Best MacBook in 2024: Which Apple laptop is best?

Finding the finest MacBook is becoming more difficult as 2024 begins, but the glut of excellent choices is what really makes it difficult to determine which Apple laptop is the best. The greatest MacBooks are frequently considered to be the best laptops overall, so it’s no wonder they’re soaring in popularity.

The first wave of Apple’s M1 chips arrived in 2020, marking a revolutionary leap for MacBooks, while the M3 chips, the company’s pinnacle of innovation, arrived in late 2023. All of Apple’s MacBooks have had significant performance and battery life upgrades from Apple Silicon during this period. The MacBook Pro M2 was the lone design weak spot in the MacBook lineup until its departure last year, so now there are only solid options remaining.

At now, Apple offers a diverse range of chips, including the M1, M2, M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. Although the MacBook Air M3 is anticipated to be released in the spring, the M2 Air models are currently on sale, and an update to the Pro lineup is unlikely until late 2024 or even 2025.

So, let’s take a closer look and see which MacBook is ideal for you.

THE ABSTRACT

Excited to discover the ideal laptop for you? Rest assured, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all the laptops on the market today and included links to our in-depth reviews of each one.

MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

1. MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

The ideal MacBook for the majority of users

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Apple M2
  • GPU: Apple M2
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB/24GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Display: 13.6-inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Size: 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

PROS INCLUDE:

  • a beautiful overhaul
  • solid performance
  • a vivid, bright screen
  • a comfortable keyboard
  • and long battery life.

NOT TO USE

  • SSD is a little sluggish compared to M1 Air.

Although the majority of people will be satisfied with the MacBook Air M1, the new design and, of course, the processor within the MacBook Air M2 are undeniably appealing. Even though I’m not a fan of the display notch, I do like the new design and how MagSafe charging frees up the two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Its battery life was 14 hours and 6 minutes in our test, putting it far ahead of the Windows competitors and even more so when performance is included. You also receive a decent performance boost. It still astounds me that it manages all this without making a sound or using fans.

New features include a 1080p webcam, a quad-speaker array, and a brighter screen. Those who use the Air M2 when traveling and may encounter less-than-ideal lighting circumstances will appreciate that first feature especially.

The Air M2’s price, especially if you want to upgrade significantly from the $1,199 base model, is the main factor to consider. Like I said before, the Air M1 lingered at $999, thus the M2 variant is quite pricey. Consider the basic 14-inch MacBook Pro, which I’ll talk about later on in this list and is currently usually available for $1,799. It’s a good option if your configuration costs more than $1,499, though.

MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)
MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

2. MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

M1 power for less than $999!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Apple M1
  • GPU: Apple M1
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Display: 13.3 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

ATTRIBUTES 

  • Stunning performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Ultra-thin unibody metal chassis
  • Top-notch speakers
  • Magic keyboard

WARNINGS

  • Older design
  • Restricted port options

For the majority of users, the MacBook Air M1 is still the top MacBook. The MacBook Air M2—what’s it like? This laptop, which we will discuss in the next section, is great. However, the changes aren’t needed by most consumers, therefore Apple is keeping it on the market to keep the starting price below $1,000. Most importantly, it is frequently available for $899 or less.

Our tests showed a battery life of fourteen hours and forty-one minutes, and the performance is still better than any thin-and-light Windows laptop that costs a similar amount. The MacBook Air M1 is not only up to the task of handling everyday computing duties, but it will also outlast the majority of its competitors.

So, what makes the MacBook Air better than the Pro? Although the Pro offers superior long-term performance, the MacBook Air is more budget-friendly and incredibly silent due to its lack of a fan. With dimensions of just 0.6 inches thick and 2.8 pounds, the 13.3-inch model—Apple’s most affordable—is also the most portable.

If you’re looking for a new MacBook and don’t mind the outdated design, the MacBook Air M1 is still a great price even when it’s not on sale. Anyone contemplating a MacBook should give it serious thought.

MacBook Air 15
MacBook Air 15

3. MacBook Air 15

Top-notch cost-effective MacBook with a large display

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Apple M2
  • GPU: Apple M2
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB/24GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Display: 13.6-inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Size: 13.4 x 9.35 x 0.45 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

Pros:

  • Slim design
  • Beautiful liquid retina display
  • Long battery life
  • Good performance

Affordability Cons

  • Restricted port options

All it is is a larger The MacBook Air M2 is an understandable sequel to the original Air, which was mostly unaltered from its predecessor but for a bigger battery and, of course, a 15.3-inch screen.

The silver lining, though, is that Apple spared you a hefty price increase. With a starting price of $1,299, the MacBook Air 15 improves upon the 13 M2 in every way while adding a 1.7-inch bigger screen and nearly an extra hour of battery life.

When you consider that a MacBook with a 15-inch display has normally cost $2,500 or more, you can see that it’s a good deal. At last, a reasonably priced big-screen MacBook that meets the demands of the average user for everyday tasks, whether at work, in school, or just hanging out is here.

MacBook Pro (14-inch, M3)
MacBook Pro (14-inch, M3)

4. MacBook Pro (14-inch, M3)

A top-tier laptop for mobile professionals

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Apple M3/M3 Pro/M3 Max
  • GPU: Apple M3/M3 Pro/M3 Max
  • RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB/96GB/128GB
  • Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB
  • Display: 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024×1964 pixels)
  • Size: 12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.4

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING This product:

  • Outstanding performance
  • Long battery life (more than 17 hours)
  • A wide variety of ports
  • A stunning, colorful screen with fine details
  • Great sound quality

NOT TO BUY:

  • Distracting notch; lack of Face ID

The 14-inch MacBook Pro was the most noteworthy in the new batch of MacBook Pros announced at the end of 2023, since it received a new base M3 option starting at $1,599, shattering predictions that the M3 MacBooks wouldn’t arrive until 2024.

Our tests showed that the laptop’s battery life was an impressive 17 hours and 16 minutes, and the base M3 model will provide more than enough performance for the majority of users. Aside from that, the hardware is almost identical to the first-rate laptop we purchased two years ago. You might want to give the M3 Pro or M3 Max a go if you’re a power user, content creator, or even a gamer. Although it hasn’t seriously competed with top gaming laptops yet, Apple is now getting serious about gaming after only dabbling for a while.

We have long voiced our disapproval of the 14-inch MacBook Pro’s notch and the fact that it wastes so much screen space without providing Face ID. Nevertheless, these are small complaints about a fantastic laptop that is now more reasonably priced.

MacBook Pro (16-inch, M3 Max)
MacBook Pro (16-inch, M3 Max)

5. MacBook Pro (16-inch, M3 Max)

The optimal MacBook for superior performance and extended battery longevity

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Apple M2 Pro/Apple M2 Max
  • GPU: Apple M2 Pro/M2 Max
  • RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB/96GB
  • Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8GB
  • Display: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3024 x 1964 pixels)
  • Size: 14 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 pounds

REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Impressive overall and gaming performance
  • Unmatched battery life compared to other products
  • Superb audio quality
  • Stunning display

Reasons to avoid:

  • High initial cost of $2,499

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max, which we have dubbed the “new king of MacBooks,” may seem like it should be ranked at the top of this list. However, due to its considerable price, it is an option that requires careful consideration, despite its exceptional performance.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is priced at $2,499 for the M3 Pro model and $3,499 for the M2 Max model, making it a high-end option that may not be suitable for all individuals. Nevertheless, if you are a creative practitioner or an individual who prioritizes superior quality and size over cost, this item should be included in your list of top choices.

The design of the notebook remains nearly indistinguishable from the 2021 and early 2023 versions, which is not now a cause for criticism. The new model includes the reinstated full HDMI and SDXC card reader. The laptop’s battery life is really impressive, lasting over 18 hours on a single charge in our test. Additionally, it boasts a stunning Super Retina XDR mini-LED display, a highly ergonomic keyboard, and an exceptional audio system.

I highly suggest opting for a gaming laptop equipped with a dedicated GPU for individuals seeking the most exceptional gaming experience. However, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has already reached a level of quality that adequately caters to the requirements of less avid gamers. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence indicating that further enhancements are on the horizon.

Undoubtedly, the 16-inch MacBook Pro stands out as one of the top-tier laptops available in the market, with the only significant obstacle being its price.

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