Since the launch of the Apple M1 series of silicon 2020, Apple has made many enhancements and upgrades to the entire portfolio of its Mac lineup. All Apple Mac computers are now equipped with an M-series chip, except the Mac Pro. The new computers are better and more powerful than ever, and even the cheapest machines are capable of processing content at shattering speeds.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re in the market for a new Mac, iMac, or MacBook computer. Here are the best Mac computers that money can buy in 2023, including most of the Apple M-series silicon-equipped devices. Unsure about the differences between the different Apple M2 chips? Check our comparison to find out everything you need to know!
Best MacBook for students: MacBook Air, M1
The Apple MacBook Air equipped with the M1 chip is undoubtedly the best Apple laptop for most people, and it’s hands down the best machine for students. The MacBook Air with M1 starts at just $899 for students, which houses the M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. The machine can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage.
The MacBook has everything most people need. With a beautiful 13.3-inch Retina display, the power of the M1 chip is capable of handling even some demanding tasks, such as editing videos, multitasking, and studying. It weighs just 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg). It’s portable, slim, lightweight, and can easily fit in any backpack.
The laptop can last forever on a single charge despite the small form factor. Apple quotes 15 hours of web browsing, and most students can go to their lectures without carrying around a charger. It can effortlessly browse the web and is also an excellent home entertainment device, thanks to its large and colorful display. If you’re in the market for something affordable that nails all the fundamentals, the MacBook Air with the M1 is still the perfect choice in 2023.
Apple MacBook Air
Apple’s 2020 MacBook Air is still one of Cupertino’s best laptops. It features an M1 chip, a 13.3-inch Retina Display, all-day battery life, and other great features.
Runner-up: MacBook Air, M2
The MacBook Air with the M2 chip is a close contender to be the “best laptop for most people,” but its higher price tag excludes it from that list. The MacBook Air M2 has a lot going for it, and it improves on the already excellent M1 model. It’s equipped with an even larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, and the more powerful M2 chip, and it features the same design language as the current generation 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro series.
The M2 variant starts at $1,199.00 and is available in four colors. For that price, you’re getting an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD. If you’re willing to spend more, the $1,499.99 model will get you the same 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD. It’s quite a bit higher than the MacBook Air with M1, and it’s questionable whether the extra money is worth spending, especially if you only plan on browsing the web, doing some light editing, and want to multitask by using some of your favorite apps.
If you’re a college student, it’s probably best if you save your money and stick with the MacBook Air with M1; however, if you’re into animation, and want to edit photos and videos, it may be worth considering the 14-inch MacBook Pro. It has even more power and lets you accomplish everything you throw at it.
MacBook Air M2
The latest MacBook Air is powered by the M2 Apple Silicon, offering even better performance than the M1 series of chips. It comes with an all-new design similar to the new MacBook Pro models, fast internal memory, excellent battery life, and an Apple M2 chipset that provides all the performance you need for multitasking, editing, and working on-the-go.
Best Mac for most people: Mac mini
If you have already heavily invested in your own peripherals, including a mouse, keyboard, and monitor, you might be better off with a Mac mini. It’s perfect for those wanting a desktop experience and custom peripherals and accessories. The Mac mini is also budget-friendly, since it only includes the computer itself and the power cable.
The recently unveiled Mac mini M2-series start as low as $599, which gets you the standard M2 chip with an 8-core CPU, and 10-core GPU. It also comes with 8GB of unified memory, and 256GB of SSD. Users can also configure the device with the M2 Pro chip, up to 32GB of unified memory, and up to 8TB of storage. The new Mac mini desktop computers are ideal for any type of work, be it professional or casual.
It’s excellent at multitasking and can handle some photo, audio, video editing, and even some gaming on the side. Additionally, the Mac mini supports one display with up to 6K resolution over Thunderbolt, while the M2 Pro-powered device can handle up to three displays with up to 6K resolution. Depending on your use case, this could be a budget device, or an efficient powerhouse, an ideal choice for those wanting the extra power.
If you don’t want to spend the extra money on your own peripherals, we’d recommend you the MacBook Air with the M1 chip, or the MacBook Air with the M2. Both devices feature a beautiful display, and come with an excellent keyboard and mousepad, and the essential ports to get you started.
Mac mini with M2
This variant of the Mac mini features the M2 chipset, which is an 8-core CPU with four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. It also features a 10-core GPU, up to 24GB of RAM with 100GB/s of bandwidth, and a 16-core Neural Engine.
Mac mini with M2 Pro
This variant of the Mac mini comes with the M2 Pro chipset, which features up to 12-core CPU with eight high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. It also features a 19-core GPU, up to 32GB of RAM with 200GB/s of bandwidth, and a 16-core Neural Engine.
Best iMac: iMac 24-inch
Apple currently only offers a single iMac computer in its lineup, the 24-inch model. The machine is equipped with a 24-inch, 4.5K Retina display and is the most colorful Mac device to date. The standard model is available from $1,299, and it’s available in Blue, Green, Pink, and Silver colors. The higher specced models start at $1,499 and $1,699 and come in Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange, and Purple variants.
Both versions are equipped with the Apple M1 chips, and the standard model has up to 1TB of storage, while the higher model has up to 2TB. The memory on both variants stand at 8GB by default, configurable up to 16GB. These machines are excellent for most users who want to experience the Mac from home, and it’s one of the most powerful Apple all-in-one desktop devices in 2023. Additionally, these devices also come bundled with the Apple Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse, and are excellent for studying, some light editing, and casual use.
Apple iMac (2021)
Get your hands on a new 24-inch iMac that comes with everything you need to start working on your new Mac. The latest M1-powered iMac includes color-matching Magic Mouse with Magic Keyboard and more.
Best workhorse: 14.2-inch MacBook Pro, M2 series
The 14.2-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 series of chips is one of the best on-the-go workhorse machines. It’s equipped with a large 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display and powered by the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. It has up to a 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 96GB of SSD, and 8TB of storage. The M2 Pro model starts at $1,999.00 and is excellent for editing, creating, and consuming content on the go.
It’s the best laptop for professionals and power users and is excellent for everything you can imagine. It has a long-lasting battery, a beautiful display, a keyboard that doesn’t get stuck, and a speaker that blows every other laptop out of the water. Graphics designers, and students who require to run demanding tasks will appreciate the small form factor.
The new M2 series of chips provide even more performance benefits than the M1 series of laptops, although if you’re after a bargain, you might still be able to snag the 2021 models at discounted rates at select retailers.
14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
The latest 14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023) comes with the new M2 Pro or M2 Max-powered chips. The machine boasts up to a 12-core CPU, up to 38-core GPU, up to 96G of unified memory, and 8TB of storage. It’s one of the most powerful laptops on the market in 2023 and one of the best devices for professionals and power users.
Best Mac for professionals: Mac Studio
The Apple Mac Studio looks like a bigger version of the Mac mini. It has a similar form factor, but the power inside it hides more than most people can imagine. As the name suggests, this is for the pros, those who need a rig that can cope with the most challenging and demanding tasks, such as editing, graphics design, rendering objects, and more. The Mac Studio isn’t intended for general users, although there’s a $1,999.00 option available with an M1 Max chip.
Speaking of the specs, the Mac Studio is available with the M1 Max and the M1 Ultra chips. The M1 Ultra model starts at a hefty $3,999.00 price tag, which gets you a 20-core CPU, 48-core GPU, 64GB of unified memory, and 1TB of SSD. The device can be configured with up to 128GB of RAM and up to 8TB of storage.
If you’re looking for one of the most powerful macOS running devices, the Mac Studio has all the performance you need. It’s got enough power for most professional use cases. Suppose you edit a lot of 3D animation and 8K footage. In that case, it might be an excellent choice, especially if you usually work from home, and already have all the peripherals and high-end monitors to do your work.
Apple’s Mac Studio is a remarkably compact powerhouse that will take on anything you may want to throw at it. It comes with an Apple M1 Max or an M1 Ultra chip, making it one of the most potent Macs on the market.
Runner-up: 16.2-inch MacBook Pro, M2 series
The 16.2-inch MacBook Pro was unveiled alongside the new 14.2-inch MacBook Pro on January 17, 2023. It comes with the new second generation of M2 series of Pro and Max chips, and they benefit from all of the new advancements that Apple recently unleashed.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is perfect for developers, and power users who often need a portable device with a beautiful, large display, excellent keyboard, the best mouspad that exists on a laptop, and a chip that can handle it all. The MacBook Pro is an excellent machine, and it now comes with a 20% performance boost compared to the 2021 MacBook Pro lineup, and has a 22-hour battery life. Assuming you know how to take advantage of the raw power, you’ll have to spend quite a bit of money.
The 16.2-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499.00, which gets you the M2 Pro chip with a 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD. The higher-end model with the M2 Max chip has the same 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD. All of these can be configured with more memory and storage, and they all sport three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, an SD card slot, and a headphone jack.
16.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
The latest 16.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023) is equipped with the new M2 Pro or M2 Max-powered chips. It can be configured with up to a 12-core CPU, up to 38-core GPU, up to 96G of unified memory, and 8TB of storage. It’s portable, and extremely powerful, able to handle graphics-intensive tasks and multitasking like no other device.
Three reasons to avoid the 13-inch MacBook Pro, M2
The 13-inch MacBook Pro received a refresh not that long ago, and it looks like a great device on paper. It’s equipped with the new Apple M2 silicon, and there’s plenty of power to meet demanding needs. However, we can’t find a good reason to recommend it, especially when the MacBook Air M1 and M2 are priced lower.
The first reason against the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the design. It’s not that it doesn’t look good, but the fact that Apple couldn’t even bother making it look good, and it reused a more than six-year-old design. Of course, looks aren’t everything, but when you’re spending $1,299.00, you expect a modern look with slim bezels, and the latest technology.
The second reason is straightforward. The MacBook Air M1, and the M2 are both cheaper, and likely a better bang for the buck for most people. If you want to save money, we recommend the MacBook Air with the M1 chip, and if you want the new design, the 2022 refresh will do an even better job thanks to the M2 chip for $100 less than the MacBook Pro.
The third option is a bit tricky. The M2-powered MacBook Air is already an extremely powerful machine, and we can’t see how the majority of users would be able to take advantage of even more power, unless they’re relying on professional software and graphics-intensive tasks. If you fall in the latter, the 14-inch MacBook Pro laptops aren’t just more powerful but have better cooling, more ports, and a flashy new design. They’re some of the best computers on the market today. If raw power is what you’re looking for, that has it all.
Best Apple accessories for Mac laptops and desktops
Apple AirPods 2nd Gen
Despite not offering Spatial Audio or Lossless audio, these AirPods are still among the best you can buy for your Apple device. AirPods 2nd Gen features iCloud sync, in-ear detection, “Hey Siri,” fast pairing, and more. For this price, they’re definitely one of the best earbuds you can buy for your iPhone.
Apple AirPods 3
AirPods 3 are the latest generation wireless earbuds from Apple. It supports Spatial Audio, Adaptive EQ, and it has force sensors that let you easily control the earbuds while listening to music, watching movies, or taking a call. The earbuds are sweat and water-resistant, and can last up to 6-hours on a single charge, or 30-hours provided by the MagSafe charging case.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
The second generation of AirPods Pro brings the wearable very close to our winner, the Sony WF-1000XM4. Having used both, I can say the AirPods are now more comparable to Sony WF-1000XM4 in terms of audio performance. Noise Cancelation is great too! These no longer fall behind the Sony’s and are a close first. And like always, throw an iPhone into the fray, and the integration that’s on offer with these earbuds makes it a whole different ball game.
Apple AirPods Max
The Apple AirPods Max is powered by the Apple H1 chip in each earcup, and it contains eight microphones to cancel out noise. It’s one of the best wireless headphones for Apple users, and it can last for up to 20 hours on a single charge.
Apple Studio Display
The Apple Studio Display is likely an overall for most people, but its price might be justified for professionals, and those who appreciate the exceptional build quality, excellent accuracy, and great compatibility with Apple products.
Apple Magic Mouse 2
Apple’s Magic Mouse is a default option that most Mac users should consider if they’re looking to keep using the OS’s gesture-based control scheme. While the device has a questionable charging setup, it recharges via a Lightning cable packaged with iPhones, giving it points for convenience. It also connects to your Mac via Bluetooth.
Apple Magic Trackpad 2
Sometimes, having the best trackpad on a laptop might not be enough, and having a secondary could increase your workflow, and make managing multiple tasks easier. The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 is simply the best out on the market.
Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable
Whether you just want to connect your iPhone, iPad, or even the now-discontinued iPod or AirPod, this cable will enable you to sync and charge your devices. It’s not only for transferring content, and it supports fast charging with compatible devices.
Apple Thunderbolt 3 Cable
The Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable supports most MacBook laptops. It can charge MacBooks and iPads up to 100W, and it supports transfer speeds up to 40Gbps. The cable also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 transfer speeds up to 10Gbps, and video output. It’s a must-have for those emergency situations.