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Macintosh Laptops



The best MacBook for each person will differ, but there's a great option for virtually anyone in Apple's laptop lineup in 2023. Apple kicked off a new era for its laptops with its ARM-based M1 chip in 2020 and it hasn't taken its foot off the accelerator. Apple's in-house SoC has brought massive performance and battery life improvements to the entire MacBook range.




Macintosh Laptops



Now joined by the M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max, Apple has you covered regardless of your needs. The M2 MacBook Air and Pro are among the best laptops available today and the latest 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models are once again setting a high bar for creator laptops early in 2023.


One category that Apple won't be competing in any time soon is our laptops under $500, so prepare to spend at least $800 for even the most affordable MacBook, but if you can make your peace with that pricing these are all outstanding laptops.


And despite cramming so much power into such a slim and sleek chassis, the Pro lasted for an almost unbelievable 18 hours and 20 minutes on our battery test, which simulates real-world testing. That was enough to land it atop our list of laptops with the best battery life.


Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more. "}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -8-2/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate); else triggerHydrate(); } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Sean RileySocial Links NavigationSean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.


The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular among students, creative professionals, and software engineers. The current lineup includes the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, as well as the iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Studio and Mac Pro desktops. Macs run the macOS operating system.


After the iPhone's 2007 release, Apple began a multi-year effort to bring many iPhone innovations "back to the Mac", including multi-touch gesture support, instant wake from sleep, and fast flash storage.[60][61] At Macworld 2008, Jobs introduced the first MacBook Air by taking it out of a manila envelope, touting it as the "world's thinnest notebook".[62] The MacBook Air favored wireless technologies over physical ports, and lacked FireWire, an optical drive, or a replaceable battery. Users could access discs inserted into other computers on their local network through a feature called Remote Disc.[63] A decade after its launch, journalist Tom Warren wrote that the MacBook Air had "immediately changed the future of laptops", starting the ultrabook trend.[64] OS X Lion added new software features first introduced with the iPad, such as FaceTime, full-screen apps, document autosaving and versioning, and a bundled Mac App Store to replace software install discs with online downloads.[65] Apple devices gained deeper integration, with AirDrop allowing them to send and receive files wirelessly.[57] iPhone-like multi-touch technology was progressively added to all MacBook trackpads, and to desktop Macs through the Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad.[66][67] The 2010 MacBook Air added an iPad-inspired standby mode, "instant-on" wake from sleep, and flash memory for storage.[68][69]


Founded in 1976, Apple is one of the world's largest manufacturers of consumer electronics, with instantly recognizable products like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Apple has a small laptop lineup compared to other brands like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and ASUS, as they only make premium productivity-focused laptops. However, MacBooks are consistently among the most well-built and premium laptops you can find. Since Apple started making laptops with their in-house SoC, the M1, MacBooks are among the best for performance and battery life.


The best Apple laptop we've tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021), the smaller of the two 'Pro' laptops with Apple's new design and an M1 Pro or M1 Max SoC. It sports a sharp Mini LED display that produces deep blacks, gets incredibly bright, and covers the entire DCI P3 color space, making it suitable for viewing and producing HDR content. Its factory calibration is superb, so you likely won't need to calibrate before doing any color work, and it supports ProMotion, meaning it can dynamically adjust the refresh rate up to 120Hz to make motion smoother or lower it to extend battery life.


Dell and Apple are very different in their approach to laptops, as Dell makes a significantly larger number of models for various uses and price segments, whereas Apple only makes premium productivity laptops. Dell's high-end productivity laptops are often compared to Apple laptops in build quality and user experience, but unlike Apple, which uses their in-house ARM-based SoC, Dell still uses x86 chips from Intel in their laptops.


Microsoft and Apple are very similar in some ways but also very different. Both companies only make productivity laptops and are in control of the hardware and software, as they also created the operating system. However, Microsoft tends to have more budget models and experiments with other form factors like 2-in-1 tablets, while Apple only makes clamshell laptops with no touch input. Both companies are among the best when it comes to build quality.


Service and parts may be obtained for longer, as required by law or for up to 7 years, subject to parts availability. Additionally, Mac laptops may be eligible for an extended battery-only repair period for up to 10 years from when the product was last distributed for sale, subject to parts availability.


Apple discontinues all hardware service for obsolete products, with the sole exception of Mac laptops that are eligible for an additional battery-only repair period. Service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.


As part of the Mac transition to Intel processors, Apple released a 13-inch laptop simply named "MacBook", as a successor to the PowerPC-based iBook series of laptops. During its existence, it was the most affordable Mac, serving as an entry-level laptop that was less expensive than the rest of the Mac laptop lineup (the MacBook Pro portable workstation, and later the MacBook Air ultra-portable). It was aimed at the consumer and education markets. Successive revisions of the MacBook were sold to consumers between May 2006 and July 2011, by which time it been superseded by the MacBook Air which had a lower entry price.[1] Apple continued to sell the MacBook to educational institutions until February 2012.[2][3]


During its existence, it was the best-selling Mac in Apple's history. For five months in 2008, it was the best-selling laptop of any brand in US retail stores.[4] Collectively, the MacBook brand was the "world's top-selling line of premium laptops."[5]


On November 10, 2020, Apple announced that the MacBook Air would use the new Apple M1 system on a chip. The M1 Air does not have a fan, ensuring silent operation, but limiting the M1 chip speed in sustained operations. Performance was claimed to be higher than most current Intel laptops.[8]


Dave Gershgorn has reviewed and covered technology since 2015 at publications such as Popular Science, Quartz, Medium, and now Wirecutter. He has also built, repaired, and largely avoided frying his own computers since 2006. At Wirecutter, he tests laptops, monitors, and tablets.


Andrew Cunningham is a former senior staff writer on Wirecutter's tech team. He has been writing about laptops, phones, routers, and other tech since 2011. Before that he spent five years in IT fixing computers and helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He also co-hosts the book podcast Overdue and the TV podcast Appointment Television.


As the manufacturer of Mac laptops, Apple is best-suited to refurbish them. The company recognized this and quietly launched its own Certified Refurbished online store. Many of the refurbished devices were returned through the company's physical and online retail outlets. This could be as part of a trade-in program, after they were designated as faulty, or simply returned after purchase.


Unlike Certified Refurbished laptops, though, used devices aren't subject to as thorough inspection and testing. In most cases, you should assume that used devices are sold "as-is." That's not to say that there's anything wrong with used devices. In fact, they're often available at a significant discount.


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