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Your Next Laptop: Our Latest Roundup

The ultimate laptop buying guide of 2021.

Table of Contents

With your stimulus check in hand (or “in the mail), you might be tempted to shop for laptop upgrades. Purchasing a new MacBook cover sleeve or buying a USB C converter for your laptop may both be good “upgrade” options, but you should consider buying a completely different laptop. Whether it’s outdated, has run out of storage, or simply no longer fits your pace, your laptop might be ready to throw in the towel. We took a look at some of the most recent laptop models, and each of the four contestants comes ready to impress us with their different specs. Maybe you’re debating between the MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air, or you’re ready to go beyond Apple products. We could compare every little detail of the computers we’ll be looking at, but today we’ll stick with the basics: price, portability, screen size, and battery life. 

Laptop with the statement storage size is key overlayed.

Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

First up we have the Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020).

Price: $999.99

Of the Apple and Lenovo computers we will be looking at, the MacBook Air takes the cake with the best price. For $1000 you buy yourself a long lasting, high performing laptop. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making ends meet after purchasing it. 

Portability: 2.8 pounds

Very portable. Coming at only 2.8 pounds, the Apple MacBook Air is ideal for anyone looking for an easily portable, lightweight laptop. Take it on a trip or, if you’re working in the office, take it with you to work. 

Screen size: 13.3 inches

You want a laptop you can work on easily, not one that either requires a magnifying glass or takes up too much space in your bag. The 13.3 inch screen is the perfect size to work on, watch a movie, and fit in your bag. 

Battery life: about 29 hours

You read that right. The MacBook Air beats our other three laptops by several hours when it comes to battery life. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (2020)

Our next contestant is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8. Coming in as the lightest computer in our group, this laptop is here to make a statement. 

Price: $1,184.99 

Be ready to spend “a few” more dollars with this one than with the Apple MacBook Air, but again, you won’t have to break the bank to afford it. 

Portability: 2.4 pounds

Here is where the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 comes in on top. Weighing in at only 2.4 pounds, this laptop takes the cake for the lightest laptop. You can certainly take this laptop wherever you go without breaking your back. 

Screen Size: 14 inches

The laptop screen here is a tad larger than that MacBook Air. You may have to be a little more clever fitting this laptop in your backpack or bag, so keep that in mind.

Battery life: about 13 hours 49 minutes

Battery life is admittedly the biggest drop-off here. Now will you be on your computer for 13 straight hours? Maybe not, but you will have to make sure your charger is on hand for any road trips or plane rides you may be taking this year.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch

Next up we have the Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch. This laptop comes in swinging with a larger screen that many love. 

Price: $2,399.00

You may read that price and be a little shocked. While this Apple laptop is more expensive (even compared to other Apple products), it will last you for many years. If you’re looking for a long term investment, this is the laptop to consider. You get what you pay for, and this MacBook agrees.

Portability: 4.3 pounds

The MacBook Pro is on the heavier end for laptops. You won’t want to walk very far with this in your bag, but it will be a trusty pal for work and travel. 

Screen Size:16 inches

Here we have the biggest screen in our roundup. If you’re doing any type of design or just want a nice screen for movies, this should be one of your top choices. This will require a spacious bag if you plan to take this laptop with you to work or on vacation. 

Battery life: about 18 hours 40 minutes

This laptop beats the Lenovo for battery life but cannot quite compete with the MacBook Air. You’ll be able to get a lot of work done without having to be plugged in 24/7. 

Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch (M1, Late 2020)

Last but not least we have the MacBook Pro 13-Inch (M1, Late 2020). If you’re looking for a computer between the MacBook Pro 16-inch and the Macbook Air, this or the Lenovo should be your choice. 

Price: $1,199.00

A little more expensive than the MacBook Air but not quite as expensive as the MacBook Pro 16-inch, this computer is a great price. A little clever budgeting and you can get this great laptop.

Portability: 3 pounds

This MacBook Pro is a nice middleweight in our laptop lineup. You can take it with you and not have to worry about an aching back or sore arms. 

Screen Size: 13.3 inches

Same screen size as the MacBook Air, the screen is large enough for movies, designing, and more while also being small enough to stick into your backpack. 

Battery life: about 22 hours 27 minutes

This laptop comes the closest to matching up with the MacBook Air. A long battery life that won’t have you attached to a plug all day long and is dependable. 

Whatever laptop you go with, hopefully the above breakdown provided some insightful reference points in your search. If you’re still struggling to narrow down your options, don’t worry – Computer Cave has a convenient location near you and is ready to offer tech advice! You may also decide to stick with the laptop you currently have. We can offer expert, professional repairs for that as well. Whether it’s a keyboard repair or a new screen, our quality repair services have you covered.

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