Your Holiday MacBook Buying Guide

This holiday season, you might be trying to decide on the perfect Apple MacBook for someone special in your life. Whether you’re shopping for one of your children, a significant other, or a parent, there’s a perfect MacBook to suit their needs and your budget. With the MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro offering a range of features and power, there’s a device for anyone who’s in the Apple ecosystem—from the road warrior to the student to the media professional. If you’re overwhelmed by the choice, read on to find out how to choose.

MacBook Air

With three 13-inch models available, the MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable and one of its most portable line of laptops. This line’s two more expensive models have 1.6GHz dual-core i5 eighth generation processors, 8GB of RAM, and 12-hour battery life. When it comes to ports, these two devices each have a pair of Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, which means that users with older style USB devices will need an adapter. The main difference between the two is their storage capacity: 128GB and 256GB. The most affordable device in the lineup features a dual-core i5 fifth generation processor with 8GB of RAM, and the same 12-hour battery life. This model features a Thunderbolt 2 connector and two USB 3.0 ports.

When it comes to power and speed, these devices are more than capable in handling general-purpose work, such as email, web browsing, and office applications. They can even handle some light photo and video editing work. The MacBook Air lineup is perfect for users who travel a lot and don’t want to carry a bulky device.


Slightly smaller and lighter than the MacBook Air, the MacBook offers portability and impressive power. It comes in two models: one with a 1.2GHz Intel dual-core m3 processor and 256GB of storage and another with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor and 512GB or storage. Both have 8GB of RAM and Retina displays and a single USB-C port, which means an adapter might be needed to connect older USB devices.

In terms of power and performance, the MacBook is truly impressive given its slim form factor. It can handle anything a typical user might do and even some professional production tasks. The only challenge this device presents is that its single port configuration means that users will need to carry adapters to connect multiple devices and charge the device.

MacBook Pro

While the MacBook Pro is the bulkiest device in the Apple MacBook product line, it offers the most impressive performance. This device comes in two sizes: 13-inch and 15-inch. It offers a range of technical specifications ranging from a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD to a 2.6GHz six-core Intel i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD. These devices feature high-density Retina displays, offering a truly amazing image. Finally, some models of the MacBook Pro have a Touch Bar, which is a narrow touchscreen that sits where the function keys normally would. The touchbar offers customizable and contextual functionality, allowing the user to customize its functions in different applications.

It goes without saying that the MacBook Pro line is ideal for the most demanding users, like those doing heavy production or video editing work. For users who do basic daily tasks, I would recommend looking at either the MacBook Air or the MacBook.

With all of this in mind, you should be ready to confidently choose between Apple’s three MacBook lines.

By Mike Agerbo

December 11, 2018