Apple produces seven different types of Mac machines. These are the MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac mini, MacBook Pro 16, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro. Choosing a specific product from any of these categories can be a difficult task, especially if you have not used many Mac devices before. New machines are released to the market every year, and that makes it even harder to select a mac device. This guide will help you choose one of these machines. It will also cover some highly rated macs that are currently on the market.
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Best MacBook of 2020:
The Types of Mac Devices
As mentioned, there are 7 different types of Mac devices available. Here is a review of each type:
1. MacBook Air
MacBook Air includes some of the most affordable Apple devices. Presently, there are only two machines in this category, and both of them are 13-inch. The company used to sell an 11-inch MacBook Air, but they have since ceased its production. To get it, you may have to settle for a refurbished device. Alternatively, you can purchase the machine in bulk for an institution.
These devices are best for people who like small devices but don’t want to deal with the limited functionality of an iPad. Also, if you are working on a tight budget, you can consider purchasing one of these models.
The primary difference between the two MacBook Air devices is the storage space. The cheaper machine has 128 GB of storage space while the other has 256 GB of flash storage. Here are other specs that are similar in both devices:
- 1.8GHz dual-core Core i5 Broadwell processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Integrated Intel HD graphics 6000 technolog
- Built-in wi-fi and Bluetooth
- Ethernet connection (to use this, you will have to purchase a USB ethernet adapter
- LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
- Two USB 3.0 ports
The MacBook was originally released in 2017. It is slightly smaller than the MacBook Air. It is also very light, and that makes it ideal for people who need to travel with their laptop. This device would be great for students and self-employed people who like working remotely. It is important to note that the features and performance in this device are not top quality. You should only go for this machine if mobility is your primary concern.
This model has a 12-inch screen and is available in gold, silver, rose gold, and space grey. There are two machines in this category. There are certain pronounced differences between these two models. For example, the cheaper model has a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor while the other one has a 1.3 dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. Both of these processors are Kaby Lake. The Kaby Lake processor was added in later versions, and it has significantly boosted the functionality of the machines.
Another major difference between the two models is the flash storage. The cheaper machine has 256 GB of flash storage, and the other has 512 BG storage.
Similarities between the two devices include the 8 GB memory and the integrated Intel HD Graphics 615.
You should also note that these machines need many adapters for connectivity.
3. MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro is a highly functional model that is also portable. It is basically a MacBook device that features top-notch performance and functionality. The model is actually ranked at the high-end of the performance chart.
One notable feature in this machine is the high pixelation. Pictures are very clear and smooth on this device. The machine comes in two different screen sizes: 13 and 15 inches. There are four different MacBook Pro devices with 13-inch screens. The main differences among the devices are the SSD sizes and the touch bar. Almost all newer MacBook Pro devices come with touch bars. The SSD sizes range from 128 GB to 512 GB. All the 13-inch devices have 8 GB of memory, 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake processors, and Intel Iris Graphics.
There are two 15-inch models in this category. These machines are significantly more expensive than the 13-inch devices. Both of these laptops have a touch bar. Here are some differences between the two devices:
- One of them has a 2.2 GHz processor while the more expensive one has a 2.6 GHz processor. Both machines have a six-core Intel i7 Cofee Lake processor.
- The cheaper device has 256 GB of SSD space while the other has 512 GB of SSD space.
- The cheaper machine has 555X discrete graphics while the other has 560X graphics. Both devices have 4 GB Rodeon Pro graphics.
The touch bar was added to newer MacBook Pro models. It is basically a narrow touchscreen that sits on top of the keyboard. Another important improvement to the models is the 8th generation CPUs. These CPUs have made the devices faster. They also feature better battery life. According to the manufacturer, you can use it for 12 continuous hours without having to recharge it.
Some things you may not like about these devices are the 4 USB-C ports and the lack of dedicated graphics on the 13-inch models. Also, the touch bar is not very functional. It still needs improvement to replace traditional keyboards completely.
MacBook Pro devices are meant for people who move around a lot and still require high levels of functionality. If you want to save some money on your purchase, you can consider going to the company’s refurbished section.
4. Mac Mini
The Mac Mini is one of the cheapest ways to own an Apple machine. It was originally introduced to the market in 2005, and the prices keep dropping every year. The machine comes with no mouse, keyboard, or screen. It is sold with an operating system and bundled apps.
The Mac Mini is not as fast as other expensive Apple desktops, but it is able to handle normal activities. It is generally targeted at people who have never owned Apple desktops or laptops. You can also choose to purchase it as a secondary desktop device in your home. Being a small device, it will hardly take up any space on your desk.
There are three Man Mini models available. The prices range from $500 to about $1000. The prices will rise if you request a Mac Mini with a display, keyboard and mouse. If you have previously owned a PC, you can simply use the attachments with your new Mac Mini computer.
An advantage of these machines is the ease of transportation. The devices have a square shape and measure 19.7 cm or 7.7 inches in length and width. They weigh only 1.22 kgs or 2.7 pounds. If you want to use the PC in two different places, you can just set up two sets of displays and keyboards at each location. You will then be able to carry the machine and use it at both places.
You should note that the Mac Mini does not have an optical drive. This change was made in 2011, and no new models were designed with an optical drive. To use CDs or DVDs, you will have to purchase Apple’s USB SuperDrive.
Newer models have also been developed with the third generation Ivy Bridge CPUs, and this change has significantly improved their performance. Although it has improved its performance, this model is still the slowest of Apple’s products.
The iMac offers high levels of performance. It comes with a standard or Retina display. The machine has an excellent design and will look great on your desk. You should consider buying this machine if you want a machine that comes with all the necessary parts. Also, if you want to maximise your workspace and use a highly-functional device, the iMac will meet your needs perfectly. It comes with its keyboard, mouse, touch pad, and display.
There are two different screen sizes available for iMac users. You can get a 21.5-inch screen or a 27-inch screen. The 27-inch device is no longer produced with a standard display- you can only get it with a Retina display.
The 21.5-inch machine is generally considered an entry level device since its features and specs are not as good as those of the 27-inch iMac. It has a 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive, and 1920 by 1080 resolution. It uses a 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. If you want an upgrade on the specs of the machine, you can pay the company to improve your machine.
The 27-inch machine has a 3.4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5. This can be boosted to 3.8 GHz. It also has a Magic Keyboard that is wireless and rechargeable. The keyboard is compact and designed to fit perfectly on a regular desk. It also uses the Magic Mouse 2. This mouse is developed to slide smoothly over your desk. It also has multi-touch functionalities, and these allow you to use simple gestures to execute certain functions.
If performance is one of your biggest concerns, this machine will suit you perfectly. The Retina iMacs are among the fastest Apple devices on the market. The display will also impress you.
6. iMac Pro
This machine is developed for use in the workplace. It works just like the iMac, but it includes extra components that will help you solve complex computations. The machine is generally targeted at scientists, creative professionals, and programmers.
The model uses Intel Xeon W processors that are available in 8, 10, 14, or 18 cores. You can expect lightning-fast speeds, even if you are running multiple programs at the same time. It has 32 GB of memory, and this can be upgraded to 32 or 64 GB. Unfortunately, it is not possible to upgrade the RAM on your own. You will have to take the device to a service provider if you want to expand the RAM. Other important specs to consider in this Mac are the 1TB SSD and the Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics. The iMac Pro will only suit you if your job demands enormous amounts of power and memory. Otherwise, the other devices will suit your needs.
The iMac pro has multiple ports at its back. These include four Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and an SDXC card slot. Apple is not known for building machines with a good selection of ports, but the iMac Pro does not have this problem. These ports can allow you to transfer as much as 40 GBps of data. You can also connect two more 5K displays at 60Hz.
7. Mac Pro
The Mac Pro is also developed for professional purposes. It features insane amounts of power and speed. It is ideal for people who use many processing cores at the same time.
There are two models in this category. Here are the specifications of the cheaper machine:
- 3.5 GHz 6-core Xeon E5 processor
- 16 GB of memory
- Dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics processor
Here are the specs of the more expensive device:
- A 3.0 GHz 8-core Xeon E5 processor
- Dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics processor
- 16 GB of memory
Both devices have a 256 GB of flash storage. Besides the exceptional performance, you will love the stellar design, removable SSD, and the multiple expansion ports.
The notable disadvantages of the Mac Pro machine are the limited internal expansions and the lack of an accompanying keyboard or mouse. You will have to purchase your keyboard and mouse separately or pay extra for the machine to arrive with the attachments. Also, it does not have an optical drive.
Conclusion Apple is known for manufacturing high-quality desktop and laptop devices. All their machines fall into the seven categories listed above. Mac devices are generally very expensive. The cheapest machine you will find will be slightly over $500, and its performance will be poor. You can get more functional devices at a reasonable price if you go to Apple’s refurbished section. If you need extremely high levels of power and performance, you can go for the pro devices. These are specifically designed to handle many processes at the same time