Do you want to buy a new MacBook in 2021? With the arrival of the first MacBooks with an Apple Silicon processor, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the diversity of the current range. Here’s our buying guide to help you choose.
Apple currently offers 2 ranges laptops : the MacBook Air (13 ″) and the MacBook Pro which comes in two screen sizes of 13 and 15 inches. There aren’t a thousand options available, but choosing a model can be tricky. here is our purchase guide to help you choose better according to your needs and your budget.
MacBook Pro M1 (13 inches): the new benchmark
The MacBook Pro is ideal for heavy users. If your profession requires you to perform heavy tasks such as graphics and video editing software, it is important to have a sufficiently powerful machine. That’s the whole promise of a High-end Macbook Pro. And Apple has taken a big leap forward with the new generation under M1 processor.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 keeps the same design as its predecessor, but offers a real technological breakthrough on the inside. The new ARM chip (Apple Silicon) engraved in 5nm is almost 3 times more powerful than the best proposals of the previous generation for the CPU part and up to 5 times more for the GPU part. This delicious flavor is enhanced by incomparable energy efficiency.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 offers up to 20 hours of battery life, never before seen in the range. And for those worried about the compatibility of x86 apps with the new ARM architecture, Apple has got you covered. Using Rosetta 2 technology, these apps are automatically converted to run smoothly on the MacBook Pro ARM.
The latter is offered in different configurations: 8 or 16 GB of RAM and a storage capacity ranging from 256 GB to 2 TB. The new MacBook Pro is equipped with two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, a Touch Bar and a Touch ID sensor, not to mention the new Magic Keyboard. Its price: from 1449 €.
New MacBook Air: more powerful, more autonomous, the M1 chip revolutionizes the range
With the new MacBook Air with Apple M1 chip, the gap has narrowed significantly between this range and MacBook Pros. Both series benefit from the advancements offered by the Apple M1 SoC. The MacBook Air is more powerful than its predecessors under an Intel processor and even more than the MacBook Pro 16 according to a benchmark. It offers a battery life of up to 17 hours and this is a record in the range.
Best of all, this model does not have a cooling system. It is therefore completely silent, unlike the new MacBook Pro which, thanks to its active cooling, allows a more sustained pace. However, the Pro version is much quieter than its Intel counterparts. The new MacBook Air M1 starts at € 1,062 instead of € 1,129 on Amazon.
16-inch MacBook Pro: bigger and just as powerful
The ultimate benchmark for professionals, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is now closely followed by the new M1 range. Some new generation benchmarks even seem to offer them a performance advantage, at a much lower price. But the GPU part is to the advantage of the current 16-inch MacBook Pro which embeds AMD Radeon Pro 5300M / 5500M graphics chips.
This model offers a screen with a comfortable diagonal. Its basic configuration offers a 9th generation 6-core Core i7 clocked at 2.6 GHz, which can go up to 4.5 GHz. The RAM memory capacity ranges from 16 to 32 GB to choose from. The storage capacity ranges from 256 GB to 4 TB depending on the desired configuration.
If you need even more power, you can opt for the version of the MacBook Pro with 8-core Intel Core i9 processor at 2.3 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz). The base model (Core i7 and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU) is available from 2349 € at the best price. The Core i9 version with AMD Radeon Pro 5500M starts at € 2,875.
2020 MacBook Pro 13 with 10th Generation Intel Processor: The Alternative
Despite being beaten by its M1 counterpart in all benchmarks, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with 10th generation Intel processor is still available in the catalog. It is designed around a 10ᵉ generation quad-core Core i5 or Core i7 processor with 16 or 32 GB of RAM and an Intel Iris Plus Graphics GPU. This MacBook is offered in several storage capacities ranging from 512 GB to 4 TB.
Its 13-inch Retina screen offers a True Tone display that adapts to ambient lighting for visibility always at the top. You also get a Touch Bar, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and the backlit Magic Keyboard. Its price: from 1799 €.
Finally, clarification that with the arrival of the M1 generation, Apple no longer offers the 13-inch MacBook Air 2020 with a 10th generation Intel processor. However, the model was released about 6 months before its successor. It can now be found at authorized resellers within the limit of available stock.
The 2020 Intel MacBook Air is obviously dominated by its M1 counterpart. This version no longer has any reason to exist, especially since its price when it is found is almost the same as that of the new basic MacBook Air M1 which costs € 1,129. For less than $ 150 more, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to the latest version.