Best of Apple Laptops
Variety may be the spice of life. But it sure does complicate things when deciding which laptop offers you the best value. With a bevy of high quality products, industry leading tech support and helpful warranty options, it should come as no surprise that Apple remains the top laptop brand for 2016.
Why This Brand May Be for You
The MacBook family is still one of the most attractive options because of Apple’s ability to stay ahead of the competition with innovations like slim and attractive designs, a sizeable boost to performance, long battery life, good port selections, updated internals, unique color options and other improvements created for more productivity to attract a wider audience. The only cause for pause might be a high entry price to get in on one of these machines.
MacBooks are a polarizing laptop brand that’s either loved or hated. Apple has addressed some but not all of the issues with the previous model year. Performance minded upgrades are set to improve usability and attract a wider audience. But should you just wait for the next update?
Deciding between different MacBooks may not be as simple as the premise suggests even though Apple keeps its system offerings light with only 3 distinct models: the smallest MacBook (new with Retina display), the mid-range MacBook Air and the kitted-out MacBook Pro. Only two of these lines have received any refreshing at all (though improvements are minor). However, each MacBook is available in different sizes and configurations.
Top Apple Laptops
The Apple MacBook 12-Inch Retina (Read Review) isn’t for everyone. It’s a super-slim, ultraportable designed for someone looking for the thinnest, most portable laptop possible, and is willing to give up some ports to get it. At 12-inches and 2 pounds, it’s also the lightest laptop possible featuring a stunning screen with Retina display. The Core M processer won’t get you blazing speed. But it’s got just what you need to get daily computing done quickly when you’re traveling. The USB-C port is the only port you’ll need to quickly get your charging done and hook up your USB gadgets.
Apple’s notoriety as an industry leader is undeniable with inspiring form factors often imitated by its competition. Established in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple is the most valuable tech manufacturer in the world. The company switched its name from Apple Computer in 2007 to Apple, Inc. to capture its increasing focus on mobile devices and consumer electronics.
Due to the lack of MacBook updates, most of Apple’s laptops are now running behind the technological and design curve. The price of acquisition doesn’t make choosing between MacBooks any easier. But for products like the MacBook (Retina) the company took an audacious step in eliminating most of the ports to put it back on the design radar. It remains to be seen how this bold decision pans out.
Apple’s laptops collectively receive high ratings. All the machines offer a battery strong enough to last throughout a work day, responsive keyboards and accurate touchpads, thanks to ‘Force Touch’ technology which can perform a number of pressure-sensitive commands. This technology was first made available in the 12” MacBook, then passed on to the refurbished version of the MacBook Pro. (No word on when or if it will be available in the MacBook Air.)
The graphics are impressive with the latest MacBooks increasing display performance with help from the AMD Radeon GPU. Retina Display is a term that’s often associated with many, but not all Macbooks. The display technology produces images that are so sharp and colorful that it’ll leave you scratching your head as to the reason why Apple omitted this incredible feature, with its mind blowing resolution from the MacBook Air series. But we suppose that this is just one of the cost-cutting aspects that makes the Air one of the lightest ultra-portables, not to mention the least expensive MacBook in the family, putting the Air within the reach of many Apple fans.
You may not be able to get an Apple laptop with the latest Intel Core ‘Skylake’ processor since the manufacturer doesn’t update its units with the newest processing platforms as soon as they become available. Even without this refresh, however, you should still expect faster performance from the new generation of processors over previous models with the use of upgraded flash storage and hard drive that makes locating files in a huge library of information an effortless experience.
You’ll discover that the keyboards remain universally untouched on most models; with models retaining the same snappy and satisfying feedback as from previous generations. However, key travel is shallow on the 12” MacBook, which may take getting used to for some users.
Apple has the best phone support system of any laptop manufacturer, with helpful online resources, too. Phone support is driven by enthusiastic agents that are knowledgeable about things Apple. The live chat feature, however, isn’t so easy to locate. However, you’ll find that their one-year warranty is on par with competitor offerings.
But the company really stands out by offering several convenient ways to service a malfunctioning machine. For instance, if you live near an Apple store, you can simply bring your system to a Genius Bar for repairs. You even have the option of mailing your laptop back to Apple and the company will pay for shipping. In rare cases if repairs are easy to make, Apple will ship you the parts so you can install them yourself. And check this out: adding things like RAM or swapping out the storage drives will not void your warranty.
Although Apple’s software offerings are strong, they’re not that different from 2015. All MacBooks come with the iWork suite and some multimedia software. The iLife Suite branding is gone. But iMovie and GarageBand are still OS X mainstays, while iPhoto is simply Photos. Innovations include an updated OS X operating system which adds a host of new features like natural language search, a split-screen view and a new graphics API.