MacBook Professional vs. Air: Which Apple Laptop computer Is For You?

Deciding between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Professional was easy: get an Air when you want one thing primary; Get the Professional when you want a number of energy for video enhancing or 3D rendering. Nonetheless, now that Apple’s mighty M1 chip has made the MacBook Air a reputable beast — and with a complete of three MacBook Professional fashions to select from — discovering the appropriate Apple laptop computer for you is not that straightforward nowadays.

Fortunately, we’re right here to assist. We’re breaking down Apple’s total present lineup of MacBooks and what they’re for, from the vast however brisk air to absolutely the monster that new 16-inch MacBook Professional is.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

You want the most cost effective and thinnest MacBook

MacBooks aren’t precisely low cost, however the MacBook Air is the best way to go if you wish to spend as little cash as doable. Apple’s entry-level MacBook begins at $999, and we have seen it down a couple of hundred bucks throughout the massive sale. As its identify suggests, it is nonetheless essentially the most transportable and sleekest MacBook of the bunch, with sharp edges which might be solely 0.16 edges skinny and a light-weight 2.8-pound body. It is also the one MacBook that is available in gold, if that is your factor.

You need a lot of energy for on a regular basis duties—and somewhat heavy work

Regardless of its comparatively low value and small body, the most recent MacBook Air nonetheless provides among the finest efficiency you will discover in a mainstream laptop computer. Because of the M1 chip inside, Apple’s most reasonably priced pocket book was nonetheless capable of simply join tons of apps and export high-quality video in seconds, and it rounded out many comparable Home windows laptops in our efficiency exams.

you need a cool laptop computer

The MacBook Air is the one MacBook within the present lineup with no fan inside, which suggests it does not run the danger of sounding like a jet engine when underneath heavy workloads. Even after we exported large 4K recordsdata and had 20 totally different apps open, the Air remained silent for us – and it did not get overly sizzling both.

Key Specs

  • Beginning value: $999
  • Show: 13.3 inches 2560 x 1600 . Feather
  • Processor: Apple M1 (7-core or 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU)
  • Reminiscence: 8GB / 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Ports: 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, Headphone jack
  • Weight: 2.8 kilos
MacBook Pro vs Air - MacBook Pro Lifestyle


You need extra energy than the wind with out paying a fortune

The most recent 13-inch MacBook Professional has the identical processor because the Air, however with an extra graphics processing unit (GPU) core that provides it a bit extra muscle for visually intensive duties. It additionally has a fan inbuilt, which suggests it could let the processor work somewhat more durable when the laptop computer is being pushed to max throughout heavy video exports or massive 3D renders.

There’s undoubtedly a distinction between the 2—in our testing, the Professional rendered 8K video recordsdata minutes sooner than the Air, and we noticed remarkably excessive graphics scores on our benchmarks. We additionally bought a couple of hours of additional battery life from the Professional, which clocked in at 16 hours and half-hour, in comparison with about 14 hours within the Air. This makes the 13-inch mannequin a superb center floor within the present Mac lineup, as you will get extra energy and endurance than the Air for a fairly affordable value of $1,299.

You care concerning the Contact Bar (for some motive)

Should you insist on having a MacBook with Apple’s extremely polarizing Contact Bar, the 13-inch MacBook Professional is the one present Mac with a function. The Contact Bar forgoes the same old row of bodily perform keys in favor of a touch-sensitive floor that may present contextual controls relying on what you are doing. For instance, it will allow you to simply swipe by lengthy timelines in Closing Lower Professional, and supply predictive textual content once you’re typing an e mail or textual content message. We’re not big followers of the Contact Bar, nevertheless it definitely has its makes use of for artistic varieties. So if you would like somewhat extra contextual management for sure apps, this Mac is the one to get.

You need a MacBook Professional with out the notch

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Execs have larger and sharper screens with thinner bezels, nevertheless it all comes at the price of a notch the place the webcam sits. It is not essentially a deal breaker for everybody, however if you would like a MacBook Professional with a fair larger display screen, the 13-inch is your finest guess. And whereas it does not have the extra superior Liquid Retina XDR show of its beloved siblings, the 13-inch MacBook Professional’s 2560 x 1600 display screen was nonetheless a magnificence to behold in our testing.

Key Specs

  • Beginning value: $1,299
  • Show: 13.3 inches 2560 x 1600 . Feather
  • Processor: Apple M1 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU)
  • Reminiscence: 8GB / 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Ports: 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, Headphone jack
  • Weight: 3 kilos
Underscore 14 Inch 16 Inch MacBook Pro 1


You need essentially the most highly effective MacBook – and are prepared to pay for it

The M1-powered MacBook Air and Professional already supply among the finest efficiency we have ever seen from a laptop computer, however the brand new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Execs appear like they will even blow out of the water . That is as a result of they pack Apple’s new M1 Professional or M1 Max chip of your selection, designed for essentially the most hardcore energy customers and true artistic professionals.

Apple says the M1 Professional can ship as much as 70% sooner processing efficiency than the M1 and as much as twice the graphics efficiency. The M1 Max chip goes even additional with twice the GPU cores, which suggests it could pump out twice the graphics efficiency of the M1 Professional and 4 occasions as a lot as the bottom M1. The 16-inch mannequin particularly can also be rated for the very best battery lifetime of any Mac, as much as 21 hours. We’ll have to check the brand new machines to see how all of the nets carry out in the true world, however these numbers present that the high-end MacBook Execs are Apple’s finest by way of video rendering and demanding 3D graphics.

After all, all this efficiency comes at a value. The 14-inch MacBook Professional and 16-inch MacBook Professional begin at $1,999 and $2,499 respectively, each with the M1 Professional chip. If you wish to improve to the M1 Max on the 14-inch or 16-inch, you will have to pay no less than an extra $200 so as to add it to both system.

you need too many ports

If you need to have the ability to connect with a number of equipment and displays out of the field, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Execs are the best way to go. These laptops every embrace three USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports for connecting to an exterior 4K monitor and speedy storage drives, an HDMI port for much more exterior show choices, an SDXC card for shortly transferring media recordsdata to and out of your digital camera. slot and supply a MagSafe charging port. You additionally get a headphone jack that helps high-impedance headphones for music producers and audiophiles.

By comparability, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Professional every supply solely two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one in all which can be taken up when your laptop computer is charging. So if you wish to keep away from utilizing a USB-C dongle, the higher-end MacBook Execs are for you.

You need the most effective efficiency on Mac

The brand new MacBook Execs aren’t simply extra highly effective than they had been earlier than; They’ve the largest, sharpest and most fluid show of any Mac. We’ll make our closing determination on these screens as soon as we have examined them, however on paper, they appear like the most suitable choice for individuals who want a number of actual property and as a lot shade and shade as doable. Particulars wanted.

The brand new MacBooks have 14.2-inch shows at 3024 x 1964 decision and 16.2-inch at 3456 x 2234, which places them nearer to 4K and makes them remarkably bigger and sharper than the 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 panels. On the most recent 13-inch Professional. The most recent MacBook Execs use the identical Liquid Retina XDR know-how as the most recent iPad Execs, which actually impressed us with their sturdy brightness, distinction, and element.

They’re additionally the primary MacBook screens to function a refresh price of as much as 120Hz, which successfully means scrolling by webpages and watching high-frame-rate movies will really feel twice as straightforward as on different MacBooks. We have observed an enormous distinction when utilizing 120Hz shows on laptops and pill telephones (together with the iPad Professional and iPhone 13 Professional), so we’re curious to see how they maintain up on the brand new MacBook Execs.

You need the most effective webcam on Mac

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Execs additionally bump up the webcam decision to 1080p, in comparison with 720p on the opposite two fashions, which ought to enable for even clearer video calls. We’ll have to check it ourselves, but when our time with the 1080p digital camera on the 24-inch iMac is any indication, the brand new Execs will doubtless supply a exceptional improve with regards to capturing superb element and true-to-life pores and skin. Comes. Vocal. Sadly, there’s nonetheless no Face ID for hands-free login, and no middle stage assist for having the digital camera routinely body you once you’re on the go — each of these are nonetheless unique to the iPad. Nonetheless, once you pair the higher digital camera with the six-speaker setup on the higher-end Execs, you’ll be able to find yourself with the most effective MacBooks for video calls and content material creation.

Key Specs

  • Beginning value: $1,999 (14-inch); $2,499 (16-inch)
  • Show: 14.2 inches at 3024 x 1964 (14-inch); 16.2 inches by 3456 x 2234 (16-inches)
  • Processor: Apple M1 Professional or Apple M1 Max
  • Reminiscence: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB (M1 Max solely)
  • Storage: 512GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB / 8TB
  • Ports: 3 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, HDMI, SDXC slot, MagSafe charging port, Headphone jack with excessive impedance assist
  • Weight: 3.5 kilos (14-inches); 4.7 kilos (16-inch)

Supply hyperlink