The greatest MacBook may vary depending on the user, but in 2023, Apple’s laptop lineup has a terrific option for almost everyone. In 2020, Apple’s ARM-based M1 chip ushered in a new era for MacBooks, and it hasn’t let up since. The whole MacBook line has seen significant performance and battery life improvements thanks to Apple’s in-house Processor.
Apple can meet all of your needs with the M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max that have recently been added. The most recent 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models are once again raising the standard for creator laptops early in 2023, and the M2 MacBook Air and Pro are among the greatest laptops currently on the market.
Air MacBook (M1, Late)
The ideal MacBook for the majority of users is still the MacBook Air M1. How does the MacBook Air M2 compare? The laptop we’ll discuss next is excellent, but the truth is that most consumers won’t need the updates, so Apple is keeping it on the market to keep the starting price around $1,000. Best of all, it’s frequently available for $899 or less.
In our testing, the battery life was 14 hours and 41 minutes, outperforming every thin and light Windows notebook of a same price point in terms of performance. The MacBook Air M1 will outlast most competitors and is more than capable of doing most common computer duties.
So why not purchase the Pro instead of the MacBook Air? While the MacBook Air is more affordable and virtually fanless, the MacBook Pro provides greater sustained performance. And it goes without saying that Apple’s 13.3-inch model, which costs the least and weighs the least (2.8 pounds and 0.6 inches thick), is the most portable.
Air MacBook (M2, 2022)
There’s no disputing the appeal of the new design and processor within the MacBook Air M2, even though the majority will likely be content with the MacBook Air M1. Although I don’t like the notch in the panel, the other upgrades are excellent, especially the addition of MagSafe charging, which frees up the two Thunderbolt 4 ports for additional uses.
Additionally, you receive a good performance boost, and it still outlasted the Windows competitors in our battery life test by 14 hours and 6 minutes when performance is taken into account. It is still amazing that it accomplishes all of this while remaining cool and whisper-quiet without fans.
Together with the new 1080p webcam, other improvements include a brighter display, a quad speaker setup, and more. That first feature will be especially appreciated by anyone who use the Air M2 on the fly and may encounter less-than-ideal lighting circumstances.
Macbook Pro 3. (13-inch, M2, 2022)
The internal improvement to the MacBook Pro M2 provides it a more significant performance gain than many anticipated, keeping it far ahead of the Windows 11 competition at this price point and above. It may not have the fancy redesign of the new MacBook Air, but it does receive the inside upgrade.
The Pro’s battery life on our battery test, which replicates real-world use, was an almost astounding 18 hours and 20 minutes, despite packing so much power into such a thin and stylish chassis. It topped our list of laptops with the longest battery life because of this.
The M2 does more than just increase endurance and speed. The webcam (unfortunately still 720p) is better than previously thanks to an enhanced image processing unit, and as it is powered by Apple’s ARM-based architecture, iPad and iPhone apps are also available for Mac. Yes, you can use your laptop to run all of your favorite iOS games and applications.
Final budget apple computer
The older Apple MacBook Air 13 is still available, which is excellent news if the price of the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) is a turnoff for you (M1, 2020). It frequently goes on sale, especially around Black Friday, and its base price is lower. To be clear, even though this is our recommendation for the lowest price, Apple’s laptop lineup only classifies it as “budget” because it is the least expensive. This laptop is anything but cheap. It has a similar premium feel to the choices above, so you’re still getting a superbly well-made product with a wonderful user interface. Most of the sacrifices, such as the design, webcam, and SoC, are negligible when compared to the newer M2 MacBook Air, so unless there is a specific feature you need on the current model, this is a fantastic choice that will save you a significant amount of money.
2023 16-inch MacBook Pro
Want everything? If so, you might be interested in the powerful 16-inch MacBook Pro, which features M2 Pro or M2 Max CPUs that offer astounding performance. After you get beyond the notch on this model’s stunning mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display, you’ll be amazed by its contrast and smoothness, especially with its 120Hz refresh rate.
Also, you receive the ports’ return that professionals demand. Not only is there an HDMI-out port for connecting to monitors, but there is also an SD memory reader for connecting memory cards for actual cameras, in addition to the safety-focused MagSafe 3 charging port. Oh, and the three Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports on the MacBook Pro also require power, so don’t believe MagSafe will eliminate USB-C charging from the picture. A superb six-point speaker system, a 1080p webcam, and three upgraded microphones are also included.
M1-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro
Everything we enjoy about the M1-based MacBook Air is carried over to the MacBook Pro, which then takes it up a notch or two. For instance, it outlasted the M1 Air (14:41) by almost two full hours on the Tom’s Guide battery test, lasting a remarkable 16 hours, 32 minutes.
Also, the MacBook Pro’s 434.8 nits of brightness are higher than the Air’s 365.8 nits. Additionally, it completed the Handbrake video transcoding test faster than the already quick MacBook Air, converting a 4K movie to 1080p in 7 minutes, 44 seconds.
Additional benefits include the crisp 2560×1600 Retina display, Dolby Atmos audio, enhanced camera video quality (due to the M1’s new signal-processing chip), and support for iOS and iPadOS apps. Don’t forget the Magic Keyboard either; it’s a real pleasure to text on.
We put each MacBook through a battery of benchmark testing, practical evaluations, and use as our primary computer to see which one is the best. Only after that do we feel confident in advising you to buy them.
To make sure Apple’s ratings are accurate, we evaluate each MacBook’s screen using a Klein K-10A colorimeter to determine its average brightness and color quality. In terms of overall performance, we time how long it takes the Macs to transcode a 4K movie to 1080p using the Geekbench 5 (CPU performance) benchmark.