The MacBook family consists of three members: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13-inch, and MacBook Pro 16-inch.
If you want to buy an Apple laptop, you need a well-stocked wallet, because even the smallest current model costs a good 1,100 euros. And if you want, you can also spend twice or three times as much! Even so, Apple's MacBook models are very popular. No wonder, because behind the chic facade there is a lot of computing power, big batteries and top displays, which regularly give a good rating in the tests by COMPUTER BILD. What models are there and what advantages do they offer? The purchase advice from COMPUTER BILD clarifies this in comparison with all current MacBooks.
MacBooks: Current Models and Prices
There are now only two notebook series from Apple: MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air 2020 and MacBook Pro 2019 are currently available in 13 and 16 inches. The cheapest model is the MacBook Air (from 1130 euros), the most expensive is the MacBook Pro 16 inch, the larger version of which currently costs around 2,900 euros - each for the basic equipment, because all MacBooks have more memory or faster chips at an additional cost. An overview of the current models as well as older MacBook models can be found in the photo gallery.
MacBook Air: 2020 with four-core power
The most popular laptop model from Apple is the MacBook Air. In 2008 it was a real trendsetter in notebook design: elegant aluminum housing, light, fast and durable - and was not fundamentally renovated for the first time ten years later with the MacBook Air in 2018. Since then, Apple has stepped up twice: with the MacBook Air 2019 and the MacBook Air 2020 - the best Air so far in the COMPUTER BILD test. The display in the MacBook Air has been showing 2560x1600 pixels since the 2018 model. This ensures razor-sharp fonts and a very detailed representation of images. In the test, however, it also convinced with a very high-contrast and true-to-color display - perfect for editing photos and videos. The display has been using Truetone technology since the 2019 model. This automatically regulates the amount of white and thus adapts the color representation to the ambient light. In terms of speed, the 2020 model is way ahead, at least in the larger version - then a really fast four-core processor (Core i5-1035NG7) from the current Ice Lake series is in it. It is much faster than the two-core processors of the smaller version and the older Air models. Another real improvement: the keyboard of the MacBook Air 2020, like the top model MacBook Pro 16 inch, has a scissor mechanism with a great typing experience, and importantly, fewer problems with dirt: Smaller crumbs no longer paralyze individual keys as quickly.
Apple MacBook Air 2020
The MacBook Air 2020 is Apple's current entry-level model. Not a bargain, but fast, quiet and with a top display.
More speed thanks to the new quad-core processor (tested model MVH22D / A), twice as much memory as before and a better keyboard - the new MacBook Air 2020 is significantly better than the previous year's model. It only weakens when playing games. The built-in graphics unit in the processor is simply not fast enough. Nevertheless, the MacBook Air makes life difficult for the Pro 13 inch, because the Air is usually cheaper with the same memory configuration. If you want a much faster and better Apple device, you have to choose the MacBook Pro 13 inch with Ice Lake processor or MacBook Pro 16 inch.
MacBook Pro: More power for professionals
If you really need power on the go, you can get even more speed with the MacBook Pro. The Pro comes in two sizes: 13 and 16 inches. Even the smaller model convinced in the test by COMPUTER BILD: The MacBook Pro 13 inch proved to be really fast, very durable and equipped with a top display. A four-core processor is now part of the standard equipment, but unlike the MacBook Air 2020, it only comes from the two larger models from the fast Ice Lake series. The two smaller ones still contain chips from the older Coffee Lake series (8th generation), which hardly offer any speed advantage over a MacBook Air 2020 with a four-core processor. A special feature of the Pro models is the touch bar: a mini screen that replaces the function keys and always adapts to the current program, so the user has to remember fewer keyboard commands.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch 2020
Faster and stronger than the MacBook Air: the Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch 2019
Chic, fast, with a great display, quiet and long-lasting - the new MacBook Pro is a top notebook for working. The touchbar and the huge touchpad make it easier to use, the hefty prices make it easier for the buyer: the second largest variant tested (MWP42D / A) costs around 2,000 euros.
With the MacBook Pro, photo and video editors benefit not only from more speed and (for a surcharge) more RAM, but also from even better displays: The Pro models are even brighter and have a larger color space (DCI-P3 instead of SRGB). The 16-inch model of the MacBook Pro is quite bulky (dimensions 35.8 x 24.6 x 1.6 centimeters), but at 2.0 kilograms it is quite light for its size. There is even more power in here, even the smaller version comes with a six-core processor, the larger even has an eight-core processor. But the largest Apple notebook is not cheap: Even the smallest model costs around 2,500 euros. If you want to gamble with a MacBook, you also have to use the 16-inch Pro model, because only here does Apple install additional graphics chips (Radeon Pro 5300M and Pro 5500M) that are fast enough for games.
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Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch 2019
Extremely fast and with a large top display: the Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch 2019.
The new MacBook Pro 16 inches lives up to its status as a top model: chic, solid and lightning fast. The display is a stunner. The keyboard and touchpad are among the best there is in a laptop. In normal use, the MacBook Pro is whisper-quiet and very durable. The fans only turn up noticeably under full load. As is typical for Apple, the new MacBook Pro is not a bargain, the tested variant (MVVK2D / A) with an eight-core processor costs just under 2,900 euros.
MacBooks: old models in check
Typical Apple: In stores you can only buy the latest models (MacBook Air 2020, MacBook Pro 2020), older versions (see photo gallery) are only available as refurbished models. At other dealers, however, older models are very often still available - they can also be significantly cheaper. But: Before buying, it is essential to compare the equipment with the current models, because the dealers prefer to advertise with (apparently) large price reductions compared to the original price recommendation, while the price difference to a comparable, current model is often much smaller. An example: The MacBook Air 2020 is currently (early May 2020) with a dual-core processor and 256 gigabyte SSD from around 1,130 euros, the 2019 predecessor costs at least 1,170 euros with the same SSD size - the 2020 variant is the better choice.
MacBooks: which model do I have?
Do you want to know which MacBook you have? No problem: just click on the apple icon in the top left corner and then click on "About This Mac". MacOS already shows the most important data about the MacBook. If you want to know more, you can use the MacTracker app (available free of charge in the App Store) to find out more information, such as which operating system the MacBook was supplied with and which version can be installed. MacTracker also reveals the model numbers, but only the American ones. If you want to know the German model number, simply replace LL / A with D / A at the end of the number.