The strength of the computers of the brand “Apple” does not reside solely in the finishing brought to each of their devices. The OS X operating system used within MacBooks is developed to make the most of the hardware chosen by the firm.  These computers also come with a complete software suite: iMovie and iPhoto for retouching, Garage Band for music processing, Keynote, Pages and Numbers for office automation and on.

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Some models also have advantages of their own: the latest MacBook 12-inch has a keyboard with mechanisms “butterfly”, switches to steel dome, and offers the new trackpad Force Touch, as some MacBook Pro.

Key points

You are considering buying a laptop, but you feel lost among the dozens of referrals? Do not panic, breathe a good blow and read the lines that follow.

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In recent years, gloom seems to reign on the laptop market, many soothsayers announcing its decline in favor of tablets. That is largely false. If “old-fashioned” laptops tend to disappear, two other types of machines are booming: laptops for players and ultraportables (2-in-1). On the one hand, the PCs are voluminous, rather expensive, but very powerful. On the other, small jewels of design and mobility, which rely more on a great autonomy than on the computing power. In short, today these two categories of products are the most attractive to very different audiences. When making your choice, it is necessary that you have perfectly defined your needs, bearing in mind the criteria that are most important to you.

 What format?

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From 10 to 18 inches, Appel notebooks are now available in many screen sizes. Often the diagonal of the slab is smaller and the machine will be easier to transport. But the thumbs are not the only criterion to take into account, since the weight of the whole and its thickness when closed again are also to be considered. If you want to have the machine as light and discreet as possible, you must opt for an ultraportable or even a 2-in-1 that has the capacity to transform into a tablet thanks to a detachable keyboard.

Play or not play?

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Many brands now offer machines that are powerful enough to play. Thus, if your PC is equipped with a GTX graphics card, you can quite launch recent games in good conditions. However, one must be aware that video games are the enemy of autonomy and that it will be difficult to play more than two hours on battery. The lesson to remember is this: if I want to play “seriously”, I plug my PC on the sector, end point.

 Power, autonomy, or both?

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We said in the previous paragraph: the higher the computing power, the lower the autonomy. This does not mean that a laptop with a very long battery life will necessarily be slow. The latest processors – at Intel, for instance – benefit from a good balance between very good performance and lower power consumption. But the CPU is not the only important component of a laptop and the democratization of storage of type SSD also allowed the machines to gain in speed. The balance between autonomy and power is therefore quite subtle to find.

A good keyboard, it changes your life

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There is a tendency to relegate this aspect to the second, or even the third level. And yet, a comfortable keyboard with a precise keystroke can totally transform the relationship you’ll have with your laptop. Today, the vast majority of laptop keyboards are chiclet type, i.e. with flat keys and far between. This is a format that offers both good comfort and reduces the overall size of the machine. Enjoying one or more levels of backlighting is also a real plus, especially if you are required to work regularly in a dark environment. To choose your keyboard, there are no 36 solutions: try before you buy. Go to the store, type a few lines on the exposed machines, and make your opinion.

  • Passing the test

A laptop test involves combing many fine aspects, both external and internal. This allows testers to obtain two distinct power indices, which then compare with those of other products of the same category. Make sure to probe the contrast ratio, maximum brightness and colorimetry of the screen, as well as a thermal camera to know its level of heating. To judge the autonomy, launch a Netflix series under Google Chrome, plug headphones and adjust the brightness of the screen to 200 cd / m². Finally, for the audio part, to see it displays the frequency curve of the speakers and the output power of the jack.

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Further, down are the best selected are the two configurations from the Apple laptops: one is dedicated to the nomadic use, the second one has been chosen for its performance and the quality of its screen.

  • MacBook Air 13 “128 GB

The 12-inch MacBook renews Apple’s proposal for ultra-light notebooks. It is true that his delicacy and his lightness are surprising. But this is to the detriment of keyboard and connectivity. And if the touchpad Force Touch and the Retina screen are real advanced, they do not compensate for the lack of autonomy of the machine.

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In short, our choice is always on the Macbook Air, even if it has not changed in recent months, particularly from the perspective of the definition of the screen. The MacBook Air remains the most nomadic brand-to-apple machine (more than 8 hours in the video, Wi-Fi enabled) and enjoys a much faster processor than the Core M of the MacBook 12 “. For a nomadic use, the model 128 GB seems to us quite indicate as its price.

  •  MacBook Pro 13 “Retina 256 GB

In another style, the 13” MacBook Pro Retina is probably the Apple laptop that seems most appealing today. Its performance is not adequate with those of the MacBook 12″, thanks to its Intel Core i5 processor, so as to The keyboard is the one traditionally proposed by Apple and is not sacrificed here, and if we lose the USB Type-C, the connection is necessarily more complete including the presence of a microSD card reader.

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The SSD is still PCI-E, and the more swift advantage is there as 8GB of RAM and the Retina display is the same ilk as the MacBook 12 “. The trackpad Force Touch is present on this model also, making it one of the most ergonomically designed laptops. On the other hand, the machine takes nearly 600 grams compared to the new MacBook and is necessarily less compact. You can just as well crack for this laptop: everything depends on your uses.