Between the 2022 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 CPUs and the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro that debuted in late 2021, Apple’s MacBook series has undergone a complete redesign over the past year. Here’s a detailed comparison of the MacBook Air and Pro to help you decide which is the best option, whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else.
Now that the 2023 MacBook Pro has been out, we can compare it against the Air once again.
Difference between MacBook Air and Pro
CPU, GPU, RAM, and more
While the M2 is a noticeable improvement over the M1, the M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra chips are more potent.
M2 has a faster 8-core CPU than M1, up to 24GB of RAM, and up to 10 GPU cores. Here is a more thorough comparison of the M1 and M2 chips.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, comes with the M1 Pro or M1 Max processor, which offers the possibility for even more CPU and GPU cores as well as RAM up to 64GB.
According to Apple, the M2 outperforms the M1 by up to 35% in terms of GPU performance and up to 18% in terms of CPU performance. It can do up to 15.8 trillion operations per second and contains over 20 billion transistors.
A media engine that supports hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW is another feature of the M2 chip. A video and ProRes encoding and decoding engine are also included.
A 1080p webcam, similar to the one the 14-inch MacBook Pro received, is another good upgrade for the 2022 MacBook Air. The same “advanced image signal processor with computational video” is what Apple claims to have. The 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 continues to use the outdated 720p webcam.
MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air: Performance
If you have been paying attention to Apple’s naming practices, you are not surprised by the power differential between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The ‘Air’ items function more simply but are less expensive; the ‘Pro’ models have more power and additional high-end capabilities.
The typical RAM for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is 8GB, which might be rather constrained for design and creative work. To speed up the process, they can both be configured to 16GB or 24GB.
The most recent M2 processor is also used in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models from 2022. Apple claims that this performs 40% better than the M1. The Pro, however, comes with a 10-core GPU as standard, whilst the base edition of the Air only has an eight-core GPU. And for creative applications, those additional two GPU cores are crucial.
As a result, although the MacBook Air can perform simple picture processing and even basic video editing without issue, the MacBook Pro offers an additional capability that may significantly boost productivity for jobs like 3D modeling and animation.
Do not misunderstand us; the MacBook Air is an excellent device for utilizing, for example, Adobe’s applications or other design and editing tools. It made our list of the best laptops for music creation, and if you’re mostly wanting to put together footage, it can even do 4K video editing. However, it’s not designed for really sophisticated 3D work.
Additionally, the Pro has longer battery life than the Air. The Pro lasted 16 hours and 6 minutes compared to the Air’s 15 and a half hours in our typical test that played a looping 1080p film.
If you place a premium on-screen brightness, the 2022 MacBook Air offers a welcome increase from 400 to 500 nits of brightness.
The 2022 MacBook Air features a bigger 13.6-inch screen with smaller bezels, which is another improvement with the revamp.
Even while the 14-inch MacBook Pro’s 1,600 peak nits of brightness and 1,000 sustained nits of brightness are just for HDR content, ProMotion, mini-LED backlighting, and small bezels still enable up to 120Hz refresh rates.
The 1080p FaceTime camera is housed in a notch at the top center of the screen on the M2 MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Pro. But unlike the iPhone, the notch lacks the necessary hardware or functionality for Face ID.
Apple maintained the same design for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the 2022 versions. But it gives the new MacBook Air a different appearance. With a more square-shaped design and four color choices—Pace Gray, Silver, Starlight, and Midnight Blue—it no longer has a wedge-like form. With an 11mm thickness and 2.7-pound weight, the MacBook Air 2022 has a 20% smaller footprint than the previous model.
Although the MacBook Pro is significantly thicker at 15.6 cm and slightly heavier at 3 lbs, there isn’t much of a weight difference overall. Even though the patterns are different, we think both are rather fashionable. Therefore, rather than focusing on how they seem, we advise you to select between the Air and the Pro based on what they can achieve.
The webcam on the MacBook Air is 720p, which is not as good as what the competition frequently provides these days but still does the job. However, the MacBook Pro comes with a 1080p webcam. The menu bar at the top of the screen is somewhat hidden by this noticeable ‘notch,’ but in our opinion, it is a small price to pay.
Apple’s actual battery life Silicon MacBooks have performed admirably in comparison to the previous Intel ones and often live up to Apple’s claims. However, that may vary depending on your MacBook’s use, screen brightness, and other factors.
In any event, the M2 MacBook Air offers outstanding power efficiency and battery longevity.
The new MacBook Air can fast charge to provide up to 50% battery life in only 30 minutes when using the 67W power adapter, according to Apple.
The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) has an M2 chip with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD, and it costs $1,199 / £1,249.
Starting at $1,299 / £1,299, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) features an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU M2 processor, with 8GB of shared memory and 256GB of SSD storage.