Mac Buying Guide 2022

Are you wondering what Mac you should buy? We’ve got the guide for you, as we give our best recommendations on which Apple computer is right based on your circumstances and demands.

With a wide range of choices, Apple gives you the option to choose your perfect product. Whether it is an affordable iMac or a professional Mac Pro, there’s something for everyone! You may pick from three notebook classes: MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, as well as four desktops: iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro.

MacBook Air

Until Cupertino introduced the most recent version of the MacBook, which is no longer available, the MacBook Air had been Apple’s thinnest and lightest laptop. It is still the cheapest and most popular among consumers. Apple revised its Air model for the second time in 2020 last November. For the first time, it included Apple’s processors: the M1 chip.

M1 Macbook Air

The difference between these two MacBook Air models is that the M1 with an 8-core CPU and a 7-core GPU has 256GB of storage, whereas the M1 with an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU has 512GB. In the United States, Apple was able to keep costs lower because of higher production volumes. With every new model in 2020, the base price was lowered in some countries. The MacBook Air is still a fantastic value for money despite having an M1 chip upgrade that is surprisingly quick.

MacBook Air Specs

The MacBook Air is available in two distinct styles. The following are the details for each:

MacBook Air 

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU
  • Neural Engine 16-core
  • 256GB storage 8GB
  • unified memory (16GB option available)

MacBook Air 

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU
  • Neural Engine 16-core
  • 512GB storage 8GB
  • unified memory (16GB option available)

You can also personalize your MacBook Air to meet your demands, whether it’s a faster processor, 16GB RAM, or a 1TB or 2TB SSD.

The MacBook Air features a Retina display with a 2K resolution, improved keyboard and Force Touch trackpad. The keyboard has a Touch ID button so you can log in and shop online using your finger.

The MacBook Air is not Apple’s most powerful laptop, but it will be determined by how important you think it is. The MacBook Air will serve you well for basic daily activities. You can even modify short films and photographs on your iPhone if necessary.

The MacBook Air lasts 18 hours of video playback and 15 hours of regular usage, which should enough for a full workday.

This laptop has only one USB Type-C port, two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports, and a jack port. It also lacks an optic disc drive.

Who should buy the MacBook Air?

The MacBook Air is the ideal laptop for anybody who requires access to it at all times, whether they’re using it in school, on the train to work or in a business meeting.

The fact it’s so thin makes it a good option for those who want to use it at home but don’t want their computer taking up too much space. You always have the option of connecting it to a monitor or television if you need a larger screen.

Is it a good time to buy a MacBook Air?

The MacBook Air is anticipated to get a redesign, and it may include several iMac-like hues and a form more similar to the new 2021 MacBook Pro family.

You are wondering if this is a good time to purchase a MacBook Air.

To be honest, we’d advise you to sit it out until the next generation comes out. The 2022 MacBook Air will be more slimmer and thinner than the current model, together with a higher level of performance. It’ll also have thinner bezels, giving you greater screen space.

MacBook Air 22

Not only that, but just like the current MacBook Pro, it’ll have MagSafe charging and two USB-4 connections for connecting external gadgets. An improved M1 chip will allow for greater graphics with 9 or 10 GPU cores rather than the 7 or 8 in the existing M1 MacBook Air.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro 2018

Apple updated the 13 “MacBook Pro in November 2020, when it made its two entry models one of the first to have M1 processors (Instead of Intel.) The mid-range 13 “Pro is from May 2020 and comes with 10th Gen Intel processors. The new Magic Keyboard is available on all 13 “MacBook Pro” models, and the Touch Bar is only available on the higher-end Pro models.

MacBook Pro Specifications

There are four distinct MacBook versions, each of which is available in 13 inch or 15-inch variants. Furthermore, there are two additional 16-inch MacBook Pros.

Both of the low-end models (13″) have the M1 CPU and GPU 8 cores, whereas the midrange versions include Intel 4core processors 2.0GHz (10th generation).

Models 13 “2.0 GHz have 16GB RAM and may be expanded up to 32GB, while the M1 models are equipped with 8GB and can be upgraded up to 16GB.

Here are the range specs:

MacBook Pro 13″

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU 16-core
  • Neural Engine
  • 256GB or 512GB storage 
  • unified memory (16GB option available)

MacBook Pro 14″

  • Apple M1 PRO 8-Core CPU 14-Core GPU 16GB Unified Memory 512GB / 1TB SSD Storage
  • 16-Core Neural Engine
  • 512GB / 1TB storage 
  • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 140 USB-C Power Adapter

MacBook Pro 16″

  • Apple M1 PRO 10-Core CPU 14-Core GPU 16GB Unified Memory 512GB / 1TB SSD Storage
  • 16-Core Neural Engine
  • 512GB / 1TB storage 
  • 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter

MacBook Pro 16″

  • Apple M1 PRO MAX 10-Core CPU 32-Core GPU 32GB Unified Memory  1TB SSD Storage
  • 16-Core Neural Engine
  • 1TB storage 
  • 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter

The MacBook Pro does not include a USB-A port or an SD card slot. The two input types feature two USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the rest have four USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 connections.

Who should buy the MacBook Pro?

The MacBook Pro is a great choice for creative professionals and anybody looking for a powerful yet portable Mac. The laptop’s battery will last long enough to get you through the day.

Depending on your requirements, you might select between the 13 and 16-inch models. Consider how much you’ll need to transport it with you and how often you’ll use it. Obviously, the bigger and heavier the 16-inch model is.

Is it a good time to buy a MacBook Pro?

The 14″ and 16 “versions were launched in September 2021, therefore we won’t see any Apple upgrades to their Macbook Pro range in 2022.

Despite the fact that more powerful laptops have been introduced, the 13″ M1 MacBook Pro, 2.0GHz quad-core introduced in May 2020 is still a great buy right now. We were really taken with this M1 MacBook Pro, and we still think it’s a good choice.

The big downsides of the 14″ MacBook Pro have been addressed, however if you need something more powerful for your line of business, or supports more RAM because of it, then this is a better alternative. Alternatively you could wait to see what the M2 13″ MacBook Pro will bring, but we don’t expect that it will surface in 2022.

Mac mini

Apple MAC MINI 2020

The Mac mini is Apple’s most inexpensive desktop computer, having debuted in 2005. Although the price has risen in recent years, it is still true that the Mac mini is Apple’s cheapest computer. The latest upgrade added some new features to the previous edition, giving it greater functionality and value. The most recent upgrade was in November 2020, when Apple introduced the first version with the M1 chip (yes, the Mac min with Intel is still on sale).

Mac mini Specifications

The Mac mini is available in three different models. On the one hand, the two most inexpensive Mac minis feature the M1 chip, but there’s also a 3.0 GHz 6-core Intel Core processor equipped Mac mini.

These are the specifications of each one:

Mac mini 

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU 16-core
  • Neural Engine
  • 256GB storage 8GB
  • unified memory (16GB option available)

Mac mini 

  • Apple M1 chip with CPU 8-core and 8-core GPU 16-core
  • Neural Engine
  • 512GB storage 8GB
  • unified memory (16GB option available)

Mac mini 

  • 3.0 GHz 6-core Intel Core i5
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Storage 512GB8GB
  • RAM2666MHz DDR4

Who should buy the Mac mini?

Mac mini is a great solution for everyone looking for a computer to surf the web, send and receive e-mails, and use office programs. They’ll be able to do minor video editing as well.

The Mac mini is also popular among individuals who utilize it in their living room connected to a TV. It’s also frequently employed by software engineers since it’s a cheap piece of equipment that they can use with an existing keyboard and screen.

Is it a good time to buy a Mac mini?

In November 2020, the current Mac mini was updated, and it included the M1 processor for the first time. 

According to reports, Apple is working on a new, more powerful Mac mini that will replace the Intel-powered Mac mini model that has been in production. The next-generation Mac mini will be powered by the same chip as the new MacBook Pro, according to Bloomberg.

For that reason our verdict is wait.

24″ iMac

24-inch iMac 2021

The iMac has gone from being bulky to have a slim, sleek design that takes into account the fact that its screen also houses all of the computer’s internal components. In April 2021, Apple introduced one of the most substantial design changes in recent years. The new size is 24″ instead of 21.5″, and it now has six brand-new colors (in addition to silver).

IMac specifications

In addition to their screen size, the two standard iMac models also contain other unique features. The 24-inch includes Apple’s M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 7 or 8 core GPU options for you to choose from.

All these models are customizable. The user can choose, for example, if he wants more or less storage or one or another RAM configuration. You can choose a 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB SSD (also 2 TB in the most premium model) and an 8 GB or 16 GB RAM.

In one of the iMacs currently being sold, you will find two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports (DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, USB 4, USB 3.1 and others with adapters). In the more premium models, we have two additional USB 3 ports.

This is the complete range:

24″ iMac 

  • M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU
  • Neural Engine 16-core
  • 256 storage GB (configurable with 512 GB or 1 TB)
  • 8 GB unified memory (16 GB option available)

24″ iMac 

  • M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 16-core8-core GPU
  • Neural Engine
  • 256GB storage (configurable with 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB)
  • 8GB unified memory (16GB option available)

Who should buy the iMac?

The iMac is a desktop computer, perfect for those who do not need to travel with their work. Although the 24-inch iMac was more designed for general use -maybe at home or in an office-, now they’re closer to potential users of larger monitors like the 27-inch model, which are meant mainly towards professional fields that really require large screens.

Is it a good time to buy an iMac?

Those who want to have the latest technology in their iMac now have the possibility to buy the best iMac ever made by Apple, especially since they have just been updated.

It is also the first iMac with Apple Silicon processors, which has already proven to offer spectacular performance.

27″ iMac

27-inch-iMac

The 27″ iMac is a great option for those looking to upgrade from the 21.5″, with much faster 10th generation processors and better graphics cards. However, it has been overtaken by the 24″ model, which comes with a 4K screen rather than 5K like its bigger brother.

While the 27″ Apple iMac has a sleek, professional design similar to its 21.5 and 24-inch counterparts, it can be upgraded with more RAM thanks to an easy-access back panel that is different from both of them.

iMac 27″ iMac Specifications

Apple last updated the 27″ iMac lineup in August 2020, when it introduced the new 10th-generation Intel processors.

27 “iMacs also offer i5 processors, but you can buy one with an i7 for a little more (it’s even available with i9). They are all at least 6-core processors, so they’re very powerful. You can customize it up to 10 cores.”

Here’s the full range:

27 “iMac 

  • 6-core i5 processor 3.1GHz ( 4.5GHz Turbo Boost)
  • Radeon Pro 5300 with 4GB GDDR6 memory 256GB
  • storage
  • Memory 8GB (up128GB available)

iMac 27″

  • i5 Processor 8-core 3.3 GHz (4.8 GHz Turbo Boost)
  • Radeon 5300 Pro GDDR6 4 GB memory
  • storage 512GB 8GB
  • memory (up to 128GB available)

27 “iMac 

  • 8-core i7 processor 3.8GHz (5.0GHz Turbo Boost)
  • Radeon Pro 5500 XT with GDDR6 memory 8GB 512GB
  • storage 8GB
  • memory (up to 128GB available)

Who should buy the 27 “iMac?

The largest iMac is designed for professionals who need a powerful computer. Whether you choose the 27″ model or another, we’re confident that you will not hesitate to make your choice because it comes with an incredible screen and power under the hood.

If you’re a graphic designer or someone who works on video editing images, this iMac is ideal for that purpose. It’s also great if you just want to play some games too! The 16″ MacBook Pro might do the trick but it doesn’t have as nice of a screen in comparison with its bigger brother.

The iMac Pro is even faster, but it’s also a lot more expensive. Apple will also discontinue it.

Is it a good time to buy a 27″ iMac?

Now is the perfect time to buy an iMac, especially if you want one with upgraded features like a smart-touch display or M1 chip. That said, there’s no telling when Apple will update them again; it may take until 2021 for these models to get new updates.

iMac Pro

iMac-Pro-Desktop

The iMac Pro is undoubtedly the most powerful Mac in history, and it’s also stunning. Many applauded that Apple decided to give it the space grey color—although what’s most attractive about this computer is its unmatched performance.

iMac Pro Specifications

Entry-level iMac Pro has a 3.2GHz Octa-Core Intel Xeon W processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz, 1TB SSD, 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory, a Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics, and an 8 GB HBM2 memory.

The 27-inch Retina 5K display has a resolution of 5120 x 2880, 500 nits brightness, and comes with the 1080P FaceTime HD camera. It includes various microphones and speakers for your convenience (5/11).

It comes with four USB 3 ports, four Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type-C ports, an SDXC card slot, and aport 3.5mmjack headphones. It supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and Gigabit Ethernet.

All these features are customizable. You can choose processors with up to 18 cores and a RAM of up to 128 GB and a memory flash of up to 4 TB. All of this will drive up the price of the iMac Pro.

Who should buy the iMac Pro?

The iMac Pro is for creatives and other professionals who need to use an extremely powerful Mac, whether it is to edit photos and videos; create 3D animations; produce music; develop software or virtual reality.

Before the arrival of this computer, users used to trust iMacs instead of Mac Pros – which caused several problems with their last update. It is not surprising then that Apple decided to give them a computer with a “Pro” screen.

Is it a good time to buy an iMac Pro?

The 2020 iMac Pro is certainly not a complete redo, but the updates make it worth waiting for. We recommend holding off until more information comes out about its price and specs before you buy one.

Mac Pro

Pro-Mac

Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro update left many of its users in the cold, and they can’t seem to catch up with them ever since. Despite being great value for money, Apple did not focus much on it after that year because it caused too many problems among customers who bought one back then.

Mac Pro Specifications

There are currently two Mac Pro models available on Apple’s website: a tower model and a rack model. Both have a 3.5 GHz core Intel Xeon W processor.

The new MacBook Pro models also have 32 GB of RAM and the same graphics card: The Raden Pro 580X with 8GB GDDR5 memory. It has a 256GB flash memory drive for storage space.

Paying a little extra one can have more powerful specifications, either by switching to a processor with more cores, a RAM of up to 1.5 TB, an SSD of up to 8 TB or a different GPU.

In terms of ports on offer, Mac Pro includes two USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two 10Gb Ethernet ports, and four additional Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Who should buy the Mac Pro?

The Mac Pro is designed for those professionals who have very demanding workflows, although you should be aware that this machine does not meet their needs.

One of the complaints from Mac Pro users is that it can be very difficult to update. While Apple does not present an updated version, typical Mac Pro users will find that they are much better off with the iMac-Pro, iMac or 15″ MacBook Pro.

Is it a good time to buy a Mac Pro?

The Mac Pro is a premium product. However, if you want this model of Apple computer, now’s the time to buy! We don’t think that it will get an update in 2018, but there are sure signs of one coming within two years due to ARM chips being implemented into its architecture.

Mac Studio

At its March Event, Apple revealed the Mac Studio, which was a surprise. The release of the Mac Studio indicates that Apple has fallen back in love with its Mac devices after years of focus on iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. 

Apple M1 MaxApple M1 Ultra
Total CPU cores1020
Performance Cores816
Efficiency Cores24
GPU Cores24 or 3248
Neural Engine1632
Maximum Memory Supported64GB128GB
Peak Memory Supported400800
ProRes Accelerators24
Available in MacBook Pro 14,16, Mac StudioMac Studio

The new Mac Studio is the first Mac desktop powered by Apple’s silicon chip. In fact, the adoption of the M1 chip on the Mac desktops is not a surprise following the huge success of the MacBook lineup and Mac Mini, all powered by the company’s silicon chip. 

What sets the Studio apart from other Mac devices is that it comes with a choice of the brand-new M1 Ultra chip alongside the M1 Max, promising to offer a significant performance boost when compared to its predecessors. 

With the incorporation of the M1 Ultra hardware, Apple is now marketing the Mac Studio as a powerful machine for professional creatives who need to handle heavy-duty workloads such as rendering 3D scenes and animations or editing multiple high-res videos at the same time. 

Specs & Performance

The M1 Ultra is basically two M1 Max processors and chipsets tied together via a 2.5TB/sec direct connection. In other words, there are two processors running at the same time under the hood, thus delivering double performance compared to the base Studio model with the single M1 Max chip. 

According to Apple, the M1 Ultra model features a bigger heatsink and fan system to cool it down. During our test with 8K video editing, the exterior of the machine was a little bit hot while the fan system was surprisingly quiet. We also tried editing complex 3D scenes and models on the M1 Ultra-equipped model, the results were impressive. Indeed, the machine loaded up very detailed 3D scenes without any flaws. Plus, the ability to edit photos, textures, and adjust lighting was also incredibly impressive. 

This does not mean the M1 Max model is not worth buying. In fact, the M1 Max chip is still one of the most powerful chips on the market and overkill for many. There is not much to discuss its performance as we’ve already seen what the M1 Max can achieve in the latest MacBook Pro. So we can expect the same performance. However, to see how it stacks up against the M1 Ultra, you can check out our comparison, here

So, Should You Buy the Mac Studio?

Yes, you definitely should buy it as it’s a great machine for handling intensive workloads in creative apps like Davinci Resolve and Premiere Pro. In this case, go for the M1 Ultra-equipped model with more power.

The M1 Ultra Mac Studio is really something you want to stick with for a long time, as the M1 Ultra is overkill for many. However, keep in mind that that does not come cheap as the entry-level M1 Ultra Mac Studio costs $3,999. 

If you are in the market for something more affordable, then grab the Mac mini instead. It starts at $799 for the model with an M1 chip and 256GB of SSD storage. 

MacBook Air M2

Specs

MacBook Air M2
CPUApple M2
Display13.6-inch Liquid Retina (2560×1664), up to 500 nits brightness
Battery life18 hours of video playback
Charging MagSafe/Thunderbolt, up to 67W
Memory8-24GB
Storage256GB to 2TB
Webcam1080p
Weight2.7 pounds

At WWDC 2022, Apple revealed the MacBook Air running the M2 chip, the next-generation Apple Silicon chip. The Air M2 looks so good that you are wondering if you should grab a MacBook Pro. 

MacBook Air M2

The new MacBook Air gets many improvements compared to the previous MacBook Air M1, including a bigger and brighter 13.6-inch display, a better 1080p webcam, and a new portable design that’s 20% smaller than the predecessor. The machine also gets an improved battery life of up to 18 hours and does not include a cooling fan, just like the Air M1. 

We went hands-on with the new MacBook Air M2 at Apple’s WWDC event and were impressed with its display, sound, and highly portable design. 

Should You Buy It?

The new MacBook Air M2 is one of the best choices for anyone who wants a thin and powerful laptop. Thanks to the Apple M2 chip under the hood, the new Air is capable enough to handle some pretty esoteric, high-end work. 

For everything else like writing, photography, design, and music, this MacBook Air M2 is more than enough and can be a perfect fit for your setup thanks to its two Thunderbolt ports. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

The MacBook Air M2 is the perfect option for anyone looking for a capable laptop. However, there are still several reasons not to fall for it. If you are heavily tied to Windows operating system, look elsewhere, as Apple Silicon Macs cannot run Windows through a Boot Camp Assistant. 

Another reason is the price. The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199, which is $200 more than the MacBook Air M1. This is the highest price we have ever seen for an Air laptop model. If you want to get the model with 16GB of unified memory, you will pay an extra $200. 

If you really want to go pro, consider the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max that’s more powerful than the base M2 chip. 

MacBook Pro 13-inch M2

Specs

SpecsMacBook Pro M2
CPU Apple M2 (8-core)
GPUIntegrated 10-core GPU
RAM16GB  Unified LPDDR5
Screen13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display ((backlit LED, IPS, 500 nits brightness, wide color P3 gamut)
Storage1TB SSD as standard
Ports2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), 3.5mm headphone jack
Webcam720p FaceTime HD webcam

We have been using the MacBook Pro M2 for almost two weeks. And we cannot see why anyone will buy it over the redesigned MacBook Air M2. 

On the surface, it’s a solid device with an active cooling system, a 10-core CPU as standard, and longer battery life, but those upgrades might not be convincing enough for users to buy it. 

The M2 Pro has an old design, fewer connectivity ports, an old set of speakers, a low-res webcam, and a slow charging system. A Touch Bar also ridiculously sits at the top of the keyboard. The new machine looks great but does not offer enough punch for long-time use. 

The new MacBook Pro M2 is the weirdest laptop in the Pro lineup. It has nothing to do with the recent Apple Silicon Pro models that are packed with top-tier features, such as brand-new screen technology, MagSafe, plenty of Thunderbolt ports, and an SD card slot.

Should You Buy It?

The M2 Pro is a device with outdated design, tech, and a lack of ports. But it might be the cheapest M2 option for regular users as the M2 chip is overkill for many tasks. 

If you are professionals who need a powerful machine for video and audio editing, it makes more sense to get the base model MacBook Pro 14-inch or MacBook Pro 16-inch with an M1 Pro chip. You will also get a 1080p webcam, a superior mini-LED display, and a modern design. 

Photo by Manthan Gajjar on Unsplash

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About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech.

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