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The Differences Between The MacBook Pro And The MacBook Air


When it comes to design, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro have a few major differences.

  • The MacBook Air is more lightweight and thinner than the MacBook Pro, making it great for portability.
  • The MacBook Pro has a more durable, thicker body which is great for survival and less prone to wear and tear.
  • Another design difference is that the MacBook Air has a 13 inch display, while the MacBook Pro has a 15 inch display.

These design differences can determine which Mac is the right one for you.

Physical Appearance

The MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air have different physical appearances. The MacBook Pro is available in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, has a tapered aluminum design, and has a raised Apple logo on the back. It also has ports for an HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports, an SDXC card slot, a MagSafe 2 connector with AC adapter and Thunderbolt 2 port for connecting to peripherals or external displays. The Retina display offers up to 2560 x 1600 resolution with edge-to-edge glass protection of the LCD screen.

The MacBook Air is fractionally thinner than its Pro cousin (at its thickest point) but only provides up to 1440 x 900 resolution on its 11-inch display and 1440 x 900 or (as of the 2017 model) 1440×1080 resolution on its 13-inch display. All ports are located along one side – one USB 3 port, one Thunderbolt 2 port (USB 3 as well), an SDXC card slot and dual mics. It also offers less battery life than the Pro models due to its slimmer body design.

Weight and Portability

The weight and portability of a laptop is one of the most important things to consider when choosing the right one for your needs.

The MacBook Pro can vary greatly in weight depending on the model, but they typically range from 3.9 pounds to 5.6 pounds and measure 0.61-0.95 of an inch thick.

The MacBook Air is much lighter than the MacBook Pro – models range from 2.96 pounds to 3.02 pounds and measure 0.11-0.16 inches thick at its thinnest point, making it slim enough to fit into most briefcases or backpacks with ease and relative comfort for travel purposes or simply carrying around all day on campus or in the office.


When it comes to the display of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, there are various features to consider. The MacBook Pro features a Retina display with up to 500 nits of brightness that’s sure to provide a vivid and crisp viewing experience. On the other hand, the MacBook Air’s display is not a Retina display and is lower in brightness, but still manages to maintain a vibrant and vivid viewing experience.

Let’s further compare the differences between the two laptops’ display:

Screen Size

When considering the differences between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, one of the most important factors to consider is screen size. The MacBook Pro range has two large options, a 13-inch and a 15-inch model. The MacBook Air range only has one option which is 11 inches. While this may seem like a small difference, it does make a big difference when using the laptop on a daily basis.

The 13-inch model offers plenty of screen real estate for completing work related tasks or even gaming without sacrificing portability. The larger 15-inch model makes for an even easier multitasking experience with its luxurious display space but does add on extra bulk in comparison to its smaller counterparts. Meanwhile, the 11-inch MacBook Air offers more portability than any other model at just 2.38 pounds but may not be suitable for those who require more visual power on their day to day tasks.

Both models offer resolution up to 2880 by 1800 pixels at 220 ppi (pixels per inch) with support for millions of colors; however, it’s important to note that lower resolutions are available on both models in order to cut down on graphics performance while also extending battery life.


The MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air both offer a high-quality and detailed display. Both laptops support a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, which equates to a pixel density of 227 pixels per inch (ppi). The Pro’s 15-inch display, however, also offers an optional larger resolution of 2880 x 1880 pixels as well, which increases the ppi to 220 or 226 depending on the version you buy. This gives users the option for a slightly clearer and sharper display when working with detailed digital images.

The Air’s display is 0.88 inches smaller than the Pro’s making it easier for those that travel frequently with their laptop and need something lightweight, but still capable of supporting detailed content creation tasks. Additionally, both laptops have support for millions of colors and a response time of less than 15 ms making them capable for video editing as well as gaming activities.


The MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air both offer a bright, vibrant display that is great for watching movies, editing photos, or playing video games. Both models have the option to adjust screen brightness, with a maximum brightness rating of 500 nits, making them one of the brightest laptop displays available.

The MacBook Pro has greater color accuracy than the MacBook Air due to its Retina display and True Tone technology. These features create a more realistic picture and can make for an immersive viewing experience. In addition, the P3 color gamut allows for 25% more colors than sRGB to be displayed in greater detail.


When looking at the differences between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, performance is an important factor to consider. The MacBook Pro is powered by an 8th or 9th generation Intel Core processor, while the MacBook Air uses a 10th generation Intel Core processor, offering more power and efficiency than the Pro. The MacBook Pro also comes with an AMD Radeon Pro graphics chipset, while the MacBook Air comes with integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics.

Let’s explore the performance and capabilities of each model further:


A key factor to consider when deciding between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models is the processor. The processor is the brain of your computer, responsible for crunching the numbers and doing all the heavy lifting that keeps your computer running smoothly.

The base model of MacBook Pro comes with an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, while the base model of MacBook Air has a fifth generation Intel Core i5 processor. Consider how much power you’ll need for your everyday tasks – if you regularly work through large data sets or need to do any heavy computing work, then the extra power of an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or higher processor in a MacBook Pro will make life easier.

For those who primarily do web browsing, emailing, document editing, light graphics work or streaming video, then performance should be similar between both machines – neither will be a bottleneck. However if you plan on editing large files and videos or playing demanding games on your laptop, then an upgraded processor in a MacBook Pro may be necessary. Ultimately it depends on the individual use case but upgrading to a faster processor can have a considerable impact on usage experience with either device.


Graphics performance is the area where the biggest difference between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air can be found. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro has Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 645 (or Intel HD Graphics 620 in some models). Some of the higher-end models feature AMD Radeon Pro 555x (or higher) graphics, while others come with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 graphics.

As for the MacBook Air, it features an integrated Intel HD Graphics 617 GPU. In terms of raw compute power, the Iris Plus 645 is about 150 percent faster than the UHD 617 in Apple’s computers. That means that performing 4K video editing tasks or 3D rendering will be done much faster on a Pro than on an Air.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a laptop or tablet. Battery life depends on the type of lithium-ion battery used, its capacity, efficiency, and age. In general, laptop batteries can last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours depending on how they are used while tablet batteries tend to last 8-10 hours depending on how they are used.

Aside from battery type and capacity, you can help maximize your device’s battery life by:

  • Adjusting screen brightness settings.
  • Enabling power management features like sleep mode when possible.
  • Disabling any unused components like Wi-Fi cards or extra USB ports.
  • Reducing processor usage by closing unnecessary applications and using less intensive programs like web browsers instead of heavy media software.
  • Keeping your device clean by regularly uninstalling unwanted programs as well as dusting off vents or fans as needed.


When comparing the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, storage is an important factor that should be considered. The MacBook Pro offers more storage options than the MacBook Air, with storage options that range from 128 GB all the way up to 2 TB. The MacBook Air, on the other hand, has a much more limited range of storage options, with only 128 GB and 256 GB options available.

Let’s look at the performance differences between the two laptops when it comes to storage.

Hard Drive Capacity

Hard drive capacity size is one of the key factors to consider when choosing a storage device. Capacity is measured in bytes, with one byte being equal to eight bits. Common hard drive sizes currently available range from hundreds of gigabytes up to multiple terabytes (1TB = 1024GB).

Portable external hard drives come in a variety of sizes, from 120GB/160GB/250GB or 500GB for general purpose storage to no less than 2TB for larger backups or data-intensive work. An internal hard drive capacity typically ranges from 250GB – 6TB.

When looking for a new drive, you should aim for higher capacities and more efficient ways to store your data, such as using raid technology which allows multiple contents of an array together into one bigger storage unit instead of individual drives. You should also pay extra attention to regular maintenance and upgrades or use different kinds of secondary storage devices in parallel with your internal HDDs as redundant backups so that you may never lose your valuable data due a single HDDs failure.


Memory is an important factor when choosing a laptop. The MacBook Pro has a maximum of 32GB of RAM, compared to the MacBook Air’s 16GB. Both laptops support faster memory options, with DDR4 in the MacBook Pro and LPDDR4X in the MacBook Air.

When it comes to storage, you’ll find more options with the Pro models. Maximum storage for the Air is 1TB of SSD, while you can get up to 8TB on a Pro model – though this requires special order from Apple or an Apple-certified reseller. If you opt for a Fusion dive on either laptop, you’ll have faster performance and larger capacity than with an SSD option.

The size of each drive impacts speed and performance: SATA-3 2.5-inch drives are slower than M2 NVMe drives and PCIe options. Also consider whether or not your new laptop will come with Touch ID for secure logins, which is only available with some Air and Pro models that feature the newer T2 Security Chip from Apple.

Connectivity Options

When it comes to storage, one of the most important aspects to consider is the type of connectivity options available. This includes everything from USB ports and Wi-Fi connections, to Thunderbolt and Ethernet ports. Clearly defining your connectivity needs will ensure that you’re able to select a device that meets your requirements.

  • USB Ports – Most storage devices come with one or more universal serial bus (USB) ports. The most common type is USB 3.0, which utilizes a type A plug and offers speeds up to 5 Gbps (gigabits per second). Devices with USB Type C connectors are also becoming more commonplace, offering speedier connections.
  • Wi-Fi Connections – A variety of networked connected storage options come with integrated WI-FI technology enabling nationwide access remotely and from mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Some products even allow for simultaneous streaming of multiple HD videos across multiple devices or users simultaneously.
  • Thunderbolt Ports – Though traditionally designed as a storage port, Thunderbolt technology has gained something of a reputation in recent years due to its high speed data transfer capabilities at up to 10 Gbps (2x faster than USB 3). It is becoming increasingly popular among creative professionals who need to move large amounts of data between two different computer systems quickly without the need for external drives or dongles. The new Thunderbolt 4 ports can connect two computers at the same time while providing power delivery over a single cable!
  • Ethernet Port – Ethernet technology provides an excellent solution for wired connections when wireless is not an option and can support file transfers in excess of 100Mb/s! Popular amongst gamers, streaming content creators or on office systems that require transfer rates above 10 Gb/s Ethernet Ports provide one of fastest connection types available today.


The price of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are significantly different. The MacBook Pro is significantly more expensive than the MacBook Air with prices ranging from $999 for the most basic MacBook Air to $2399 for the base model of the MacBook Pro. The extra features, such as higher-resolution displays, more powerful processors, and better storage options, make the MacBook Pro a much more expensive option.

Let’s take a look at the other differences between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air:

Price Range

When it comes to price, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro offer a wide range of pricing options. The base models of the laptops start at different prices, with the MacBook Air starting at $999 and the MacBook Pro starting at $1,299.

The Air’s more affordable price makes it an attractive choice for those looking to save money while still having all they need to do basic computing such as web browsing and word processing. The Air is also available in a range of colors and finishes, so you can customize your laptop to fit your style.

The Pro line offers more features than the Air, but typically at a higher cost. Pro laptops can be configured with up to four cores for increased performance for tasks such as video editing or 3D gaming. As you level up in power components, so does the price tag; maxed-out pros can easily reach close to $4,000! Apple also offers special discounts for education customers or other organizations that may bring down its prices significantly.

If you’re looking for an everyday computer that fits within an even tighter budget, consider one of Apple’s iPads or Mac Mini desktops; these come with all the benefits of Apple’s macOS operating system without breaking your wallet!

Value for Money

When comparing the value of the two laptops, it’s important to consider your personal needs and budget. Generally speaking, buyers looking for a more powerful laptop should aim for the MacBook Pro’s higher-end configurations, while those searching for an everyday machine should check out the MacBook Air.

The MacBook Pro has a starting price of $1,799 for its 13-inch model and $2,399 for its 16-inch version – significantly more than the Air’s base model, which costs just $999. You can often find discounts and sales on both models from Apple or other retailers – some shades below MSRP at times – so it pays to shop around to get the best deal.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that when buying a new laptop directly from Apple you can trade in an old laptop to get trade-in credit. This credit can then be used towards your purchase price of either a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro which will effectively reduce its price. Your trade-in amount will depend on how old your old laptop is and its overall condition; be sure to check with Apple prior to making your purchase decision based on their offered trade-in values.

apple macbook pro vs air m1

The Apple M1 MacBook Pro is a great option for users looking for power, durability, and portability. With its longer battery life, better performance, and well-rounded design, the M1 MacBook Pro offers plenty of features that make it a top choice for many users. Additionally, the price point is competitive with other MacBook models making this device an attractive option within its price range.

The M1 MacBook Air is also an excellent computer for those in need of lightweight portability. It features improved features over its predecessors such as more RAM and longer battery life along with additional performance upgrades thanks to the new M1 processor. Further considerations should focus on what devices and tasks you plan to use your laptop for to determine which model will work best for you.