If you've decided to go with Apple for your next computer, you've got plenty of choice – from the lightweight and recently revamped MacBook Air to the pricey powerhouse that is the Mac Pro. Here we'll explain the differences between them and how to pick the best Mac.
Of course the best Mac for you might not be the best Mac for everyone else: we'll take you through the specs, features and prices as they stand today and outline what you need to know. By the time we've finished you should be able to make a much more informed choice.
With a timely March 2019 refresh that added 9th-gen Intel processors and Vega graphics options for the first time, the iMac remains the best Mac around for most people and our favourite in the whole series – not least because of the number of different ways you can configure it.
You can pick between 21.5-inch and 27-inch screen sizes for a start, with a wide choice of resolutions, processor speeds, installed RAM, graphics options, local storage space and more. The top 27-inch model gives you a 6-core 3.7GHz processor, 2TB of local storage, a 5K display and Radeon Pro 580X graphics.
With all those options, the prices vary hugely, and that's another point in the iMac's favour: you can configure it to be as affordable or as powerful as you need. It's the best Apple desktop for the majority of users.
Another model to get several tweaks in the last couple of years, the MacBook Pro is like the laptop version of the iMac – a choice of screen sizes, a wide choice of configuration options, and plenty of power for your money. It is on the pricier side though, compared to the MacBook Air.
The non-Touch Bar models have been ditched now, but you can pick between a screen measuring 13.3 inches with a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution, or 15.4 inches with a 2,880 x 1,800 pixel resolution; your pick of i5, i7 or i9 processors from Intel with a variety of clock speeds; and between 8-32GB of RAM and 128GB-4TB of storage. The 15.4-inch models come with discrete AMD Radeon Pro graphics too.
It's the most power and performance you can get in an Apple laptop, and the recent redesign means you're getting a modern, elegant-looking machine as well. A Mac we'd definitely recommend, if you've got the cash.
Apple finally got around to refreshing the MacBook Air, bumping off the MacBook along the way and making this the default choice for those who want an Apple laptop that's lighter or more expensive than what the Pro can offer.
The most up-to-date spec gives you a 13.3‑inch, 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution display, from 128GB to 1TB of storage, and 8GB or 16GB of RAM. Everything is powered by a dual-core Intel i5 processor and integrated Intel graphics, all of which means you won't get top-level performance from a MacBook Air – but again, it's the cheapest laptop Apple currently sells.
That makes it appealing to those who want to use macOS on the go on a budget, and the battery life of 12 hours or thereabouts adds to the appeal of the MacBook Air as well. With its refreshed spec, it's going to be the best Mac for a lot of people.
The flagship all-in-one iMac Pro is now the Apple computer most in need of a refresh, and while it's going to be way too powerful and too expensive for ordinary users, its performance levels and sheer beauty can't be denied.
If money is no object, in other words, this could be the best Mac for you – you can get it with a Xeon processor that goes all the way up to 18 cores. That's paired with a maximum of 128GB of RAM, up to 4TB of storage, and Radeon Pro Vega graphics. This is going to take everything that you can throw at it and then some.
And what about that 5K screen? With 5,120 x 2,880 pixels, stretched across 27 inches of display, it's simply stunning. To top it all off, everything is wrapped in a sleek, all-in-one unit that will look great on any desk.
Obviously we're not putting the brand new lower down in this list because of its performance – which is off the charts – but because it's outrageously expensive. You really need to be in the movie business to be able to afford this one.
If you do have the cash though, this Mac packs in an amazing amount of power. It tops out with a 28-core Intel Xeon W processor, 1.5TB of RAM, two high-end Radeon Pro graphics cards, and 4TB of storage. This isn't going to slow down even if you're working on multiple 8K video editing projects.
The design looks very good to us too, and if we won the lottery we'd consider getting it. As for non-lottery winners, the thousands of pounds this will set you back when it launches in September 2019 probably aren't worth it.
Just when we thought Apple had forgotten all about the Mac Mini, it went and refreshed the box in October 2018 – if you've already got a display and you want a decent Mac machine to plug into it, it's still worth a look.
The specs of the refreshed model are more in-keeping with a 2019 computer: up to a 6-core, Intel Core i7 processor, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 2TB of storage... it all adds up to a very capable machine, though due to the physical constraints of the form factor you're stuck with integrated Intel graphics.
This won't be the best Mac for a lot of people but will suit some people perfectly. Thanks to the diminutive size, you can even carry it between rooms, or between home and the office.