buying guides

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on buying guides:

What’s the best Mac for video editing?

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Best Mac for Video Editing
Really, it’s… all of them.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Whether you run a video production studio or you’re starting a hobby YouTube channel, you’ll want to make sure you have the best Mac for video editing. 

Video editing is a good stress test for any computer. Cutting together an epic two-hour video essay requires high-speed storage, a lot of memory, processing power and GPU power. Apple silicon delivers all this in spades. Apple’s chips also come with special built-in hardware for processing video — the Media Engine. 

These days, every Mac is capable of 4K video editing. The best Mac for you comes down to whether you want a desktop or a laptop — and the size of your budget. Keep reading or watch our latest video.

M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Pro comparison: What’s different?

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M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Pro comparison
Should you ditch your M2 iPad Pro and get the M4 iPad Pro?
Photo: Apple/Rajesh Pandey

Apple’s newest M4 iPad Pros pack the best display technology, the company’s latest and greatest M4 processor, and other keen advances. But exactly how do the latest tablets differ from their M2-powered predecessors? Our M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Pro comparison reveals the answers to questions you might have.

Should you upgrade to the 13-inch iPad Pro with M4 chip if you already own the M2 12.9-inch iPad Pro? And what about the 11-inch model? Find out in this head-to-head comparison that pits the M4 iPad Pro against the M2 iPad Pro.

Should you buy a MacBook or iPad?

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MacBook VS iPad
Which is the better choice these days?
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Should your next computer be a MacBook or an iPad? Apple is making the iPad more powerful and capable every year — it might be good enough that you don’t need a traditional computer in your life.

While macOS is still more powerful and versatile, the iPad’s hardware offers unique capabilities that no Mac can match. The iPad is easier to pick up and use, more portable and more reliable. It’s worth considering over a laptop if you don’t do a lot of specialized work.

Here are the pros and cons, MacBook vs. iPad: Price, easy of use, portability and more. Keep reading below or watch our video.

Should you upgrade to the 2024 MacBook Air M3?

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Should You Upgrade to the M3 MacBook Air?
Is your MacBook old enough to justify buying the new MacBook Air?
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you still own an Intel MacBook Air, it might be time to upgrade to the new MacBook Air with M3. But what about if you own a MacBook Air running on an M1 or M2 chip? In those cases, it’s not as obvious if you should upgrade to the latest model.

Now that the newer models feature efficient and powerful Apple silicon chips, the MacBook Air is the laptop that strikes the right balance of speed and portability for most people. The thin design is easy to slip into a backpack and the battery will last all day — even when juggling dozens of apps.

How badly you need to upgrade to an M3 MacBook Air depends on which model you’re coming from. Our easy guide will help you decide. Check the infographic below or watch the video.

Should you upgrade to the 2024 iPad Pro with M4 chip?

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Should You Upgrade to the M4 iPad Pro?
Is your iPad Pro old enough to justify buying the new iPad Pro?
Photo: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You own an iPad Pro, and you’re wondering if you should upgrade to the new iPad Pro with M4. We feel your pain. Announced on May 7, 2024, the new iPad Pro features the brand-new M4 chip. It’s the top-of-the-line iPad with a gorgeous Tandem OLED display and a radical thin-and-light design.

It’s easily upgradable with the new Apple Pencil Pro and refreshed Magic Keyboard. But whether it’s worth upgrading depends on which iPad Pro you use right now. We put together a guide to help you decide. Check the infographic below or watch the video.

Should you upgrade to the 2024 iPad Air with M2 chip?

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Should You Upgrade to the M2 iPad Air?
Is your iPad Air old enough to justify buying the new iPad Air?
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Depending on which model of iPad you own, it might be time to upgrade to the new iPad Air with M2. Announced on May 7, 2024, the new iPad Air features a speedy Apple M2 chip. It’s a great middle-of-the-road iPad, with plenty of storage on the base model and a nice display that’s now available in a 13-inch size. It’s easily upgradable with the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard.

However, whether it’s worth upgrading to the M2 iPad Air depends on which iPad you already own — so we put together a buying guide to help you make the decision. Check the infographic below or watch the video.

M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air comparison: Do you really need the Pro?

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M4 iPad Pro vs M2 iPad Air comparison
iPad Pro or iPad Air: Which new iPad is right for you?
Image: Apple/Rajesh Pandey

The new M4 iPad Pro brings big technological leaps to Apple’s high-end tablet. It packs a cutting-edge OLED display and a fast M4 chip inside the “thinnest Apple product ever.” Upgrades in the M2 iPad Air, unveiled Tuesday alongside the Pro model during Apple’s “Let Loose” event, aren’t as impressive. An in-depth M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air comparison, however, shows that the midrange Apple tablet likely makes a better choice for many users.

So, are you confused about buying the M4 iPad Pro versus the M2 iPad Air? This comparison will help you decide.

Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2: Which earbuds are better?

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AirPods Pro 2 vs. Beats Fit Pro comparison
Which earbuds work better with your iPhone?
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

If you want new wireless earbuds for your iPhone, the second-generation AirPods Pro are likely your top choice. But Apple offers another pair of earbuds you might consider: Beats Fit Pro. In this Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2 buying guide, we’ll compare the features of these two premium noise-canceling earbuds from Apple.

Do these earbuds provide the same features and sound quality as Apple’s flagship earbuds? Find out in this comparison.

15-inch MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 15: Which laptop should you buy?

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Dell XPS 15 vs. 15-inch MacBook Air comparison
It's the battle of the 15-inch laptops.
Photo/Graphics: Dell/Apple/Rajesh

If you are in the market for a slim laptop, there are few options better than the 15-inch MacBook Air. But if you look beyond Apple’s ecosystem, there’s the Dell XPS 15. It packs a slim and lightweight design and offers more value for money than the MacBook. So, which 15-inch laptop wins the MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 15 smackdown?

Find out in this buying guide, which compares the two laptops on their designs, displays, performance, ports, battery lives and prices.

iMac vs. MacBook: Should you buy a desktop or laptop Mac?

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iMac or MacBook?
The age-old question.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Should your next Mac be a portable or a desktop? More than 90% of Macs sold are laptops, and it’s easy to see why — MacBooks are light while offering best-in-class performance and battery life. Still, the “iMac vs. MacBook” quandary remains.

In fact, there are some compelling reasons to stick to the iMac (or other desktop Macs like the Mac mini or Mac Studio). You save money and also wind up with a more reliable machine.

Check out our latest video or keep reading below to help you decide.

M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air: Which laptop is right for you?

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M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air comparison
Aside from a faster M3 processor, what upgrades did Apple add to the 2024 MacBook Air lineup?
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

The 2024 MacBook Air lineup looks a lot like the previous models. However, the M3 chip inside gives the laptops a performance boost, and the new laptops come with several additional upgrades. But in an M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air showdown, what are the differences? And is the new model worth paying more?

Find out in our M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air comparison.

Find the best affordable, feature-packed keyboard for Mac mini

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Photo of a hand holding a Mac mini with the words
You'll find plenty of options in our guide to the best keyboards for Apple's pint-size Mac.
Photo: Teddy GR/Unsplash License/Cult of Mac

Apple’s smallest desktop computer is a powerhouse in a small package, but it doesn’t come with peripheral devices — so what are the best keyboards for Mac mini?

Whether you use a Mac mini for work or gaming, adding the right keyboard is crucial for maximizing your productivity and comfort.

I’ve always been fascinated with keyboards and have several. I’ll show you 10 of my favorite choices for great keyboards to use with Mac mini below.

Why iPhone 15 Pro Max is better than Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

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iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S24 Ultra
The iPhone 15 Pro Max beats the Galaxy S24 Ultra in several key aspects.
Image: Apple/Samsung

Samsung’s 2024 flagship, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, is here to take on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. On paper, Samsung’s newest Galaxy packs superior hardware to the iPhone. But in a true smartphone smackdown — iPhone 15 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra — which one would win?

It turns out that a phone is more than just its specs sheet. Below are five reasons why the iPhone 15 Pro Max is better than the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Why a Wi-Fi 7 router should be on your 2024 shopping list

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Wi-Fi 7
You'll be sorry if you buy a wireless router without Wi-Fi 7.
Photo: Wi-Fi Alliance/Cult of Mac

Anyone shopping for a wireless router should get one that supports Wi-Fi 7. This new version will finally go mainstream this year, and you don’t want to miss out. Getting a Wi-Fi 7 router now makes sense if you want to have the fastest and most reliable internet connection possible, now and in the forseeable future.

Unlike most of its predecessors, the primary goal for Wi-Fi 7 isn’t more speed. Instead, it’s more about reliability. That said, a speed improvement is expected.

Here’s what we have to look forward to.

Best free weather apps for iPhone and iPad in 2023

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The Best Weather Apps
There are SO MANY weather apps to choose from, but these are the best free ones.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In a world with about 10,000 weather apps — that’s an actual estimate, not a huge exaggeration — how do you choose the best free weather app for iPhone or iPad that you can trust and that includes the features you want most? It’s not easy. But a mix of full-featured free weather apps (most with premium versions) and specialty apps can cover all the bases for you.

We’ll go over some of the best weather apps below, whether you just want to avoid getting wet or if you’re a total weather freak who can’t get enough data, visual or otherwise.

Macintosh buying guide: Choose the best Mac and accessories

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Mac buying guide: Choose the best model and accessories
We'll help you pick the perfect Mac.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

When you buy a new Mac, you will spend a decent stack of cash. So, whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, ensuring you choose the best Mac is key. While every modern Mac can handle casual computing with ease, some are a much better fit for certain use cases.

In our Mac buying guide, we’ll look at all of the models offered by Apple today, as well as some of the best Mac accessories you can get to go with them.

Best Apple Watch: Choose the right model and best accessories

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Apple Watch buying guide: Choose the best models and accessories
Gifting an Apple Watch for the holidays? We'll help you find the perfect pick.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is almost an essential for any iPhone owner these days, so it makes the perfect gift for anyone who doesn’t already own one. It’s also one of the more affordable Apple devices you can buy with a range of options to choose from that start at just $249 (or even less if you shop around).

In this buying guide, we’ll help you choose the right Apple Watch for you or for someone else, help you find the best prices, and highlight some of the best Apple Watch accessories you can get.

Here’s our holiday buying guide for iPhone, iPad and AirPods [Video]

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Holiday Buying Guide
Check out our guide for gifting Apple products this holiday season.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You’re running out of time to buy the Apple gifts your loved ones want for the holidays. If you need to buy an iPhone, iPad or AirPods, you need to make a well-informed decision quickly — but how do you know which model to get?

We have a helpful new video that will explain the differences between various iPhone, iPad and AirPods models. Plus, we published detailed written buying guides for your convenience.

iPad gift guide: Pick the best tablet to give your loved ones

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iPad gift guide: Pick the best model to give your loved ones
We have expert advice on choosing the best iPad to give as a gift.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iPad makes a spectacular gift. Apple tablets are very popular, and everyone from little Billy to Grandma will enjoy one.

But there’s a wide array of models to choose from. In this guide, we go through all the options to explore their pros and cons as gifts.

AirPods gift guide: Choose the best models and accessories

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AirPods Buying Guide: Choosing the best models and accessories
Gifting AirPods for the holidays? Here's all you need to know.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A gift that always goes down well with Apple fans, no matter the time of year, is a brand-new pair of AirPods. But it’s important to ensure you pick the right pair out of the four on offer if you really want to impress.

In our AirPods buying guide, we’ll help you choose between AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max — and highlight some of the best cases and charging accessories to go with them.

Best USB-C hubs for iPhone 15

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These are the best USB-C hubs you can buy for iPhone 15, iPad, Mac, and MacBook.
Bag yours from as little as $6.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s decision to finally ditch Lightning in favor of USB-C on iPhone 15 means that you now have infinitely greater flexibility when it comes to connectivity. Whether you want to hook up storage drives, an external display, or even an Ethernet cable, you can do it all with USB-C.

But there is a catch. First, you’ll need a suitable USB-C hub or adapter that lets you connect all the peripherals you want to use through one port. Here are the best USB-C hubs you can buy today for iPhone 15.

Best MagSafe wallets for iPhone

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These are the best MagSafe wallets you can buy for iPhone.
There's a MagSafe wallet for everyone.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

One of the best ways to use MagSafe on iPhone is to make it carry your wallet. It means you don’t have to remember to pick up multiple items every time you leave the house, and it ensures that you always have access to credit and ID cards that you can’t carry virtually in the Apple Wallet app.

Now that we’ve had MagSafe for a few years, there are lots of great wallets to choose from. Here are six of the best that you can slap onto the back of your iPhone today.

Why MacBook buyers should choose M3 Max chip over M3 Pro

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Why MacBook buyers should choose M3 Max chip over M3 Pro
It might be worth going with the M3 Max for the huge performance gain.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Professionals looking for a more powerful MacBook will get really significantly more performance by upgrading to an M3 Max processor instead of the M3 Pro.

It’s no surprise that the Max version of one of Apple’s new chips is faster than the Pro, but many people might not be aware how very much faster it is.

M3 vs. M3 Pro MacBook Pro comparison: Should you go Pro?

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M3 vs. M3 Pro MacBook Pro comparison
Should you save your money and get the M3 MacBook Pro instead of M3 Pro?
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

The base model in the new 2023 MacBook Pro lineup comes with Apple’s standard M3 chip. This model, which replaces the discontinued 13-inch MacBook Pro, costs $400 less than the next model up, which runs on an M3 Pro chip.

The two laptops look almost identical. The big question is, will the entry-level M3 MacBook Pro suit your needs? Or should you spend the extra $400 and get the one with the M3 Pro chip? Find out in this comparison.