Apple is still selling you computers with 2013 specs for 2017 price tags.
While these computers will work fine, they have outdated specs that don’t warrant their high price tags. You should steer your wallet well clear of them.
I’ve listed the Apple computers you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, and added suggestions of computers you should consider instead.
Some of these computers are part of Apple’s recent back-to-school promotion, where you can get a free pair of $300 Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones. Yet, even with the free pair of headphones, some computers aren’t worth your time or money.
Check them out:
Apple recently refreshed the MacBook Air in June 2017, but the refresh was minimal and it’s still not a great deal.
For $1,000, the MacBook Air display is old and dreary compared to the $1,200 MacBook Pro with Apple’s gorgeous Retina display. More specifically, the MacBook Air’s display has a 900p resolution, which is positively blurry by today’s standards. The MacBook Pro’s Retina display, on the other hand, has a 1600p resolution display that’s far sharper, and it has vastly superior color output.
The MacBook Air’s refresh included an updated processor, but that processor is from Intel’s 5th generation chip line from 2015. The problem here is that Intel is on its 7th generation of processors right now, which you’ll find in the latest MacBook Pro. Intel’s 5th generation of processor is very good, but it’s still relatively old by tech standards, and thus not very future-proof.
What you should buy instead of the MacBook Air.
Overall, you’re much better off spending the extra $200 on the base model of the MacBook Pro than you are buying a MacBook Air. The new MacBook Pros are almost as light as the MacBook Air, and they’re actually thinner at both computers’ thickest points.
If you want something even lighter and slimmer than than the MacBook Pro, you could go for the MacBook. They’re a little more expensive-per-performance than the MacBook Pros, but they are beautiful and incredibly light and slim.
The Mac Mini costs between $500 and $1,000, depending on the specs, and it was last refreshed way back in 2014.
All Mac Mini models run on Intel’s 4th generation processors, which you won’t find on any new computers for the same price.
For example, let’s take the $500 base Mac Mini with a 4th-generation Core i5 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 500GB of storage, and compare it to a $500 Dell Inspiron. The Dell has a faster 7th-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of the latest and faster DDR4 RAM, and one terabyte (1,000GB) of storage. The Mac Mini is a poor deal in comparison.
What you should buy instead of the Mac Mini
If you really want a desktop computer that stays on a desk, go for the iMac. They start at $1,100, and they’re a much, much better deal than any Mac Mini. They also come with a gorgeous 4K display.
Otherwise, if you already have a monitor you like to use, you could go for a MacBook Pro and hook it up to your monitor.
Alternatively, you could stray away from the Apple ecosystem and go for a cheaper Windows PC, like the Dell Inspiron I mentioned above.
Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
Apple’s Mac Pro computers are designed with professional video and photo editors in mind, so they shouldn’t really be considered for most people who want a machine for general work, web browsing, and Netflix streaming.
Still, professionals should take note that the current Mac Pro is an old computer that was last refreshed in 2013, and it comes with a 2017 price tag.
Since 2013, Intel has released its second generation of Xeon processors; the Mac Pro runs on the first generation. The Mac Pro also has the older DDR3 standard of RAM, whereas newer professional workstations come with the latest and faster DDR4 standard. The Mac Pro’s graphics cards are also ancient.
For the price, Apple’s Mac Pro computers are simply not worth it for professional customers.
What should you buy instead of the Mac Pro?
If you’re looking to stay in the Apple ecosystem, you’d do well to wait for the new iMac Prothat’s coming out in December. It’ll be more expensive, but that’s because it comes with a 5K display and the latest and greatest specs. It will even be able to power virtual- and augmented- reality experiences, if that’s your thing.