Which Macs should you consider buying right now?

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With new Macs and iPads constantly rumoured to be on the horizon, it can be tricky deciding when is a good time to buy.

Now that all Macs have transitioned to Apple silicon, the improvements to what are already great computers are tending to be incremental. That means the performance improvements from for example, M2 to M3, or wifi 6 to wifi 6E, BlueTooth 5 to BlueTooth 5.3 or HDMI 2 to HDMI 2.1, while nice, needn’t be deciders as to when to buy a new Mac. So you shouldn’t necessarily wait to get your new Mac because of a rumoured new model.

The other thing to remember about rumoured Mac upgrades, is that Apple are highly secretive and never pre-announce upgrades themselves. So rumours can turn out to just be rumours, and you may end up waiting years for a Mac upgrade that never materialises. Ultimately, there is always something new in development, and if you wait for the perfect time to buy, you may wait for ever. If you are insistent on always having the latest and greatest, the best time to buy a new model is in it’s first few months after release.

That said, here is the current state of Macs and iPads.

M3 MacBook Air: the recently released M3 version of the MacBook Air is a nice upgrade, although the improvements over the M2 versions are largely a slight performance improvement and the ability to run two external displays in clamshell mode. If you are looking for a bargain, the M2 13 inch MacBook Air is still available as a base model. So it is a great time to buy a MacBook Air.

M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros: The M3 variants of 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros are fantastic laptops and it is the perfect time to buy these.

M3 24 inch iMac: This is a recent release, so it is a very good time to upgrade to an M3 24 inch iMac. iMac can now be upgraded to 24GB RAM, so can be useful in more demanding roles than the previous M1 version.

M2 Max and M2 Ultra Mac Studios: These are very potent Macs, and the M2 Max and M2 Ultra iterations are perfect for heavy hitters in design, photography or architecture. It is logical that M3 Max and M3 Ultra versions of Mac Studio will be released this year, but there is no visibility as to when. So if you need a Mac Studio it’s still a sensible time to buy

M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini: The M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini is a great little powerhouse for mid-level business, design and photography users. Like the Mac Studio, an M3 version is inevitably going to arrive, but there is currently no indication as to when. So it is still a great time to purchase M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini.

iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad mini: There have been consistent rumours of new iPads being released for some time now, and they are overdue for upgrades. So if you can hold out for M3 iPads you probably should. Current expectation is that M3 iPads will be released in May this year.

If in doubt, talk to Mac Aid about upgrade strategies for your Mac or iPad.