MacBook Air or Pro – the most important differences

by Pramith

MacBook Air or Pro – the difference between the two Apple notebooks is not only in the name. Read in this comparison which similarities and differences the two notebooks have and for whom which model is suitable.

MacBook Air vs Pro: The Display

Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are available in multiple display sizes and processor clock speeds.

– With a 13.3-inch display, MacBook Air is ultra-portable and can easily fit in a briefcase, shoulder bag or backpack. The IPS display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels at 227 ppi.

The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is available in 13.3″ and 15.4″. It features a Retina display with IPS technology with resolutions of 2560 x 1600 at 227 ppi (13.3″) and 2880 x 1800 at 220 ppi (15.4″).

– The MacBook Air’s display achieves a brightness of 400 nits, where the MacBook Pro can manage up to 500 nits.

– Besides the slightly lower brightness, the MacBook Air still has disadvantages because the colour space is smaller and it doesn’t have a second display size.

MacBook comparison: dimensions and weight

While the MacBook Pro used to be designed for performance, the MacBook Air clearly excelled in mobility. But a lot has changed with the latest models – reflected in dimensions and weight.

– 13.3″ comparison: MacBook Air weighs 1.25kg, is 30.41 cm wide, 21.24 cm deep and up to 1.56 cm high.

– The Pro device in the same size differs as follows: It is at least 1.37kg heavier and even lower than the MacBook Air at 1.49cm. Width and depth of both notebooks are identical.

– In the 15″ variant, the Macbook Pro weighs 1.83kg and is 34.93cm wide, 24.07cm deep and 1.55cm high.

The hard disk capacities of the SSD

– Due to the compact design, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro use SSDs with flash memory technology. Compared to conventional (mechanical) hard drives, this technology offers advantages: it has lower power consumption, is less susceptible to drops and offers faster read and write rates.

– However, you have to make concessions in terms of storage capacity: The MacBook Air comes with a maximum of 1 TB, while you can buy the MacBook Pro with up to 2 TB on the small one and 4 TB on the large one.

– The MacBook Pro 15.4-inch and 13.3-inch with four Thunderbolt 3 ports automatically comes with a 256GB SSD. All other models come with a 128GB SSD in the entry-level version.

The processor of the MacBook Air and Pro

The processors of the two Apple MacBooks also differ.

MacBook Pro: The MacBook Pro 15.4″ uses either a 6-core Intel i7 or 8-core Intel i9 processor. The 13-inch MacBook Pros use a quad-core Intel i5 or i7 processor.

MacBook Air: In comparison, the MacBook Air is meagre, as only one processor option is offered. This is a dual-core variant of the Intel Core i5 processor and therefore much weaker than the option built into the MacBook Pro.

The graphics performance of MacBooks

The following graphics chipsets are installed in Apple’s MacBooks:

– MacBook Air: Here you have to do without powerful graphics. The graphics performance of the installed Intel UHD Graphics 617 is sufficient for common applications, but great performance miracles are not to be expected.

– MacBook Pro: The graphics chip Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 of the MacBook Pro with 13″ has a better performance in comparison. The model with four Thunderbolt ports uses the slightly improved 655.

– Only the 15-inch has a real graphics card. The Radeon Pro 555X graphics card with 4GB of graphics memory is more powerful and offers better conditions for graphics-intensive applications such as video rendering or CAD. Fully upgraded, you get a Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB of graphics memory, which makes anything intensive graphics work smoothly.

Accessories, connections and special features

 With both MacBooks you have to do without an internal (DVD) drive. However, you have the option of connecting an external drive.

– A Touch Bar is only used on the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air has a conventional F-key bar for this purpose, as with normal keyboards.

– The MacBook Air has only two Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports, while the MacBook Pro models can have up to four.

The price difference between MacBook models

Generally speaking, the MacBook Air is cheaper than the MacBook Pro, but both devices range over 1000 euros.

– The MacBook Air also comes with a lower price because of its comparatively inferior features. The two models can be purchased from Apple for 1249 euros or 1499 euros and can still cost up to 2239 euros, depending on the equipment.

– The cheapest version of the 13″ MacBook Pro starts at 1499 Euro and costs up to 3599 Euro when fully equipped.

– The larger 15″ model of the MacBook Pro is even more expensive. The prices start at 2699 euros and go up to 5999 euros.

MacBook Air or Pro – the conclusion

Which MacBook you choose ultimately depends on your area of application:

– If you are on the move a lot, value mobility and performance plays a subordinate role, you are very well advised with the MacBook Air.

– For more power-intensive applications, such as rendering, photo editing or CAD, you’re better off with the MacBook Pro.

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