We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Group test: what's the best Mac laptop?

The best Apple laptops you can buy

PC Advisor reviews the best Apple Mac laptops you can buy in the UK right now.

5. Apple MacBook Pro 13in (Spring 2010)

If you already have the previous 13in Apple MacBook Pro, there's not a lot of reason to upgrade unless you simply must have the newest version of everything. The changes to the 13in line-up are mostly to do with improved graphics and battery life, and they aren't all that different from the year before - and it's somewhat hard to justify the £1,249 model based only on its larger hard drive and slightly faster processor, which didn't translate to much difference in our tests. To get the most from the new generation of MacBook Pros, you'll need to step up to the larger sizes, which take advantage of the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and their own graphics improvements.

4. 13-inch MacBook Air (Late 2010)

What really sets the MacBook Air apart from the competition is the all-round quality, both in terms of materials used and the construction of the device. Clever features such as the MagSafe power connector that disconnects should you trip over it - rather than pull the whole thing off the desk - are appreciated, as is the eye-catching design. If you can afford one, it'll be an investment you won't regret.

 

3. Apple MacBook (Mid-2010)

There’s a very slight performance increase introduced by the 2.4GHz processor, but where the Apple MacBook really scores is in increased battery life, and a graphics controller that usefully expands the gaming possibilities of this laptop. As a complete package, with its safer and more stable OS X operating system, and huge multi-touch trackpad unmatched in the Windows world, the Apple MacBook earns a worthy recommendation for anyone looking for a reliable, easy-to-use portable. It remains a fast and enjoyable-to-use laptop and we’d argue it’s the best value notebook under £1000.

2. Apple MacBook Air 11in (Late 2010)

Unlike a netbook, the 11in MacBook Air will rarely keep you waiting. A 5-hour-plus battery is good, running longer in the Air’s native Mac OS X. And measured statistics don’t show what a delight the 11in is to hold and work with. A perfect carry-anywhere notebook? Not quite – a 3G modem’s absence is becoming embarrassing, while the screen resolution is just beyond the comfort level. Elsewhere, we have to give due credit. As an exceedingly compact notebook – or a dear netbook – that will happily and snappily run OS X, Linux or Windows, the MacBook Air 11in is the category’s new gold standard.

1. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010) 2.66GHz Core i7

Not only is the MacBook Pro 15in the best constructed notebook computer you can find, it’s now also one of the very fastest. In fact, it’s the most powerful laptop we’ve ever tested. There are alternatives with more powerful graphics systems, but none that maintain such a good balance between performance and extended battery life. If you need the best designed notebook money can buy, or just a safe and dependable operating system running on the fastest portable hardware, the MacBook Pro 15in Core i7 sets the new benchmark.

IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison: Lollipop phablet takes on KitKat flagship smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...