Differences between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

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Over the past few years, the MacBook has been a de facto choice for professionals. MacBook Air and Pro are compatible with a wide range of audiences. Things can get confusing because both models are available in multiple variations. That’s not all; Apple has added the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips to the mix.

The 2021 MacBook Pro is a breakthrough machine. Apple stuck to the basics. This meant bringing backports such as a headphone jack, HDMI port, SSH card slot, and MagSafe charger.

Place both MacBooks under the scanner and decide which one to buy.

Design decision

Design of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

The design of the MacBook Air hasn’t changed much these days. Apple maintains a signature taper design, with the thinnest part being 0.16 inches. The M1 MacBook Air boasts a slim bezel, a sturdy scissor switch keyboard, and a highly beloved gold color.

The 2021 MacBook Pro shows off a slimmer bezel and a central notch. Apple has abandoned the hassle of touchbars and adopted old-fashioned function keys. Newly added connection ports, MagSafe, and front fire speakers have been added to the bulk. The latest MacBook Pro is thicker and heavier than its predecessor.

Speaking numbers: The MacBook Air weighs only 1.4 kg, while the Pro weighs 1.6 kg (14 inches) and 2.1 KG (16 inches). In addition, Air has a smaller footprint than Pro. That said, the extra weight of the Pro shouldn’t discourage power users. I just want Apple to offer a MacBook Pro in other shades.

Design decision table

Display drama

Both the MacBook Air and Pro don’t make a big difference when it comes to displays. The MacBook Pro is available on 14-inch and 16-inch displays. The MacBook Air, on the other hand, works with a 13.3-inch Retina display.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro display is perfect for creators. You get an unparalleled screen real estate with 3072×1920 resolution. Due to the small display, the resolution of the 14-inch version is limited to 2560×1600.

Apple’s True Tone technology changes brightness and color to match the ambient lighting. All variations of the MacBook Air and Pro offer True Tone technology. The MacBook Pro is growing fast with a Liquid Retina XDR display, 1,000 nit brightness, and a 120Hz ProMotion display.

Display drama table

Which tip is best for you?

Choosing the right configuration for your MacBook can be difficult. Especially because Apple has added M1 Pro and M1 Max to the mix. I’ve listed the chips and detailed which one to buy.

  1. M1: No doubt, the M1 is a decent chipset with higher power efficiency. The M1 comes with an 8-core CPU, a 7-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine. You can choose up to 16GB of integrated memory and 2TB of storage. The M1 chip is perfect for casual browsing, education and bloggers. Interestingly, basic video editing and casual games are also possible.
  2. M1 Pro: The M1 Pro has 10 CPU cores and 16 GPU cores. Other highlights include a 16-core neural engine and a media engine that supports ProRes. The storage front offers 200GB / s bandwidth and up to 32GB of unified memory.

    The Neural Engine handles machine learning tasks. If your work involves GPU-intensive tasks such as 3D visualization and video editing, get the M1 Pro. The chipset supports up to 20 4K ProRes video streams and two external displays.

  3. M1 max: M1 Max definitely takes the notch up one. It provides up to 32 GPU cores with a double memory bandwidth of 400GB / sec. Power users can choose up to 64GB of unified memory. The M1 Max is for those who prefer performance above all else. Tasks such as rendering augmented reality models, creating music, and working with large files are easy.

    M1 Max simplifies complex workflows such as multicam video editing. M1 Max is a great option for tasks that include motion graphics, 3D, advanced modeling, and 4K video editing. In addition, you can play up to 5 8K ProRes video streams. Finally, M1 Max supports up to four external displays.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro: Internal Hardware

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro hardware

The MacBook Air was the first Mac to have an M1. Apple’s custom M1 chipset beats the competition in every way. Performance is unmatched and efficiency is unmatched. All profits with no trade-offs. Geekbench records aggregates at 1705 and 7413.

The 2021 MacBook Pro is available in two powerhouses. You can choose from M1 Pro or M1 Max. The RAM option range is up to 32GB for the 13-inch variant. The 16-inch variant, on the other hand, is available with 64GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, the MacBook Pro has won 1447 (single core) and 12237 (multi-core) on Geekbench 5.

Inside the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Hardware

Bench Mac for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Benchmark tests often do not show actual performance. That said, they still correctly reflect how well the machine works. Broadly speaking, benchmarks can be divided into single-threaded and multi-threaded performance. Take a look at the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro benchmarks.

Bench Mac Table for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Why not buy an Intel-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro?

Unless you live under a rock, you already know that Apple has moved to the M-series chipset. That said, you may come across a MacBook with Intel. There are good reasons why you should avoid buying a new Intel-powered Mac.

Macs with M1 cannot run apps developed for Intel natively. This means that developers have to make extra efforts to make it work. Eventually, it will not be feasible for developers. Meanwhile, the number of Intel-Macs will decrease. Within a year or two, you’ll have an expensive Mac with limited app support.

Apple is rapidly moving to M-series chipsets. The M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and now the M1 Ultra are coming soon. In addition, Apple silicon machines get longer macOS update support. If you plan to use your Mac for more than two years, choose Apple Silicon.

Connection port

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Connectivity

The MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) and a 3.5mm audio jack. Otherwise, you need to use a dongle. However, you can use Thunderbolt 3 to connect to an external monitor or other accessory.

The MacBook Pro is the best choice. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros have four Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports, an audio jack, an SDXC card slot, HDMI, and a MagSafe 3 port. This is especially true when connecting a camera or memory card. , Or an external monitor.

Connection port table

Which MacBook has a better battery backup?

Switching the processor to the M1 line has had a tremendous effect on the MacBook’s battery backup. The life of the MacBook Air is 14 hours. The new MacBook Pro, on the other hand, lasts up to 15 hours.

For the first time, the MacBook Pro supports fast charging. The 16-inch MacBook Pro supports fast charging up to 100W with a MagSafe charger. Please note that the 16-inch MacBook Pro does not support fast charging via USB-C. Looking at things, the MacBook Pro can charge up to 0-50% in less than 30 minutes. On the other hand, the MacBook Air takes about 51 minutes at 0-50%.

Keyboard and ergonomics-adieuTouchBar

Apple has finally replaced the nasty butterfly keyboard with a scissor switch. The Magic Keyboard provides excellent feedback and feel. The keyboard layout focuses on reducing fatigue and muscle aches.

On the front of the keyboard, the MacBook Air hasn’t changed much. Meanwhile, Apple has abolished the touch bar in favor of physical function keys. The touch bar is only available on older MacBook Pros. Many complained that the touchbar didn’t provide a tactile sensation and missed a function key. For this reason, Apple has revived the function keys on the new MacBook Pro.

Keyboard and ergonomics-adieuTouchBar table

Pricing Difficulties: The Value of Money

Nothing is too expensive or too cheap. Buying decisions are always very personal and subjective. The price you pay depends on the features you need. Thankfully, both MacBook Air and Pro are available in different variations.

The MacBook Air M1 starts at $ 999 and goes up to $ 1249. The 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro starts at $ 1,999 and goes up to $ 2499. The base version of the 16-inch MacBook Pro costs $ 2,499, and the top-end version costs $ 3,499. See the table for full pricing details on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Pricing conundrum

Which MacBook should I buy?

There is no definitive answer to this. It depends on your workflow and budget. I believe there is the best Mac for all professionals. Very useful when listing requirements. Use the same to see which Mac suits your needs. That said, relieve the stress of choosing a new MacBook.

Who should buy a MacBook Air?

The MacBook Air is the best laptop for almost everyone. Great for students, marketing professionals, bloggers and more. The M1 upgrade adds the long-awaited computing horsepower. Simply put, if your job doesn’t involve graphic-intensive tasks, the MacBook Air will suffice. Silver lining allows you to play games like Civilization 6 and Counter-Strike: Go at lower settings.

Who Should Buy a MacBook Pro?

The MacBook Pro is intended for users who need a lot of processing power. Video editors, engineers, designers and photographers can choose the new MacBook Pro. It provides class-leading hardware with a relatively compact form factor. The new MacBook Pro is the fastest laptop Apple has ever moded. There are few things that go wrong.

Go to your nearest Apple Store and take a closer look at both MacBooks. Make a note of the requirements. The above points will help you make informed decisions. Please let us know which MacBook you bought in the comments below.

Now put on your thought hat and choose the best MacBook Air or MacBook Pro variant. Avoid buying a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Intel, as described in detail. Apple Silicon Chips boast industry-leading performance and efficiency. Which MacBook did you buy? Please let us know in the comments below.

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