Old MacBook Air (2017)
New MacBook Air (2018)
MacBook Pro (2018)
- Never pay full price for a MacBook. They're often on sale at Best Buy, Woot, or other online retailers for $200 to $300 off (sometimes as much as $450 off for MacBook Pros).
- Always upgrade to the 256 GB SSD option ($200 additional cost). Never buy the 128 GB SSD base configuration, as you will likely run out of storage space (which isn't easy to upgrade later). Although it's possible you may need 512 GB of storage, the 512 GB SSD option is probably too much storage for most people (although, you'll have to make that decision for yourself).
- The old 2017 MacBook Air is still great if price is your major concern. They can often be found on sale at $900 to $1,000 in the recommended 256 GB SSD configuration. In some ways they have less features than newer MacBooks (such as lacking a Retina display)...but in some ways they are actually better (like including standard USB-A ports, an SD card slot, and a MagSafe power connector).
- Skip the new 2018 MacBook Air unless you find it on sale at $300 off. Since the new MacBook Air is a new product design, Apple is likely charging a premium for a new product. Look for Apple to possibly decrease its base price by $100 next year.
- At only $100 more, the MacBook Pro ($1,500) is a better value than the new Air ($1,400). If you're thinking about a new MacBook Air, and can afford the extra $100, go for the Pro instead.
- Any MacBook on sale at $200 to $400 off is a fantastic deal. Snatch up any one of them at $300 off or more.
- Consider the ports. The old MacBook Air has standard USB-A ports, an SD card slot, and a MagSafe power connector. These can be valuable features if you don't want any surprises when it comes to plugging peripherals into your MacBook. The MagSafe power connector can prevent you from flinging your MacBook off a table if you're prone to trip over the power cord. The new Air and Pros are so "cutting-edge" that they ONLY have USB-C ports. If you're not tech-savvy, USB-C only can be an annoyance, requiring you to use a USB-A-to-C adapter to plug "normal" USB accessories into these MacBooks. If you ARE tech-savvy, USB-C can be a blessing, giving you the ability to connect multiple devices (external monitor, hard drive, etc.) via a single USB-C port on your MacBook via a USB-C hub. If you go with the new Air or a Pro, purchase one or two USB-A-to-C to adapters to keep in your laptop bag if you expect to plug anything into these MacBooks.
- Don't buy the 12-inch MacBook (not pictured). It's tiny, light, and ultra-slim, but that comes at the cost of a high-price and low power. At a $1,300 starting price ($1,600 to somewhat match the above configurations) the 12-inch MacBook has the worst price-to-power ratio of any MacBook Apple offers.
- Reconsider if you think you need a 15-inch MacBook. MacBooks become very expensive at 15 inches. Consider purchasing an external monitor to plug into if you need more screen space. 24-inch Dell monitors can be found for as little as $120. You can always plug a smaller laptop into an external monitor for more screen space, but there's no way to make a large laptop smaller or lighter.
- No MacBook is bad at the right price (except the 12-inch MacBook). Look for good sales, and understand what features you're getting in the MacBook you choose to purchase.