Skip to main content

Best Apple MacBook Laptops of 2020

Apple's laptop lineup is now a lot more streamlined than it has been in previous years. The 12-inch MacBook and original 13-inch MacBook Air are gone. Now, there is only the new 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (two versions) and a powerful 16-inch MacBook Pro. So what should you buy?

Based on our testing, our top pick for most shoppers is the $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro. Yes, it's pricier than the $1,099 MacBook Air, but you get a faster processor and longer battery life. But there's still reasons to opt for the Air, as well as the much more powerful (and expensive) 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Our MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro face-off will help you decide which system is right for you, and our Apple Warranty Check instructions can help you discover the remaining days on your AppleCare+ plan. You can also read our macOS Catalina review to learn more about the latest OS version.

The best Apple MacBook laptops

1. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
2. MacBook Air (2019)
3. MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, 2019)
4. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) 

Best Apple Laptop for Most: 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

Apple's entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is the best MacBook for most people because of its fast performance and relatively affordable price. 

1. 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

The best Apple laptop for most users

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels | Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Great battery life
Very fast performance
Bright and colorful display
Powerful speakers
Keyboard has shallow travel
Just two Thunderbolt 3 ports
Thick bezels

The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is now our favorite Apple laptop for most shoppers. It packs a fast 8th-gen Core i5 processor and more than 10 hours of battery life in a fairly light 3-pound design. You also get a Touch ID sensor for unlocking your Mac with ease, a bright and sharp display and powerful speakers. Yes, we'd like to see more Thunderbolt ports than just two, but you'll need to step up to the $1,799 configuration for that perk. 

See our full MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) review

Most Affordable: MacBook Air with Retina Display (2019)

Apple's latest MacBook Air, the least expensive MacBook available, is $100 cheaper than its predecessor and now comes with a True Tone display. 

2. MacBook Air (2019)

The most affordable MacBook

CPU: 8th Gen Y-Series Core i5 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels | Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds

Crisp, high-res screen
Strong sound
No bloatware
Elegant in gold
Underwhelming performance
Only packs USB-C ports
Shallow keyboard

Slimmer, lighter and sporting thinner bezels than ever before, the new MacBook Air is a very good Apple laptop for those who don't want to spend too much. You get a sharp Retina display (which was recently updated with True Tone support), loud speakers and Touch ID. 

The latter helps you log in, use Apple Pay and unlock third-party apps with your fingerprint. While the Air's Y-series Core i5 CPU isn't as fast as we'd like, its SSD speeds are super-fast. We just wish Apple included 256GB of storage standard instead of 128GB. To find out which of Apple's 13-inch laptops is best, check out our MacBook Pro vs Air (2019) face-off. 

See our full Apple MacBook Air (2019) review

More Speed to Go: 13-inch MacBook Pro with 4 Thunderbolt Ports

Apple sells a higher-end version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, more ports and a bit more power, but those perks come at a price. 

3. MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar (2019)

More speed on the go

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels | Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Blazing-fast performance
Bright and colorful Retina display
Slightly improved keyboard
Great speakers
Thick bezels
Heavier than other 13-inch laptops
Battery life could be longer
Pricey

This higher-end version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro gives you more power and more ports. It starts with a faster 2.4-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, more powerful Iris 655 graphics and 256GB of storage, and Apple throws in four Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you can connect more peripherals at once.

 In our testing, this version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro lasted 8 hours and 51 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test. That's above average but behind the cheaper entry-level 13-inch Pro. So you have to decide if more oomph but less endurance is worth the extra cost.

See our full MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar (2019) review

16-inch macbook pro

Apple's latest product, the 16-inch MacBook Pro, is the best MacBook in year, but only power users without a budget should go with this one.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

The best MacBook for serious pros

CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M | RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8GB | Display: 16-inch, 3072 x 1920-resolution | Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4.3 pounds

Radically improved Magic Keyboard
Immersive 16-inch display with slimmer bezels
Powerful 6-speaker audio
Up to 8-core Core i9 CPU and 64GB RAM
Display not 4K
No full-size USB port or SD card
Pricey

With an improved keyboard, powerful speakers and a larger, more immersive display, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro --- the latest member of the MacBook family --- is an improvement over the now-discontinued 15-inch model in every way that matters. Yes, it's larger and a bit heavier, but that hit to portability is forgotten once you get your eyes on the MacBook Pro's gorgeous, 16-inch, 3072 x 1920-resolution display, which is flanked by thin bezels. 

Continuing the tradition of its predecessor, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the most powerful of Apple's laptops thanks to its 9th Gen Core i7 or Core i9 CPUs, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage (no, seriously) and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the best Apple laptop in years...if you can afford one. 

See our full 16-inch MacBook Pro review