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What Size MacBook Should You Buy?



When you’re buying a laptop for the first time and have decided to go with a MacBook, the next decision is what size screen to get.

This is perhaps one of the more difficult buying decisions when it comes to MacBooks. You have to make the right decision when it comes to screen size, because the display is one of the most important components of a MacBook, since you’ll be looking at it all day and do all of your work on the screen.

Plus, how big or small of a screen you decide one will also affect the weight and overall size of the MacBook, making it more portable or less portable, depending on what screen size you decide on.

Furthermore, choosing a screen size will also determine which MacBook model you can get and how fast it is performance-wise, as a smaller-screened MacBook will be slower in performance than a larger-screened MacBook, so there are many factors to consider here.

With that said, if you’re have difficulty deciding how big or small your MacBook should be, perhaps we can help make your decision a bit easier.

Your Choices

MacBooks come in several different screen sizes, and it depends on which MacBook model you want as far as the screen size choices that you’ll have. For instance, you’ll have a choice between an 11-inch screen or a 13-inch screen with the MacBook Air, while the MacBook Pro comes in either 13-inch or 15-inch flavors. If you’re wanting the fancy new MacBook, the choice is easy there, as it only comes with a 12-inch display.


These different models also have different resolutions. The MacBook Air doesn’t yet have a Retina display, so the image quality will look slightly less sharp and clear than if you bought a Retina-equipped MacBook Pro or even the new 12-inch MacBook. These displays essentially the double the pixel count to provide you with a much sharper image.

Which Size MacBook Should You Buy?

Screen size is something that you have to be careful with. It’s obvious that the bigger the screen, the better the viewing experience usually is, but with a bigger MacBook, the heavier it will tend to be and the less portable that it will be as well. With that said, you have to find a happy medium, sort of like a Goldilocks size.

Many people may suggest that you pick out a MacBook model first and then choose a screen size, but that’s perhaps not the best way to decide. I believe it’s best to decide how big you want your screen to be, and then choose a MacBook model based on that.


For instance, if you want a small screen size so that your MacBook can be extremely portable while you travel around, then perhaps the MacBook Air is for you. The smallest screen size in that arena is 11 inches.

However, if you want something a bit bigger, like a 13-inch screen, you can choose between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, the former offers less power and more portability, while the latter provides more power and less portability. In other words, choosing a 13-inch screen will give you more choices as far as performance and overall size are concerned.

If you want something even larger, like a 15-inch screen, then the MacBook Pro is your only option here, but you’ll get much better performance than with a 13-inch model.


The 12-inch MacBook is perfect for those who find the 11-inch screen too small and a 13-inch screen too big. Plus, the new 12-inch MacBook is Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook ever, so even though it has a slightly larger screen than the MacBook Air, it’s still more portable overall.

For most users, 13 inches will fit the bill. If you’re a super casual user that just checks email or surfs the web, you could get away with an 11-inch screen if you don’t do a whole lot, and it would even save you some money since the 11-inch MacBook Air is the cheapest MacBook that Apple sells, but if you watch a lot video content while on the go and weight isn’t really a factor for you, then perhaps the 15-inch MacBook would suit you well.

However, in the end I’ve found that most people are happy with a 13-inch display on their MacBooks, providing the perfect Goldilocks happy medium.

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