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Best Apple Laptops 2019

Apple's laptop lineup is now a lot more streamlined. 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 15-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 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Our MacBook vs 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.

What you need to know about Black Friday 2019

If you're buying a MacBook as a holiday gift or to treat yourself before the new year, consider waiting until Black Friday (Nov. 29) and Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) To ensure you snag the biggest discounts, visit our best Black Friday deals and best Cyber Monday deals hub, where you'll find up-to-date savings. We expect big discounts on the now-discontinued 15-inch MacBook Pro as well as the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. 

Most Affordable: MacBook Air with Retina Display (2019)

1. MacBook Air with Retina Display (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. 

This 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

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

2. 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

The best Apple laptop for most users

CPU: 1.4-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | 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

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

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

More speed on the go

CPU: 2.4-GHz quad-core Intel 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: 3 pounds

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 or more endurance is worth it. 

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

16-inch macbook pro

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

The laptop for serious pros

CPU: 2.6-GHz six-core Intel Core i7 (9th Gen) | GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M | 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

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. 

We're currently reviewing the 16-inch MacBook Pro, so stay tuned for our full verdict. 

See our full 16-inch MacBook Pro hands-on review

Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.