It’s the holiday season, and you’re planning on buying that special someone a new Mac laptop. So you head over to your local Apple store, or you peruse the pages of Apple’s website, and you find yourself with money to spend but no idea on which MacBook to buy.

Don’t worry! That’s why we’re here. In this guide, we’ll go over Apple’s current MacBook lineup, point out their differences and similarities, and provide you with the information you need to pick the right MacBook for you. You can get more in-depth information in our reviews of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

The affordable choice: MacBook Air

Longtime Mac users may remember when the MacBook Air made its debut nine years ago as Apple’s entry into the ultra-portable laptop market. But times have changed, and starting in 2015, the MacBook was repositioned as Apple’s affordable laptop.

How many models can I choose from? Apple offers two standard configuration MacBook Air models. The difference between the two comes down to the amount of file storage you get. Otherwise, the two models are identical.

What are the prices for the MacBook Air? $999 and $1,199.

What are the MacBook Air specifications? Both MacBook Air models have the following:

  • 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Broadwell)
  • 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1440 x 900 resolution
  • Two USB 3 ports
  • One Thunderbolt 2 port
  • SDXC card reader
  • Weighs 2.96 pounds

The $999 MacBook Air has a 128GB SSD for file storage. The $1,199 model has a 256GB SSD.

What is it good for? The MacBook Air doesn’t use Intel’s latest processor, but it’s powerful enough to handle typical tasks, like internet access, writing, spreadsheets, presentations, and other productivity-related jobs.

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