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.
Which Is Better Apple Or Hp Laptop
In the computer world, most people focus on the brand whenever they want to find a good laptop. Whether it is for their personal use or official/professional use, anyone would consider the brand of the computer before buying.
Over the years, two mega brands HP and Apple, have dominated the computer world, and they have also been the top competitors. The competition of these two brands has been so tight that customers are finding it difficult to choose between a Mac or HP laptop. But really, should you buy an Apple or HP laptop. It is difficult to decide between the two without exploring the factors that you should keep in mind as you choose.
First In Line For The Best Apps
When it comes to fun and games, iPhone still takes the lead. They are the first in line for games and other fun apps before Android users get to play them. The iPhone is favored by developers as the platform to launch the most amazing apps.
For example, Instagram was released on Android in 2012. Thats two years after its debut on iPhone! And other apps such as Fortnite which took four months to debut on Android.
You May Like: Are Razer Laptops Worth It
Why I Am Buying Apple’s New Macbook Pro
Apple announced all-new powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros in October 2021. Here’s why one seasoned consultant will be purchasing the new model.
There are typically several reasons people buy a new laptop. The current notebook may be old or failing, or it may have broken or been stolen. Another reason laptops are replaced is a new model comes along that packs so many compelling features and performance the purchase proves difficult to resist. Apple’s new M1 Pro- and M1 Max-powered 14″ and 16″ models are just such machines.
SEE: How to migrate to a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac
Apple’s System-on-a-Chip architecture, initially featured on the company’s M1 silicon, earned favorable reviews for impressive performance and compelling energy efficiency. With the introduction of new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in all-new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models, the already best-in-class processing power and video capabilities are further extending, while simultaneously improving energy efficiency.
Apple’s new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros produce blazing speed but also improved battery life thanks to new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
Those are impressive statistics. They mean designers, producers, videographers, editors and others regularly performing CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks wield high-end desktop-level production capabilities while working remotely using a notebook powered only by its battery.
What Should You Look For When Buying A New Laptop
There are certain things you can look out for when buying a new laptop in 2021 that can ensure you get the best laptop for your money.
Make sure you take a look at the specifications of a laptop before buying. This is a good way of quickly seeing how powerful a laptop is, and what it is capable of as long as you know what youre looking for.
First of all is the processor. This is essentially the brain of the laptop, and a laptop will usually have a processor made by either Intel or AMD. Intel is by far the most popular CPU maker for laptops, though were seeing an increasing number of AMD-powered laptops as well.
As a general rule of thumb, Intel processors offer better performance, but AMD processors are better value.
To make things more simple, both Intel and AMD have numbered their processors to give you a rough idea of what sort of tasks a laptop with that processor can perform.
If youre after a budget laptop for simple tasks like browsing the web or watching Netflix, then a laptop with an Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3, processor will do that job without making the laptop too expensive.
If youre after something with a bit more oomph perhaps to do more complex task like editing your home videos or playing games then go for a laptop with an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor as a minimum.
A newer processor performs better and is more power efficient so battery life will last longer. They are more expensive, though.
Don’t Miss: How To Shutdown Pc With Keyboard
Best Macbook For Going Back To School
Back to school season has arrived, and that means you may be on the hunt for a new laptop that’s well-suited for the demands of a full day of classes. As more and more schools open up in-person classes again, it’s important to invest in a competent laptop that’s light enough to carry all day and efficient enough to last through a full day at school on a single charge.
Based on those criteria, the MacBook Air with M1 is still our top recommendation for the best MacBook to take back to school. With its incredible 14+ hour battery life and 2.8-pound weight it should stand up to a full day on campus, and it’s more than powerful enough to handle just about any school project you throw at it.
However, if you need a laptop well-suited for studying computationally intensive disciplines like video editing or game development, we recommend the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It hasn’t yet been updated with Apple silicon, but it does have a killer speaker setup and, more importantly, a powerful Intel Core i9 CPU and a discrete Radeon GPU that will come in handy on your projects. The 11-hour battery life isn’t half bad, either.
Reasons to avoid
The MacBook Pro with M1 takes everything we like about the M1-based MacBook Air, and then kicks it up a notch or two. For example, it lasted a whopping 16 hours and 32 minutes on the Tom’s Guide battery test, beating the M1 Air by nearly 2 whole hours.
Reasons to avoid
Read our full MacBook Pro 13-inch review.
The Desktop Options Come With Things You Might Not Need Or Want But You Pay For Them Anyway
If you want an Apple desktop, your only real options are the iMac and the iMac Pro. The thing about iMac computers is that they’re “all in one” computers, meaning they’re essentially a screen with a computer hiding inside.
The iMac and iMac Pro come with glorious 5K displays, and those displays have some pretty meaty specs that make them suitable for professionals. But what if you don’t need a 5K professional-grade display and you don’t really want to pay for it? Because you’re certainly paying for it when you buy an iMac, Pro or not.
There’s the Mac Pro, but I’d absolutely dissuade anyone thinking of buying it from doing so. It’s running on specs from 2013 and still costs $3,000, which is not an acceptable price tag for such an old computer.
There’s also the Mac Mini, but no one should buy that either. They’re 8-year-old computers, and you can get much better desktops for the same price.
Recommended Reading: Msi Keyboard Color Software
Should I Consider A Refurbished Laptop
Every manufacturer and reseller has different standards for refurbishing previously used laptops. A slight discount on a rigorously tested MacBook Pro that Apple sells with the same warranty as a new one might be worth the cost savings, while a laptop refurbished by a third party youve never heard could be chancy. Its best to buy any refurbished machine directly from the manufacturers online store as opposed to from a reseller, especially a reseller that may be hawking refurbs from marketplace” sellers or third parties on its platform.
Some of these resellers or their third parties will rate their refurbished stock with a grade. Weve seen refurbished laptops being sold and rated with grades of A, B+, B, C, and so on, to reflect the relative amount of wear and tear on the machine. There is no universal grading system for refurbished PCs, however. Its generally up to the reseller what the grade means, and thus it can vary from seller to seller. Were wary of machines graded this way and strongly recommend insisting on an ironclad return policy in the case of purchases like these, if you decide to roll the dice. You could end up pleasantly surprised, but usually, a refurbished-laptop deal that looks too good to be true…is.
The Choice For Heavy Workloads: 14
The MacBook Pro is Apples high-end laptop. If you want a laptop that can handle whatever task you put your mind to, and youre not on a budget, the MacBook Pro is the laptop you want.
How many models can I choose? Apple offers five standard-configuration laptops: two 14-inch versions and three 16-inch models. Each model is available in Silver or Space Gray.
What are the prices of the MacBook Pro? Standard configurations for 14-inch models cost $ 1,999 and $ 2,499, and 16-inch models cost $ 2,499 and $ 2,699 and $ 3,499.
What are the specifications of the MacBook Pro? Here are the details of each model. Well start with the 14-inch laptops and then well list the 16-inch ones.
There are two 14-inch models:
- $ 1,999: Apples 8-core M1 Pro SoC , 16GB of memory, a 14-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine 512GB SSD, three Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, HDMI 2.0 port, SDXC card slot
- $ 2,499: Apples 10-core M1 Pro SoC , 16GB of memory, a 16-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine 1TB SSD, three Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, HDMI 2.0 port, SDXC card slot
Apple has three 16-inch MacBook Pros:
All 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros come with a Liquid Retina XDR display that supports ProMotion and a 120Hz refresh rate, making on-screen animations look very smooth. With a maximum brightness of 1,600 nits , it is the brightest screen on an Apple laptop.
Don’t Miss: Sell My Hp Laptop
Better Software & Hardware Integration
Nothing beats the iPhones hardware and software integration. Avid fans of Android would argue that Apple has the cheapest hardware. But it doesnt mean theyre compromising the expense of the software.
When we first heard about the Touch ID setup, werent you amazed at how fast the response is? Did you notice that it works seamlessly?
Now when it comes to Android smartphones though, Im not so convinced. Many have complained that it takes a little longer for Android phones to respond to Touch ID.
This is also true with the newest iPhones Face ID. And the proof that iPhone has better hardware and software integration is evident in all features in comparison to other Android phones.
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.
Also Check: How To Change Your Password On Hp Laptop
Apple Macbook Pro 15 Touch Bar And Touch Id
Specs: 15.4-inch 2880 × 1800, 2.9 GHz 6-core 8th generation Core i9, 16 GB RAM, Radeon Pro 560X, 512 GB SSD
- Restricted input/output capabilities
The MacBook Pro 2015 is one of the newest Macintosh computers among the ones I review above. This 15-inch professional laptop remains the thinnest and most attractive alternative offered for sale. Obviously, there are mobile Xeon chips with a lot of threads and cores, but you will encounter them solely in thicker portable workstations.
It demonstrates amazing results in functionality and absolutely satisfies the demands for which laptops are bought at this price. Nevertheless, it is not a huge plastic 11-pound machine. Wireless productivity period for a laptop with such characteristics is also surprising. It operates using only a battery for about 10 hours. Picking a computer is troublesome sometimes but you can be sure that due to its advancements, MacBook Pro 15 significantly surpasses its competitors.
The Performance Value Option: 13
The 13-inch MacBook Pro uses Apples M1 and offers tremendous processing power for its price. If you use a lot of creative consumer applications and want a bit more processing power than the MacBook Air, but dont want to spend $ 2,000, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a great option. .
How many models can I choose? Apple offers two standard configurations. Each model is available in Silver or Space Gray. You can customize each model, but adding features will increase the price.
What are the prices of the MacBook Pro? Standard configurations are priced at $ 1,299 and $ 1,499.
What are the specifications of the MacBook Pro? The 13-inch MacBook Pro has an 8-core M1 chip , an 8-core GPU. a neural engine with 16 cores and 8 GB of memory. Standard configurations come with either 256GB or 512GB SSDs.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a 500 nit brightness retina display. It doesnt have the 120Hz refresh support like the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Its still a good screen, but not that fancy.
What is it for? Its design is built to handle CPU heat better than the MacBook Air, so it can sustain faster speeds for a longer period of time. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is ideal for users who work a lot on creative consumer applications such as iMovie, GarageBand, or Photos. It can handle professional applications too, but not as efficiently as the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Also Check: How Much Does The Average Laptop Weigh
Which Operating System To Get In My Laptop
Most laptops youll run across in-store or at your favorite online seller will run Windows 10 , but Microsofts best-known product isnt necessarily the best operating system for everyone. Thanks to the ascendance in recent years of up the ranks of budget laptops, theres now an alternative to Windows at every price level. The tipping point for non-Windows laptops is around $1,000 above a grand, your main alternative to a Windows 10 machine is a MacBook below it, its a Chromebook.
Today, laptops based on Chrome OS are the primary alternatives to budget-priced Windows 10 laptops. A Chromebook could be a fine, value-minded choice for someone who needs a laptop just to watch movies, create text documents, write emails, and putter around in basic spreadsheets. With a Chromebook, the main features you will really need from your laptop are a decent screen and a comfortable keyboard, since cloud services like Google Drive can handle most of your storage and processing needs. And, if you still insist on key creature comforts, you can find midrange Chromebooks with full-HD displays and comfortable keyboards just as easily as you can find bargain-basement ones these days.
Higher-end MacBook Pros also suit content creators, with the option for a 16-inch Retina display and for CPUs up to Intels Core i9. One of the most significant Mac-laptop drawbacks is a total lack of touch-screen support, which is an option in various Chrome OS and Windows 10 machines.
Hp Elite Dragonfly Gen 2
Why you should buy this: Its the best business laptop you can buy in 2021.
Who its for: Business pros who want a laptop that wont embarrass them.
Why we picked the HP Elite Dragonfly:
Business laptops have a certain stigma around them. Its often assumed that they need to be clunky, ugly, and full of bloatware. Not so.
The Elite Dragonfly has everything your IT department will need , without getting in the way of a supremely beautiful and modern laptop. The ideal person for the Dragonfly is someone who takes their work on the go with them, whether thats in long flights or subways. Thats where the Dragonfly really comes alive as a highly portable laptop that might actually fit on your pull-down tray.
On top of all that, the HP Elite Dragonfly is one of the first 5G-enabled laptops, which could come in handy as the faster connectivity standard rolls out. And, HP announced two new models of the laptop at CES 2021, the Elite Dragonfly G2 and Max, the upgrade to Tiger Lake CPUs and add in a number of features that make the laptops even better for remote workers. Stay tuned for reviews of these new models, and theyll likely take this spot once weve had a chance to check them out.
Why you should buy this: Its the best laptop you can buy under $500.
Whos it for: Students, those with basic computing needs
Why we picked the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5:
If you need a Windows laptop under $500, the 2020 Acer Aspire 5 is a solid option just stay away from the 2021 model.
Recommended Reading: How To Increase Laptop Memory