Welcome to our finest MacBook buying guide 2017.
If you’re considering purchasing a new MacBook you’ll have realized that the decision between Apple’s laptops is not as simple as it first seems. Here, we help you choose which MacBook is best for you in our best MacBook 2017 buying guide.
There are three various models of MacBook laptops in Apple’s lineup: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (which is mainly advertised with am interactive Touch Bar, however, is also offered without), and the 12in Retina MacBook.
On 27 October 2016 Apple revealed a big update to MacBook Pro line – both in specifications, functions and rate. You can find out more about that here: New MacBook Pro 2016 review.
Even more complicating matters, each of those MacBooks is available in various sizes and setups, with various build-to-order alternatives. It’s not unexpected, then, that lots of people have trouble deciding in between them. In this article we’re assisting you make that decision by taking a look at the alternatives and providing expert suggestions about which MacBook is finest for you.
Best MacBook buying guide 2017: MacBook Air buying advice
There are two standard setups of MacBook Air readily available. You can just now purchase a 13in design straight from Apple and in either case you can either have 128GB or 256GB of flash storage. Apple ceased the 11in MacBook Air in October 2016.
Both making it through models included a 1.6 GHz processor and 8GB of RAM.
( Apple had actually formerly updated its MacBook lines – or part of them – in April 2016, but the sum total of the Air’s upgrade was for the 8GB of RAM to be consisted of in the base rate for the 13in designs.).
Here’s exactly what the models will cost you:
- MacBook Air 13in, 128GB: ₤ 949.
- MacBook Air 13in, 256GB: ₤ 1,099.
The MacBook Air used to be the most portable MacBook readily available, however 2015’s 12-inch MacBook has actually now taken that position. However, the 13in MacBook Air design is still perfect for anybody who takes a trip a lot, and if you can cope with the physical style, which hasn’t altered in years, it stays a strong and (by Apple’s requirements) practically affordable option. It offers much more value than the expensive and arguably underpowered 12-inch design.
Best MacBook buying guide 2017: Retina MacBook Pro purchasing advice.
When it comes to the MacBook Pro, Apple provided a huge upgrade to the line in October 2016 which lots of thought was long past due. It presented a Touch Bar to change the function keys, a display that changes depending on the job you are undertaking, and is fully customisable. Its only ports are 4 Thunderbolt USB-C and an earphone jack. You can get a 13in or 15in design of this high-end MacBook Pro.
The Touch Bar also consisted of Touch ID, bringing the innovation to the Mac following the iPhone and iPad.
Apple also updated the base MacBook Pro, which is now a design with a Retina display screen and upgraded specs, but no Touch Bar and just 2 USB-C ports (and just available in a 13in model).
It also still offers the 2015 MacBook Pro both 13in and 15in, which are the very best option if you want to conserve some loan and also still have the complete range of ports.
Thanks to its higher specifications the MacBook Pro offers more power than the MacBook Air, and the screen also uses a considerably higher resolution. Internally, each of the MacBook Pro with Retina show models vary, but we’ll pertain to that later on.
Here’s exactly what the numerous base specifications of the MacBook Pro expense:.
- MacBook Pro 2015 13in, 128GB: ₤ 1,249.
- MacBook Pro 2016 13in (without Touch Bar), 256GB: ₤ 1,449.
- MacBook Pro 2016 13in (with Touch Bar), 256GB: ₤ 1,749.
- MacBook Pro 2016 13in (with Touch Bar), 512GB: ₤ 1,949.
- MacBook Pro 2015 15in, 256GB: ₤ 1,899.
- MacBook Pro 2016 15in (with Touch Bar), 256GB: ₤ 2,349.
- MacBook Pro 2016 15in (with Touch Bar), 512GB: ₤ 2,699.
Finest MacBook buying guide 2017: Non-Retina MacBook Pro buying guidance.
Apple no longer offers the non-Retina screen MacBook Pro, the model initially seen in 2012. This implies the only non-Retina MacBook left on the market is the 13in MacBook Air.
Nevertheless at the time of composing you can still get this MacBook Pro from retailers like Currys. At ₤ 899, it is the most inexpensive you will find a brand new MacBook anywhere. It has a full selection of ports, as well as a CD/DVD drive.
Finest MacBook purchasing guide 2017: 12-inch MacBook purchasing recommendations.
The MacBook, presented in April 2015 and offered a substantive update in April 2016 – rather than the Air, which got the smallest upgrade you can possibly imagine and the Pro, which was disregarded entirely – is now offered in gold, silver, Area Grey or Rose Gold, similar to the iPhone SE.
Colour options aside, there are two models of MacBook to choose from: either 1.1 GHz with 256GB of flash storage (₤ 1,249) or 1.2 GHz and 512GB (₤ 1,549).
- MacBook, 12in, 1.1 GHz, 256GB: ₤ 1,249.
- MacBook, 12in, 1.2 GHz, 512GB: ₤ 1,549.
These are the same clock speeds as we saw in 2015’s 12-inch MacBooks, however they must be significantly faster in practice since this time they’re Intel’s sixth-generation ‘Skylake’ Core M chips. Apple declares they bring 25 percent much faster graphics and 20 percent much faster general processing; we’ll check these theories out when Apple send us examine samples. The RAM is much faster, too: 1866MHz, up from 1600MHz.
The newer, more energy-efficient chips must also assist with battery life. Apple reckons this year’s 12-inch MacBooks are good for an hour more than their predecessors: 10 hours of web use, or 11 hours of movie watching.
While (as we said previously) this is the lightest and possibly prettiest Mac offered, it’s also one of the most expensive, and – while the brand-new Skylake chips have closed the gap – they remain relatively low-powered to boot. While it is an utter pleasure to look at, and good to utilize, we still feel it costs too much for insufficient.
In 2015’s first version of the 12-inch MacBook reminded us of the initial MacBook Air (known as the Rev A). It likewise cost a premium, and had very little preliminary power. But in time it changed into quicker, and cheaper, workhorse. The MacBook is improving, and will continue to do so, but for now it’s truly not effective enough to validate its cost.
Finest MacBook buying guide 2017: Which MacBook should I buy for mobility?
The 12in MacBook is the lightest and thinnest MacBook available, with a height of 0.35-1.31 cm and a weight of 0.92 kg. However, there are sacrifices to be made in terms of power, this being Apple’s least expensive specced computer system. It’s likewise one of the most expensive Macs, so not one for the budget-conscious.
The only thing is you may discover the 12in MacBook restricting due to its small screen size. This isn’t really so much an issue anymore for the MacBook Air however, as the 11in variation is now stopped, however some individuals discovered the dimensions of that MacBook Air screen limiting, because the display was shallower than any other Mac due to it being 16:9 instead of 16:10, which is a more normal laptop computer screen element ratio.
The 12in MacBook has a bigger screen than the MacBook Air, plus it provides a much better quality display – more on that later.
We believe that the very best Mac for portability is in fact the 13in MacBook Air; sure, it’s larger and much heavier than both of the Macs mentioned (its the exact same 0.3-1.7 cm dimensions as the 11in design, however is broader at 32.5 cm rather than 30cm). However at 1.35 kg it is not a lot much heavier than the old 11in model, and it is lighter than the 2015 13in MacBook Pro (1.58 kg).
To assist you decide between the current 13in MacBook designs, you can read our which 13in Apple laptop post.
The rate of the 13in MacBook Air is a lot much better than that of the MacBook too, beginning at ₤ 949 rather than ₤ 1,249. You get the best of both worlds: a light laptop computer with a good screen size.
Finest MacBook purchasing guide 2017: Which MacBook is best for battery life?
The battery life of the 13in MacBook Air is the greatest of any MacBook offered. Apple calls it an “all-day battery” however exactly what that indicates is up to 12 hours, and a whopping Thirty Days of standby time.
Next up is the 13in Retina MacBook Pro which can manage 10 hours wireless web (and Apple declares 12 hours if you are just watching video in iTunes). It’s also 10 hours for the 2015 MacBook Pro that it still sells.
Apple also claims 10 hours of web use – but simply 11 hours of film seeing – for 2016’s upgraded version of the 12-inch MacBook.
The 15in MacBook Pro with Retina display offers 9 hours of battery life for cordless web (10 hours for iTunes on the Air, while the MacBook Pro uses 9 hours of iTunes).
Lastly, the old MacBook Pro without the Retina screen offers simply 7 hours of wireless web browsing.
Finest MacBook purchasing guide 2017: Which MacBook is finest for storage?
Something to think about if you deal with large files, as lots of creative professionals do, is the capacity of the storage inside the Mac.
There are two kinds of storage available: flash (likewise referred to as SSD) or a standard disk drive.
You will find SSD choices of 256GB and 512GB for the Retina MacBook Pro.
You can update the 15in Touch Bar design’s hard disk to 512GB (₤ 180), 1TB (₤ 540) or 2TB (₤ 1,260).
The MacBook Air likewise has either 128GB or 256GB depending on your preference.
The 12-inch MacBook is offered with 256GB or 512GB.
The build-to-order choices for the new MacBook Pro line include an extra ₤ 90 for a 3.1 GHz processor or an extra ₤ 270 for 3.3 GHz and an Intel Core i7 processor. There’s also the option to improve to 16GB RAM from the basic 8 by including ₤ 180.
We believe that purchasing a separate hard disk and plugging it in when essential (or using network attached storage) is a better, and cheaper, option.
The only Mac laptop to use a hard disk drive is the older non-Retina MacBook Pro – this design features a 500GB disk drive. The hard disk drive in this Mac is far slower than the flash drives in the other MacBooks. We would recommend anyone purchasing a Mac to look at a flash drive alternative.
Finest MacBook buying guide 2017: Which MacBook is fastest?
As Apple’s fastest Mac laptop, the 2.6 GHz quad-core MacBook Pro might be a great choice for you if you are looking for the fastest Mac. There’s even a develop to order alternative of a 2.9 GHz quad-core. The quad-core processor in the 15in MacBook Pro means it has double the processor power of the other dual-core Macs. This is likely to make a real difference to processor extensive work.
It’s the most expensive option, however. We suggest that if you think you desire the most speed you can get for your loan, discover the build-to-order option within your budget plan that offers the fastest processor.
Finest MacBook purchasing guide 2017: Finest MacBook for work.
You’ll get iWork totally free when you purchase any brand-new Mac laptop, which suggests you’ll be able to utilize Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote applications (the rivals to Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
There has actually been some research that suggests that the bigger the screen the more productive you will be (Screen Size and Element Ration Productivity Research), so it might be best to select a 15in MacBook Pro to increase the impact of the additional screen space.
Best MacBook buying guide 2017: Best MacBook for designers.
If you wish to use your MacBook for more powerful jobs like running creative applications, then the MacBook Air and MacBook might not be the best option.
If you’re a graphic designer, video editor or professional photographer, then the likelihood is you’ll take advantage of a bigger display and a more powerful Mac. There’s not a 17in MacBook Pro choice, but there are 15in MacBook Pro with Retina display designs readily available.
The very first MacBook Pro 15-inch has a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and expenses ₤ 2,349. It has 16GB 2133MHz memory and 256GB flash storage.
The second MacBook Pro has a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB 2133MHz memory. It has 512GB of flash storage and costs ₤ 2,699.
The 2.6 GHz design likewise has a discrete graphics card – the AMD Radeon Pro 450, whereas the 2.7 GHz processor with 512GB has the Radeon Pro 455.
Finest MacBook purchasing guide 2017: Finest MacBook for gaming.
The Mac is growing in popularity as a gaming machine, specifically given that the launch of the Mac App Shop. Plus, the capability to install Windows by means of Bootcamp on a Mac means Mac players can run Windows games too.
If you wish to buy a MacBook for gaming, then we ‘d advise the (Buzzvizz) high-end MacBook Pro with Retina display. It’s got AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics card, which need to allow it to supply the very best efficiency out of all the MacBooks available, and some Mac desktops.
Nevertheless, even the Intel graphics in the 13in MacBook Pro designs could be enough for your video gaming needs. The Intel HD Graphics 6100 in the 13in model, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics in the 15in model are plenty quickly enough for much of today’s video games.
Read next: Finest Mac video games.
Best MacBook buying guide 2017: Finest MacBook for trainees.
We ‘d recommend that students will have comparable needs to organisation users. They’ll wish to be able to carry their MacBook to and from lectures, and most likely will not require them to be extremely effective (unless they’re on a graphic design or video editing course …).
In that case, we ‘d suggest the MacBook Air once again. Have a look back at the guidance we gave at the beginning of this article when going over portability for more information.
Finest MacBook purchasing guide 2017: Least expensive MacBook.
If cash is the choosing factor when it concerns buying a MacBook, then the most affordable model readily available is the 128GB 13in MacBook Air, which costs ₤ 949. At ₤ 300 more, you can get the 12in MacBook, and add another ₤ 200 to that and you can purchase the Retina MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
It’s also worth taking a look on Apple’s reconditioned shop, which typically has MacBooks offered to buy at reduced costs. Apple puts the items in the reconditioned shop through energetic testing, so you’ll hardly understand the distinction between a reconditioned Mac and a brand new one.
The most affordable MacBook we can see on the Apple reconditioned store sometimes of composing is a March 2015 11in MacBook Air with 256GB flash storage, which has a conserving of ₤ 160, making it ₤ 839.