MacBook Air, 2021 model
This is the Mac to get if you 1) need a Mac and 2) need that Mac to be portable. At $999 ($899 for students and educators), it’s an excellent value. I would buy this for myself.
If you need a non-power-user desktop, get the 2021 M1 iMac. It’s a hell of a desktop Mac. While I wrote “non-power-user,” the 2021 iMac will likely be the fastest Mac you’ve ever used. If you have a monitor you love, get the M1 Mac mini. I have an M1 Mac mini and even in its most base configuration, it’s an incredibly fast Mac.
iPhone SE At $400, it’s a lot of phone for not a lot of money (in the world of smartphones). 64 GB of storage is fine for most people. Cameras are good but not as good as higher-end iPhones.
While I currently have the iPhone 12 mini (this might be my most favorite iPhone since the iPhone 5), I would recommend the iPhone 13 for most people.
If camera quality is the top feature you’re after, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is apparently the best.
The iPad mini 6 is the best ideal iPad for most people. I bought one with my own money and just love using it when I’m not sitting in front of my Mac.
There’s no getting around it: The Series 7 is a spendy watch. If you can’t afford the Series 7, then just wait until you can. I bought one with my own money.
I had the AirPods Pro for 2 years (or so) and I really liked them. In subway conditions, the noise cancelling was excellent. But since I’ve been home (like most of us), I’ve not needed that. And because of the crackling (a known issue) and lack-luster battery life, I bought myself the AirPods 3.
You should get over yourself and throw a couple of bucks at Apple for the iCloud storage. The prices are competitive and, if you make sure to set it up correctly, your iPhone will back itself up each night. Then turn on iCloud Photo Library and have all your photos available to you even if you fill up your iPhone. Seriously, we’re talking about three bucks a month.
If you don’t shy from refurbs, getting one of these machines from Apple’s Certified Refurbished store is a great deal. iPhone and iPads come with new outer shells, new batteries, and have the regular one-year warranty. If money is tight (or you are smart with your money), this is the way to go. The M1 Mac mini pops up on here from time to time and it’s a hell of a bargain.
What I’m Currently Using
M1 Mac mini, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD iPhone 13 mini, 128 GB iPad mini, 6th gen, 64 GB (as of 24 Sept 2021) AirPods 3 Despite my recommendations of certified refurbished products, the three above were bought new.
Page updated: 2022, May 28