MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro – The Ultimate Battle (2021)

Are you stuck in a debate between MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro? Well, then let me solve the debate for you, through a short, yet detailed review comparing the two exemplary products!

When I was looking for a new laptop, many questions were plaguing my mind. Some of them were, What are the best options? Is there a sleek, stylish, and lightweight laptop with a potent combination of power, long battery life, and durability? Then I came across the Apple MacBook range of laptops, which undoubtedly gave a positive answer to all my questions! As we all know, in the world of technology, Apple is one of the big guns worldwide. I feel that Apple has proved time and again that their products, be it a phone or a laptop top the list, against their competitors. These gadgets are a class in themselves.

MacBook Air VS MacBook Pro

More Apple Product Guide:

One of its most famous contributions to the world is the Macbook. The MacBook generations initially stepped into the business with similar looks to that of the iBook. Later, there was a shift in the air as the first-ever Macbook Air was introduced. Since then, the design and features have entirely changed a lot.

I would say, for the better! Hands down, I can trust Apple laptops with a blindfold on. Along with time, the newer versions of the MacBook arrived called the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air- both undoubtedly ahead of their competitors in the same price range. But which one is better when compared to each other, in the overall run? Which laptop will suit your needs better? Is it the MacBook Air or the Macbook Pro? Let’s go through a complete comparison and find out the answer to this question.

MacBook Air VS MacBook Pro: Overview

MacBook Air Overview:

MacBook Air is the thinnest and lightest notebook from Apple, and the Apple M1 chip powers it. Its recent variations have shown lots of improvements in CPU and GPU speeds while its battery life is the longest, which is about 18 hours while it comes with an elegant design—a treat to be expected from Apple.

While it’s powered with an M1 chip, it comes with the glamorous eight-core CPU which is faster about 3.5 times than that of previous generations, while its graphics are five times faster.

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air’s in-hand experience would be pretty elegant as a MacBook Air comes with a thin and light design. Also, other sound disturbances won’t be there. Also, MacBook comes with a great collection of apps, while its SSD depends on the variant one chooses it offers up to 2 TB SSD storage with great speed, to the delight of all the users. Also, the RAM has two variations of 8 GB and 16 GB.

Other features of the MacBook Air include advanced technology, like security, display, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and an array of colors have been a fantastic and clear camera, keyboard, and multi-purpose mouse touch gives that premium Apple feels.

MacBook Pro Overview:

My personal favorite, MacBook Pro, comes with the powered-up M1 chip from Apple. Coming with size variants of 13 inches and 16 inches, this one is undoubtedly delightful. For the creative minds out there who edit photos and videos, this one is going to be at the top of their list as it comes with P3 color Gamut and 500 nits of brightness, thus showing the best possible color combination and display.

As for performance, it is loaded with an Incolor processor with eight cores and 16 threads, so no matter how hefty the color is, the entry-level MacBook Pro has got you covered. While its storage capacity is up to 8TB and memory is up to 64 GB DDR4, but that depends on the variant you choose.

macbook pro

Speaking of Graphics and sound, MacBook Pro comes with AMD Radeon pro 5000 series graphics while it comes with a six-speaker system and a studio-quality mic. So whether it’s moderate gaming, advanced editing, and programming, or even attending meetings, MacBook Pro would give an overall classic experience. The magic keyboard and touchpad are sure to provide you with a comfortable experience. Also, it comes with up to 11 hours of battery life and provides next-level security with Apple’s T2 security chip.

The new 13-inch variant comes with an Apple M1 chip and 20 hours of battery life, and it has eight core M1 GPU, and it has a 16 core neural engine to enable super-fast machine learning. Its thermal efficiency is admirable, and it comes with a massive collection of apps, while it provides up to 2 TB storage.

The M1 Chip Powered Macbooks:

The M1 chip is what we have all been eagerly waiting for. Right from the time, Apple announced the new series of laptops would have this chip. The series of laptops are named based on the M1 chip. It was the most needed change from the Macbooks. The chip allows the Apple laptops to break free from intel chips and rely on homemade in-house built chips of the ARM-based Mac.

M1 Chip Powered

What this chip does is that it gives the user full control of the entire process, from start to finish. The ARM-based processor is the same that is in the iPhone 12. The M1 Chip, however, is built only for the MacBooks. The aim of this chip that has been achieved as well is that it gives the users a more considerable amount of battery life (approximately 20 hours when watching videos, approximately 17 hours when surfing the web), a quicker wake up from sleep response and gives a more extensive range of IOS apps that can be supported by the processing system.

Apple has released two models, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro both of the M1 series. The article discusses the commonalities, the differences, and the respective models’ features, and what it brings to the table for prospective customers.

MacBook Air vs Macbook Pro: Unique features

For different price points, there has to be a difference in the features offered by the laptops. So here are some of the features that are unique to each laptop.

MacBook Air:

  • Colour options: The MacBook Air M1 is available in 3 color choices: Silver, Space Grey, and Gold. Whereas, if you look up the MacBook Pro M1, it is only available in Silver and Space Grey.
  • 16-core Neural Engine: Boosts machine learning speeds by a whopping nine times. This enhanced speed allows us to professionally retouch photos, design and configure smart tools on Photoshop and other software, such as audio filters, a magic wand for a touchup, and auto-detection.

MacBook Pro:

  • Toolbar: The significant difference factor between the two is the Toolbar available on the MacBook Pro M1. Although it’s up to you if you prefer having a toolbar and the software you are using.
  • Graphics: What stands out the most between the Macbook Pro and Macbook Air of the newly released M1 series, is that the Macbook Pro comes with an integrated eight-core Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).
  • Thermal Management: The Macbook Pro comes with an automatic fanning system that gets activated once the internal and external temperature of the body of the computer system is above the standard requirement. Unlike the Macbook Air that comes with a fanless system.
  • Speaker System: The speakers in the MacBook Pro come with a high definition, high dynamic range, and wide sound, and Dolby Atmos support. This is a superb quality that is offered as compared with the MacBook Pro.
  • Microphone System: The MacBook Pro comes with a studio-quality, three mic array with directional beamforming projection. This feature is not found in any other series of laptops and is an upgrade compared to the system available in the MacBook Air.

MacBook Air and Macbook Pro: Common Features

Now that we have seen some unique features to each laptop, let’s delve into the more standard features, and see which one reigns supreme, in each category. We will be comparing the processors, ports, battery life, display, design, and of course, pricing.

Processors:

  • MacBook Air: It has an M1 Chip with an 8-Core CPU and 7-Core and 8-Core GPU.
  • MacBook Pro: MacBook 2.0GHz Quad Core/2.6GHz 6-Core/2.3GHz 8-Core Intel i5/i7/i9 processor.

Ports:

  • MacBook Air: The MacBook Air M1 offers 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. At the same time, it has the ports only available on the left side of the laptop.
  • MacBook Pro: While the MacBook Pro M1 13-inch also provides only two ports on the laptop’s left side, the 16-inch M1 Pro offers you 4 ThunderBolt 3 ports.

 

Verdict

If you need the ports in plenty, you won’t be much happy with Macbook Air M1 as it only offers 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. 2 USB-C ports are offered by the MacBook Pro M1 13-inch whereas the 16-inch MacBook Pro offers you 4 USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports which are placed on two sides of the laptop. In Macbook entry-level Pro and Macbook, Airports are available only on the left side instead of both sides and it might be a little annoying. Hence, the winner between these is the 16-inch MacBook M1 Pro.

MacBook Air VS MacBook Pro: Battery

1. MacBook Air M1 Battery

MacBook Air Battery

The M1 chip declared by Apple enables all-day battery life and has undoubtedly proved their word. It lasts for 14 hours and 41 minutes on the battery test, leaving behind the Zenbook 13 (13:47) and XPS 13 (11:07) while also leaving the previous Intel Macs, i.e., MacBook Air (9:31) and MacBook Pro (10:21) in the dust. The system works for 15 hours on the wireless web battery. The charging adapter that comes with the box you buy the laptop in is 30 Watts power.

2. MacBook Pro 13 (with M1)

MacBook Pro Battery

The MacBook Pro 13 with the M1 chip has proved that it has a fantastic battery life of 16 hours and 25 minutes over Tom’s Guide Battery test leaving the Intel-based MacBook Pro 2020 (10:21) far behind with a vast difference of 6 hours. The system can run for 17 hours on the wireless web battery. The adapter of the charger that comes along with the laptop takes up 61 Watts.

 

Verdict

The MacBook Pro M1 is a lethal combination with excellent performance and everlasting battery life. Thus, it has even outlasted the terrific MacBook Air M1; therefore, it has proved to be in a league of its own. The high power taken by the charging adapters of the M1 Series of Macbooks, promises its customers less time taken in charging the device, and a more lasting battery-life which seems like a win-win situation.

MacBook Air VS MacBook Pro: Design

1. MacBook Air

It has a tapered-wedge design and not much more than a rectangle, making the design unique. Moreover, it is available in gold color while it’s only available in 13inch. It is also equipped with a touch-id for logging in fast, and for added security. The MacBook Air, once known for its sleek and thin body frame, is now breaking stereotypes. Albeit, it was something that made it easy to tell between the MacBook Air and the MacBook pro. In the M1 Series, the Macbook air comes at a thickness of 0.16 to 0.63 inches.

2. MacBook Pro

It also has a tapered-wedge design making it the same as MacBook Air in looks. However, MacBook Pro M1 is available in 13-inch as well as 16-inch and thus looks large but has the same 0.6-inch thickness. It is available in space grey and silver, and not in gold. The sleek laptop also comes with a touch id key, enabling us to log in with our fingerprint securely. This ensures security and privacy. It’s an added advantage over just logging with a security pin, as it makes the personal laptop more secure, and provides a faster log in mechanism.

 

Verdict

Apart from the difference in thickness of the laptops, the only other difference between them is 0.2 pounds in s of weight. Other than that, both the dimensions and the design of both systems are the same. Therefore we conclude that both MacBook Air and MacBook Pro settle at a draw.

MacBook Air VS Macbook Pro: Display

display comparison

  • MacBook Air: It has a Retina display which is also available with Pro. The brightness of the Macbook Air maxes 365.8 nits. Based on the color display, the Air has a 114.3% sRGB rating on the colorimeter which is slightly better than M1 Pro, both 13-inch and 16-inch.
  • MacBook Pro: It also has a Retina display, and its brightness has a max rating of 434.8 nits. The color display is nearly close compared to MacBook Air, with a rating of 110.6% on sRGB.

 

Verdict

If the display to be compared, it’s a close call, however, what makes the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the winner is its brightness and clear resolution.

MacBook Air VS Macbook Pro: Audio

  • MacBook Air: The audio of the Macbook Air is good. My experience with it is satisfying. All the Macbooks support Dolby Atmos playback, which gives you excellent sound quality.
  • MacBook Pro: The audio quality of the MacBook Pro is on another level. Its sound quality is so good that someone in the next room won’t believe that the audio is being played on the laptop. It has a wide stereo and woofers to balance out the audio. It has a six-speaker system.

 

Verdict

Based on the audio, I feel the clear winner is the 16-inch MacBook Pro, as it is equipped with Dolby Atmos playback support, and a six-speaker system.

MacBook Air vs Macbook Pro: Pricing

  • MacBook Air: The MacBook Air is bound to take this point as it is the cheapest Apple laptop available. The M1 MacBook Air is available at the lowest price of the Apple Laptops.
  • MacBook Pro: The MacBook Pro edition stands high on many levels that MacBook Air, but it also raises a high price. Along with the other excellent features which set the bar high, its price also raises the bar to a great height. The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with 512GB storage, and its price starts at $2,399 which is twice more than the MacBook Air’s price. Many think that speed is a major factor but most consumers feel that it is over-priced. I feel that it is most suitable for professionals

 

Verdict

The winner is MacBook Air, as it is jam-packed with impressive and innovative features, at a completely affordable price point.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Which is better for coding? MacBook Air or Pro?

The MacBook Pro is a better choice for coding if you are looking for something a bit more robust, as it can handle heavier workloads with great efficiency. It has a built-in fan, which cools the laptop when it heats up.

 

Is MacBook Air or MacBook Pro better suited for students?

The MacBook Air is better suited for students, as it offers great specs at an affordable range. It also has a long-lasting battery life, and its sleek lightweight design is apt for portability. It’s powerful enough to handle school workloads, without heating up.

 

Which laptop is better suited for multitasking?If you multitask often, then the MacBook Pro is perfect for you. It can handle large tasks at the same time, without crashing or overheating, so you don’t have to worry about losing your valuable work, due to overloading.

 

Can I use heavy video rendering software such as Premier Pro, on MacBook Air?

While it is possible, it may not be highly efficient. The battery dies out soon, and the laptop will heat up and lag in no time. If your profession or course demands a high usage of video-editing software, the MacBook Pro, is a better fit.

 

Which laptop is better for gaming — MacBook Air or Pro?

For heavier games with intense graphics, the MacBook Pro is perfect. For lighter, occasional games, the MacBook Air will do the deed but there’s always the risk of game lags and unwarranted glitches.

 

Conclusion:

The laptops, especially the MacBook generations from Apple, have been among the best in the business. What could be done to choose from the best? The answer has been explained and is clear by now. On various aspects, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have been compared, and as you can see, the overall winner is MacBook Pro.

I’ve been using a MacBook Pro M1 for quite a long time; it’s been a great experience overall. It’s the brighter display, the fan for heat management, better GPU, etc. It’s an all-in-one laptop to prefer especially when you need it for bigger works. However, if the price is the matter the all-in-one MacBook Air is a better fit, for your needs. Previously, I had been advising people to avoid buying a 13-inch Pro over Air as it had been a cut to cut face-off, but since the M1 chip has been brought into play along with the 16-inch Pro, MacBook Pro has aced the whole game.

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