Tech Published: 17 April 2024 Update: 17 April 2024

The best MacBooks: Which Apple laptop would we buy in 2024?

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2020 Apple MacBook Air with display on

Any time you shop for a new laptop, a lot of people are going to tell you the same thing: Just get a MacBook.

And you know what? We don’t blame them. The best MacBooks are fantastic laptops, and while they don’t afford you the freedom of customization that other brands offer, that’s not something everyone will care about. At the end of the day, most of us just want a high-quality laptop that’ll get us through work, school, and play with minimal fuss.

Although MacBooks can get a bit pricey — with some reaching into truly frightening territory — we’re assuming that if you’re here, you already have the budget for at least one of the current MacBook models (even if it’s the cheapest one).

After testing out Apple’s lineup of laptops, we’re here to help you narrow down the choices and take home the Apple machine of your dreams. So, let’s start shopping.

Your first big decision: Air or Pro?

When it comes to today’s current lineup of MacBooks, you really only have two options: The MacBook Pro or the MacBook Air. So, which is right for you?

If you’re a creative who is regularly pushing their laptops to the limit with demanding applications for video and photo editing, you’ll want to aim for the Pro. The name of the game with the Pro line is processing power, and the latest iteration is the speediest and most performance-driven yet.

the m1 macbook air opened to home screen
Testing the M1 MacBook Air after its 2020 release.
Credit: Zlata Ivleva / Mashable
the m3 macbook pro opened to home screen
Testing the super-powered M3 MacBook Pro.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Now, if convenience and portability are your top priorities, then the Air is going to be most suited to you. It’s thin and light, and it even comes in a 13-inch option if you’re going to be lugging it around with you wherever you go. Plus, ever since the debut of Apple’s M Series chips, the MacBook Air has become a pint-sized powerhouse. The most current model utilizes the M3 chip, so you won’t be sacrificing all that much in terms of power.

Next up: Which generation?

This is going to come down to what you’re willing to give up in performance, and in some cases, quality. But, whatever you do deem worthy of sacrificing, you’ll be paid back in savings. For example, you can get a 2020 MacBook Air, which will bring you back to the M1 chip era, but you’ll still be scoring an impressive laptop that frequently goes on sale for just $749.99. That’s compared to the $1,299 price tag of the most recent Air, and the $1,599 asking price of the latest Pro.

close-up of m1 macbook air keyboard and ports
A photo from Mashable’s test of the M1 MacBook Air.
Credit: Zlata Ivleva / Mashable
the m2 macbook air open to home screen
Testing the M2 MacBook Air.
Credit: Molly Flores / Mashable

So, if you’ve got a lighter budget, don’t fret — you can still get a MacBook at an affordable price. Yes, you’ll have to get an older model, but staying current is overrated. Older MacBooks are still very much worthy of your consideration, and they won’t cost you nearly as much.

So, what are the best MacBooks?

After testing out the latest Apple laptops, we think there are four MacBooks worth buying in 2024. Check out our top picks below, their pros and cons, as well as who we think would like each model best.

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Flavius Trica Creatif Agency Flavius Trica

Web designer and Co-Founder of Creatif.Agency, with more than 8 years in the design industry and a strong passion for digital art, has successfully managed to deliver one of the most creative web design agencies in San Francisco, California. Valuing quality, creativity, and customer satisfaction, always strive to improve!

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