These are the absolute best Apple products you can buy
They’re pricey, but worth it
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I’ve been an Apple loyalist for as long as I can remember. I got my first iPhone in high school—which, if you must know, was more than 10 years ago—and I haven’t owned an Android since. I also use Apple laptops and computers for my freelance work, and you’ll see an Apple Watch on my wrist every day.
I’ll be the first to admit Apple products are expensive, but there’s a reason that people like me keep coming back to the brand: The products work! Apple offers some of the best electronics in the industry—proven by the fact that Apple regularly comes out on top during our in-house product testing. We’ve done side-by-side comparisons of the brand’s best-selling items against their main competitors, and we’re confident in saying that these eight products are hands-down the best things to buy at Apple.
1. The newest iPad Air
There’s no shortage of tablets available on the market today. In fact, our round-up of the best tablets includes models from Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, and more. However, none of them compare to Apple’s latest iPads.
The 2020 Apple iPad Air clenched the top spot in our testing, but it was closely followed in our rankings by the regular iPad and iPad Pro. What sets it apart from the rest? The Air wowed us with its sleek modern design, amazing processing power, and impressive battery life. This model has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display for a vibrant picture, and the whole unit weighs less than a pound. The A14 Bionic chip offers fast graphics performance, and we loved that iPadOS makes it easy to multitask, giving you the ability to split your tablet’s screen to view multiple applications.
Though a tablet probably isn’t your first choice for taking photos, the Apple iPad Air can capture quality images with its 12-megapixel camera, and its high-definition FaceTime camera offers improved low-light performance for all your Zoom calls. Additionally, this iPad is compatible with accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2, and we also liked that it still includes a headphone jack.
2. The super-sleek MacBook Air
The latest MacBook Air is the brand’s thinnest, lightest notebook, and it beat out laptops from HP, Dell, Acer, and more in our best laptops testing. Some of the highlights of this device include its crazy-powerful M1 processor, long battery life, and incredibly smooth trackpad and keyboard. Plus, I can personally vouch for the laptop’s quality—I’m typing this article on the exact model!
One of the biggest updates with the new MacBook Air is its M1 processor, which delivers 60% more power than its predecessor and allows it to perform on-par with laptops twice its price. It also has a 8‑core CPU that delivers up to 5 times faster graphics, and a retina display for lifelike colors and unbeatable detail. This MacBook also has a crazy-long battery life of up to 18 hours, allowing you to work more and charge less.
Most of these features are also available on the MacBook Pro, but we think most people will do just fine with the less-expensive Air, which really leaves little to be desired!
3. The Apple Watch Series 6
If you want a powerful little computer that lives on your wrist, the best smartwatch we’ve ever tested is the Apple Watch Series 6—at least for iPhone users, anyway. The sleek watch can track your fitness, provide health insights, manage calls and messages, and help you play music, just to name a few of its abilities, and it comes in two dial sizes—40 mm and 44 mm—and a wide range of finishes to suit everyone’s tastes.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has a OLED touchscreen that’s extremely easy to control, and the Digital Crown on the side of the watch allows you to summon Siri with a touch or scroll through various menus. The Apple Watch is compatible with a wide variety of third-party apps, including everything from Headspace to Peloton, and it pulls ahead of its competitors with impressive health tracking abilities, including sleek tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, menstrual cycle tracking, and more.
Of course, the main downside of the Apple Watch is that it’s really only great for iPhone users. It also requires daily charging, but it’s a small price to pay for such a comprehensive smartwatch.
4. The latest iPhone Pro
We couldn’t have a list of the best Apple products without including the iPhone 12 Pro. This smartphone is powered by the same A14 Bionic chip that wowed us in the iPad Air, and it features 5G for accelerated wireless speeds and better performance on congested networks.
The iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display that spans from edge-to-edge for a super sleek appearance, and it also features a ceramic shield for improved drop protection. (If you want something even bigger, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is 6.7 inches.) The 12 Pro offers up to 17 hours of video playback per charge, as well as industry-leading water resistance.
However, one of the main selling points of this smartphone is its three 12-megapixel cameras, which feature a number of improvements. Apple claims this new camera system delivers 87% better low‑light photos, 5 times the optical zoom range, and superior Night Mode portraits. So if you’re forever capturing memories using your phone, this model is certainly speaking your language.
5. The high-end Apple TV 4K
While not our top-rated streaming device, the Apple TV 4K is still a worthwhile buy, especially if you have a high-end home theater with a Dolby Atmos audio system, as it offers more robust support than other less-expensive competitors. This streaming device supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR, and you can use it to access all your favorite streaming services, including HBO Max and Apple’s TV+.
Apple TV is fast and easy to use with an attractive interface that lets you install all manner of streaming apps. The Apple TV remote includes a responsible touch-pad, as well as a voice-control button, but speaking from personal experience, its slim form can be easy to lose in the couch cushions. Thankfully, you can also use your iPhone to control the device, and if you click into a search bar on the Apple TV, it automatically prompts you to type on your phone—much easier than scrolling back and forth to punch in letters on the TV screen.
While there are certainly less-expensive streaming devices that work as well as the Apple TV 4K, it’s a worthwhile splurge for anyone who already has numerous Apple devices or wants to make the most of Dolby Atmos.
6. The uber-popular Apple AirPods Pro
AirPods have become somewhat of a status symbol in recent years, and while they’re undeniably pricey, they’re also some of the best true wireless earbuds we’ve ever tested. The AirPods Pro are particularly impressive thanks to their active noise cancellation and water-resistance, and unlike the regular AirPods, the Pro comes with swappable silicone ear tips that make them more comfortable and form-fitting.
The AirPods Pro deliver around 4.5 to 5 hours of battery life per charge, but what’s nice is that their sleek charging case provides multiple recharges, making them ideal for taking on a trip or commuting. Not to mention the superior noise cancellation and “Transparency Mode,” which is useful when you need to be aware of your surroundings. They provide great call quality and are easy to pair, and overall, we think they’re a solid choice for any iPhone user.
7. The Apple Music app
Looking for a way to listen to all your favorite music? Apple Music ranked pretty well in our testing of the best music streaming services, only being bested by Spotify and Tidal. As you might have guessed, this service works best on Apple devices like iPhones and iPads, and it offers more than 60 million songs and a cloud-based music locker where you can store your favorite tunes. Apple Music also comes with access to Beats 1 radio station, which offers a solid selection of live and on-demand programs hosted by well-known personalities.
Apple Music has a 3-month free trial to let you test it out, but once your trial is up, the service costs $9.99 per month. Unfortunately, there’s no free plan, but it’s a worthwhile expense for those who frequently listen to music on Apple devices—I’ve used Apple Music for years, and I’ve always been extremely happy with its performance and music selection.
Get the Apple Music App on iTunes
8. Apple’s own lightning charging cable
This might not be as exciting of a purchase as, say, a new iPhone, but if you own any Apple product, chances are you’re going to need at least one lightning cable, which are the standard for charging most of the brand’s electronics. When we tested the best lightning cables, we found that Apple’s own USB-C option is the best for fast charging (assuming your iPhone or iPad supports it). Just keep in mind you’ll need a compatible wall adapter to use along with it.
Get the Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable on Amazon for $16.13
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.