What to Choose Between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

The very high efficiency of Apple Silicon chips has allowed Apple to market a line-up of fixed and portable Macs where you can literally find yourself spoiled for choice. In this article, we explore the main differences that distinguish the two most popular Apple notebook models to get a clearer idea of ​​what to choose between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

First, let’s compare the two models with the simplest tool: the Compare Macs page on the Apple site. Select the models you wish to compare and what immediately catches the eye is obviously the price.

Buying a MacBook Air compared to a MacBook Pro allows you to save a few hundred dollars compared to a computer with the same processor. Both are equipped with:

  • an M1 chip, the first generation of Apple Silicon,
  • a 13 “display and an SSD disk (Solid State Disk) of 256GB.

Moreover, the MacBook Air is more practical to carry with you because it is thinner and lighter, so the choice seems obvious, but it is not.

Given that everything that has been said so far is true and must be taken into consideration, there are details, more or less visible, which could give you a different idea when choosing.What is the best between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

For the MacBook Pro, however, Apple wanted to propose a machine with a slightly more professional character, not so much on the performance aspect. As we have already said, it has the same M1 chip as the MacBook Air, but for some practical aspects that can make a difference in the work environment.

Keyboard with Touch Bar

The 13 “MacBook Pro is currently the only Mac in the range equipped with a Touch Bar. For those unfamiliar with it, the Touch Bar is a small horizontal strip that occupies the space usually occupied by function keys on a traditional keyboard. (F1, F2, F3, etc …).

It is a full-fledged touch display that shows, contextually to what you are viewing on the screen, some buttons and functions that can be useful to us at that precise moment.

Many MacBook Pro users of previous versions are very fond of this tool. If you are also part of this category, try to imagine what your daily life would be like without the Touch Bar before making your choice.

If you want to learn more about the use of the Touch Bar, visit the dedicated Apple support page.

Battery life

Another aspect that can make a difference is that of autonomy. MacBook Pro, thanks to M1 can reach a maximum of 20 hours of autonomy, while for the MacBook Air Apple declares a maximum of 18. To the eye it does not seem a big difference but if you work a lot on the move and use programs that accelerate battery consumption (such as video conferencing programs) this aspect could assume a key position in the purchasing phase.

Audio

MacBook Pro has audio components of a higher category than MacBook Air, namely:

  • professional quality internal microphones that allow you to capture cleaner sounds while reducing noise
  • high dynamic range stereo speakers that make the listening experience much better

These features can make the difference, for example, if you work a lot in smart working and often switch from one call to another. With MacBook Pro, you will have the opportunity to have excellent sound quality both in and out, even without headphones.

Cooling system

The MacBook Pro has a single fan cooling system (asymmetrical, to reduce noise) which has the task of keeping the internal temperature lower to allow the M1 chip to work at its maximum even with a high workload.

So MacBook Pro is more performing than MacBook Air but only if you exceed a certain workload threshold which, since we are talking about the M1 chip, is already high enough.

The other side of the coin

However, some of what we’ve defined as MacBook Pro benefits may take on a different look depending on your needs.

For example, many users may prefer a classic keyboard over the Touch Bar. This is why Apple on the 14 “and 16” MacBook Pro models (those with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, so to speak) has taken a step back going back to a 100% physical keyboard.

The cooling system can also be an aspect that you may prefer to do without. When Apple presented the MacBook Air with the M1 chip, it showed this aspect in terms of advantage, that is: M1 has such low energy consumption that they were able for the first time ever to design a Mac without fans. This causes the MacBook Air to be silent. Literally silent, just like an iPad.

In this case, there is no absolute best choice. Apple is increasingly able to bring products to market that are sufficiently heterogeneous for none of them to eclipse anyone else. This is why it is important to clearly analyze your needs in order to glimpse the key characteristics in detail to make the best choice for yourself.

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