2019 16-inch MacBook ProSource: iMore

Best MacBook iMore 2019

You'd be hard-pressed to find any website that does as much deep-dive research into everything about Apple's Mac notebook lineup other than iMore. We have run every model, every version of MacBook from Apple through their paces (and then some) to determine which is the best MacBook for the average person and which one is perfect for the pros. Our best overall pick is the MacBook Air. With Touch ID, a sharp Retina Display, and sleek and slim design, this is the one to beat for most people.

While the new 16-inch MacBook Pro probably won't be on sale this Black Friday, it does open up the door for a lot of other MacBooks to get a deep discount. The 15-inch MacBook Pro, for example, is now "old news" even though it just came out earlier in the year. If you know where to shop, you can get a powerful new MacBook for a lower price than normal this Black Friday. We are updating all of our Buyer's Guides to make sure that you get the best buying advice, and our deals team will help you get the MacBook of your dreams for a price that you can only dream of otherwise. We will feature the best Black Friday deals on MacBooks right here.

Latest Black Friday MacBook Deals

Best Overall: MacBook Air

MacBook Air 2018Source: iMore

With a major update in 2018, the MacBook Air now has a faster processor, Touch ID, a Retina display, and is still thin enough to fit into a manila envelope.

The Retina display specs are 2560 x 1600 at 227ppi with an sRBG color gamut, and the bezels are slim, providing as much screen landscape as possible on a 13-inch Mac laptop.

Though you don't get the much-loved MagSafe charging port, you do get, in its place, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports along with the 3.5mm headphone jack. That means 40Gbps high-speed data transfer so you can move photos, videos, and huge documents between hard drives or other computers lickety-split.

The MacBook Air also now supports Touch ID for biometric security. Not only do you use it to unlock your MacBook Air, but also to pay for things online that use Apple Pay (it's such a time saver).

Pros:

  • Retina display
  • High-speed data transfer
  • Touch ID
  • Affordable
  • 12-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Only two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • previous-generation processor (8th-gen)

Best Overall

MacBook Air

The perfect Mac laptop for most people.

The MacBook Air has the perfect balance of features and affordability with the Retina display and great software tools.

Best Value: 13-inch MacBook Pro (two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Rene Ritchie sets up a MacBook ProSource: iMore

The lower-priced 13-inch MacBook Pro is feature-rich without being too much computer for the average person's needs. It's got the highest-quality Retina display with 3DPI wide-color gamut, two high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports for 40Gbps data transfer, and an ultra-fast processor chip. If you don't need more than two Thunderbolt 3 ports, support for heavy graphics, or daily lengthy video rendering, the smaller MacBook Pro has the best feature-to-price ratio, making it the best value of the MacBook lineup.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Ultra-fast storage
  • High-speed data transfer
  • Retina Display

Cons:

  • Only two ports

Best Value

13-inch MacBook Pro (two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

The biggest bang for your buck.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is just right in terms of portability. It has power but comes in a lightweight body to go anywhere.

Best for Pros: 16-inch MacBook Pro

16-inch MacBook Pro displaySource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

For the pro on the go, there's the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which packs in a bigger screen with less bezels in the familiar chassis of the previous 15-inch. This workhorse of a laptop can support up to 8 cores of Intel's latest Coffee Lake refresh processor chip with turbo boosts of up to 4.8GHz and SSD read speeds of up to 3.2Gbps. It's got four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the most in the entire Mac laptop line, and can be spec'd out to as much as 64GB of memory and an 8TB SSD hard drive with Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M graphics with up to 8GB of GDDR6 memory. It's fast. It's powerful. It'll sing for you while it renders your videos (not literally).

Pros:

  • Latest Intel processor (9th-gen) and advanced GPUs
  • Return to scissor-switch keyboard
  • Starts at 512GB SSD, configurable to 8TB
  • Starts at 16GB RAM, configurable to 64GB
  • Up to 8 cores
  • Touch ID and Touch Bar
  • Retina display with True Tone

Cons:

  • Most expensive model
  • Heaviest (4 lbs)

Best for Pros

16-inch MacBook Pro

A pro laptop for the pro user

The 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro gives you the most power and performance, though mobility is limited, and the price tag is high.

Best for Versatility: 13-inch MacBook Pro (4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Serenity Caldwell typing on a MacBook ProSource: iMore

The four Thunderbolt 3 port 13-inch MacBook Pro starts about $500 higher than the two Thunderbolt 3 port model, but those extra ports may be the most important thing you'll need. It's got the highest-quality Retina display with 3DPI wide-color gamut, four high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports for 40Gbps data transfer, and an ultra-fast processor chip. If you're going to be plugging in more than two peripherals that need Thunderbolt 3's fast data transfer capabilities, you're going to want to spend the extra money on those extra ports.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Ultra-fast storage
  • High-speed data transfer
  • Retina Display

Cons:

  • More expensive

Best for Versatility

13-inch MacBook Pro (four Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Versatility at a lower price.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has four high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports for flexibility and everything you need.

Bottom line

Because the MacBook Air has everything most people need for daily computer use tied up nicely in a small package. Because it supports Touch ID for biometric security and Apple Pay, it's our pick for the best MacBook in 2019. The fact that it's also the least-expensive Retina Display MacBook is just icing on the cake.

Of course, if you're looking for something with more power, but don't need the fastest, most powerful processor and graphics, the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar has the most specs for its price, making it our pick for the best value.

How to find the best Black Friday deals on MacBooks

Apple has a MacBook that is designed for every type of person out there. If you just need something lightweight for writing, studying, web browsing, email, research, or consuming media, then the MacBook Air is a great laptop for that. If you need to do more resource-intensive tasks, such as photo and video editing and gaming, then the MacBook Pro with TouchBar is what you need. And if you want to get the most bang for your buck, the value of the MacBook Pro without TouchBar gives you plenty of power in a lightweight package while also being fairly affordable. No matter who you are or what you need a MacBook for, there is one that will suit all of your needs, whatever they may be. All MacBooks also come with macOS, which is a great operating system for taking care of business and school, creative needs, and yes, it can play games too.

This Black Friday, you are sure to find MacBooks on sale at Best Buy, Amazon, B&H Photo, and more retailers. And while Apple may not have a lot of sales, they may knock off a bit of change from the price of their MacBooks, so you can buy from them directly if you prefer. We want to make sure that you get your MacBook for the best price, so our deals team will be keeping their eyes peeled for the best prices on MacBooks this Black Friday. After all, while MacBooks aren't the cheapest computers out there, they are worth it, and if you can save some money while getting one, all the better, right?

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Lory Gil is iMore's managing editor and has extensive knowledge of the MacBook lineup. Though she doesn't own every single MacBook ever, she's got a pretty decent-sized pile building up.

Rene Ritchie is iMore's resident Apple analyst and has studied every aspect of every MacBook. He puts his MacBooks through their paces and knows exactly what each one's limits are.

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