Mac buying guide: Which Mac is right for you?

Macworld Australia Staff
19 November, 2010
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You’d think that it would be easy to pick a Mac computer – after all, there are only six product lines (three desktop, three laptop) to consider. Unlike with PC manufacturers, you don’t have dozens of different product lines and configurations to think about.

But once you do decide to buy a new Mac and you start perusing the Apple Store, you’re presented with a series of choices. Should you choose with a Mac mini over an iMac or a Mac Pro? Or should you buy a notebook instead of a desktop Mac? And if so, why not opt for a MacBook Air instead of a MacBook or a MacBook Pro?

These questions and others like them are among the ones most frequently asked of the Macworld staff. And with good reason: Not only do we test and review every new Mac, but we also have strong opinions about which Mac is best for a certain type of user . If you’re in the market for a new Mac, you can count on our advice.

In this article, six editors and contributors talk about why they chose the Mac they use every day. While each person has their own, unique set of daily tasks, those tasks may be similar to what you do every day. And other considerations – such as price, size, and specifications – also influenced each person’s decision.

Need some guidance? We’re ready to help. Read the articles below. We also have complete benchmark scores for each current (and some older) Macs, in case you’re interested in gauging performance.

And be sure to add your thoughts in the comments section for each article.

MacBook: The great compromise

Blair Hanley Frank explains why the MacBook is the ideal computer: it’s an affordable Mac laptop without sacrificing usability or quality.

MacBook Pro: Portable powerhouse

Roman Loyola thinks the MacBook Pro is the ideal Mac for anyone who demands processing power while out and about.

MacBook Air: Thin traveller

Jason Snell is a strong proponent of the MacBook Air. He’ll take a tiny, light laptop over a full-size, heavy one every time.

Mac mini: All you’ll ever need

Kirk McElhearn ditched his gigantic 2006 Mac Pro for a Mac mini. And he’s smitten with Apple’s smallest desktop computer.

iMac: Bang for your buck

Just a few years ago, an iMac was woefully inadequate for Dan Frakes. But times have changed. Today’s iMacs are no longer compromises.

Mac Pro: Tower of power

Rob Griffiths is a very demanding user. The Mac Pro is fast, has got room to grow, and can drive more than two displays. What’s not to like?

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