The Best MacBook for Bloggers

There’s no better laptop than a MacBook, that’s for sure. But which one is best for you if you are a blogger: the MacBook Air, or the MacBook Pro?

Published Categorized as Buying Guides

A MacBook is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of your go-to options for a blogging laptop.

MacBooks are equipped with high-resolution, pixel-dense Retina displays that render text clearly and exhibit lifelike colors. Powered by Apple’s M1 processors and equipped with plenty of RAM “under the bonnet,” these machines can handle almost any task you throw at them.

They have some of the longest battery lives on the market, all while staying silent—and letting you stay focused on your work—even when switching between heavy-duty apps for photo retouching and video editing.

But which, between the thin, light-to-carry MacBook Air and heavy, all-might MacBook Pro, is better for blogging?

As someone who has both, I’m about to give you my honest take on the topic.

MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air 13.3' with Retina Display, M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 7-Core GPU, 16GB Memory, 512GB SSD, Space Gray, Late 2020

The MacBook Air has been Apple’s signature notebook since Steve Jobs first introduced it in 2008.

I developed an appreciation for these things when a friend, who worked as an editor at an encyclopedia, showed me the age-old MacBook Air that she had been working on and partying with for years. Despite its age, every single component of that laptop worked like a charm.

That was some time ago. Now, I’ve become that friend for others.

I do most of my work on an early-2015 MacBook Air that’s been with me since… err, 2015. Apart from the occasional scratch I’ve inflicted on it by dropping it on my tile floor (miraculously, it survived), it’s very much in mint condition.

Still, the MacBook Air has evolved a lot since. At the time of publishing this post, the best MacBook Air for bloggers is Apple’s 2020 model, a.k.a. the first-generation MacBook Air powered by an M1 chip:

All 2020 MacBook Air models are equipped with Retina displays. Retina displays are Apple’s signature screens that paint a clearer picture than most other screens you’ve worked on (they pack more pixels per inch).

They’re powered not by Intel’s processors, but by Apple’s self-designed M1 chips, which quickly won the hearts of tech reviewers for their speed and capability.

Plus, they feature up to 18 hours of battery life—at least according to Apple—which should give you enough mobility to move around and about at home as you’re drafting that blog post. Or even head out to work from the nearby café.

Compared to most Windows laptops, MacBook Airs are easier to carry around with you. A MacBook Air is so light, in fact, you’ll be compelled to feel your backpack every now and then, as you’ve got no other way of telling whether or not you forgot to take it with you.

For decades, the MacBook Air has been the tool of choice for bestselling authors, Pulitzer prize-winning journalists, and professional bloggers, and for a good reason: it’s light, it’s powerful, and highly dependable.

That dependability extends to Apple’s warranty and customer service, too. If you come across a defect or you’re simply stuck and don’t know how to do this or that on your MacBook, you can always head out to an Apple Store near you and ask an employee for help.

The MacBook Air has more than enough power for you to work with Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or Grammarly’s text editor—even when editing long articles or a manuscript for a book—whether from your browser or installed as an app on your macOS.

Recording and editing podcast episodes with Audacity or Garageband is a breeze.

You can comfortably use less-demand software from Adobe’s Creative Cloud, including Lightroom, Photoshop, and Illustrator, and you really have to be working on large files to get the machine to struggle.

You can also edit footage in iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere. But, especially if your footage is 4K, the Air may struggle, and rendering longer video files can take forever (leave-your-laptop-on-at-night-and-have-it-render-till-the-morning forever).

Pros

  • Light to carry around (it weighs 2.8 pounds).
  • Doesn’t have the Touch Bar, so it’s less distracting.
  • Retina display with clear, readable text and vibrant, lifelike colors.

Cons

  • Some bloggers find 13-inch screens too small.
  • Shorter battery life (18 hours) compared to Pro (20 hours).
  • Stereo speakers compared to Pro’s impressive, 6-speaker system.

MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3' with Retina Display, M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 16GB Memory, 1TB SSD, Space Gray, Late 2020

The MacBook Pro is one of the most powerful laptops on the market, and you can get it in two sizes: there’s the compact, 13-inch-screen MacBook Pro, and then there’s the large, 16-inch-screen MacBook Pro.

It’s also powered by Apple’s M1 chips, but packs more processing power, more RAM, and more SSD space to power your apps and store your files. These laptops are incredibly performant, and they’re the best substitute for a stationary computer.

MacBook Pros also have the so-called Touch Bar, a narrow, retina touch-screen display located right above the keyboard. As much as people tout its featured, I never grew to like the Touch Bar, and I think that having a display right under your display is distracting and impractical.

But don’t let that stop you from getting a MacBook Pro, especially if you are a blogger who has—or is planning to start—a YouTube channel.

This laptop has the CPU, GPU, RAM, and SSD space that you need to edit and render long, 4K videos for your YouTube channel without hassle. This laptop is made for the tasks that would make a MacBook Air sweat; it’s the digital creative’s workhorse.

I bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro with maxed-out specs some time ago as I do a lot of photo retouching and video editing work, and my trusty ol’ MacBook Air was struggling to help me get that work done.

Whether to get a 13-inch or a 16-inch MacBook Pro depends on what kind of screen size you’re used to.

For example, I like the convenience that a laptop with a smaller screen gives me. At any moment of time, I can switch from working on the desk to the couch—and vise versa. In contrast, my big-screened, Windows-powered laptops are sitting in a drawer.

In case your budget allows it, I recommend getting yourself a MacBook Pro with an M1 chip, double the RAM power, and at least 1TB of storage space. That storage space can fill up pretty quickly, especially if you shoot photos or record videos for your blog daily.

Pros

  • Long, 20-hour battery life under normal, light use.
  • Has an impressive, 6-speaker sound system for multimedia.
  • Can be equipped with up to 64GB RAM and up to 4TB storage.

Cons

  • Comes with the Touch Bar, which can be highly distracting.
  • Only has Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you’ll need a USB adapter.
  • The 16-inch models, especially with higher specs, are costly.

MacBook Air vs. Pro

MacBook AirMacBook Pro
Best forBlogging, copywriting, photo retouchingGraphic design, footage editing, programming
Display13-inch Retina display with True Tone13-inch or 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
CPU8-core M1 chip8-core M1 chip
GPU7- or 8-core GPUVarious options with 4GB to 8GB GPU memory
RAM8GB or 16GB8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
SSD512GB, 1TB, or 2TB512GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB
Battery lifeUp to 18 hoursUp to 20 hours

Which MacBook is right for you, then?

If you are a blogger, you don’t have a YouTube channel, and you don’t intend to have a YouTube channel in the foreseeable future, you need a notebook—and a MacBook Air is one of your best options out there.

If you’re already a YouTuber, and you’re shooting, editing, and rendering footage frequently, the chances are you’re going to need the extra processing power that only a MacBook Pro can offer.

If you’re somewhere in-between, you can get a compact, 13-inch MacBook Pro with double the RAM and 1TB of storage. That’s what I got, and, at least in my case, it struck just the right balance between price, convenience, and performance.

My two picks, so that you don’t have to scroll all the way up, below:

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