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What’s the best MacBook for your money? Hint — you can forget the Touch Bar

Apple’s October 27 “Hello Again” event introduced us to the long-awaited MacBook Pro updates with the OLED Touch Bar and improved hardware under the hood. It wasn’t the gigantic update a lot of users were looking for, but it did bring the CPUs up to a more modern 6th-generation offering.

More: The best laptop you can buy

After spending some time with the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, we’re not convinced it’s actually all that revolutionary. In a lot of cases, it’s a solution searching for a problem, and its constantly-shifting nature requires more attention that classic function keys.

There’s now a huge number of Mac configurations across five different laptop models, although all of the changes only affect the MacBook Pro, so the MacBook and MacBook Air are still jockeying for a spot in Apple’s modern computing line. The MacBook is thinner than the Air, but the Air is more powerful, so choosing the right system isn’t an easy call.

Instant elimination

Here are the five models of MacBook currently available, counting different display sizes as distinct models.

While that may not look like a vast selection compared to prolific brands like Dell or HP, it’s fairly swollen as far as the MacOS world is concerned.

Right away, we can remove the MacBook Air from our list of eligible systems. It’s not bad, but it hasn’t aged particularly well. It has a lackluster resolution of 1440 x 900, and is still stuck on the 5th Generation Intel platform. While it holds up the bottom end of the lineup as a budget option, it’s hard to justify at the price. You can simply get a lot more mileage about of $1,000 elsewhere. If you absolutely need a MacBook Air though, you can always buy a refurbished model at a discounted price.

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But if what you want is the thinnest 13-inch laptop available? Look no further than the Acer Swift 7. It’s currently the thinnest laptop in the world — about half as thick as a MacBook Air — and it’s got a black-and-gold style that’s sure to turn heads. Oh, and it’s actually on par in terms of performance, with a Core i5 and a 1080p display.

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