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11 Difference Between MacBook Air and Pro (You Need to Know)

If you need a new laptop and are trying to decide if a MacBook Pro or Air is for you then you are in the right place because in this article I will tell you all the major differences between the two.

Not all these differences are obvious when you are reading the specifications sheet so it is important that you know all of them so you can make an informed decision and not end up making a very costly mistake.

MacBook Air is Thinner and Lighter

MacBook Air
MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is a lighter, thinner, and easier-to-carry laptop that packs a lot of power into a small, portable package. The basic Air offers an eight-core CPU, seven-core GPU, and 8GB of unified memory. You can upgrade to get more storage and unified memory. Unless you use your MacBook for intense work, a basic Air is enough.

The MacBook Pro is more powerful, weighs less than half a pound more, and has more ports. The Air is thinner, but the Pro is more versatile. If you plan on using your MacBook for heavy-duty software development, video editing, or massive spreadsheets, you’ll be better off with the Pro.

The MacBook Air is only slightly thinner, but its unique shape will give you a more comfortable typing experience, practically if you are a writer the MacBook Air is the way to go.

If you are wondering what is the weight difference between MacBook Air and Pro, don’t worry you aren’t the only one. M1 MacBook Air is 0.2 pounds lighter than the Pro model, if you pick them up you won’t feel the difference unless you weigh them.

MacBook Air Has a Better Battery Life

The MacBook Air has a longer battery life than the Pro, at about up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing, or up to 18 hours of video (these are the official numbers declared by Apple). According to my own tests, MacBook Air on a normal day of work and a medium to intense usage lasted me more than 11 hours which is an impressive result if you ask me.

The Air’s battery is smaller, but still gives you two extra hours of web browsing and three hours of iTunes movie playback. If you plan on being away from a power source for an extended period and you do not need to run resource-intensive software, you’ll probably want the Air. But if you don’t need that much battery life and you need more computing power, the Pro is a better choice.

MacBook Pro Has a Faster Processor

Both models come with the same processor, but the MacBook Pro has an extra graphics processing unit core that gives it a little more muscle for visually intensive tasks. The Pro also has a built-in fan, which allows the processor to run even faster during heavy tasks. However, the MacBook Air’s storage is smaller, with 256GB available as standard. MacBook Air can be upgraded to up to 2TB of storage, though the Pro has a 4TB version.

While the MacBook Pro has a faster processor than the MacBook Air, both models have good battery life and feature sets. The Air is great for general purpose usage, while the Pro is perfect for heavy-duty tasks. If you need a laptop that will run your business, consider the MacBook Pro. You’ll be glad you made the upgrade!

MacBook Pro Hase More Ports

MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro 13 inch

When comparing the MacBook Air and Pro, it is important to consider the physical ports on each model. For example, the MacBook Pro has an HDMI port, 3xUSB-C ports, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and MagSafe 3 charging port.

The MacBook Air, on the other hand, only has two USB-C ports and a headphone jack. It is possible to extend these with the purchase of a USB-C hub, but the ports are too few for connecting accessories for some users’ needs.

MacBook Pro Has a Better Camera

The MacBook Pro has a sharper 1080p webcam that offers a better video call experience. Don’t think that the MacBook Air offers a bad video call quality, but nonetheless, it is behind the Pro in quality.

MacBook Pro Has Better Speakers

If speakers are important for you then you need to know that MacBook Pro offers better speakers. The quality difference isn’t like night and day but it is noticeable.

I think it is safe to say that MacBook Pro offers better video call quality but also a better multimedia experience overall. Keep in mind that the Air version of MacBooks isn’t too far behind when it comes to the multimedia experience and frankly it is one of the best, if not the best in its price category.

MacBook Pro Has a Brighter Display

Although the two laptops have similar specs, the MacBook Pro has a slightly brighter display than the MacBook Air. 20% brighter to be more precise, which is a big deal if you work in a bright office. The display on the MacBook Pro is more vibrant, perhaps because of its glossy finish. Because the Retina display is glossy, ambient light reflects off of it, increasing the brightness of the screen.

The MacBook Pro’s display delivers 485 nits of brightness against the Air’s 389 nits. The Apple-branded laptops use the same Liquid Retina XDR technology as iPad Pros, so they have higher brightness and contrast levels than their competitors.

MacBook Pro Has a 120 Hz Display

Apple MacBook pro screen
MacBook Pro

The 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models come with a far better display than the Air, Liquid Retina XDR display with 1,000 nits standard brightness, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and ProMotion (120 Hz refresh rate).

Yes, the 13-inch Macbook Pro has the same display refresh rate as the Air but if you are willing to go deeper into your pockets and choose the 14 or 16-inch MacBook then you will get a much smoother experience because you get double the refresh rate.

MacBook Pro Comes in Tree Sizes

While in the case of the MacBook Air you only have the 13-inch option, when it comes to the Pro model you will have 3 size options available, 13, 14, and 16 inches.

If you want a MacBook for video editing or for photo editing then you may need a bigger screen because you need more screen real estate. If this is the case for you then prepare to dig deeper into your pockets because the bigger versions of MacBooks come with much heftier prices.

MacBook Pro Has a Fan for Propper Cooling

If you’re constantly working in multitasking on the Mac, you should make sure the computer is not overheating. Multitasking can cause the MacBook to get hot, especially when the system is running graphics-intensive programs. The built-in cooling system in your MacBook Pro is designed to keep the temperature in the normal range.

The cooling system in your MacBook Pro helps to move heat away from the screen and CPU. It typically involves a metal heatsink directly attached to the CPU package and a fan system that moves air over the heatsink. These fans move warm air out of the computer, but they also help to remove built-up energy.

You should clean these vents regularly to maximize the cooling effect. However, you should never leave your MacBook Pro seated on a cushion or pillow. Doing so may make the laptop warm up quickly. If the computer is too warm, the fan will run at full capacity, which is not good for your laptop.

MacBook Pro Is More Expensive

Buying the base model of the MacBook Air will cost you around $999, while the top-of-the-line 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,299 and up. A 14-inch Pro will set you back $5,899, and a 16-inch model will set you back $6,099 or more. The MacBook Pro is more expensive than the MacBook Air, but the difference in price is justified if you’re a power user and don’t need a super-slim laptop.

While the MacBook Pro has more power and features, the MacBook Air is a better choice if you’re looking for portability. Even though the Air has less performance than the Pro, it has enough power for the majority of tasks. It can stream video and do light photo editing.

What is the main difference between MacBook air and pro

The main difference between a MacBook Air and a Pro is the performance, the Pro version is designed to be able to handle much more resource-intensive tasks and it will sacrifice some portability to accomplish this. For normal use, a MacBook Air will offer all the performance you need.

But for heavy-duty software development, video editing, massive spreadsheets, big CAD projects, or graphically intensive tasks a MacBook Pro is recommended.

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I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.