Best Mac 2019: the best Macs to buy this year

Best Mac

The best Macs are only getting better and better, with the Mac Pro 2019, macOS Catalina and possibly a new Macbook coming later in 2019, not to mention Apple recently rolling out a 15-inch MacBook Pro refresh so that it’s now officially supporting Intel's latest 9th-generation Core processors (CPUs).

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On Amazon Prime Day 2019, it's one of the best times to buy a top Mac. If you want to get your hands on one of the best Macs now, there’s already quite a few to choose from. Just keep in mind that specs, performance and design mean way more in how they interact with the OS itself than any of them separately. That’s why it’s not really productive to compare a Mac to a Windows 10 computer.

The best Macs are incredibly diverse. We don’t know what’s in the cards for future Macs, at least beyond the new Mac Pro, but we’re sure there’s still plenty of life in Apple’s computers. That means that if you don’t have to budget to purchase the latest Macs, as the older models will more than suffice, saving you some cash.

In addition, the best Macs cover everything from thin and light notebooks like the 12-inch MacBook to professional workhorses like the iMac Pro. So, it can be tricky choosing the perfect Mac for you. 

That’s why we decided to gather all the best Macs we’ve used – iMacs, MacBooks and more – to help you with that important decision. The only Macs that you won’t find here are the ones that we’ve either not been able to review, or just weren’t good enough. Let’s dive in to all the best Macs you can buy right now.

MacBook (2017)

1. MacBook (2017)

Small and stylish

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core m3 – Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12-inch Retina (2,304 x 1,440) IPS | Storage: 256GB – 512GB PCIe SSD | Dimensions (W x D x H): 11.04 x 7.74 x 0.14~0.52in

Incredibly portable 
Long battery life 
Too expensive 

While Apple refreshed the MacBook back in 2016, it wasn’t anything to write home about, despite being more attractive than ever before. The controversy hasn’t been forgotten entirely, but the 12-inch MacBook has found its niche as an ultraportable and lightweight laptop. It’s low on ports, but that’s hardly a surprise in a laptop this thin. It can support basically everything under the sun with its Thunderbolt 3 port, anyway. It’s not as powerful as the MacBook Pro, but if you’re looking for a MacBook that’s easy to take with you wherever you go, look no further.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook (2017)

Mac Mini 2018

2. Mac Mini 2018

Same size, way more power

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6cm

Hugely improved specs
Tiny, aesthetic design
Expensive

Mac Mini fans, rejoice! The Mac Mini has finally been overhauled with modern hardware, ushering Apple’s tiniest Mac to the modern age and warranting it a spot in our best Macs list. This tiny thing is packed with 8th-generation desktop processors, a ton of RAM and some of the fastest SSDs we’ve seen – all while keeping the same beloved form factor. It’s a bit pricier this time around, but with the raw speed on offer, we’d have to say it’s worth it.

Read the full review: Mac Mini 2018

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018)

3. MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018)

The most powerful MacBook ever made

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555X – 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display | Storage: 512GB – 4TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 34.93 x 24.07 x 1.55cm

 Extremely powerful 
 More RAM 
 Very expensive 

If you’re looking for the most performance you can get in a MacBook that you can afford, you’ll want to look at the MacBook Pro 15-inch. Now with hexa-core 9th-generation processors and up to 32GB of RAM, you won’t be held back by anything you throw at it – especially now that you can get Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics. With this kind of performance, the MacBook Pro effortlessly takes a lofty spot on our best Macs list. 

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018) 

iMac (27-inch, 2019)

4. iMac (27-inch, 2019)

Now with 8th-generation processors

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 9th-generation Intel Core i5 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 570X – 580X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB - 64GB | Screen: 27-inch Retina 5K 5,120 x 2,880 P3 | Storage: 1TB – 2TB Fusion Drive | Dimensions (H x W x D): 20.3 x 25.6 x 8 inches (51.6 x 65.0 x 20.3cm)

Stunning 5K display
Quiet under load
SSD upgrades are expensive

The iMac has long been one of the most affordable ways to get into the macOS ecosystem, and we’re glad that hasn’t changed. Though what has changed, we also appreciate. The new iMac is packed with 8th- and 9th-generation desktop-class processors this time around, letting this elegant all-in-one PC reach that fabled 8-core performance. If you’re looking for an all-in-one Mac, the new 27-inch iMac is one of the best Macs for you, at least if you’re not looking to spend five stacks on the iMac Pro. 

Read the full review: iMac (27-inch, 2019)

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, mid-2018)

5. MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, mid-2018)

The same, but stronger

CPU: 7th-generation Intel Core i5 – 8th-generation Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 – 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2,560 x 1,600 | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.49cm

 Much more powerful 
 More storage 
 Keyboard learning curve 

The biggest complaint about the older MacBook Pro was that it was still using Kaby Lake processors, even though its competition had moved ahead. Luckily, the MacBook Pro 2018 changes everything, making it more powerful than ever before. It still has the controversial Butterfly keyboard, but that’s also been improved so that its less noisy and more reliable. It’s easy to recommend the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018 for anyone looking for the best Macs.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, mid-2018) 

iMac Pro

6. iMac Pro

Raw power

CPU: 8 to 18-core Intel Xeon W | Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 56 - Radeon Pro Vega 64 | RAM: 32GB – 256GB DDR4 ECC | Screen: 27-inch 5K (5,120 x 2,880) Retina display (P3 wide color) | Storage: 1TB – 4TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm

Most powerful Mac you can buy 
Gorgeous, color-accurate display 
Very expensive 

Whether you’re a professional or a creative, you’ll require something that will be able to tackle any workload you could possibly throw at it. For you, the iMac Pro isn’t just one of the best Macs for you; it’s the only Mac to consider. Not only does it have a vivid 27-inch 5K display with a P3 wide color gamut, but it’s also packing the most powerful hardware Apple could get its hands on. It’s extremely expensive, so it’s really only meant for folks who have deep pockets and are looking for unbridled power to get through professional workloads. If you’re one such consumer, then the iMac Pro is the best Mac for you. 

Read the full review: iMac Pro 

MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

7. MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

Thinner, lighter, more productive

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display (backlit LED, IPS) | Storage: 128GB – 1.5TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)

 Small, lighter design
 Beautiful Retina display  
 A bit underpowered 

We’ve been waiting years for a new MacBook Air, and now that it’s here, we can say for sure it’s worth the wait. Thinner, lighter and with a Retina display for the first time, it’s easily the best MacBook Air we’ve ever tested. With 8th-generation processors, more RAM and faster SSDs, the MacBook Air is also has more power than ever. The only thing that would make this better is if it were fitted with full-fat U-series quad core chips, rather than the Y-series dual-core fanless processors. Still, this means that you’re going to easily get all-day battery out of this thing, which makes it one of the best Macs for travel.

Read the full review: MacBook Air 2018 

Michelle Rae Uy, Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article