If you're on the hunt for the best MacBook then firstly can we congratulate you on your choice: these Apple-made laptops are fantastic devices for all kinds of computing tasks, combining top-tier power with elegant looks, capable software and impressive reliability.
You do have quite a few models to pick from though, so we've done some detailed research and testing to bring you own own list of the best MacBooks on the market at the moment. No matter what your needs, you should be able to find something suitable here.
All of these 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 spec that you order.
If you're currently in education then you might find our best MacBook for students guide to be of some use; we've also got carefully curated guides to the best laptop overall and the best 15-inch laptop that are worth checking out while you're browsing online deals.
The best MacBooks you can buy today in 2022
As you'll know from reviews including our own, the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets available in the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are hugely impressive in terms of both performance and battery life. Apple has hit the ground running with its switch to its own silicon, and the 14-inch MacBook Pro could well be the best MacBook for most people.
There have been aesthetic changes as well as the under-the-hood improvements: the Touch Bar has gone, the display has got a new notch, and the current MacBook Pro looks a little bit more like the classic MacBook Pros of years gone by than its immediate predecessors did. It's hard not to fall in love with this iconic, well sculpted design.
The 14-inch model perhaps just 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. The starting price is also significantly lower on the smaller model, which might be another reason for going for the 14-inch edition.
From the quality of the software to the fit and finish of the hardware, it's hard to find any faults at all with this laptop, except for perhaps the price – it's going to cost you a substantial amount of money, especially at the higher specifications. You can find other laptops for a lot less if you shop around, but then other laptops aren't the MacBook Pro.
For even more information on this top-rated MacBook Pro be sure to check out T3's should I buy the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch feature.
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 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. This is the more expensive option out of the two models as well.
The price rises steeply as you start to configure the 16-inch MacBook Pro – it maxes out at 64GB of RAm and a huge 8TB of internal storage. Despite all of this power, the laptop stays impressively quiet and cool even when faced with more demanding tasks, and Apple says you can get up to 21 hours of battery life (compared with 17 hours for the 14-inch model).
We're not 100 percent sure about the display notch yet, but the 16.2-inch, 3456 x 2234 pixel resolution screen is absolutely gorgeous from any angle. External monitors and other peripherals can be connected through one of the three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports. There's also HDMI out and a SDXC card slot, all of which matches the 14-inch version.
Another notable upgrade with these 14-inch and 16-inch models is the 1080p webcam, so you can be confident of a clear picture on your next video call, and the six-speaker audio system sounds superb too. All in all, the best Apple MacBook laptop you can get your hands on at the moment, if you don't mind either the extra size or the extra expense.
To get more information on this top-rated MacBook be sure to read T3's should I buy the 16-inch MacBook Pro feature.
There isn't really a budget MacBook, but unless you're going to go down the second-hand or refurbished route, this is the cheapest one you can get your hands on at the moment. Don't think that the lower price means this model skimps on features or performance though: the MacBook Air launched in 2020 continues to be a hugely appealing package.
You might be surprised at how close the MacBook Air gets to the Pro models in terms of performance, with its M1 chip. It's possible to pack this out with a generous amount of RAM and internal storage as well, if you can afford it. That smaller 13.3-inch screen helps when it comes to carrying the laptop around and working from just about anywhere.
Looking at the specs we've listed, you might wonder what exactly the difference is between this and the 13-inch MacBook Pro below. Well, the MacBook Air doesn't have a fan, so even though the M1 chip is the same, the Pro model has better cooling – in other words, the M1 processor is able to run faster for longer during more demanding tasks.
The MacBook Air is certainly no slouch though, and can cope with the majority of day-to-day computing tasks with ease. According to Apple you can get up to 18 hours of battery life out of the laptop, and in terms of ports you're looking at two USB-C slots with support for Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4. It really is an impressive bit of kit from Apple.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro looks a lot like the 13-inch MacBook Air on paper, but thanks to the cooling fan installed inside, it can push its M1 chip harder for longer. It's also slightly heavier than the MacBook Air, a little more expensive, and with slightly better battery life (up to 20 hours). 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. While it's a little on the dated side now, at least in Apple 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 review for more details.
The screen might be smaller than the other Pro models but it's still a fantastic display, 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.
While this laptop appears last on our list, it's still a brilliant MacBook that's well worth considering the next time you need an upgrade. This may well be the next MacBook to be upgraded – and the Touch Bar will most likely be cut next time around – so check the latest from the rumour mill on a successor before spending your cash on this particular laptop.
New MacBooks on the way?
Something that might be at the back of your mind while you're browsing for new devices are the rumours of new MacBooks that are on the way – you normally don't have to wait long for speculation like this to come along when it comes to models in the pipeline.
In terms of how it affects your final buying decision, we'd say that it's a good idea to keep abreast of new MacBook rumours – and T3 has you covered here as well – but you should also bear in mind that these rumours are always swirling, no matter what the time of year.
To put it another way, if leaks about a future MacBook are going to dissuade you from picking up a brand new laptop from Apple, then you might never end up buying one. Sooner or later you're going to have to take the plunge and pick something you like.
Unless the MacBook you've got your eye on is rumoured to be getting replaced in the very near future, don't panic too much about what's on the way: concentrate on what's already out. Plus, MacBooks are usually very good at holding their value over a number of years.