If you're on the hunt for the best MacBook, you're in the right place. There are quite a few models to pick from, so we've done some detailed research and testing to bring you our list of the best Apple laptops on the market right now. No matter your needs or budget, you'll be able to find the best MacBook for you right here.
All of the below MacBooks can be customised and configured to better suit your budget and the sort of power you're looking for – that's something to remember when you're shopping, that the spec you see listed doesn't have to be the final one that you order (you'll need extra cash to amp it up though).
For those thinking about school, college or university, check out our best MacBook for students (opens in new tab) guide. We've also got carefully curated guides to the best laptop (opens in new tab) overall, should you not be 100 per cent fixed to Apple and macOS just yet.
Best MacBooks you can buy in 2023: Top 3
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The best MacBook for most people is the MacBook Air (M2, 2022). The hero MacBook, this silent operator (there's no fan) delivers M2 power in a stunning design that's slimmer and lighter than the rest.
The best affordable MacBook is the MacBook Air (M1, 2020). It's got the older design language, but is still highly capable, and will cost you a good chunk of cash less than anything else in Apple's stable.
The best premium MacBook is the 14-inch MacBook Pro (M2 Pro/Max 2023). Highly configurable with Apple's top-tier processors, this is the MacBook with higher power.
The second MacBook to bring Apple's M2 silicon to the fore (after the 13-inch Pro, further below), except in a fanless design for silent operation. There's also all-new looks and a 13.6-inch form-factor, making this the best Apple laptop for most people.
As said in T3's full MacBook Air M2 review: "the all-new Air with M2 silicon is a revelation: redesigned, reinvigorated, revolutionary. It's super powerful, has excellent battery life, and aside from some heat due to no fan cooling and the inclusion of a notch on that new screen, it's a laptop that's hard to fault."
We're pleased to see that the webcam has been given an upgrade to 1080p, which is important to more people than you might think, while macOS absolutely flies along on this Mac. If you don't do much beyond everyday computing tasks, we'd wholeheartedly recommend it, but even if you do it's capable at 4K video editing tasks without bother.
The M2 MacBook Air is much cheaper than the larger 14- and 16-inch Pro models, but you do miss out on some features: there's no HDMI slot and no SDXC card reader, for example, while throttling means you'll get higher performance from the Pro models. However, most aren't going to need that, so we think the Air M2 is the ideal balance.
There isn't really a budget MacBook, per se, but the 2020 MacBook Air is now the only Mac laptop you can buy for under the four-figure asking price. That'll be really important for a number of people who can't fork out the extra cash. You may be able to find one for even less refurbished if you're lucky.
Either way, the 2020 MacBook Air may feature the older design, but it's still perfectly capable thanks to the decent M1 processor under its hood, and while the webcam is only 720p (annoying) there's no notch on the screen to get in the way (preferable).
The MacBook Air is certainly no slouch even on older hardware, able to cope with the majority of day-to-day computing tasks with ease, as we cite in our MacBook Air M1 2020 review. It really is an impressive bit of kit from Apple.
Replacing the excellent 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro, the 2023 model delivers M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets – and the performance is simply incredible. If you are a creative professional then nothing else has this kind of memory bandwidth and power.
There were aesthetic changes in 2021, and while the 2023 model doesn't change anything visually speaking, it's still a great laptop with superb battery life, plus small new additions such as HDMI 2.1 (for 4K/240Hz output) and Wi-Fi 6E speeds. Gone is the Touch Bar (it still lives on in the 13-inch 2022 Pro model though), and while the display still has a notch (just like the MacBook Air M2 featured above), we think it's hard not to fall in love with its bright Mini LED charms.
We think the 14-inch model here slightly edges out the 16-inch model in terms of the balance between power and portability – it's a little lighter and a little smaller if you need something that you can carry around. But the 16-inch model is also a five-star product, with even better battery life, but a higher cost. You can go wrong either way, unless you don't need this level of performance, in which case look elsewhere on this list.
Best MacBooks you can buy 2023: Best of the rest
The 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro was the one to introduce Apple's M2 silicon, which seemed like a bit of a strange choice. So although it reads a lot like the 13-inch MacBook Air on paper, thanks to the cooling fan installed inside, it can push this M2 chip harder for longer. It's also slightly heavier than the MacBook Air, a little more expensive, and with slightly better battery life. Plus, it's still got the Touch Bar that's been cut from the other MacBooks.
Taking all of that into consideration, this is perhaps the MacBook to get if you want the best performance in the smallest possible form factor (or are a Touch Bar lover). While it's a little on the dated side in visual terms, it can still hold its own with the best laptops in the business when it comes to demanding tasks like video editing – see our M2 Pro MacBook Pro review for more details.
The screen might be smaller than the other Pro models but it's still a fantastic display (without a notch!), and of course that smaller screen makes it easier to carry around. Like the MacBook Air, you get just two Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4 connections on the side with the now ubiquitous USB-C shape – so to connect up lots of peripherals you'll need to invest in a dock or hub as well.
For some people this final entry on our list will actually make sense turned on its head as the number one option to buy. But then it's also the most expensive, given it's the biggest and most powerful MacBook going. It's also the most powerful, and if you've got super-high demands then the 96GB unified memory model is untouchable compared to what the competition can offer.
If you really want to go all-out on a MacBook Pro then the 16-inch top-spec model fits the bill: as you can tell from our 2023 16-inch MacBook Pro review, it's a stunner in terms of both its looks and its performance, though bear in mind that this larger version is not as easy to carry around as the 14-inch edition.
The price rises steeply as you start to configure the 16-inch model though – it maxes out at 96GB unified memory with a huge 8TB of internal storage on SSD in the 2023 configuration with all-new M2 Max processor. Despite all of this power, the laptop stays impressively quiet and cool even when faced with more demanding tasks, while battery life is still decent too.
The 16.2-inch 3456 x 2234 pixel resolution display is absolutely gorgeous from any angle too – and just like the 14-inch model, the brightest you'll find in the MacBook line-up. External monitors and other peripherals can be connected through one of the three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports. There's also HDMI 2.1 out (with 4L/240Hz monitor support), an SDXC card slot, and a 1080p webcam to ensure all your comms and connectivity are on point.