'Which MacBook should I buy for Prime Day?' A laptop expert answers your question – Laptop Mag

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Get the best MacBook for you on Prime Day
MacBooks, whether you’re talkin’ about the Air or the Pro, are among the most highly sought-after laptops during any major sales event, including Amazon Prime Day. The big-box retailer’s sales bonanza is launching on July 11 and 12, giving you two days to splurge on some of the best laptops you can get at a sweet, sweet discount.
However, the worst thing you can do during Prime Day is remain stuck in analysis paralysis. You want to buy a MacBook, but you’re just not sure which one you should buy. Consequently, Prime Day zips by, and womp, womp, womp, you’ve lost out on the delightful discounts because you have no idea which one is best for your lifestyle.
Or, you can end up purchasing the wrong MacBook — something that’s too underpowered for your needs, for example.
Buyer’s remorse sucks, so I’m here to tell you which MacBook is best for you, so you can be prepared to make an informed purchase decision when Prime Day comes around.
Without further ado, let’s dive into a “personality profile” of the five MacBooks you can currently buy: 13-inch MacBook Air (M1), 13-inch MacBook Air (M2), 15-inch MacBook Air (M2), 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2), and the 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro (M2 Pro/M2 Max)
The M1 MacBook Air is the most passé laptop you can purchase on Apple’s official website. In other words, the most current laptops are equipped with faster chips (e.g., M2, M2 Pro and M2 Max) while this particular model is packed with a three-year-old chip, the M1, which was announced three years ago.MacBook Air (M1, 2020)To give you some context on the M1’s obsolescence, it debuted in 2020 when Apple officially ditched Intel processors for its own custom-made Apple silicon chips. We weren’t sure if Apple could pull it off, but at the time, the Cupertino-based tech giant blew tech pundits away because the M1 chip was an absolute beast, crushing Intel-powered MacBooks in performance and power-efficiency.
However, as mentioned, three years have passed since Apple unleashed the M1 chip inside the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini. Naturally, Apple has since rolled out zippier, faster chips, but the question is, do you care? Let’s dive into who the M1 MacBook Air is for:
Overall, the M1 MacBook Air is ideal for anyone who can stomach the fact that their three-year-old laptop is already obsolete as Apple is reportedly already gearing up to unleash the M3 chip in the near future. Also, out of all the MacBooks, this one is most likely to get the steepest discount on Prime Day.
For your reference, according to the Laptop Mag battery test, the M1 MacBook Air lasted 13 hours and 19 minutes. 
The 13-inch MacBook Air, unveiled in June 2022, is much more au courant compared to the M1-packed MacBook Air. According to our Geekbench results, you’re getting a minimum 17% performance boost with M2 compared to M1. While the M1 chip only offered an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, the M2 chip gives you more: either an 8-core CPU/8-core GPU chip or an 8-core CPU/10-Core GPU processor.M2 MacBook AirThis time around, the M2-packed MacBook Air ditches the hideous 720p webcam for a clearer, sharper 1080p shooter. Plus, you’re getting minor improvements to the display, brightness, and a dedicated charging port. Is the 13-inch, M2 MacBook Air for you? Let’s get into it.
The M2 chip inside the 13-inch MacBook Pro has great graphics performance, so if you’re a photo and video editing hobbyist, it should offer more than enough muscle for you to roll out some Final Cut Pro productions. Compared to Intel 13th Gen CPUs, however, the M2’s Geekbench score often gets outpaced, making it better for you to snag the cheaper and better Acer Swift 14, for example, if peak processor performance is important for you.
Not everyone likes a tiny, 13-inch display — that’s why Apple launched the highly anticipated 15-inch MacBook Air. It’s perfect for users who don’t need the MacBook Pro’s envelope-pushing power, but still need more screen real estate. However, the question you must ask yourself is, are the minor upgrades to the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air actually worth it? Let’s delve into whether the 15-inch MacBook Air M2 is for you. 15-inch MacBook AirThe 15-inch MacBook Air M2 is essentially just an enlarged version of its 13-inch counterpart; it has the same webcam, ports, and similar design language, but it has a bigger battery (66.5 watt-hour battery vs. a 52.6 watt-hour battery), better speakers, and more screen real estate. Plus, the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Air gets you a 10-Core GPU. You can get the same on the 13-inch MacBook Air, but you need to shell out an extra $100. 
If you’ve been eyeing the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro model for Prime Day, I’d argue that you’d be better off buying the M2 MacBook Air (also a 13-inch laptop). Why? Well, to put it succinctly, you can squeeze out more CPU and graphics performance for a cheaper price compared to the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro.Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2022 battery lifeWe happened to test the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro ($1,800) and the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air ($1,900) with the same specs: 8-Core CPU/10-Core GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. Check out the scores between the two:
Geekbench – 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro: 8911
Geekbench – 13-inch M2 MacBook Air:  8919
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited – 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro: 24,892
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited – 13-inch M2 MacBook Air:  24,893
As you can see, it wouldn’t make sense to pay more for the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro when the M2 MacBook Book Air (13-inch) performs better, but that doesn’t mean that the Pro doesn’t have its selling points. Let me show you who’d benefit from the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro the most.
If you’re a professional artist who works with video, graphic design, and more, I’d set your sights on a discounted 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro this Prime Day. According to our in-house testing, the M2 MacBook Pro’s, 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel display surprisingly lacks color accuracy (it has a Delta-E score of 0.31, which isn’t that great). Plus, it only covers 78% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. 
The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro is for you professional photo and video editors, audio producers, graphic designers, 3D artists, and other expert-level users who need a laptop that is designed to benefit your career trajectory.14-inch MacBook ProYou can get these models in two flavors: the M2 Pro or the M2 Max chip. (The latter is more powerful.) Looking at our test results, both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook configurations deliver a Delta-E color accuracy of about 0.2, which will delight photo editors and graphic designers. Plus, you’ll finally get DCI-P3 color gamut coverage that crosses the 80% mark. Meanwhile, all the other aforementioned MacBooks on this list seem to be stuck in the 75 – 77% range.
Keep in mind, however, that if you’re not sold on getting an Apple laptop, there are PCs that deliver far better color gamut coverages (e.g., the Acer Swift Go 14 has a jaw-dropping DCI-P3 color gamut coverage of 178%).
Now, let’s take a look who’d benefit from the 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro models
The 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro models aren’t cheap. You’ll have to spend at least $2,000. However, for Prime Day, there’s a chance that Apple may slash $100 to $200 off its original listing price. 
This guide was designed to help give you clarity on which MacBook you should purchase during the Prime Day madness. It’s easy to get frazzled and anxious during the mayhem, and as a result, you end up purchasing the wrong MacBook that’s incompatible with your lifestyle. Now that you’ve read this article, you’re now armed and ready to tackle Prime Day with newfound confidence — go ‘head snag that shiny new MacBook without worrying about buyer’s remorse or any other regrets. 
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master’s degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire’s business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she’s finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!
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