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Types of MacBooks, Explained

Apple's collection of MacBooks has something for everyone, but deciding which is best for you may be difficult. Our comparison of Mac laptops will help you find the perfect computer for your needs, whether you need a laptop for work or just for surfing the Web.
Angle view of partially-opened MacBook Pro

How to Choose a MacBook

The Mac lineup has established a reputation for being both stylish and reliable, with next-gen features and a user-friendly design that makes them ideal for all kinds of tasks. While Apple's entire collection of MacBooks is known for great quality and computing power, that doesn't mean you should purchase one before doing your research. Depending on your needs, one of their existing models will probably serve you better than the others—a graphic designer and a casual user probably don't need the same MacBook, for example. This table breaks down the differences between the current available models so you can determine which is best for you.
MacBook Air (M1) MacBook Air (M2) MacBook Pro 13" (M2) MacBook Pro 14" (M2 Pro or M2 Max) MacBook Pro 16" (M2 Pro or M2 Max)
13.3" Retina Display 13.6" Liquid Retina Display 13.3" Retina Display 14.2" Liquid Retina XDR Display 16.2" Liquid Retina XDR Display
Apple M1 Chip Apple M2 Chip Apple M2 Chip Apple M2 Pro Chip or Apple M2 Max Chip Apple M2 Pro Chip or Apple M2 Max Chip
8-core CPU 8-core CPU 8-core CPU 12-core CPU 12-core CPU
7-core GPU Up to 10-core GPU 10-core GPU Up to 38-core GPU Up to 38-core GPU
16GB unified memory Up to 24GB unified memory Up to 24GB unified memory Up to 96GB unified memory Up to 96GB unified memory
Up to 2TB storage Up to 2TB storage Up to 2TB storage Up to 8TB storage Up to 8TB storage
Up to 18 hours battery life Up to 18 hours battery life Up to 20 hours battery life Up to 18 hours battery life Up to 22 hours battery life
Touch ID Touch ID Touch Bar and Touch ID Touch ID Touch ID
720p FaceTime HD Camera 1080p FaceTime HD Camera 720p FaceTime HD Camera 1080p FaceTime HD Camera 1080p FaceTime HD Camera

Which MacBook is Best For Me?

Maybe the chart told you everything you need to know. If you still have questions, we can help. Here are some further recommendations:

Which MacBook is Best for College?

Unless your major requires serious photo, video or audio editing, the MacBook Air is a great choice for college students. The newest model weighs less than three pounds, which makes it incredibly easy to carry around campus or take with you to the library for a study session. From a cost perspective, the MacBook Air is also currently the most affordable option available, making it ideal for college students with a tighter budget. The best part is that it's powered by Apple's incredible M2 chip, which means you can enjoy the lighter design without sacrificing power.

Which MacBook is Best for Photo Editing?

Hands down, the MacBook Pro with M2 Max chip is the best for photo and video editing. This ultra-powerful chip helps the computer deliver stunning visuals for graphics-intensive projects without sacrificing battery life. The Liquid Retina XDR display also offers unparalleled brightness, making it easier for editors to catch the most precise details in their footage. Additionally, you can still enjoy up to 18 hours of battery life (though your battery may drain faster when working with photos or videos) so you can work for long stretches at a time without having to sit near an outlet. M2 Max also greatly increases the memory on your MacBook, which is important as photo and video files tend to use more space.

Which MacBook is Best for Casual Use?

If shopping online, checking emails and watching Netflix comprise the majority of your computer use, the MacBook Air M1 is your best bet. The Retina display offers crisp, clear images, perfect for streaming shows. And with up to 18 hours of battery life, you won't have to charge your computer after every use. Despite being the most "basic" of the currently-available Apple laptops, you'll still enjoy a beautiful display, great battery life and plenty of storage for documents, photos and more. Its specs are very similar to the newer MacBook Air M2, so you're still getting a great computer for a lower price. You'll still get an HD FaceTime camera, too, so you can Skype or Zoom friends and family with great clarity.

Buy Your MacBook at Abt

If you're looking for a new laptop, look no further than Abt. Local customers can visit our in-store Apple Boutique, where you can try out products in person and get personalized recommendations from our experts. If you're unable to shop in person, you can also call our experts at 800-860-3577 with all your MacBook questions.

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