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Which Apple MacBook Should You Buy?

After an exclusive first look at the as not yet India bound MacBook Pro 15 with an Intel Core i9 processor, we help you understand which MacBook to buy

Vishal Mathur | News18.com@vishalmathur85

Updated:August 13, 2018, 2:20 PM IST
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Which Apple MacBook Should You Buy?
Before you spend your hard-earned money on a MacBook, it is important to weigh up your options to buy one that best suits your usage.
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Apple MacBooks continue to set the benchmarks for laptops, and rivals are still playing catch-up. As things stand, it is not easy to pick the ideal MacBook—there are 4 variants of the MacBook Pro 13, 2 variants of the MacBook Pro 15, 2 options when it comes to the MacBook Air and a further 2 options of the MacBook, not counting all the colour options. Quite mind boggling, which one to pick and for what use case. We just got our hands on the newest top-end variant of the MacBook Pro 15 with the Intel Core i9 processor, having now experienced all the MacBooks that Apple has to offer in India, we can safely say that each has fine differences tuned better for different use cases.

Before you spend your hard-earned money on a MacBook, it is important to weigh up your options to buy one that best suits your usage.

The ultimate machine
Apple MacBook Pro 15

Rs1,99,900 / Rs2,31,900
The Apple MacBook Pro 15 means business. After the refresh, it now runs the newest 8th generation Intel Core processors, and updated graphics. There are more processor cores inside—the more the better, simply put for better performance. You can edit as many as 9 streams of RAW 4K video simultaneously, for instance—this is not something most other laptops will allow you to do. The 15.4-inch Retina Display remains the best screen in the world of laptops, and now is even better with the True Tone feature that measures the intensity and warmth of ambient lighting to alter the screen’s brightness and colours accordingly. This feature was available on the iPad Pro tablet line-up thus far, and is maming its way to the MacBooks for the first time. You can choose between the AMD Radeon Radeon Pro 560X and the AMD Radeon Radeon Pro 555X graphics. There is a massive 16GB of RAM under-the-hood as well.
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018

Look and touch, contextually
Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar

Rs1,49,900 / Rs1,65,900
At first glance, the Apple MacBook Pro 13 with the Touch Bar looks the same as the sibling without the Touch Bar. Yes, it retains the same design, the same Retina Display and the same connectivity options. But that’s where the similarities end. The Core i5 processor can boost to 3.8GHz instead of 3.6GHz, the storage options are 256GB SSD and 512GB SSD, has been updated to Bluetooth 5.0 and the display gets the True Tone technology that adjusts the brightness and colour according to the ambient lighting. The Touch Bar is fun to use, and the contextual suggestions it throws up depending on the app you are using at that time is intuitive. Though it still remains a bit of a learning curve to condition yourself to look at the screen, type on physical keys and then switch to touch based controls, all at the same time. Apple has updated the butterfly mechanism keyboard, and this is believed to be less prone to dust induced failures and also makes slightly lesser noise too. The battery life is a strong point, with a single charge lasting around 10 hours in most use cases.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar

Best of both worlds
Apple MacBook Pro 13

Rs1,04,900 / Rs1,21,900
The MacBook Pro 13 line-up has been divided between the ones that don’t have the Touch Bar controls, and the ones that do. This is the former, and it does pretty much everything you would expect from a MacBook Pro 13 laptop. The ingredients include an excellent 13-inch Retina display, a larger trackpad, three USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and the option between the silver and space grey colour options. While Apple has updated the rest of the MacBook Pro line-up with the 8th generation Intel Core processors, the one without the Touch Bar still has to make do with the 7th generation Intel Core processors. Not to say that these processors are inferior in any way, and this in-turn could allow Apple and the retailers to offer these MacBooks are slightly better discounts which the cost of newer processors wouldn’t have allowed. You can choose between the 128GB and 256GB storage options, both with 8GB of RAM. You probably won’t miss the Touch Bar much, except the fact that you’ll not get the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and with that the cool way of swiping your finger to log in.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 without Touch Bar

Perfect for Travel
Apple MacBook

Rs1,04,800 / Rs1,28,700
The first and the only MacBook that is available in colour options that could match your iPhone perhaps—Rose Gold, Space Grey, Gold and Silver. There are two distinct differences between the two variants of the MacBook. The entry spec variant runs an Intel Core m3 processor, which though no slouch, is better optimized for longer battery life. For a little more, you have the more powerful Core i5 processor. While the MacBook isn’t meant for handling complex video editing projects using software such as Adobe Premiere, it's made more for web browsing, editing a deluge of documents, consistent media playback and even a bit of Photoshop editing. The former variant gets 256GB SSD while the latter has a 512GB SSD. The MacBook was also the first to get the Butterfly style keyboard, which offers great responsiveness. The Achilles' Heel remains the single USB-C port, which has to be used for charging as well as connecting any peripherals such as external hard drives, memory card adaptors and more—this can be quite annoying beyond a point. The highlight of the MacBook has to be the 12-inch Retina Display (2,304 × 1,440 resolution), the fact that it weighs just 0.92kg and has a very compact footprint, which makes this ideal for carrying around.
Apple MacBook

The ideal first MacBook, but not much more
Apple MacBook Air

Rs77,200 onwards
The official Apple pricing suggests the pricing of the MacBook Air starts upwards of Rs77,200, but depending on the deal you are able to snare, these can be yours for as low as Rs50,000. All the reports of the MacBook Air’s demise have been greatly exaggerated over the years, but this remains a firm favorite among consumers. The 13.3-inch display remains how it has for a long time now—not to say it is bad, and 1,440 x 990 resolution does get the job done. This still retains great battery life, and the unique design makes it recognizable from a mile away. This is an ideal first MacBook, if you are looking for one, and also great if you want a light laptop for use in office and traveling.
Apple MacBook Air 2017

Also read: Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2018) Review - Hottest Laptop in The World, With The Magic of an Intel Core i9
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