Best Mac 2019: the best Macs to buy this year

Best Mac

The best Macs are only getting better and more powerful, with the Mac Pro 2019 and macOS Catalina coming later in 2019, to start. If you’d rather not wait and want to get your hands on one of the best Macs now, there’s already quite a few to choose from. Especially with Apple recently giving its MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and 15-inch MacBook Pro much-needed refreshes.

Keep in mind, too, 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 existing 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

Taking all these into consideration, 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.

Mac Mini 2018

1. 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 revamped with modern hardware, ushering Apple’s smallest Mac to the modern age and naturally warranting it the top 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 adored form factor. It’s a tad pricier this time around, but with the raw speed on offer, you’ll find that it’s worth the price increase.

Read the full review: Mac Mini 2018

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Future)

2. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

Apple’s productivity machine gets the latest Intel tech

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

Powerful
Decent configuration options
Screen remains gorgeous
Expensive
Lack of ports
Keyboard concerns remain

If you want the most performance you can get in a MacBook without it costing you an arm and a leg, you’ll want to look into the MacBook Pro 15-inch. Now refreshed 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 that kind of performance, the MacBook Pro takes a lofty spot on our best Macs list without breaking a sweat.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

iMac (27-inch, 2019)

3. Apple iMac (27-inch, 2019)

Apple’s most affordable all-in-one

CPU: up to 3.6GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 570X – Radeon Pro Vega 48 | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display 5120 x 2880 | Storage: 1TB Fusion Drive – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 51.6 x 65.0 x 20.3 cm

Stunning 5K display
Quiet under load
SSD upgrades are expensive

The iMac has long been one of the cheaper 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 packing with 8th- and 9th-generation desktop-class processors, allowing this stylish all-in-one reach that fabled 8-core performance. If you’re looking for an all-in-one Mac, the new 27-inch iMac might just be the best Mac for you, at least if you’re on a budget.

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

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

4. 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 packing Kaby Lake processors while its rivals had moved ahead. Luckily, the MacBook Pro 2018 changes everything, making it more powerful than ever. It still has the controversial Butterfly keyboard, but that’s also been improved so that its quieter and more reliable. It’s not hard to recommend the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018 to anyone looking for the best Macs.

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

iMac Pro

5. 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 

Professionals and creatives require something that will be able to tackle any workload they can possibly throw at it. If you’re one such user, 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 vibrant 27-inch 5K display with a P3 wide color gamut, but it also boasts the most powerful hardware Apple could get its hands on. It’s extremely expensive though, so it’s really only meant for folks who have deep pockets and need that unbridled power to get through their daily workloads. 

Read the full review: iMac Pro 

MacBook Air 2019

(Image credit: Future)

6. Apple MacBook Air (2019)

A solid entry with an excellent new screen

CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)

Lovely design
Screen is great
Fantastic battery life
New lower price
Underpowered
Lack of storage space

Apple takes the MacBook Air (2018) and gives it a bit of refresh, adding True Tone technology to its display and an even more reliable keyboard. Unfortunately, it hasn’t upgraded the specs – which actually leads us to think that there might be a bigger update by early 2020 – but seeing as the 2018 version has already made our list, this improved version is just as deserving. But the best part is yet to come: this refresh is even cheaper, so you’re definitely getting more value for less.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2019)

MacBook (2017)

7. 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 has officially cut the MacBook from its MacBook like, many third parties are still carry it. And because the 12-inch MacBook has found its niche as an ultraportable and lightweight laptop, it’s still deserving of a spot on our best Macs list… that is, until stock runs out. 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)

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