MacBook Air vs Pro: Which should you buy?

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The MacBook Air vs Pro conversation is growing at an incredible speed, and this is even as the laptops get closer. At the moment, both Apple laptops are more powerful than they have ever been thanks to the M1 chip as well as the Magic Keyboard.

The situation has gotten more complicated when Apple announced the release to the market for the 1,999 MacBook Pro 2021 14-inch, which comes with even more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max chips as well as a bigger mini-LED display with more ports, and a more sharp webcam that is 1080p. Also, there’s a new MacBook Pro 2021 with a 16-inch screen featuring the same features, plus bigger, sharper displays and a longer battery lifespan.

Meanwhile, Apple is benefitting from the switch to Intel’s processors and embracing the company’s Apple silicon, and the results are astonishing and have earned both laptops the top spot in our top laptop list. In the MacBook Air featuring M1 Review as well as our MacBook Pro featuring M1 review, updating these MacBooks using Apple’s M1 processor has resulted in amazing speed and incredible battery life.

These laptops are among the top you can buy right now.

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This is everything you should be aware of to choose the right MacBook to suit your needs when making a decision between MacBook Air and MacBook Air vs Pro. Stay tuned for complete reviews of the latest 14-inch and the 16-inch MacBook Pros.

MacBook Air vs Pro: The specs

MacBook Air 13-inch MacBook Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro 16-inch MacBook Pro
Starting price $999 $1299 $1,999 $2499
Screen 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600) 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600) 14.2 inches (3024 x 1964) min-LED 16.2 inches (3456 x 2234) min-LED
Battery life 14: 41 of web browsing (M1, tested) | Up to 18 hours of video playback (M1, claimed) | 9: 31 (Intel, tested) 16: 32 of web browsing (M1, tested) | Up to 20 hours (Apple M1, claimed) | 10: 21 (Intel, tested) 17 hours of video playback (rated) 21 hours video playback (rated)
Processor Apple M1 (8-core) Apple M1 (8-core) Apple M1 Pro, M1 Max (10-core) Apple M1 Pro, M1 Max (10-core)
Graphics Integrated 7-core M1 GPU | Integrated 8-core GPU Integrated 7-core M1 GPU | Integrated 8-core GPU 16-core or 32-core 16-core or 32-core
Storage 256GB to 2TB 256GB to 4TB 512GB to 8TB 512GB to 8TB
Memory 8GB, 16GB 8GB, 16GB, 32GB 16GG, 32GB 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Ports 2 Thunderbolt 2 Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt, HDMI, SD Card, MagSafe 3 Thunderbolt, HDMI, SD Card, MagSafe
Touch Bar No Yes No No
Security Touch ID Touch ID Touch ID Touch ID
Audio Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos support Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos support, 3-mic array 6-speaker array, Dolby Atmos support 6-speaker array, Dolby Atmos support
Dimensions 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches
Weight 2.8 pounds 3.0 pounds 3.5 pounds 4.7 to 4.8 pounds

MacBook Air vs Pro: Style

The M1 MacBook Air and Pro come with machined aluminum shells. They are available in Silver and Space Gray, and all come with a lip on the top of the base to allow ease of opening the screen. The Air is a tapered-wedge model just like the other models.

The MacBook Pros of the future feature slim bezels and eliminate their Touch Bar in favor of a function row that is dedicated to the user (we are saying goodbye). There’s a small notch on the top to accommodate the 1080p webcam, however, it’s not distracting.

The MacBook Air’s tear-drop (it’s more of a wedge rather instead of an oval) design is legendary, my most unique feature of the Air is the gold color that just looks better than the silver-colored light and dark alternatives.

In terms of portability, it’s the 2.8-pound MacBook Air is still the lightest. It is followed by the three-pound 13-inch MacBook Pro. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is still fairly portable at 3.5 pounds. The 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs 4.7 pounds.

Unfortunately, the latest MacBook Pros can only be purchased in Silver as well as Space Gray.

The winner: MacBook Air to make it portable, and new MacBook Pros with slimmer bezels

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Ports

If you’re looking for a lot of ports and ports, the MacBook Air isn’t the ideal option. It only has 2 Thunderbolt three ports. The 13-inch M1-powered MacBook Pro also has only two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.

The latest 14-inch and 16 inch MacBook Pros have the largest number of ports, with 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, and an SD Card slot. In addition, you can also use MagSafe charging.

Finalist: New MacBook Pros

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Display

The Retina displays on both the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 12 inch MacBook Air MacBook Pro are both sharp and vibrant, and even though they’re close, there’s an advantage to going Pro for the brightness.

Based on the results of our lab tests The MacBook Air (M1) maxes out at 365.8 Nits of brightness, in contrast, MacBook Pro M1 MacBook Pro (13-inch: 434.8 nits) has gotten even brighter.

For color output, however, they’re much more alike. In terms of color output, the Air (M1) scored a 114.3 percent sRGB score from our colorimeter. This just barely exceeds the 110.6 percent rating we obtained on our M1 13.2-inch Pro.

The MacBook Pros’ new models are taking display quality to a whole new level by using Liquid Retina XDR displays. They’re certified for the brightness of 1,000 Nits, and feature mini-LED technology to provide enhanced contrast and colors. Additionally, you’ll receive a 120Hz ProMotion display that is smoother to use.

Finalist: New MacBook Pros

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro the Touch Bar as well as Keyboard

Every MacBook available includes the Apple Magic Keyboard, which delivers an excellent tactile experience and is comfortable.

It’s true that the MacBook Air doesn’t feature a Touch Bar, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro does, and the OLED bar, in truth, doesn’t provide much value. It’s possibly telling to note that both the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro have a reversal of the Touch Bar to make room for a separate row of keys that function.

Prizes for winners Drawn

MacBook Air vs Pro: Performance

Apple’s claims of dramatically enhanced performance on M1’s MacBook Air and Pro have been tested in the lab. In tests using the Geekbench 5 benchmarks, the new MacBook Air (M1, 16GB RAM) got a score of 5,962 and the brand new Pro (M1 16GB RAM) scored a remarkably similar 5,925.

In the Handbrake video transcoding test, which tries to convert an HD video to 1080p it was the M1 MacBook Pro won with 7:44 beating the Air’s 9minutes 15 times.

The SSDs on the M1 Pro (13-inch) are the fastest of all they have BlackMagic Disk Speed Test read rates of 2,824.9 Mb/s, beating 2,692 MBps of the M1 Air and the 16-inch Pro’s 2,540 MBps speed.

In Sid Meier’s Civilization Gathering Storm test, the M1 MacBook Air notched 36.9 FPS, which was slightly lower than those of M1 Pro’s 38.2 FPS. Rise of the Tomb Raider (at Very High settings and 1440 x 990 resolution) was able to run at 29 fps across each of the M1 laptops.

We haven’t yet tested the latest MacBook Pros, but they offer significantly faster performance. This MacBook Pro with M1 Pro comes with the power of 10 cores (up to 8 cores from M1) and 16 cores of GPU (up from 7 cores). For instance, Apple says that the MacBook Pro 2021 has up 70 percent more processing power.

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros support the more powerful M1 Max chip with up 64GB of unified memory and 32-core GPU.

winner: MacBook Air for value, brand new MacBook Pros that are speedy and powerful

MacBook Air vs Pro: Life of the battery

Battery life is another area where Apple’s decision to use its M1 processors has resulted in some significant successes. Its M1 MacBook Air lasted for 14 hours and 41 minutes in testing battery life (web browsing at 150 units), as opposed to its M1 Pro (16: 32), which ran for even longer. Both make the 15-inch MacBook Pro (10: 55) in the dust.

The latest MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch promise even more endurance. The laptops are designed to last 17 and 21 hours, respectively.

Win: Waiting on testing

MacBook Air vs Pro: Audio

The MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro offer great stereo sound (the MacBook Pro is a greater dynamic range) The latest MacBook Pros take it to a whole new level.

The reason is that the 14-inch and 16 inches MacBook Pro offer a six-speaker configuration. Additionally, you’ll get greater bass and an octave less sound to give you a more powerful audio profile. Additionally, the latest MacBook Pros support Dolby Atmos with speakers, not only headphones.

Finalist: New MacBook Pros

MacBook Air vs Pro: Value and cost

Its MacBook Air is still the best value with its price starting at $999 and, in theory, it provides more bang for your money when it comes to speed than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The 13-inch Pro offers a more battery life, but it’s not enough for you to pay the cost.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch represents a significant price increase over the 13-inch version, however, you can get plenty for the price of $1,999. This includes a significantly quicker M1 Pro chip, a larger and more powerful 14-inch mini-LED display that has a 120Hz refresh rate a 1080p shaper webcam, as well as many more ports. However, you’ll need to be working with a heavy job to fully appreciate these advantages.

A 16 inch MacBook Pro is the ultimate Apple laptop for those who want the biggest screen and comes at $2,499. You’ll also get a longer-life battery.

The winner: MacBook Air

MacBook Air vs Pro: Which one should you choose?

It’s a tough decision because we’ll need to evaluate and test the latest MacBook Pros to come to the final decision. Based upon what we’ve learned so far, that the MacBook Air can be the most suitable MacBook for the majority of people with its incredible M1 performance and longer battery life, all in a lightweight design.

A 13-inch MacBook Pro is still good however it’s not as good as the more expensive 14-inch MacBook Pro and all of its improvements. However, we’re betting that at the very least that some buyers aren’t thinking twice about a jump from $1,299 to $1,999. It’s MacBook Pro’s 16 inches MacBook Pro is the ultimate purchase for those who are a bit extravagant with the largest screen space they can get in their home and while on the go.

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