Apple’s laptops are more streamlined than ever, with 13-inch MacBook Air and 16-inch MacBook Pro versions. But choosing which MacBook to purchase may still be challenging, particularly because Apple provides some models with unique M1 chips and Intel CPUs.
Here comes our MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro guide. We’ll help you determine which laptop is worth your money by comparing pricing, features, performance, battery life, and more between the MacBook Air, the two 13-inch MacBook Pro models, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro. By the conclusion of this book, you should know precisely which laptop to spend your hard-earned money on—or whether to wait until the next edition arrives.
Apple is likely to reveal new 16-inch MacBook Pro and 14-inch MacBook Pro models with a supercharged M-series CPU with 12 cores. This will help distance these high-end models from the present M1-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, two cheaper versions already outperforming their Intel-powered siblings.
MacBook Air VS MacBook Pro
Apple’s closest competitor to MacBook Air is an entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro that hits the 3-pound scales. This entry-level MacBook Pro gives Apple M1 or Intel Core CPUs an option in exchange for a little higher price tag ($1,299) and greater weight. Most MacBook Pro consumers may be better suited only with M1, but others may be attracted by Intel Core i5 and Core i7 alternatives. Not all Mac software operates on the M1 processor yet; therefore, the Intel MacBook Pro might be a better alternative if you need to run applications including Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, which have not been upgraded thus far.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro’s basic model with M1 CPU has only two USB Type-C connectors, whereas Intel’s enhanced version has four. Additional ports might be beneficial to connect to various devices and external screens. You’ll always need adapters and special cables since all ports utilize the very same oval-shaped USB-C connection, but you may not need to purchase an expensive docking station with four.
The Intel and 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 variants feature a functioning cooling fan, which MacBook Air lacks. Instead, MacBook Air employs passive cooling, which works OK for simple activities like surfing the web but may impair more heavy jobs like video transcoding. 13-inch MacBook Pro’s RAM and storage choices are the same as MacBook Air’s.
|Best for Most||Most Speed for $||Mid-tier with more ports||For Power Users|
|MacBook Air||MacBook Pro 13 (Entry Level)||MacBook Pro 13 (Advanced)||MacBook Pro 16-inch|
|CPU||M1||M1||10th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7||2.6-GHz 9th gen Core i7|
|RAM||Up to 16GB||up to 16GB||Up to 32GB||up to 64GB|
|Display||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)||16 inches (3072 x 1920)|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||4 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||4 Thunderbolt 3, headphone|
|Graphics||M1||M1||Intel Iris Plus||AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB)|
|Storage||up to 2TB||up to 2TB||Up to 4TB||up to 10TB|
|Battery Life (hrs)||14:41 (tested)||16:32 (tested)||10 hours (rated)||10:55|
|Size||12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches||12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches||12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches||14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||3.1 pounds||3.1 pounds||4.3 pounds|