New Macbook Air Vs Pro M1

By | 19/10/2022

Apple M1 MacBook Air vs. M1 MacBook Pro Buyer’due south Guide

In November 2020, Apple updated its pop 13-inch MacBook lineup with the showtime Apple Silicon flake for the Mac, the M1 chip. Both the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro received updates with the M1 chip.

m1 chip macbook air pro

The M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro appear to be very similar attributable to their shared processor, form factor, and keyboard, and so should yous consider purchasing the lower-cost MacBook Air, which starts at $999, to salvage money, or do you lot need the college-finish MacBook Pro, which costs at least $300 more? Our guide helps to respond the question of how to decide which of these two Apple Silicon MacBooks is best for you.

Comparison the M1 MacBook Pro and the M1 MacBook Air

The Macbook Air and MacBook Pro share a large number of important features such as processor, display size, and ports. Apple lists these same features of the two devices:


  • thirteen.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • Wide Color (P3) and Truthful Tone applied science
  • Eight-core M1 chip with up to eight-core GPU and sixteen-core Neural Engine
  • Upward to 16GB of unified memory
  • Upward to 2TB of storage
  • Wide stereo sound and back up for Dolby Atmos playback
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth five.0
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch on ID
  • Two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports
  • Available in Silver and Infinite Gray

Apple’due south breakup shows that the two MacBooks share a large number of cardinal features. Nonetheless, there are some meaningful differences between the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro that are worth highlighting, including design, battery life, and brandish effulgence.


M1 MacBook Air

  • Slim, wedge-style blueprint
  • Configurable with up to eight-core GPU
  • Passive cooling (fanless)
  • 400 nits brightness
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Stereo speakers
  • Iii-mic array with directional beamforming
  • Weighs two.8 pounds (1.29 kg)
  • Available in Silver, Space Gray, and Golden

M1 MacBook Pro

  • Thicker, slab-like design
  • Eight-core GPU as standard
  • Active cooling
  • 500 nits brightness
  • Up to xx hours of battery life
  • Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
  • Studio-quality three-mic array with directional beamforming
  • Weighs 3.0 pounds (1.four kg)
  • Available in Silver and Space Gray
  • Touch Bar

Read on for a closer wait at each of these aspects, and run across exactly what Apple’s beginning MacBooks with Apple Silicon processors have to offering.


Both the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro share the same designs as their Intel-based predecessors. This ways that the MacBook Air retains its iconic wedge-shaped design, while the MacBook Pro still has its more uniform, slab-style design. Although the MacBook Air is actually thicker than the MacBook Pro at its thickest point, the wedge shape of the MacBook Air makes it look much thinner overall. The MacBook Air is as well 0.2 pounds lighter than the MacBook Pro and is available in Gold.

new macbookpro wallpaper screen

If you will be traveling with your MacBook frequently and portability is a priority, so the MacBook Air is the more appropriate device. Even so, information technology is worth noting that the MacBook Pro is merely slightly heavier than the MacBook Air, so both models will be very similar in terms of portability.


The ii machines share the same Apple tree Silicon M1 processor, simply with a primal difference in cooling systems. Since Apple didn’t provide any specific benchmark comparisons betwixt the two models, it is difficult to speculate exactly how well the two machines will perform until benchmarks tin be compared. However, there are a number of assumptions that tin be fabricated.

new m1 chip

The MacBook Air certainly has more thermal constraints than the MacBook Pro since it is passively cooled and thus has no fans or active ventilation. Unlike the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro has ventilation and fans. The MacBook Pro can therefore run faster, pushing the M1 harder for longer and achieving better operation from the same bit. This is because the MacBook Pro runs the M1 at college temperatures since it tin can absurd information technology more finer using its active cooling system than the MacBook Air.

The cooling systems of both machines strongly betoken that the MacBook Pro performs better than the MacBook Air, but the margin of divergence is non major. The MacBook Pro will still be better for users who demand the best performance. Nonetheless, since the two devices share the same M1 processor, the MacBook Air could perform similarly enough for some tasks or tasks that don’t crave sustained processing power.

The cheapest $999 MacBook Air configuration also has a seven-core GPU. The $1,249 higher-tier configuration of the MacBook Air, however, comes with an eight-core GPU. The MacBook Pro comes with the viii-core GPU every bit standard. The departure between 7 and 8 cores isn’t expected to be dramatic, only users who will exist setting about a lot of graphics-based work should opt for the MacBook Pro, as it is merely $50 more than than the 8-cadre GPU MacBook Air.


The MacBook Pro and MacBook Air share the aforementioned 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology, True Tone, and P3 Broad Color. Content and colors volition look exactly the same on both devices.

new macbook air gold retina display screen

Still, the MacBook Pro’s brandish can reach 500 nits of brightness compared to the MacBook Air’s 400 nits. This means that information technology can get upwardly to 20 percent brighter. You may adopt the MacBook Pro’s brighter display, particularly if yous often use your machine outdoors, but the effulgence of the MacBook Air’s display will probable not disappoint most users.

Battery Life

The M1 MacBook Pro has a battery life two hours better than the MacBook Air, according to Apple’south estimates. This is likely due to smaller batteries in the MacBook Air due to its slimmer, wedge-shaped profile.

Both machines have excellent battery life at up to xx hours on the MacBook Pro and 18 hours on the MacBook Air, thank you to the ability-efficient M1 chip. While the battery life of both machines is outstanding, if you demand to prioritize bombardment life for long periods of time away from a power source, the MacBook Pro is conspicuously the better option.

Microphones and Speakers

The MacBook Air has stereo speakers and a iii-mic array with directional beamforming. The MacBook Pro pushes these features into the “pro” market with stereo speakers that support high dynamic range, besides as a “studio-quality” three-mic array with directional beamforming.

new macbookair wallpaper screen

If yous consume a lot of video content or music using the congenital-in speakers, or oftentimes use the built-in microphones for video calls or podcasting, for instance, the MacBook Pro is the ameliorate device.

Touch Bar

While both machines come up with Touch ID, simply the MacBook Pro gets Apple’s Touch Bar. The Bear upon Bar replaces the traditional row of function keys with a “Retina-quality” Multi-Touch display.

new macbookpro photoshop screen

Controls on the Touch Bar alter when using unlike apps. For case, the Touch Bar can show Tabs and Favorites in Safari, enable easy admission to emoji in Messages, and provide a simple way to edit images or scrub through videos.

If y’all are particularly smashing on having the Touch Bar, you will have to get the MacBook Pro, simply non all users volition appreciate the feature, and it does non directly add whatsoever new functionality that is not possible on the MacBook Air.

Other Mac Options

In add-on to the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the 24-inch iMac and Mac mini also comprise the M1 flake, but these are desktop machines. Apple also offers considerably more powerful xiv- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but these commencement at $i,999.

Concluding Thoughts

The Apple Silicon M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are very similar in terms of specifications. Both devices sport the same M1 processor, thirteen.3-inch display, Touch on ID, and ports, also every bit virtually other hardware features.

The main differences are the display brightness, Bear on Bar, microphone and speaker quality, two extra hours of bombardment life, and active cooling system that set the machines apart in favor of the MacBook Pro. For casual users, this ways that the additional $300 to upgrade to a MacBook Pro may exist hard to justify, especially without knowing the verbal performance benefits at this time.

If you do want the best performance, battery life, display brightness, and speaker and microphone quality, the MacBook Pro is the better option. The MacBook Pro is therefore the all-time electric current option for those who want the nigh out of their M1-based laptop.

Likewise, users who intend to perform a lot of graphics-based tasks should skip the MacBook Air entirely and purchase the MacBook Pro because the 8-core GPU MacBook Air configuration is only $50 less than the MacBook Pro. However, this is simply the case if you don’t need more than 256GB of storage, because a storage upgrade would further push button upwardly the MacBook Pro’s price.

While there is a pocket-sized operation difference betwixt the devices, the MacBook Air appears to be the all-time option for most users. The MacBook Air offers a compelling feature set up at a more affordable $999 price. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are bachelor to order now.