Apple changed the game with the first set of MacBook laptops to have their own processors. But with the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models having nearly similar M1 processors, it becomes more difficult to choose a model to buy. For this reason, we have helped to dissect the strength and weaknesses of both, to help you decide which one to buy.
Neither the MacBook Air nor the MacBook Pro is quite different from the models replaced. They both have similar measurements of 8.36 inches x 11.97 inches, while the Air has the tapered edge which extends 0.63 inches from 0.16 inches while the MacBook Pro comes with an 0.61-inch fixed height. The Air comes lighter weighing 2.8 pounds while it is 3 pounds for the Pro.
The new MacBooks have an identical design to last year’s Macs. The interior is also similar as they have the Magic Keyboard present in both, and vertical speakers alongside family sizable bezels on the display. On the keyboard, there is a big Force-Touch trackpad just below that comes in similar colors: for the Pro, it is space gray and silver while it is silver, gold, and space gray for the MacBook Air.
Both laptops have a 13.3-inch display, but the Pro had a slight advantage with the DCI-P3 gamut support for better color saturation. This time, the MacBook Air features the same support, which makes the displays nearly identical.
They both have the feature the 2560 x 1600 pixels display, a 13.3-inch (diagonal) display with LED-backlit IPS, the wide color (P3), and True Tone. The slight display difference is in the brightness, and that is not easily noticeable. The max brightness on the MacBook Pro is 500 nits, and it is lower on the Air with 400 nits. However, both are bright enough and your eyes cannot handle the brightness for an extended period.
Keyboard, ports, and camera
The keyboard for both MacBooks is great. Where you will find the difference here is the function keys. Similar to past generations, the Touch Bar is present in the MacBook Pro, it is a slim OLED screen right on top of the number row. On the other hand, the MacBook Air has a standard function key set: specific keys like F4 for Spotlight, F5 for Dictation, and F6 for Do Not Disturb which is a first. One less exciting thing is how both MacBooks still feature the old Face-Time camera (720p). Although Apple has said that the images will improve as a result of the new m1 chip.
Processor and graphics
The new chip (M1) will bring a great speed boost compared to the old generation of chips. However, Apple did not release data to back up these claims. Therefore it will be down to usage and testing. What we know is that the new M1 chip will offer way better performance than any chip we have ever seen in the Mac.
For battery life, both models are great. Both of them deliver excellently in this regard. According to Apple, the MacBook M1 Air is designed to last for about 15 hours, which is way up from 11 hours) while the MacBook Pro should last for about 17 hours, a massive improvement from 10 hours. These improvements come despite maintaining the same Integrated 49.9-watt per hour battery in the MacBook Air and a 58.2-watt per hour battery in the MacBook Pro. Therefore the improvement is a result of the new chip.
Storage and RAM
Apple released all its four M1 Mac models with 8GB of DDR4 memory and it is upgradable up to 16GB. It also has storage options of 256GB and is upgradable to 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB options. According to Apple, the latest SSDs run with a speed twice as fast compared to before. Although, evidence shows that it might have reduced the shelf life.
Two standard configurations for each of the models are on sale now at a similar price range as before. To upgrade your RAM to 16GB, it will cost $200, the same as the storage that, as an upgrade to 512 GB or 1TB will cost $200. Apple charges $400 for an upgrade to 2TB from 1TB.
Both laptops are great and will deliver excellently. Most users will be satisfied with the M1 MacBook Air, but if you want that extra performance for your work then you should opt for the M1 MacBook Pro. If you pick up a wrong model you can easily trade in MacBook for cash with us and buy another one. The M1 chip guarantees speed and a great battery life.