Before going to buy a new Mac, you may want to familiarize yourself with the main specifications and uses of different models. Since Apple produces hardware for various purposes, you could end up buying one that doesn't suit your needs or one that has too many features.
There is no point in purchasing an expensive top model if you only intend to surf the Internet and send emails, while there's no point in buying the cheapest model, only to find it won't run programs or perform tasks that you hoped it would.
Here is an introduction to the five models: Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro.
MacBook Air is Apple's alternative to other PC notebooks. The range is updated with better specs and better performance with each new model. The combination of Multi-touch technology, long battery life and solid unibody construction has set a new standard among smaller, portable computers. It's now only manufactured in 1 screen size (rather than the previous two), with either 128 or 256 GB of storage.
The MacBook Air 13-inch is available with a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 6000, 8 GB of memory and 128 or 256GB flash storage and has a battery life of up to 12 hours during normal use. Upgrades include a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor and up to 512 GB of flash memory.
Who is it for? MacBook Air is extremely thin with a 1.7‑centimetre unibody design that weighs only 1.35 kilos. This makes it an excellent machine for students and others who need to bring their computer with them to lectures and meetings.
Thanks to the fast flash storage the MacBook Air has smooth performance that makes extremely usable for everyday use in work and leisure.
Just like all Mac products the MacBook Pro is updated with better specifications and performance with each new model. This is a laptop that is aimed at a professional level with next-generation Intel processors and Thunderbolt technology.
MacBook Pro with Retina display comes in screen sizes of 13 and 15 inches.
The standard 13-inch model with Retina display is available in several different models and comes with Intel Core i5 processor at 2.3 and 3.1 GHz, Intel Iris Plus 640 and 650 Graphics, 8GB of memory and 128, 256 or 512GB of flash storage. If you need more power it is also available with a Intel Core i5 processor at 3.1 GHz, and 1 GB of storage.
The 15-inch model with Retina display is available in 2 different models with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor at 2.8 and 2.9 GHz, Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory or Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, 16GB of memory and 256 or 512GB of flash storage. Upgrade options include a faster quad-core processor at 3.1 GHz and 1TB or 2TB SSD.
Who is it for? MacBook Pro has the best combination of performance, light weight, compact size and connectivity. This is a laptop that is light and can easily be carried around while still being a very good all-round machine that is powerful enough for the more advanced computer user. It is also suitable to play graphic demanding games on.
Mac Mini is Apple's smallest computer. It is a small, elegant box in aluminum finish containing components found in laptops, and packs impressive performance despite its small size.
Mac mini comes with 3 main configurations: Intel Core i5 processor at 1.4, 2.6 and 2.8 GHz, Intel HD 5000 or Intel Iris Graphics, 4 or 8 GB of memory and 500/1000 GB hard drive or 1TB Fusion Drive.
Who is it for? This is the only Mac that can be used with an independent keyboard and screen, meaning you can choose a screen size and specifications that suits your needs.
Because of the small size, stylish design and numerous connectivity options, it is also a superb computer for the living room. It is very common to use the Mac Mini as a kind of media center by connecting it directly to the TV and the speaker system. This may also be the simplest and cheapest solution for people who switch from PC to Mac. Since it is compatible with other PC equipment you can use your old monitor, keyboard and mouse if you don't wish to upgrade or are on a budget.
iMac is a desktop computer with large screen and integrated computer components. This is Apple's most affordable desktop Mac, and is based on the original Macintosh concept from 1984 that combines a computer and display in one device.
21.5-inch model is available with 3 main configurations: 2.3, 3.0 or 3.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB or 4GB of VRAM, 8GB of memory and 1 TB hard drive.
27-inch model is available with a 3.4, 3.5 and 3.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Radeon Pro 570 and Radeon Pro 575 with 4GB of VRAM or Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of VRAM graphics, 8GB of memory and 1 or 2 TB hard drive.
Who is it for? All iMacs come with impressive performance combined with a delicious, stylish design. The larger and more powerful versions of the iMac has begun to challenge the Mac Pro when it comes to demanding computer tasks. Both models have a separate graphics card and built-in SD card reader for transferring photos from a digital camera.
The is a perfect computer for home, work and recreational use.
Mac Pro is Apple's most powerful computer with endless development possibilities. It is traditionally built up as a desktop solution where the mouse, keyboard and screen are additional.
Mac Pro is available in 2 main configurations: 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor at 3.5GHz, 8-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor at 3.0 GHz, Dual AMD FirePro D500 or D700 graphics card, 16GB of memory and 256GB flash storage.
All versions can additionally be expanded and modified.
Who is it for? Even the cheapest version of the Mac Pro is an enormously powerful machine. The development potential of this machine has unlimited possibilities. It can be expanded to become a machine with multiple processors, cores, huge memory and disk capacity, making it powerful enough to produce the most advanced film projects at a professional level.
All versions of the Mac Pro will be well suited to students and practitioners in the creative industry. The performance is good enough to cope with heavy use of the most advanced graphics, photo, movie and editing programs, while also having the opportunity to expand if you need an even more powerful machine.