We had to double check this when our Numbers spreadsheet told us: There's one case where you have a choice of two different Apple laptops for the exact same price. If we ever doubt it, then it's a clear situation where costs are not crucial.
That's just what we think it's never. What you always need to do is balance the price, performance, and many other factors, no matter what budget you have, or what Mac laptop you want.
Remember, money is usually one of these factors. There's nothing to get about the fact that if you want the absolute best MacBook Pro with maxed out everything, then that's just a good reason not enough, you should also have $ 6,699.
We've seen what you can get for budget price points from under $ 1
The more you use on your portable Mac, the better it will be. However, that does not mean that you will notice the difference. The MacBook Pro 15-inch Touch Bar will be able to render VR video all day, but if you only type TextEdit on it, you do not see the benefit.
There are also always three things that make the most of the difference between MacBooks today or really any computers at any time.
The processor and now the specific number of cores, defines how fast MacBook is. Even a slight increase in processor speed costs money and gives you a performance advantage.
RAM makes your machine work faster as well. The more RAM you have, the more MacBook can do at the same time, and the more responsive it will be at any given time. Once we've purchased machines before, we've even taken more RAM over a higher processor speed when needed.
With MacBooks, you get 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of RAM and you want what you can afford. No matter what work you do, get the most RAM you can. But not all models have these three choices and whatever RAM you get, you're stuck with it forever. There is nobody to add later.
Finally, storage. Every Apple portable device sold today uses solid state drives as Apple refers to as flash storage, rather than the older spin-disk drives. These are much faster, they last much longer without problems and they are the future. They have long been the future, and while the price per gigabyte has risen sharply in recent years, it is still expensive.
That means that very often the only difference between two of Apple's current models is how much storage. The smallest SSD in the MacBook is 128GB, but some models offer you 512GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB.
Again, not all models have all these, and again, what you buy you are stuck with. In addition, this may at the moment be the most expensive part of a MacBook: of the top $ 6,699 price tag. $ 3,200 is down to 4TB drive option.
Therefore you want the largest SSD drive you can get, but it's probably what you want to compromise on first. If you work with large files or projects like photographers or video editors, you need to grab it and pay. If you only type poems in Microsoft Word, you can settle for the lowest SSD, but remember to fill up faster than you think.
Under $ 1000
There is only one Mac portable under a grand and it is the basic MacBook Air that sells at $ 999.
For that you get a 12-inch screen with 8GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD. It's a good solid machine, but you do not want to use it for games and you should not use it for video editing.
It's a real appeal, but it's the price: any other MacBook model offers you more and sometimes for no much higher price.
If the price is the main issue, think about jumping over MacBooks completely and instead buy an iPad Pro with a smart keyboard. Other keyboards and keyboard bags are available, but to get something you can just sip into the Apple Store to buy, this combination is powerful.
It's also a bit cheaper. MacBook Air has a 12-inch display and for $ 31 less, you can use an iPad Pro with 12.9-inch display and Smart Keyboard. This is a larger package that will carry around MacBook Air, and it's difficult to quantify the differences between macOS and iOS. However, the iPad Pro is newer and will feel faster.
Additionally, iPad Pro has a much better display than MacBook Air.
In fact, the first reason to move even slightly exceeds the budget scale over $ 1000, to get a better display.
But here is the case. It is always used. There is a healthy eBay market for used MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and it may be worth expanding them – just beyond the scope of this article.
From $ 1000 to $ 1500
There is still reason to look at a combination of an iPad Pro with a smart keyboard in this price range. Apple iPads have no options yet to choose how much RAM you get, but they all come in different storage sizes. The 12.9-inch model can have 64GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage with the top that gives a total cost of $ 1,448 with Smart Keyboard.
Also the price applies to the mobile model. No MacBooks can directly use a cellular connection to the internet, so iPad Pro has more benefits than just price / performance. Even though you notice that you still have to pay a monthly mobile bill on top of the iPad Pro purchase price.
This price range still has a version of MacBook Air: a $ 1,199 model that comes with twice the storage of 256GB SSD.
It's a good price for storage, but this is still a MacBook Air with its slower processor and inferior display than in the rest of the series.
Instead, this is a case where you get better value spending a little more money. Spend $ 100 and get a basic MacBook for $ 1,299 that has 256GB of SSD. The processor is also newer than the one in MacBook Air.
It is easy for us to prefer MacBook over MacBook Air – but this is where we found two models with the same price.
For the same $ 1,299 The price can instead get you a MacBook Pro 13-inch function key. It's faster than MacBook or MacBook Air, but for this price it comes with a smaller 128GB SSD.
This MacBook Pro has a 13.3-inch display, and it's like having the size of the MacBook Airs one with the quality of the MacBook.
However, there is weight and weight to consider. The MacBook is the lightest of 2.03 pounds while the MacBook Pro 13-inch without Touch Bar is 3.02 pounds. In comparison, MacBook Air is 2.96 pounds.
When you read these numbers, you know that there is not a big difference between them. But when you use the machines, you actually realize that it's: The MacBook feels impossible easily. MacBook Pro 13-inch function keys feel solid.
MacBook Air just feels old.
Still sticks within $ 1000 to $ 1500, but there is yet another opportunity. A $ 1,499 budget gives you MacBook Pro 13-inch higher specification with function keys containing a 256GB SSD. It makes the MacBook Pro 13-inch a better machine in almost every way except the weight – and the price difference of $ 200.
It's the best price for performance you get for under $ 1500, though. If you need more storage, you must go up to the next price level. If you want more RAM than 8GB, all the models so far have come along, it's the same.
In addition, you can read about MacBook Pro 13-inch models with function keys. If you want a touch line or you want a larger MacBook Pro, it will also take you to the next level.
From $ 1500- $ 2000
The MacBook Air continues to hang on. It's a trooper and we went wow when Steve Jobs pulled this incredibly thin machine out of an envelope.
But he did ten years ago, and now we have faster, slimmer and lighter machines with much better displays. Today, $ 1,549 will bring you a MacBook Air with the worse display and its slower performance than the other devices, but with a 512GB SSD.
This is another case where it's worth spending a little more. For only $ 1,599 you get a MacBook with the same 512GB SSD for just $ 50 more.
We do not think there is yet another choice. The MacBook is easier, faster, newer with the same storage space and a Retina quality display. Spend your money on the MacBook and never look back.
Unless you have extra $ 400 in your budget, it's. If you do, $ 1,949 gives you the absolute best MacBook possible with 512GB SSD and most importantly, 16GB of RAM.
Yet this is probably the only point where the theory that the more you pay, the better your laptop will fall significantly. With the exception of weight and RAM, you can get a better machine in the new MacBook Pro 13-inch Touch Bar.
It's with Touch Bar. What you also get in the Touch Bar models is Touch ID, which is very nice. Also quad-core processors instead of dual core, which is dramatic. This is the greatest performance you will see between portable Macs, and here you get it for $ 1,799.
It's $ 150 less. True, you get a heavier machine and more significantly you get 8GB of RAM instead of the $ 1,949 MacBook's 16GB.
However, you can configure your MacBook Pro to have 16GB of RAM for $ 1,999 or just another fifty dollars more.
This MacBook Pro 13-inch Touch Bar also has more configuration options than the MacBook. You can increase the processor speed and you can upgrade the storage to 2TB. It comes with a price: this gives you the maximum 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and the price is $ 3,699 or a way out of $ 1500- $ 2000.
From $ 2,000
We are in territory of the recently updated MacBook Pro 15-inch Touch Bar models now. These start at $ 2,399 with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. You can update any of them when ordering, to get 32GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSD storage. That combination takes you to $ 6,199, and if you update the processor speed, it's $ 6,599.
On top of Apple's most expensive MacBook Pro, you can ever add a variety of faster graphics processor to bring everything to $ 6,699.
To do intensive work, you need processor speed and you also tend to need storage. What all the 15-inch MacBook Pro models give you, however, is a six-core processor. You will not notice anything like the difference in the jump in performance from double to quad-core, but video editing and reproduction will be faster.
But we're still not sure if the jump from six-core i7 starts at $ 2,399 and the six-core i9 for $ 3,099 is more worth it. It is very much dependent on whether the seconds or minutes a day you save are worth that kind of money to you when you are depreciated over several years.
It is obvious to say that if you need maximum power and storage, it might be well worth $ 6,699. But we look at it this way: if that's what you need to do and it's cost-effective to use that kind of coin, then spend less, you'll lose your money.
Three more things
We have not even mentioned battery life in all of this, but that's a reason. The battery life you get for all Apple's current notebooks is 8-10 hours, and that's enough.
More significant, we have not mentioned that you are not tied to Apple when you want to buy Apple machines. There are online authorized dealers like Adorama and B & H, which offer instant discounts and coupon savings on even the latest models (to compare prices on all product lines, see our price guides).
As they are discounts, they tend to vary a lot and they often last only for short periods, so here we have only reviewed Apple's retail prices. The logic and reasons for choosing a particular model remain the same, and if you happen to find a machine for sale for $ 200, it's a very nice bonus.
And the third. While you have a bunch of built-in storage, it's convenient, as we said, also very expensive and should probably be the first thing to save on to save you. Storage can easily be added remotely to your device, perhaps with an online service, or even a USB connected drive. We choose a faster processor or more RAM over more internal storage every time.