Apple MacBook Pro Vs MacBook Air – [Full Detailed Review]

The MacBook Pro from Apple is an ideal laptop for those who want to focus on high performance, especially for those using software-intensive CPU and GPU as the MacBook Air. However, the MacBook Air is a reliable option for students, office users, and professionals who perform basic tasks like watching movies, surfing the Internet, or using Microsoft office applications, etc.

Both machines feature a premium design, large screen size, and long battery life, either of which can easily last an entire day on a single charge. And even the current models you receive offer stable performance over several years and are guaranteed to receive the next macOS software updates for the next 5-6 years or more.

Whether you are from France, Belgium, Quebec (Canada), Switzerland or even Morocco, Algeria, or Tunisia, if you are planning to buy a new laptop and have decided to get a MacBook, but don’t know how to choose between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, then you’ve come to the right place. Our advice is to choose the model that can run all the software you use, without sacrificing performance.

Both machines are great, but if you’re looking for better value, here’s an in-depth comparison between the 3 models: 13-inch MacBook Air, 16-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple MacBook Pro Vs MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Air

Specifications:

  • Apple MacBook AirApple MacBook Pro 13.3 “Apple MacBook Pro 16”
  • Display resolution: 13.3 inch (2560 x 1600) retina 13.3 inch (2560 x 1600) retina – 16 inch (3072 x 1920) retina
  • CPU Intel Core i3 10th GenIntel Core i5 10th Gen – Intel Core i5 8th GenIntel Core i7 9th GenIntel Core i9 9th Gen
  • Intel Iris Plus GPUIntel Iris Plus Graphics 645 – AMD Radeon Pro 5300MAMD Radeon Pro 5500M
  • Storage 256GB to 2TB128 – GB to 2TB512GB to 8TB
  • RAM Memory8 / 16GB – 8 / 16GB16 / 32 / 64GB
  • I / O or Ports2 Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C2 Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C4 Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C
  • Safety feature touch InTouch
  • Touch bar Physical function keypad – Touch bar
  • Keyboard Butterfly keyboard Magic keyboard Magic keyboard
  • Sound and speakers – A stereo speaker with Dolby Atmos support Stereo speaker with high definition sound 6-Speaker with Dolby Atmos support
  • Weight 2.8 lbs 3 lbs 4.3 lbs
  • Colors Silver / Space Gray / Gold Silver / Space Gray Silver / Space Gray
  • Battery life 11 hours 10 hours 11 hours
Apple MacBook Pro Vs MacBook Air

Design

Apple is known for making laptops that look premium and these two models are no different. The MacBook Air and Pro both have a metal and aluminum unibody design with a thin and light chassis, which also makes the machines structurally stable. All three models do not have a flexible keyboard, which also ensures a premium typing experience. In addition, the metal body helps dissipate the heat of the machines.

  • The MacBook Air is lighter, thinner, and weighs 2.8 pounds, making it a reliable candidate for those who travel a lot.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs 3 pounds.
  • The 16-inch variant weighs 4 pounds. (Also, for your information, this is one of the heaviest laptops from Apple).
  • All 3 models have a large Apple logo on the cover, which obviously does not light up like the previous generation of Apple MacBooks. From a distance, all three models look exactly the same.
  • However, the Air is much more elegant, with good weight balance on all three models.

As for the color options, the MacBook Air is available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold colors, while the MacBook Pro has only two color options with Silver and Space Gray colors. Color is one of the least important factors when buying a laptop, but for some business profiles, it can be important. If you are looking for the gold-colored variant, then consider the MacBook Air.

All three devices are equipped with a large trackpad, the best in the industry. It offers multi-finger gesture support with precise gesture tracking. There is also a Touch ID near the power button (top row of the keyboard) which makes it possible to secure your laptop and log into the device with very little difficulty.

When it comes to design, these three laptops don’t compromise on this aspect. And it all comes down to weight. The MacBook Pro series may feel heavier than the MacBook Air, but it’s not heavy compared to a lot of laptops with similar specs.

The MacBook Air is a clear winner in terms of design, due to its lightness and elegance, but it does compromise on some aspects like CPU, GPU, etc. So before you consider it because of its weight and sleek appearance, make a list of the software you use and see if the minimum requirements needed to run it are lower than the machine and you are good to go. !

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Display

No matter how good a laptop is, if it is equipped with a poor display, the overall user experience will suffer as the screen will show all the elements processed by the GPU and CPU.

The 3 models all come with QHD or 2K resolution and Apple calls it the Retina display. This is an IPS LED panel with True Tone technology that can change the color science of the display according to the outdoor lighting conditions, making it really comfortable and safe for the human eye.

  • The Apple MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch display with a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and a peak brightness of 400 nits.
  • The 13.3-inch variant of the MacBook Pro also has a screen of the same resolution as the MacBook Air with a slightly brighter panel, with a peak brightness of 500 nits.
  • The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a slightly higher resolution display of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels, which offers 500 nits of peak brightness.

For some of them, the display on these 3 MacBooks will appear “oversaturated” but this is the type of experience that 85% of users want. Besides, all of them have the best screen suitable for watching movies, YouTube videos, or watching TV shows on Netflix. In fact, the MacBook Pro takes advantage when watching HDR content because it uses a brighter panel and it also supports the P3 color gamut (which can reproduce 25% more colors compared to the sRGB calibrated panel on the MacBook Air. Apple).

The 13.3-inch MacBook Air and Pro have a thick bezel on the top and sides of the screen. In contrast, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has thinner bezels and a higher screen-to-body ratio, making it one of the more compact laptops and the overall form factor is almost PC-like. ordinary 15-inch laptop.

The sharper and brighter panel of Apple’s MacBook Pro will give an edge over the MacBook Air, especially for those who work with photo and video editing thanks to the support for a larger color space. For regular use, this shouldn’t be a problem, as the three panels provide a great user experience and users can also select different display calibration settings on the three models from the setting menu.

The MacBook Pro has a slight edge over the MacBook Air when it comes to displaying technology. In our opinion, the display of the 16-inch variant is the best of the 3 models. However, you should know that the laptop weighs a bit more than other models. Additionally, second place goes to the 13-inch MacBook Pro (because it’s 100 nits brighter than the MacBook Air and comes with the P3 color gamut).

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Keyboard

Although a good keyboard has more benefits for people who spend a lot of time typing, like students, programmers, writers/bloggers, or research professors. But you will still need a good keyboard even if you are a regular user who only wants a laptop for surfing the internet, answering emails, or posting on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter.

The MacBook Pro and MacBook Air both offer a neat keyboard that allows for a great typing experience. Apple introduced the butterfly mechanism keyboard, which is now replaced by the Magic Keyboard.

  • Both the MacBook Air and the 16-inch MacBook Pro have the Magic Keyboard.
  • The 13-inch MB Pro comes with the butterfly mechanism.

MacBook Pro models also feature a touch bar on the top row, which is a vertical OLED display that offers various controls depending on the application/software open and replaces the old function keyboard layout. However, the MacBook Air has a physical layout of the function keys, which again offers various shortcut keys to control media, volumes, and other aspects of the machine.

However, the butterfly mechanism keyboard offers less stroke for the keys and is much quieter than the Magic keyboard. But they face a few issues like sticky, non-functional, repetitive keys. However, the Magic Keyboard features a redesigned scissor-switch mechanism (where the plastic gaskets have been replaced with the glass-reinforced plastic, making the keys more durable).

In addition, the butterfly mechanism keyboard is more susceptible to damage, and even a small amount of dust can damage the keys, and the keyboard replacement is quite expensive!

Ports

There was a time when Apple MacBooks offered a plethora of ports or input/output options. That changed in 2015 when Apple released a MacBook that had a single USB Type-C port. Since then, every machine the company has released comes with USB Type-C ports (at least two) as well as ” a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack with support for audio output and audio input (microphone support).

This is not only the ordinary USB Type-C but also Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can charge the laptop, connect USB accessories and plug in an external display.

Apple’s MacBook Air has two USB Type-C ports similar to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the large 16-inch MacBook Pro has 4 USB Type-C ports, 2 on each side.

Since most things happen in the cloud, the MacBook Air with just two ports should be good enough for regular use. However, to connect accessories like a regular hard drive or USB-A storage device, consider getting a docking station.

The Apple MacBook Pro with 4 USB Type-C ports will come in handy for those who connect the laptop to an external display and use additional accessories like a card reader, external GPU, and other USB devices. Note that Apple sells first-party dongles, which offer higher data transfer (more bandwidth) than third-party

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Portability

Portability is a concept that has several definitions. As for the laptop, this is the factor that determines the ease with which one can carry the device in the course of everyday life. Most Apple MacBooks are very portable, even the 16-inch MacBook Pro. However, how does the Pro stack up against the Air when it comes to portability? Let’s check the same.

The 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro has a larger form factor, but it can be carried in a regular backpack that can fit a 15-inch laptop. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are much smaller in terms of form factor and are also lighter.

  • The MacBook Air weighs 2.8 pounds
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs 3 pounds
  • The 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs 4.3 pounds.
  • The MacBook Air, which is much lighter than the two MacBook Pro models, is much easier to carry and offers an almost similar set of features and form factor.

If you need a laptop with a big screen, the Apple MacBook Pro with a 16-inch laptop seems like a good option, thanks to its larger screen with a higher screen-to-body ratio. However, if you want a lightweight device, the 13-inch MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is also a reliable option.

Battery life

If you prefer a laptop that you can connect to an external display, the MacBook Pro might meet your needs. However, if you just need a laptop with minimal ports, the MacBook Air seems to be fine. If you want more ports, you may need to consider the older model MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with a dedicated SD card slot and USB-A ports.

  • In typical Apple fashion, all of these models can last an entire day on a single charge, and here are the details on the same.
  • The MacBook Air has a 49.9 watt-hour battery with 30W fast charging support.
  • The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro has a slightly larger battery, with a capacity of 58.2 watt-hours, which allows fast charging of 61 W.
  • The 16-inch MacBook Pro model has a 100 watt-hour battery with 96W fast charging support. These fast chargers are included in the retail pack with a USB Type C port.

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Based on battery life:

  • MacBook Air can last up to 11 hours (surfing the Internet and watching videos)
  • Likewise, the 13-inch MacBook Pro can last 10 hours with both wireless internet browsing and video playback.
  • The 16-inch MacBook Pro can last 11 hours while surfing the web and watching movies.
  • The MacBook Air has a weaker TDP processor than the Pro, which is why it consumes less battery. However, the problem with the Air model is that it can struggle to get some software to work
  • because of the low power processor. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro offers higher performance and can run professional software without any problem.

The 3 models offer a similar autonomy, although they have different characteristics, thanks to the larger batteries of the Pro models. If you watch a lot of videos and movies on the laptop, the MacBook Air seems like a good option, as it can offer up to 12 hours of battery life. Pro models, on the other hand, are more performance-oriented, which doesn’t compromise on battery life.

Audio

Although most laptops have a headphone jack, including Apple MacBooks, a laptop/notebook also provides a great sound experience, where it will come in handy for giving presentations, watching movies, or even listening. music on platforms like Spotify or Amazon Prime Music.

  • The Apple MacBook Air is equipped with a stereo speaker with Dolby Atmos profile support and a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, which can be used to connect wired headphones and headsets, such as on Pro models.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro also comes with a stereo speaker with high dynamic range support. Both models include a three-row microphone that can clearly record sound.
  • The 16-inch MacBook Pro takes audio performance a step further which consists of six high-fidelity speaker setups with forced-suppressed woofers and Dolby Atmos support. It is equipped with a studio-quality three-dimensional matrix with a high signal-to-noise ratio, which makes it particularly suitable for music production, podcasting, etc.

Whether on paper or in real life, the 16-inch MacBook Pro features the best possible speaker setup, capable of reproducing true surround sound like an audio experience, especially when viewing content that supports Dolby Atmos.

The MacBook Air is no slouch, especially considering the size of the laptop, it is one of the best performing 13 inch laptops out there, producing crystal clear sound even at high performance levels. high volume.

If your top priority in choosing a laptop is sound quality, then get the 16-inch MacBook Pro from Apple. If you’re happy with a laptop that offers sufficient sound quality, the 13.3-inch MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is also a good option.

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Performance

While these models have similar characteristics for almost any part when it comes to real-life performance, these laptops are completely different machines. The Apple MacBook Air is an entry-level laptop that comes in two variants that use either the Intel Core i3 (dual-core) or the Intel Core i5 (quad-core) processor with a clock speed of 1 , 1 GHz and a Turbo Boost frequency of 3.5 GHz. Graphics are handled by the Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which can handle light GPU-centric tasks.

The MacBook Air equipped with the Intel Core i3 processor obtains 1000 points on the performance of the single-core CPU and 1994 points on the performance of the multi-core CPU on Geekbench 5. Likewise, the MacBook Air improved with the Core i5 processor offers 1055 points on the performance of a single core and 2648 points on the performance of a multi-core processor. Software that can use multi-core resources will perform better on MacBook Air with Intel Core i5 processor.

The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro has equipped with the Intel Core i5 (quad-core) processor with a base clock speed of 1.4 GHz and a Turbo Boost clock speed of 3.9 GHz. Thanks to the higher clock speed and higher TDP, this machine is significantly faster and more efficient on high-end software. Likewise, the integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 can power an external display with up to 5K resolution without any problem.

It gets 953 points on a single score, which is slightly lower than the MacBook Air because it uses an 8th gen Intel processor. However, when it comes to multi-corrector performance, this notebook takes the lead with a score of 3909 points, a much better performance than the Air, and this score indicates that tasks like video editing and rendering will be fine. easier on the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro than on the Air.

The larger and more powerful 16-inch MacBook Pro is powered by either the Intel Core i7 (base clock speed of 2.6 GHz and Turbo Boost clock speed of 4.6 GHz) or by the Intel Core i9, which is a six-core processor operating at 2.3 GHz clock speed and 4.8 GHz Turbo Boost clock speed, which achieves a level of higher performance for software, which can use multi-core processors.

The base model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the Intel Core i7 processor scores 1026 points on single core and 5412 points on multiple, offering more than double the performance of the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro with the 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processor scores 1117 points for single-core and 6976 points for multi-core, making it the most powerful MacBook Pro ever.

This laptop is also equipped with the Intel UHD 630 GPU. For those who want a little more performance, they can opt for the high-end model, which comes with the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4 GB of video memory or the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4 GB of video memory, both using GDDR6 technology, providing higher bandwidth.

For watching videos, browsing the web and taking notes, Apple’s MacBook Air is more than enough.
For those who want a bit more performance, the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is a good option.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro with dedicated graphics and a high-end CPU with a higher TDP is best suited for video editing, photo editing , graphic design, and other resource-intensive tasks.

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Value and price

Apple MacBooks are known to be a bit more expensive than the competition.

  • The base variant of the new MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Intel’s Core i3 sells for $ 999.
  • The base variant of the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with 8th Gen Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage retails for $ 1,299.
  • Finally, the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage sells for $ 2,399, making it the most expensive.

When it comes to value for money, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro come close with a price difference of just $ 300. Although the MacBook Air offers twice the storage capacity of the MacBook Pro, it has a slightly better screen performance, a more powerful GPU, and a CPU with a similar lifespan.

If you want a MacBook without any compromise, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the device to consider, as it offers desktop-class computing , a great audio experience, a large frameless display, and more USB Type-C ports. Choosing between the MacBook Air and the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is a bit more complex.

They offer almost similar functionality except that it has a bit more powerful processor. The MacBook Air keyboard is much better than the MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard. So, if you want a laptop to do a lot of typing tasks, the MacBook Air performs better than the Pro model because it is lightweight and has a better keyboard performance than the MacBook Pro.

Plus, the 16-inch MacBook Pro costs almost double the MacBook Air, which makes it very affordable. Overall, all three variants have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The dashboard

Factor Apple MacBook AirApple MacBook Pro 13.3 “Apple MacBook Pro 16”

Apple MacBook Pro Vs MacBook Air – FAQ’s

What is the best Apple laptop for power users?

Apple's MacBook Pro with its 16-inch Retina display is Apple's laptop for heavy-duty users as it offers up to 8TB of RAM and 64GB of RAM, making it ideal for users who multitask a lot. In addition, the laptop is equipped with the high-end Intel Core i9 processor, which can run software like Adobe Photoshop or FinalCut Pro X without any problem. In addition, the laptop comes with a high-quality screen with 2K resolution and a high-end speaker system with a 6-speaker unit, providing a premium audio experience.

What's the best MacBook for most people?

Most people can go for the Apple MacBook Air with 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor or Intel Core i5 processor because it is a thin and light laptop which makes it easy to carry around. Likewise, it is also equipped with a new and improved Magic keyboard, which offers a great typing experience similar to that of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. For regular users, the MacBook Air seems to do the trick, as it is much more affordable than the MacBook Pro and is also easy to carry.

What's the best solution for multitasking? Pro or Air?

Multitasking tends to use a lot of software at the same time, opening multiple tabs on the web browser and running apps in the background. I recommend the MacBook Pro over the MacBook Air for multitasking, which requires a more powerful processor and more RAM. So the entry-level 16-inch MacBook Pro is a good laptop to consider.

Is the MacBook Air worth buying?

The 2020 Apple MacBook Air is worth buying, especially considering the upgrade it offers. The base model is now equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. The new Magic Keyboard is also a good upgrade over the previous generation MacBook Air. It is also equipped with a 10th generation Intel processor, which helps provide good battery life for the laptop while maintaining a thin and light design.

Should I buy a MacBook Pro or a Windows laptop?

It depends entirely on individual needs. I recommend users to get a MacBook Pro rather than a Windows laptop because one can install the Windows operating system using the Bootcamp option. However, it is not easy to install macOS on a Windows laptop. However, if you are using software which is mostly available on the Windows platform, then get a Windows laptop.

What's the best Apple laptop to buy?

Overall, the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the Intel Core i9 processor, 64GB of RAM, and 8GB of AMD Radeon 5500M GPUs is the best Apple laptop to buy. It is equipped with a 6-core processor and a battery with a capacity of 100 watt-hours, which makes it a very capable laptop in terms of autonomy and it also offers a new and improved Magic keyboard. Overall, the MacBook Pro is the best laptop you can consider.

Conclusion

Unlike smartphones, which most of us upgrade every year, buying a laptop is a long-term commitment, where you use it for at least three years. And Apple MacBooks are known to offer some of the best features, even though these laptops cost a bit more than Windows laptops with similar specs.

The Apple MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air are the two different offerings, which cater to different user groups. The MacBook Air is best suited for students, who like a laptop with a thin and light design, with good battery life and a quality display. The more powerful MacBook Pro will come in handy for professionals like photo and video editors.

If you have a budget of over $ 1,000, then the Apple MacBook Air is a great device. However, we suggest users go for the top variant of the MacBook Air which offers a quad-core processor which is important in 2020 which ensures that the laptop can last for a really long time.

The 13.3-inch model of the MacBook Pro sits halfway between the MacBook Air and the 16-inch MacBook Pro, with a slightly faster processor and a slightly brighter display with touch bar. However, this model has a controversial keyboard that is difficult to repair and which is easily damaged even with regular use.

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