Apple is continuously changing and improving their Mac line up – and recently, Apple stopped selling its 12″ MacBook. It was the first Mac to include the new, controversial USB-C port; but the thing that was most difficult for users to grasp about this MacBook was that it had just a single USB-C port. You couldn’t even charge the computer and connect peripherals at the same time without having to purchase an undesired dongle.
And now, as of the writing of this article, there are only two different models of the MacBook sold new from Apple: the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.
Within each model, we have multiple different configurations. So let’s take a look into a few configurations that will make your hard-earned dollars stretch.
MacBook Air (128GB or 256GB)
Coming in at $1,099, the base model MacBook Air is an excellent computer for a good amount of people – and I say a “good amount” intentionally. The base model MacBook Air only comes with 128GB of storage. That can be cutting it close for some people, but what matters the most is what you use your computer for.
If you’re a college student, who isn’t majoring in the arts or computer science, or you’re just someone who wants a laptop because an iPad isn’t for you, then 128GB might be enough. What takes up a lot of space on a computer is music, photos, videos and large applications. If you use iCloud for photo and document storage, Apple Music or Spotify for music and Hulu or Netflix for movies, then you should be okay with 128GB.
However, if you’re someone who likes to store copies of your data locally, and not in the cloud; for $200 more, you can double the storage size to 256GB. Doing so will also help future-proof your purchase. With all of that extra space, you should easily get through college and then some.
Speaking of college, Apple offers both of these computers for $100 off with a valid student ID. One more thing to consider, the MacBook Air is designed for basic use. So if you plan on recording music, editing photos and videos, or you’re going into computer programming, the 15″ MacBook Pro will be a better choice.
15-inch MacBook Pro
The beast of all MacBooks. I know some of you might be thinking, “What about the 13-inch MacBook Pro?” Allow me to explain. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is a great computer. However, with only 8GB of RAM (stock) and a less powerful GPU, you truly aren’t going to experience everything that a MacBook Pro can offer.
If you are someone who wants to take your craft to the next level, you are going to get your money’s worth with the 15″ MacBook Pro.
Apple offers two standard 15-inch configurations, but what really sets this model apart is the ability to customize your Mac when ordering it from Apple’s website. Let’s take a look at some of the options and see if they’re worth investing in. Each person will have different needs, so see if these will help you. The total price can get high quickly, so making the right choices is key to saving a few dollars but still getting years of use out of your MacBook.
- Processor – A processor upgrade won’t likely be noticed unless you are editing 4K video, or playing intensive games.
- RAM – If you plan on editing video, recording music, working on many projects at once, or working in the computer science field; maxing at your RAM is a no brainer. macOS is designed to take advantage of your ram. The more, the merrier!
- Storage – This one is based on preference. I keep a large number of files stored on my Mac locally, so I think it’s a worthy purchase. But if you rely on the cloud, you can get away without the upgrade.
- Graphics – This option faces similar considerations as the processor. If you plan on doing video work or playing power-intensive games, this would be a good upgrade. But, if I had to choose between a processor or graphics upgrade, I would choose the processor first, then graphics second.
So in conclusion, the average computer user will be happy with any MacBook Air configuration. They’ve become just that good. If you plan on surfing the web, creating documents or lightly dabbling in the arts, get the MacBook Air that has the right amount of storage for you. However, if you want to make arts or computer science your career, or serious hobby, the MacBook Pro is for you. To truly see a difference in your workflow, the 15″ model is where you will see more bang for your buck.