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Best MacBook 2023: The top Apple laptops tested, reviewed and ranked


With so many options available in 2023, it can be difficult to find a MacBook that suits your needs. But that’s where our team of experts at Trusted Reviews comes in.

We take the time to thoroughly evaluate Apple’s latest MacBook offerings, ranging from the lightweight MacBook Air to the high-performance MacBook Pro, to provide you with well-informed choices that align with your needs and preferences.

Every MacBook in our list has undergone a range of rigorous tests, looking past the spec sheet to really see what the laptops have to offer. We delve into crucial aspects like processing power, design aesthetics, and battery endurance to ensure that you’re well-acquainted with what to expect.

But we don’t stop there.

Recognising that budget considerations play a huge role in the decision-making process, we’ve also taken different price ranges into account. Additionally, we provide insights into the types of tasks and workloads that each laptop is best suited for. After all, not everyone requires the heavyweight capabilities of a MacBook Pro for everyday tasks like checking emails or browsing the web.

Our mission is simple: to help you find a MacBook that fits your unique requirements. With our experts by your side, you can confidently make an Apple-branded choice that meets your expectations.

Or if you’re tempted to switch over to Windows or ChromeOS, then you can also check out our best laptop and best Chromebook articles.

At a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

MacBook Air (M1)

Best value MacBook
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  • It’s so fast thanks to M1
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Strong app support
  • Great keyboard


  • Poor webcam
  • Same design as before
  • Poorly positioned (and only two) USB ports

Apple may have released a newer iteration of the MacBook Air, but the 2020 model with the M1 chip is still available to buy from its store, and arguably represents the best value, especially if you want to stick to basic tasks.

During testing, we found it to be small and light enough to easily carry around. We did note that the screen bezel looks a little too chunky compared to modern Windows laptops, but it’s a small grievance when you consider it offers the classic Apple quality. 

It’s the performance where this laptop truly excels, as our benchmark tests showed it to one of the fastest laptop at its price point due to the power of the M1 chip. We even found it to be capable of entry-level content creation thanks to the firepower that its GPU provides.

We were highly impressed with the 13-inch screen, which has a 2560 x 1600 resolution to ensure images look detailed and sharp. Our tests show it’s not quite as vivid as the OLED panel on the Dell XPS 13 OLED, but it’s still nevertheless an excellent display. 

The MacBook Air is one of the best ultra-portable laptops that we’ve ever reviewed. So if you want an ultra-portable machine at a relatively affordable price, this is a superb option.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: MacBook Air M1 review

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)

Best for content creation
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  • Huge amount of internal options
  • Stunning screen
  • Stays quiet and cool


  • Even more expensive than before (for those in the UK)
  • Lack of Face ID makes the notch feel dated already
  • Pricey to upgrade the memory

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) is designed specifically for those who need additional graphics power for complex tasks such as high-end video editing and even animation. Our benchmark tests show it’s one of the most powerful laptops you can buy, making it overkill for the average office worker, especially considering the high price. 

This isn’t a huge upgrade on the previous versions of the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but the new M2 Pro or M2 Max chips represent modest improvements. These machines aren’t really for those who upgraded to the last model, but for those who want a massive boost on an older Intel machine.

Other new features include Wi-Fi 6E – great if you’ve recently upgraded your router to one that supports the faster standard – better battery life and an HDMI port that supports 8K at 60Hz.

Two sizes are available, and whether you go for the 14-inch or the 16-inch the Mini LED screen is very impressive. Compared to your standard LED or LCDs, the Mini LED panel here has a more vivid and vibrant image than almost any other laptop we’ve tested including the cheaper MacBook Air.

While we’ve tested plenty of other laptops that are great for content creation, such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, they don’t offer the same high quality for both performance and design as the MacBook Pro. If you want an ultra-powerful laptop for creation with lots of ports for added versatility, this is our top recommendation.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review

Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022)

Best mid-range MacBook
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  • Fantastic performance
  • Sleek, updated design
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad
  • Long battery life


  • Expensive starting price and upgrades
  • More colours would have been nice
  • The M1 version remains an excellent buy for less

If the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 is overkill for your needs yet you still need some graphics firepower, we recommend you go for the MacBook Air M2. This is Apple’s best mid-range laptop, inheriting a lot of the features from the flagship machine just in a thinner, lighter and cheaper body.

This model is the only MacBook on this list to be powered by the new M2 chip. Don’t think this means it’ll offer more power either in CPU or GPU than the M1 Max or M1 Pro – but it does bump up performance slightly compared to MacBook Air M1. In our tests, the M2 impresses across the board and remains one of the fastest, most capable laptops of this size.

Memory starts at 8GB and can be configured to 24GB, while storage options range from 256GB to 2TB. We tested the 512GB model with 8GB memory and we think this is the best choice for most people – 256GB just isn’t enough storage for most.

Like the updated 14-inch and 16-inch Pro, this MacBook Air M2 (2022) has a boxy look with a notch dipping into the display. The 13.6-inch screen is really nice, colourful and bright – though it lacks the Mini LED tech of its pricier siblings so you won’t get true HDR support.

MagSafe makes a return – you won’t find the magnetic charging tech on the MacBook Air M1 – and the webcam and speakers are notably better than the older model. So if you’re looking for a laptop that’s both portable and can handle GPU-intensive workloads, this is the MacBook to go for.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022) review

MacBook Air 2020

Best budget MacBook
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  • New keyboard is a huge improvement
  • The most affordable Mac
  • Design still holds up
  • Great speakers and fast Touch ID


  • Performance not as good as Windows rivals
  • Little improvement to battery life
  • Terrible webcam
  • Port layout is a bit annoying

Apple no longer sells the MacBook Air 2020 since it uses the older Intel chip rather than the revolutionary M1 processor. But if you’re on a strict budget, you can find this laptop at a very good price if you’re happy to purchase it refurbished or second-hand from third-party retailers. 

Our benchmark tests show it’s not as fast as many affordable Windows laptops, including the superb Surface Laptop Go, but we still found it to outperform a number of Chromebooks. We would recommend you only use this laptop for very basic tasks though, as testing showed it to struggle with the likes of photo editing. 

The design holds up well, with essentially the same shell as the new and improved M1 model. We found it to be very easy to lug to and from the office, and is durable enough to last you multiple years, with Apple also promising to support the Intel processor for the foreseeable future. 

Of course, the MacBook Air M1 is comfortably the better laptop, while the Surface Laptop Go 2 offers better value if you’re happy to switch to Windows. But if you can bag the MacBook Air 2020 at a discounted price, this is still a great option for those on a budget.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: MacBook Air 2022 review

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

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Which is the cheapest MacBook?

The MacBook Air is currently the cheapest MacBook that Apple has to offer.

What’s better, a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

Neither is better, as they cater to different audiences. The MacBook Pro is very powerful and aimed towards professional creators, while the MacBook Air is more portable and optimised for the likes of office and university work.

Which Mac is best for students?

The MacBook Air is the best option for students, unless they need to work with 8K video or 3D animation on their course.

Specs compared

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Refresh Rate
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen
Bin capacity

Trusted Reviews test data

Cinebench R23 multi core
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
Brightness (SDR)
Battery Life

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Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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