Apple’s laptops are at present comprised of a new 13-inch MacBook Air and three flavors of MacBook Pro: xiii inches, fourteen inches, and 16 inches. Information technology tin can be tough deciding which MacBook to buy, especially since Apple offers some models with M1 fries, recent models with M2 fries, and others with M1 Pro or M1 Max processors.
That’s where our MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro guide comes in. Between the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 14-inch MacBook Pro, and the sixteen-inch MacBook Pro, nosotros’ll help yous make up one’s mind which laptop is worth your money by comparison cost, features, operation, battery life, and more. By the stop of this guide, you should know exactly which laptop to spend your hard-earned coin on — or whether you should wait for the next version to make it.
If you want to get accustomed to life with a MacBook before buying i, check out these 7 hidden MacBook features you should be using along with how to improve your Mac’southward security and privacy.
Looking to pick a detail MacBook? Thanks to Amazon’s Prime Early Access Auction, kicking off on Oct. 11 at three a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT, it will soon be a perfect fourth dimension. Visit our Prime Early on Access Sale MacBook deals page for the best MacBook deals at Amazon.
Not certain yous want to go with a Mac? Consider giving our best laptops rankings a look to see all the other excellent options available in the market. With M2 chips out in the wild, we have an inkling that M2 Pro chips are correct around the corner. Find out what you demand to know well-nigh the MacBook Pro 2022 14-inch and 16-inch models.
Which MacBook is all-time?
It’s a fantastic fourth dimension to be shopping for a MacBook now that Apple has completed its transition from Intel CPUs to custom Apple Silicon chips. Now the MacBook Air and all iii MacBook Pro models come up with G-series processors designed right in Cupertino.
They evangelize scenic performance and record-setting battery life. Previously, the M1 chip in the MacBook Air and xiii-inch MacBook Pro brought unrivaled functioning and endurance to these ultra-portable machines, making them the laptops to trounce in their respective categories. Not to mention they support iOS and iPadOS apps, and in the case of the MacBook Air, don’t even need a fan to stay absurd.
Now, we have the M2 fleck in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, which brings fifty-fifty faster and more powerful performance than the previous model and is ideal for anyone looking for a super-light workhorse. In the MacBook Pro M2, nevertheless, there’southward no snazzy blueprint update or actress ports to become excited near, but the M2 upgrade.
Then at that place is the 14-inch MacBook Pro and sixteen-inch MacBook Pro, which come with either an M1 Pro or an M1 Max chip. We got our hands on the M1 Pro chip and are blown away by its bonkers CPU and GPU operation, like lxx% faster performance than the M1 and up to 2x faster GPU speeds. And that’s but for the M1 Pro, non the more than powerful M1 Max.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Specs compared
|All-time for Most||Adjacent All-time Option||Most Speed for $||For ability users||For power users who need a large screen|
|MacBook Air (M1)||MacBook Air (M2)||MacBook Pro xiii (Entry Level)||MacBook Pro xiv-inch||MacBook Pro 16-inch|
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|CPU||M2 M1||M2||M2||M1 Pro or M1 Max||M1 Pro or M1 Max|
|RAM||Upward to 16GB||Up to 24GB||up to 24GB||Up to 64GB||up to 64GB|
|Display||13.3 inches (2560 ten 1664)||13.6 inches (2560 10 1600)||13.3 inches (2560 ten 1600)||14.2 inches (3024 x 1964), 120Hz||16.2 inches (3456 ten 2234), 120Hz|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||ii Thunderbolt iii, headphone||2 Thunderbolt 4, headphone||iii Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC card, headphone||four Thunderbolt 3, headphone|
|Graphics||M1||M2||M2||M1 Pro or M1 Max||M1 Pro or M1 Max|
|Storage||up to 2TB||up to 2TB||up to 2TB||Up to 8TB||upwardly to 8TB|
|Battery Life (hrs)||14:41 (tested)||14:06 (tested)||18:20 (tested)||14:08 (tested)||21 hours (rated)|
|Security||Impact ID||Touch ID||Touch ID||Impact ID||Touch ID|
|Size||12 10 eight.4 x 0.6 inches||eleven.97 x 8.46 10 0.44 inches||12 10 8.four x 0.six inches||12.3 10 eight.seven x 0.6 inches||14 x nine.8 x 0.66 inches|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||2.7 pounds||iii pounds||3.five pounds||4.7 pounds|
MacBook Air (M1, 2020): Best for most people
Pros:The MacBook Air with M1 delivers nearly everything y’all could want in an Apple laptop thanks to its M1 chip, which enables tape-setting performance and battery life. Specifically, the MacBook Air lasted for xiv hours and 41 minutes on our battery examination, making it 1 of the longest-lasting laptops effectually.
Our MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM scored a resounding 5,962 on the Geekbench five.2 overall performance test, crushing the XPS 13 (5,319, Core i7-1165G7) with an 11th Gen (Tiger lake) Intel Core. The Surface Laptop 3 (4,791) with 10th Gen Intel fries dropped further backside, but still topped the category boilerplate (4,178).
And, of grade, the MacBook Air has the Magic Keyboard, which is far more comfortable and reliable than the previous Butterfly keyboard. We compared these two keyboards side-by-side and unanimously voted in favor of the new version due to its bouncier keys and improved layout.
The screen is sharp, too, with a 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution. The latest version of the Air supports the P3 color range for punchier tones and Truthful Tone, which adjusts the color temperature on the display based on ambient lighting weather.
Another feature is Impact ID, which makes it easy to unlock the system, make secure payments, and replace passwords. The new MacBook Air’due south 720p webcam also got a minor upgrade thanks to the M1 fleck, and the organisation supports iOS and iPadOS apps at present, although few are optimized for laptops.
The MacBook Air, at 12 x 8.four x 0.6 inches and 2.8 pounds, is larger than the Dell XPS 13 (11.6 x 7.eight x 0.six inches, 2.8 pounds), but more meaty than the 13.5-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (12.1 10 8.viii x 0.6 inches, 2.9 pounds).
Cons:Two USB-C ports aren’t enough for most people so exist set up to employ a dongle. As well, the MacBook Air isn’t the nearly compact or lightest 13-inch laptop, and the display bezels are too chunky for 2021. The laptop too lacks an IR photographic camera (for facial recognition login)) and USB Blazon-A ports then those legacy devices will need an adapter.
Run into our full
MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review
MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Next best option for near
The latest chapter in the MacBook Air’s saga is compelling, to say the least. The laptop eschews the wedge design of old for a look that puts it squarely in MacBook Pro territory. But staying true to its name, the Air is xx% smaller than its predecessor in terms of volume. You fifty-fifty get some snazzy new colors to cull from this time around. Apple’s as well added a few other new goodies such as a 1080p webcam, a new speaker setup, and a bigger display.
But the real star of the show is Apple’south M2 chip, which offers great performance for an ultraportable laptop. Information technology’s faster and more powerful than the previous model and is ideal for anyone looking for a super-light workhorse. Plus, information technology lasted over 14 hours on our battery exam and has fast charging.
Bigger screen, smaller bezels — that’southward the proper noun of the game for the M2 MacBook Air. The laptop at present boasts a 13.6-inch, 2560 x 1664 Liquid Retina display, compared to the previous version’south 13.three inches. And when information technology comes to displays, more oftentimes than not, bigger is always improve. Every bit expected, the M2’due south screen is an explosion of colour with precipitous details.
The M2 Air also performed great during our synthetic benchmarks. When we ran Geekbench 5.four, for example, the notebook hit 8,919, decimating the vi.054 premium laptop average and the Slim vii Carbon’s (AMD Ryzen vii 5800 CPU) half dozen,241.
On the Handbrake test, the Air M2 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in vii minutes and 52 seconds. That score roasted the 10-minute boilerplate every bit well every bit the XPS 13 (Intel Core i7-1185G CPU) and Spectre x360 (Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU) which had times of 18:33 and 18:39, respectively. The Slim seven Carbon came the closest at eight:51, more than a infinitesimal slower.
Weighing a sligh 2.7 pounds and measuring 12 10 eight.v x 0.iv inches, the MacBook Air can easily slide into any medium-sized purse, messenger bag, or backpack.
While no one tin can be mad at over 14 hours of battery life, information technology’s still slightly less than the previous model. That’due south not a huge problem, but if yous’re looking to get every ounce of juice out of your MacBook, then the M1 MacBook Air may be more to your tastes.
Yeah, the $1,199 starting cost is a scrap steep, particularly when compared to the final-gen’s $999 starting toll. However, the M2 outclasses the M1 in just about every category, making it well worth the investment.
Apple tree’s lightest laptop has ever been lighter than air. It’s besides been light on ports. Although the MagSafe charger has fabricated a triumphant return, you still merely get a pair of Thunderbolt iv ports and a headset jack to piece of work with, so you’ll definitely need a dongle or two.
See our full
MacBook Air M2 review
MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2): Best for power users on a upkeep
Apple tree has a tough act to follow with the new MacBook Pro 13. Its predecessor took the world by storm back in 2020 with its show-stopping M1 scrap. And the climb seems even steeper this fourth dimension. There’s no snazzy design update, no extra ports to get excited about. That ways everything riding on the new M2 SOC, and as per usual, Apple tree rises and surpasses the challenge.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro crams a lot of ability into a slim and lightweight (3 pounds) chassis with its new M2 bit — and information technology even has a adept keyboard. Yeah, the thirteen-inch MacBook Pro gets the aforementioned M2 fleck as the upcoming MacBook Air but this powerful machine can run demanding tasks for longer because it has a fan inside for keeping things cool.
Looking at the numbers, the MacBook Pro achieved eight,911 on the Geekbench 5.four test, surpassing the 4,215 premium laptop average. Quite a boost considering the The M1 MacBook Pro reached 5,882. The XPS 13 came the closest to matching the MacBook while the HP Spectre x360 13 wasn’t anywhere nearly as powerful.
This car is only a bit heavier than the MacBook Air, but you get the same M2 processor and longer battery life. I want to emphasize that battery life: the MacBook Pro lasted for xviii hours and xx minutes
on our test. That’due south just…well, ridiculous, and it puts the MacBook Pro in a dissimilar league than its competitors.
Apple brought the Touch Bar to the MacBook Pro, as well equally a Touch ID sensor. The 13-inch MacBook Pro also offers an improved 720p webcam, a ridiculously fast SSD and a sleek blueprint. What more tin you enquire for?
Cons: Unfortunately, the base model MacBook Pro has only two Thunderbolt 3 ports versus iv ports on the pricier MacBook Pro. Oh, and it’s time for Apple to get rid of those unsightly brandish bezels.
Come across our full
Apple MacBook Pro (xiii-inch, M2, 2022) review
MacBook Pro (14-inch): Best for creative pros needing portability
If you’re willing to spend $1,999, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a practically perfect option, if not the best laptop, on the market. The M1 Pro and M1 Max processors Apple revealed promise to be the fastest, most power-efficient chips ever built for portable calculating, and nosotros can confirm the M1 Pro fits that description. The centre kid in Apple’s proprietary line of chips, information technology has more than than enough power to outperform some of the most powerful Intel and AMD-powered laptops. And with Apple’s commitment to both ability and efficiency, the notebook powers through the about grueling tasks with barely a whisper from the fans.
The other performance specs are just every bit impressive, with the laptop supporting upwardly to 32GB of RAM and an 8TB SSD. Battery life is tested at 14 hours and 8 minutes.
Moreover, this redesigned laptop comes with a 14.2-inch, 3024 10 1964-pixel Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This panel is one of the brightest laptop screen e’er (at 1,600 nits of peak luminance), and the most vivid exterior of OLED panels.
At 12.iii inches x 8.7 x 0.vi inches and 3.5 pounds, the 14-inch MacBook Pro remains portable despite the power it packs underneath the hood.
Some other nice features include a 1080p webcam, Touch ID, a 6-speaker setup, and a keyboard without a Touch Bar.
Cons: And so, what’s wrong with the laptop? Well, there is a notch. Yep, much like the iPhone 13, the MacBook Pro has a cutout at the summit eye of the brandish. It isn’t as well distracting, though, considering of how much larger the panel is. Likewise, there is no Confront ID despite the size of that cutout. Some other unquestionable con with the fourteen-inch MacBook Pro is its $1,999 starting price, and that’s without a USB-A port. Ouch.
See our total
MacBook Pro fourteen review
MacBook Pro 16-inch: Best for power users needing a large display
Everything we love well-nigh the xiv-inch MacBook Pro just with a big 16-inch display. It has the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips forth with up to 64GB of retentiveness and upward to an 8TB SSD. Battery life on this model, however, is rated at an outstanding 21 hours (nosotros’ll test that to exist certain).
Same as the Pro: the 16-inch MacBook Pro is everything nosotros beloved about the xiv-inch version with a large screen. That means you can score the smaller model at a much lower price without sacrificing anything else besides display size. If yous need the larger console, then get this sixteen-inch MacBook Pro. If yous don’t, and then it’s probably won’t exist worth the price merchandise-off.
Also at 14 x 9.8 x 0.66 inches and 4.7 pounds, the xvi-inch MacBook Pro is considerably larger than the 14-inch model.
See our total
MacBook Pro 16-inch preview
To find out more most how much longer Apple will go along your MacBook healthy, read our comprehensive
Apple tree Warranty Check
How nosotros exam MacBook laptops
Nosotros put MacBooks through extensive benchmark testing — both synthetic and real-world — before they finish upwards in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display effulgence, speaker book and system heat.
Nosotros use a Klein K10 colorimeter to observe the effulgence and sRGB color gamut of a laptop’s display. For performance benchmarking, nosotros run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.
To determine real-world operation, we chore the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file. Our real-globe graphics test is the Dirt iii benchmark with medium settings and 1080p resolution.
Nosotros also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our bombardment test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over the category average (8 hours and 36 minutes) to be a proficient effect. Of form, these tests are complemented with easily-on testing from our reviewers.