Buyers’ Guide: Mac for business

Looking to refresh your business’s computer deployment? These days, looking to Apple is probably your best option. As well as their power, flexibility and ease of use, they’re also incredibly durable and reliable, so you can count on a better TCO and ROI than with PC counterparts.

Your options are much simpler too – you have a choice of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (with or without Touch Bar) and the 12″ MacBook, as well as desktop computers in the form of Mac Pro, iMac and Mac mini, which can come with differing internal features depending on your needs. When shopping for PC ‘ultrabooks’ and desktops, on the other hand, there simply isn’t one single contender to match Mac, but a whole universe of laptops and desktops sporting differing processors and screen sizes (not to mention vastly varying build quality), which can get rather confusing.

To make things even easier, we’ve broken down the range below, giving recommendations based on the team’s actual experience using Mac within the business, as well as links to buy. If you are wanting to deploy a raft of new notebooks and desktops, you’ll probably want to talk to us first, as experts in all things Apple, including integration, rollout, management and post-sales support. But let’s take a look at the actual products available first…

MacBook Air

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need long battery life

MacBook Air on Jigsaw24

MacBook Air has been around since 2008, and in that time, Apple have really worked on making its internals match its external form factor. One of the thinnest (just 1.7cm at its thickest point) and lightest (as little as 1.08kg) notebooks around, it is undoubtably good looking, but that stunning design also means it’s incredibly portable. That makes it a great choice for anyone who needs to run applications on the move when a tablet just won’t cut it – so salespeople, client-facing consultants and other staff in the field, for example.

Equally, if we are called in to a meeting, we can just pick up our MacBook Air and head down, hooking up to the room’s display (either wirelessly over AirPlay and Apple TV, or through a wired Mini DisplayPort connection) to share with the group. The 11″ model in particular, can easily be stowed away in your bag and carried around all day without putting your shoulder out.

Another feature that’s bound to be a boon for business is the battery life. Apple say the 11″ model will go nine hours without a recharge, while the 13″ model, which includes larger batteries, tops out at 12 hours. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on what apps you’re running, display settings and other factors, but that’s more than enough to get you through a full business day before you have to plug in again. The fact that they rely solely on solid state flash storage also means MacBook Air is speedy too – 17x faster than a traditional 5400-rpm notebook hard drive, in fact.

The latest versions feature:

11″ MacBook Air

– 11.6″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £549 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Air

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £702 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook Pro

Ideal for: Those needing more power from a portable computer

MacBook Pro on Jigsaw24

MacBook Pro is Apple’s powerhouse portable (our designers use it on shoots, and it happily handles rendering and exporting compositions in processor-intensive apps like Adobe Creative Cloud’s Photoshop and InDesign, while they get on with the rest of their workload).

The latest generation of MacBook Pro comes in three flavours: MacBook Pro 13″, MacBook Pro 13″ with Touch Bar and Touch ID, and MacBook Pro 15″ with Touch Bar and Touch ID.

The no-frills 13″ model was described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as “a MacBook Pro for MacBook Air users” and is the lightest and slimmest of the bunch. It’s 12% thinner than the current MacBook Air (at the wide end of the taper, admittedly, but still), and is 13% smaller by volume. Despite this highly portable form factor, the MacBook Pro 13″ still boasts a Retina Display, a 2.4GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, 512GB of flash storage and 16GB RAM, to make it the clear winner if you need a combination of power and portability.

The other two MacBook Pro models features Apple’s Touch ID biometric sensor, allowing users to log in, switch accounts and even make purchases simply by scanning a fingerprint. It also means that these models will support biometric security measures and two-factor authentication, so if security is your top priority, these are the laptops for you.

These models are the first to feature Apple’s unique Touch Bar, a Retina-quality display that sits where the function keys used to and offers context-aware shortcuts to common tasks. For example, in Mail, you’ll see keys for sending and replying to mail, while in a video editing app you’ll see your timeline in miniature – great for helping your creatives work more quickly and intuitively.

All three models use the latest USB-C standard which, depending on which adaptor you’re using, can act as a power cable, DisplayPort connection, Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI port or VGA port, meaning you can use the MacBook Pro as the basis of a much larger workstation with desktop storage and multiple monitors.

13″ MacBook Pro

– 13.3″ widescreen Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Dual-core Intel Core i7 processors.

– Intel Iris 540 graphics.

– From £1347 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

– 13.3″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Dual core Intel Core i7 processors.

– Intel Iris 550 graphics.

– From £1449 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

– 15.4″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Quad-core Intel Core i7 processors.

– AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics processor.

– From £1947 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need maximum energy efficiency

MacBook on Jigsaw24

The 12″ MacBook joined the Mac notebook lineup in 2015. It was the first non-pro Mac notebook to feature a Retina display and also the first to come in a range of colours. While it’s not as powerful as the MacBook Pro and Air, it’s still speedy, complete with the new Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of flash storage.

Apple say it’s also their most energy efficient computer, using just five watts of power, and doing away with the fan for silent running. Like the MacBook Pro range, it takes advantage of the USB-C standard to combine power, video and ultrafast data transfer into a single cable, so you will want to invest in USB-C adaptors if your staff opt for this model.

12″ MacBook

– 12″ Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– 8GB RAM.

– Core m processor.

– Intel HD Graphics 5300.

– Gold, silver or space grey colour schemes.

– From £1035 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac Pro

Ideal for: Video and heavy creative work

Mac Pro on Jigsaw24

Moving on to desktop workstations, we have the Mac Pro – Apple’s workhorse. While you may not need 64GB RAM or 12 cores of processing power for everyday business tasks and systems, if you have an in-house creative team, they’ll thank you for investing in Mac Pro, the industry standard for design work, and video and audio editing.

This latest generation of Mac Pro, released in 2013, introduced a radical new design. Ditching the classic tower form factor in favour of a sleek cylindrical casing, Mac Pro manages to pack all its internals into a 25cm high, 5kg casing that will happily sit on a desk, and it comes with enough ports that you’re able to connect all the displays, storage and peripherals you require. And, if there’s a specific configuration you need, you can add your own RAM, processors and storage with our online Mac Pro Configurator.

Mac Pro

– Up to 2.7GHz 12-core processor.

– Up to 1TB PCIe-based flash storage.

– Up to 64GB (4x16GB) memory.

– Up to Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM.

– Support for three 4K displays,

– Six Thunderbolt ports.

– From £1799 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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iMac

Ideal for: Creative teams or those needing an all-in-one workstation

iMac on Jigsaw24

iMac has long been the choice of graphic designers and imaging specialists for its power and large display, but it’s perfect for the office too. An all-in-one workstation, all the internals and connectivity are neatly contained within its incredibly slim form factor, so there’s no desk clutter, and it comes with an Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad too. In 2014, Apple also launched a 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display, which is great for seeing content with an increased level of colour and detail, as well as being ideal if you want more screen real estate so you have a larger workspace to fit your toolbars, and work on the content itself.

21″ iMac

– 21″ widescreen display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.1GHz processor.

– From £869 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

21.5″ iMac with 4K Retina display

– 21.5″ widescreen display.

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.3GHz processor.

– From £1199 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

27″ 5K iMac with Retina display

– 27″ 5K Retina display.

– Up to 3TB Fusion storage.

– Up to 8GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Quad Core i7 4.0GHz processor.

– From £1449 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac mini

Ideal for: General office work

Mac mini on Jigsaw24

The smallest of Apple’s desktop options, Mac mini is ideal for the desk, but that doesn’t mean it’s lightweight. With up to 16GB RAM and 3GHz processing power, it’ll breeze through spreadsheets, as well as more processor-intesive tasks, while using up a tiny amount of power. All you need is to hook it up to a display, and add a keyboard and mouse.

Mac mini

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Dual Core i7 3GHz processor.

– From £395 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Want to know more about MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or just pop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Or fill in the form below to find out about our b7 proof of concept trial for executives that lets you see the benefits of Mac – such as improved productivity and lower total cost of ownership – before you invest.

Shariff
Shariff
Call us: 03332 409 306

One thought on “Buyers’ Guide: Mac for business

  1. Hi, I would like to buy an imac or mac mini for small/medium design for print jobs. I have been out of the market for some years and would appreciate some advice. I would like 27′ display but do not need retina. I would like 16 GBRam and had been advised to get a 2012 mac mini which doesn’t seem available anymore. Any suggestions, thanks

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