBook Pro. Those two features probably matter if you will be frequently away from your desk. If you are using the Mac at your desk a lot then you can plug in a screen and you won’t be relying on the battery, so the 14in will be sufficient.
Apple Macbook Air M1 2020
This is our go-to recommendation for those in search of a MacOS laptop for everyday basic use. The MacBook Air was updated in the first half of 2020 with new Intel processors and, most importantly, a new keyboard. However, in November, Apple announced its new homegrown M1 processors would be replacing Intel’s CPUs in the Air. Using Apple’s M1, the company promises an operating system with better performance and longer battery life — up to 18 hours. The Intel-based models will still be around, though, and regardless of which chip is running the Air, you’re getting a great little Mac laptop starting at $999.
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Apple Macbook Air 13in : The Best Cheap Macbook
Price: £406 |
While it may not benefit from the newer technology found in the above entries, the 2017 refresh of the MacBook Air is still a solid and very stylish laptop, with a better balance between price and features than its more recent counterparts. Compared to the M1 MacBook Air, for instance, you get the same amount of RAM and storage capacity, at less than half the cost.
The internal specs received nominal changes from the 2015 version, with highlights including a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, with maximum Turbo Boost clock speeds of up to 2.9GHz, and an upgrade to 802.11ac WiFi. This relative lack of improvements may have been an issue when buying new, but with the refurbished price being nearly half of the original retail cost, these specs are perfectly respectable.
A great perk of buying through Amazons Renewed Store is the one-year guarantee, which promises a replacement or refund if the product doesnt work as expected or look like new during the first year. You can also opt for a Full-Product Protection warranty to cover you in case of damages, either paying £62 for two years or monthly instalments of £2.57.
M1 Macbook Air: The Best Overall Macbook
Price: From £889 |
The thinnest and lightest offering in the current range, the new MacBook Air runs entirely on the companys proprietary M1 chipset. While no means cheap, costing from £999 depending on the configuration, this entry-level machine has the functionality to back up its style.
There are two variants available, with the major difference being that the pricier loadout features an octa-core GPU for added graphics power. The RAM is baked onto the chip itself, at 8GB, but can be upgraded to 16GB for an additional £200, while storage can be configured at 512GB, 1TB or 2TB.
What is likely to draw people to the Air is its quoted 18-hour battery life combined with its extensive suite of included software, including word processing apps, music production tools and image/video editing programs. The ever-impressive 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display is back, and this time its the brightest panel yet seen on an Air model.
Read our full MacBook Air review for more details
Key specs – Display size: 13.3in Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 pixels Chipset: Apple M1 Battery life: up to 18 hours RAM: 8GB standard Colours available: Gold, Silver, Space Grey
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You Should Buy The 13
…you want the smallest, lightest MacBook Pro you can get, with the best battery life.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 was released in November of 2020 alongside the M1 MacBook Air, so it’s more than a year old at this point. Apple has since come out with two larger versions of the Pro with more powerful M1 chips, but just like with the Air, that doesn’t mean there’s no merit in buying a new 2020 M1 MacBook Pro. This is still a remarkably powerful laptop it can handle intensive tasks like video editing or game development nearly as well as its larger siblings, plus it’s easier to carry and more battery-efficient.
In our MacBook Pro M1 review we praised this laptop’s compelling one-two punch of performance and power efficiency, as it ran rings around older MacBook Pros powered by Intel chips. In our battery test, this MacBook Pro lasted an incredible 16 hours and 25 minutes on a single charge, one of the highest results we’ve ever seen from a laptop. The fact that the 13-inch Pro was able to achieve that while still delivering excellent performance makes it a great choice for anyone who’s looking for an Apple laptop that’s beefier than the Air, yet still light enough and long-lasting enough to carry all day.