Apple’s laptops are now comprised of a new 13-inch MacBook Air and three flavors of MacBook Pro: 13 inches, fourteen inches, and 16 inches. It can be tough deciding which MacBook to buy, especially since Apple offers some models with M1 chips, recent models with M2 fries, and others with M1 Pro or M1 Max processors.
That’due south where our MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro guide comes in. Between the MacBook Air, the xiii-inch MacBook Pro, the fourteen-inch MacBook Pro, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro, nosotros’ll help yous decide which laptop is worth your money past comparison price, features, performance, battery life, and more. By the finish of this guide, y’all should know exactly which laptop to spend your difficult-earned money on — or whether you should look for the next version to arrive.
If you want to get accustomed to life with a MacBook before buying ane, bank check out these 7 hidden MacBook features you should be using along with how to improve your Mac’s security and privacy.
Not sure y’all desire to go with a Mac? Consider giving our best laptops rankings a look to see all the other first-class options bachelor in the market place. With M2 fries out in the wild, we have an inkling that M2 Pro chips are right around the corner. Find out what yous need to know about the upcoming MacBook Pro 2022 14-inch and 16-inch models.
Which MacBook is best?
Information technology’s a fantastic time 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 with M-series processors designed right in Cupertino.
They deliver scenic performance and record-setting battery life. Previously, the M1 chip in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro brought unrivaled operation and endurance to these ultra-portable machines, making them the laptops to beat out in their respective categories. Non to mention they support iOS and iPadOS apps, and in the example of the MacBook Air, don’t fifty-fifty demand a fan to stay absurd.
At present, we have the M2 fleck in the MacBook Air and xiii-inch MacBook Pro, which brings even faster and more than powerful functioning than the previous model and is ideal for anyone looking for a super-low-cal workhorse. In the MacBook Pro M2, however, there’s no snazzy design update or extra ports to get excited nearly, just the M2 upgrade.
Then there is the xiv-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, which come up with either an M1 Pro or an M1 Max fleck. We got our hands on the M1 Pro chip and are diddled away by its bonkers CPU and GPU performance, like 70% faster operation than the M1 and upwards to 2x faster GPU speeds. And that’s just for the M1 Pro, not the more powerful M1 Max.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Specs compared
|Best for About||Next Best Pick||Most Speed for $||For power users||For power users who need a large screen|
|MacBook Air (M1)||MacBook Air (M2)||MacBook Pro 13 (Entry Level)||MacBook Pro fourteen-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||Up to 16GB||Upward to 24GB||up to 24GB||Upwards to 64GB||upwards to 64GB|
|Display||13.iii inches (2560 10 1664)||13.six inches (2560 10 1600)||thirteen.iii inches (2560 ten 1600)||14.ii inches (3024 10 1964), 120Hz||16.2 inches (3456 x 2234), 120Hz|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||ii Thunderbolt 3, headphone||ii Thunderbolt 4, headphone||3 Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC menu, headphone||4 Thunderbolt iii, headphone|
|Graphics||M1||M2||M2||M1 Pro or M1 Max||M1 Pro or M1 Max|
|Storage||up to 2TB||up to 2TB||upward to 2TB||Up to 8TB||up to 8TB|
|Bombardment Life (hrs)||xiv:41 (tested)||14:06 (tested)||18:20 (tested)||14:08 (tested)||21 hours (rated)|
|Security||Touch ID||Touch ID||Touch ID||Impact ID||Bear upon ID|
|Size||12 x 8.four x 0.half-dozen inches||11.97 ten 8.46 x 0.44 inches||12 ten 8.4 x 0.half-dozen inches||12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches||14 x 9.eight x 0.66 inches|
|Weight||2.viii pounds||2.7 pounds||3 pounds||3.5 pounds||four.7 pounds|
MacBook Air (M1, 2020): Best for near people
Pros:The MacBook Air with M1 delivers almost everything you lot could want in an Apple tree laptop thanks to its M1 chip, which enables record-setting performance and battery life. Specifically, the MacBook Air lasted for 14 hours and 41 minutes on our battery exam, making information technology one of the longest-lasting laptops around.
Our MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM scored a resounding five,962 on the Geekbench 5.2 overall functioning test, burdensome the XPS 13 (5,319, Cadre i7-1165G7) with an 11th Gen (Tiger lake) Intel Core. The Surface Laptop 3 (iv,791) with 10th Gen Intel chips dropped farther behind, but nonetheless topped the category average (4,178).
And, of class, the MacBook Air has the Magic Keyboard, which is far more comfortable and reliable than the previous Butterfly keyboard. We compared these 2 keyboards side-by-side and unanimously voted in favor of the new version due to its bouncier keys and improved layout.
The screen is abrupt, as well, with a 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution. The latest version of the Air supports the P3 color range for punchier tones and True Tone, which adjusts the color temperature on the display based on ambience lighting weather condition.
Another feature is Touch ID, which makes it piece of cake to unlock the system, make secure payments, and replace passwords. The new MacBook Air’s 720p webcam also got a minor upgrade cheers to the M1 scrap, and the system supports iOS and iPadOS apps now, although few are optimized for laptops.
The MacBook Air, at 12 x 8.4 10 0.6 inches and 2.8 pounds, is larger than the Dell XPS 13 (xi.half-dozen x 7.8 x 0.half dozen inches, 2.eight pounds), but more compact than the thirteen.5-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (12.i ten 8.8 10 0.6 inches, ii.9 pounds).
Cons:Two USB-C ports aren’t enough for most people then be fix to utilise a dongle. Too, the MacBook Air isn’t the nearly meaty or lightest 13-inch laptop, and the display bezels are also mesomorphic for 2021. The laptop as well lacks an IR photographic camera (for facial recognition login)) and USB Type-A ports so those legacy devices will need an adapter.
Run across our total
MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review
MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Side by side best option for most
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 truthful to its name, the Air is xx% smaller than its predecessor in terms of volume. Y’all even go some snazzy new colors to cull from this time around. Apple’s as well added a few other new goodies such every bit a 1080p webcam, a new speaker setup, and a bigger display.
But the existent star of the show is Apple tree’s M2 chip, which offers great operation for an ultraportable laptop. It’s faster and more than powerful than the previous model and is ideal for anyone looking for a super-lite workhorse. Plus, it lasted over 14 hours on our battery exam and has fast charging.
Bigger screen, smaller bezels — that’s the proper name of the game for the M2 MacBook Air. The laptop now boasts a 13.6-inch, 2560 10 1664 Liquid Retina display, compared to the previous version’southward 13.3 inches. And when it comes to displays, more than oft than not, bigger is e’er better. As expected, the M2’southward screen is an explosion of color with sharp details.
The M2 Air too performed great during our constructed benchmarks. When nosotros ran Geekbench 5.4, for example, the notebook hit 8,919, decimating the six.054 premium laptop average and the Slim 7 Carbon’s (AMD Ryzen 7 5800 CPU) six,241.
On the Handbrake test, the Air M2 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 7 minutes and 52 seconds. That score roasted the 10-minute average equally well as the XPS 13 (Intel Cadre i7-1185G CPU) and Spectre x360 (Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU) which had times of 18:33 and eighteen:39, respectively. The Slim 7 Carbon came the closest at 8:51, more than than a minute slower.
Weighing a sligh 2.vii pounds and measuring 12 x 8.5 ten 0.4 inches, the MacBook Air can easily slide into whatsoever medium-sized purse, messenger pocketbook, or haversack.
While no i can be mad at over 14 hours of battery life, it’s withal slightly less than the previous model. That’s non a huge trouble, simply if you’re looking to go every ounce of juice out of your MacBook, then the M1 MacBook Air may be more than to your tastes.
Aye, the $1,199 starting toll is a bit steep, especially when compared to the last-gen’s $999 starting price. Nevertheless, the M2 outclasses the M1 in but nearly every category, making information technology well worth the investment.
Apple tree’s lightest laptop has always been lighter than air. It’south also been light on ports. Although the MagSafe charger has made a triumphant render, you all the same only go a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headset jack to piece of work with, so you’ll definitely demand a dongle or two.
See our total
MacBook Air M2 review
MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2): Best for ability users on a budget
Apple tree has a tough act to follow with the new MacBook Pro 13. Its predecessor took the world by tempest dorsum in 2020 with its testify-stopping M1 chip. And the climb seems even steeper this time. There’s no snazzy design update, no actress ports to get excited about. That ways everything riding on the new M2 SOC, and as per usual, Apple rises and surpasses the challenge.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro crams a lot of power into a slim and lightweight (3 pounds) chassis with its new M2 flake — and it fifty-fifty has a expert keyboard. Yes, the 13-inch MacBook Pro gets the same M2 chip every bit the upcoming MacBook Air just this powerful machine tin run demanding tasks for longer considering it has a fan within for keeping things cool.
Looking at the numbers, the MacBook Pro accomplished eight,911 on the Geekbench five.4 examination, surpassing the 4,215 premium laptop average. Quite a heave considering the The M1 MacBook Pro reached v,882. The XPS 13 came the closest to matching the MacBook while the HP Spectre x360 13 wasn’t anywhere near as powerful.
This machine is merely a bit heavier than the MacBook Air, only you go the same M2 processor and longer battery life. I want to emphasize that bombardment life: the MacBook Pro lasted for xviii hours and 20 minutes
on our test. That’s merely…well, ridiculous, and it puts the MacBook Pro in a different league than its competitors.
Apple brought the Touch Bar to the MacBook Pro, as well equally a Bear upon ID sensor. The 13-inch MacBook Pro as well offers an improved 720p webcam, a ridiculously fast SSD and a sleek design. What more than can you ask for?
Cons: Unfortunately, the base model MacBook Pro has only two Thunderbolt 3 ports versus four ports on the pricier MacBook Pro. Oh, and information technology’s time for Apple tree to get rid of those unsightly display bezels.
Run into our full
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022) review
MacBook Pro (14-inch): Best for creative pros needing portability
If you lot’re willing to spend $i,999, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a practically perfect option, if not the all-time 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 tin confirm the M1 Pro fits that description. The middle child in Apple’s proprietary line of chips, it has more than enough power to outperform some of the most powerful Intel and AMD-powered laptops. And with Apple tree’s commitment to both power and efficiency, the notebook powers through the most grueling tasks with barely a whisper from the fans.
The other performance specs are just equally impressive, with the laptop supporting upwardly to 32GB of RAM and an 8TB SSD. Battery life is tested at 14 hours and eight minutes.
Moreover, this redesigned laptop comes with a 14.2-inch, 3024 x 1964-pixel Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This console is one of the brightest laptop screen always (at 1,600 nits of top luminance), and the well-nigh vivid outside of OLED panels.
At 12.3 inches x eight.7 ten 0.6 inches and three.v 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 on ID, a six-speaker setup, and a keyboard without a Affect Bar.
Cons: So, what’s wrong with the laptop? Well, at that place is a notch. Yes, much like the iPhone thirteen, the MacBook Pro has a cutout at the top center of the display. It isn’t too distracting, though, because of how much larger the panel is. Too, there is no Face ID despite the size of that cutout. Some other unquestionable con with the xiv-inch MacBook Pro is its $1,999 starting price, and that’s without a USB-A port. Ouch.
See our full
MacBook Pro 14 review
MacBook Pro 16-inch: Best for power users needing a big display
Everything we dearest about the xiv-inch MacBook Pro only with a large 16-inch brandish. It has the same M1 Pro and M1 Max fries along with upwards to 64GB of memory and up to an 8TB SSD. Bombardment life on this model, yet, is rated at an outstanding 21 hours (we’ll examination that to be certain).
Same equally the Pro: the sixteen-inch MacBook Pro is everything nosotros love virtually the 14-inch version with a large screen. That ways you can score the smaller model at a much lower cost without sacrificing annihilation else besides display size. If you demand the larger panel, then become this 16-inch MacBook Pro. If you don’t, so information technology’south probably won’t be worth the price trade-off.
Also at xiv 10 9.8 x 0.66 inches and 4.seven pounds, the sixteen-inch MacBook Pro is considerably larger than the 14-inch model.
Encounter our full
MacBook Pro 16-inch preview
To notice out more than well-nigh how much longer Apple will proceed your MacBook healthy, read our comprehensive
Apple tree Warranty Check
How we exam MacBook laptops
We put MacBooks through extensive benchmark testing — both constructed and existent-world — before they end up in the easily of our reviewers. Nosotros evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display brightness, speaker volume and organization rut.
Nosotros use a Klein K10 colorimeter to discover the brightness and sRGB color gamut of a laptop’s display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench five.0 and 3DMark professional person graphics tests.
To determine real-world functioning, we job the laptop to catechumen a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file. Our existent-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 criterion with medium settings and 1080p resolution.
We also run oestrus tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery exam consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. Nosotros consider everything over the category average (eight hours and 36 minutes) to be a skillful result. Of form, these tests are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.