The Best Apple MacBooks for Graphic Designers in 2021 (October Update)

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If you look around at your favorite coffee shop or one of the many college campuses around the world, you are pretty likely to see one piece of technology all over the place: an Apple MacBook. Apple’s brand name and focus on quality products have made their MacBook the go-to option for creatives, students, and people in business alike.

A MacBook is very user-friendly but like many other products that Apple puts out, they give their consumer options and that leaves you lost if you don’t research what you want before going in.

Luckily, we’re here to help and with our list of The Best Apple Laptops in 2021, you’ll know what to look for before heading out to buy one. In fact, let’s start there shall we?

The Best Apple MacBooks for Graphic Designers in 2021

If you’re considering an Apple MacBook (or an iPad even), you should know that from the moment you get it home or back to your office, you’re getting one of the best designed, user-friendly laptops on the planet. Apple takes a lot of pride in the quality of their products and their cheerleaders will tout their products all day.

But if you’ve never owned a MacBook, you will learn pretty quickly that there can be many different options out there, so we wanted to build a list so you could see each one on its own.

If you click each link, you can get more information on each laptop or you can continue reading for an overview of each one.

What is the best Apple MacBook for graphic design?

What to look for when buying an Apple MacBook


While a dual-core processor is pretty standard for basic uses like surfing the internet, if you do video editing or coding that can put some pressure on your laptop’s processor, buying a MacBook that comes with a four or six-core processor is needed. Every MacBook released by Apple comes with at least 8GB of RAM and is enough again for basic, everyday tasks. If you’re using your MacBook as part of your design career, aim for something in the 16 GB or 32GB range.


MacBooks are equipped with their proprietary retina displays making everything look sharp and color accurate. These screens can display almost 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. While some offerings will support the much larger DCI-PS color gamut, this just means that the amount of color shades that it can display is more than sRGB. While for your average consumer, it is not a necessary feature, it can be a nice one to have.


Just about every laptop that Apple releases now uses one of two port options. USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. These are used exclusively for anything from data, to charging the laptop or even video. While many other laptop offerings may come with more ports, when it comes to the MacBook, you will want one with at least two ports. This is so you can charge the laptop while you have a peripheral plugged into the other port.

Weight and size

For some, a big reason they don’t like carrying around a laptop is the size and the weigh make it more of an annoyance than anything. Fortunately, Apple laptops are designed with these people in mind. Designed to be quite thin and lightweight compared to other laptops, they are easily carried around easily in laptop bags without becoming a nuisance.

Battery Life

Like many other laptops, the battery on a laptop from Apple should be able to get you through an eight-hour day of normal use. This can obviously be affected by doing work that uses a lot of battery life such as editing videos or using processor heavy programs like the apps from Adobe Creative Cloud.


If you’re looking for a laptop within the $200 to $500 range, you’re not going to want to buy a MacBook, while they do cost a lot of money, the quality of the product that is offered by Apple makes the money worth it. The best judge to determine whether or not to buy on a MacBook is one that offers you a balance between performance, storage, and price. This way you get your money’s worth. You should think of a MacBook as not just a purchase but as an investment.

The Best Apple Laptops for Graphic Designers in 2021

If you’re a ‘90’s kid, then you remember the old Apple commercials with a Mac and a PC, represented by actors, comparing the benefits of each, which always ended in Apple’s favor. It was their commercial after all. What these commercials did though was establish Apple as a high-quality brand with the best technology and without many of the problems that traditional laptops would have.

That point of view hasn’t changed in the years since those commercials. Apple is still a company known for high-quality, easy-to-use products and its no different with their line of MacBooks. Each one on our list is a superb laptop and worthy of anybody’s home.

1. Apple MacBook Pro 16″

(Editor’s Choice)

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

The 16-inch MacBook Pro from Apple is still one of their best laptops although it may not be the newest (see). Even at a size of 16 inches, the MacBook Pro comes with a thin, light, and sleek design that belies its size.

That extra size gives you extra real estate to create incredible designs on a stunning display that is just the beginning of the latest and greatest components that Apple has to offer inside. For content creators, designers, or any other creative professional, the MacBook Pro is easily the best MacBook out there as it also has a set of amazing speakers and a great keyboard to go along with it.

Also check out the best MacBook Pro accessories and best MacBook Pro monitors to go with your new purchase.

2. MacBook Pro 13″ 

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

If you are looking to buy a MacBook Pro for graphic design work, but the 16-inch model is too big, don’t worry—Apple released a new Apple MacBook Pro 13″ with a significant hardware makeover last year.

The (M1, 2020) now has Apple’s M1 chip rather than an Intel processor, allowing it to deliver outstanding performance. You can effortlessly edit 4K – and even 8K – videos while running even demanding graphical applications. The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) also has the longest battery life of any MacBook to date.


2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) – Space Gray

  • Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Get more done with up to 20 hours of battery life, the longest ever in a Mac
  • 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8x faster performance to fly through workflows quicker than ever
  • 8-core GPU with up to 5x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games
  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning


Buy on Amazon

3. Apple MacBook Air

CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches

Not just the best laptop Apple has created, the is hands down the best laptop you can buy if you work in a creative field right now. Packed with a revolutionary ARM-based M1 chip from Apple that powers it, the MacBook Air is a thin, lightweight laptop that offers great performance for video editing and other creative jobs in 4K and over 11 hours of battery life on a single charge.

While many Apple products reach the high end of most consumers’ budgets, the price of the MacBook Air is relative to many other options on our list. However, the ability to not only use Mac apps but also iOS apps for iPhone and iPad make this laptop a game-changer. Even if you’ve only owned Windows laptops before, the MacBook Air from Apple is worth jumping to macOS.

Also see our post on the best MacBook Air accessories and best MacBook Pro monitors to go with your new laptop.

Choosing the Best Apple MacBook for Your Needs

Apple has a long tradition of offering quality products that are built to last and even have great resale value. While in our opinion, the best MacBook available is the Pro with Touch Bar included, it can be a bit too pricey for some.

Any of the options featured on our list of the Best Apple MacBooks For Graphic Designers in 2021 are worth a look and a consideration for your hard-earned money.

Best Apple MacBooks Compared

What is the best Apple MacBook in your opinion? Tell why you love it in the comments below.

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