Now Is the Worst Time to Buy a MacBook

Maybe you're getting a jump on your back-to-school shopping. Or you're enticed by sales that scream "$1,000 off MacBook Pro!" I'm here to tell you to keep your money in your wallet, because now is the absolute worst time to buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Here's why.

Although Apple was rumored to unveil a new 13-inch MacBook at this year's WWDC event, the show came and went with nary a mention of new hardware. But new MacBooks are bound to be on the way, either late this summer or early fall.

There's some debate as to whether Apple is rolling out new and improved designs or if the company is simply going to refresh its existing lineup with newer specs. But even if just the latter is true, you should press the pause button on any purchase.

MORE: Why I'm Ditching My MacBook Pro for the MateBook X Pro

MacBooks are way, way overdue for getting Intel's 8th-Generation Core processors. In fact, these CPUs started showing up in Windows-powered ultraportables like the HP Envy 13t and Asus ZenBook U330UA back in November of 2017. That's seven months ago, and we're about to enter eight months.

Apple has never been super-quick to adopt the latest chips, but this is getting ridiculous, especially when you consider that the MacBook and MacBook Pro start at $1,299. Why pay such a premium for systems that are going to be significantly slower than the competition right out of the box?

Those on the hunt for a 15-inch MacBook Pro should definitely wait, as the powerful 8th-Generation Coffee Lake Core i9 chip Intel launched in April could find its way into that machine.

Apple is also reportedly working to integrate its own custom co-processors into at least three updated Mac models this year, two of which would be laptops. But it's not clear what these chips would do.

MORE: Surface Laptop vs MacBook Air

If you're the hopeful (ahem) type, you might be holding out for Apple to fix its frustrating keyboards. And I wouldn't blame you, as the flat, butterfly-mechanism keyboards have proved so problematic that the company is facing class-action lawsuits over them. Many complain that keys are getting stuck or that they simply stop working, and it apparently takes only a bit of debris to render your strokes useless.

I can attest to these issues, as I often make typos when using our Stride company messaging app. The keyboard on my 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro just hasn't held up well over time.

Creative pros have also found issue with the lack of full-size USB ports on the MacBook and MacBook Pro. On today's machines, you're stuck with two or four Thunderbolt ports, depending on the configuration, which means you have to schlep around dongles or a memory card adapter.

I don't anticipate that Apple will reverse course on this front, but other notebook makers have demonstrated that you can keep your systems slim and sleek while still offering both USB Type-C and USB A ports. Just look at the 14-inch Huawei MateBook X Pro; it's 2.9 pounds and 0.6 inches thick.

Now, there are plenty of reasons to stick with macOS, including how well MacBooks work with the iPhone. You can easily send text messages from the desktop, and iCloud keeps everything from your photos and notes in sync. And, while Macs are not impervious to viruses and malware, they are generally more secure.

The upcoming macOS Mojave OS doesn't look groundbreaking, but new features like Dark Mode, Desktop stacks and the improved Finder look promising for boosting productivity.

The bottom line is that if you're a MacBook fan, you should definitely wait until Apple unveils new laptops. And if you're on the fence, there are plenty of compelling alternatives with better keyboards, more speed and more ports.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for, 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.