MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro 2022

MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which Mac should you buy in 2022?

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple’southward laptops are now comprised of a 13-inch MacBook Air and 3 flavors of MacBook Pro: 13 inches, xiv inches and 16 inches. Information technology can exist tough deciding which MacBook to purchase, especially since Apple offers some models with M1 chips and others with M1 Pro or M1 Max processors.

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 three MacBook Pro models come with M-serial processors designed right in Cupertino.

So far, they deliver scenic operation and record-setting battery life. The M1 chip in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro brings unrivaled performance and endurance to these ultra-portable machines, making them the laptops to beat in their respective categories. Non to mention they support iOS and iPadOS apps, and in the case of the MacBook Air, don’t even demand a fan to stay cool.

Then there is the 14-inch MacBook Pro and xvi-inch MacBook Pro, which come up with either an M1 Pro or an M1 Max flake. We got our hands on the M1 Pro fleck and are blown away by its bonkers CPU and GPU performance, like 70% faster performance than the M1 and up to 2x faster GPU speeds. And that’s just for the M1 Pro, non the more powerful M1 Max.

The MacBook Air 2022 is rumored to be on its way afterwards this twelvemonth. While we keep our eyes peeled for updates, check out which MacBook is more highly-seasoned to your tastes.

MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Specs compared

Best for Well-nigh Nigh Speed for $ For power users For power users who need a large screen
MacBook Air MacBook Pro xiii (Entry Level) MacBook Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro 16-inch
Price $999
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$one,999 (starting)
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CPU M1 M1 M1 Pro or M1 Max M1 Pro or M1 Max
RAM Up to 16GB upwardly to 16GB Upwardly to 64GB upwards to 64GB
Brandish 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600) 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600) 14.2 inches (3024 x 1964), 120Hz xvi.2 inches (3456 x 2234), 120Hz
Ports 2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone ii Thunderbolt iii, headphone 3 Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC card, headphone 4 Thunderbolt three, headphone
Graphics M1 M1 M1 Pro or M1 Max M1 Pro or M1 Max
Storage up to 2TB up to 2TB Up to 8TB up to 8TB
Battery Life (hrs) 14:41 (tested) 16:32 (tested) 14:08 (tested) 21 hours (rated)
Security Bear upon ID Bear upon ID Touch ID Touch ID
Size 12 x 8.iv x 0.6 inches 12 10 8.4 x 0.6 inches 12.iii x 8.7 ten 0.6 inches 14 x ix.8 x 0.66 inches
Weight 2.8 pounds iii.ane pounds 3.5 pounds four.7 pounds
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MacBook Air (M1, 2020): Best for most people

Pros:The new MacBook Air delivers almost everything you could want in an Apple 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 test, making it one of the longest-lasting laptops around.

Our MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM scored a resounding 5,962 on the Geekbench five.2 overall performance test, crushing the XPS 13 (v,319, Cadre i7-1165G7) with an 11th Gen (Tiger lake) Intel Core. The Surface Laptop 3 (4,791) with tenth Gen Intel chips dropped farther backside, but still topped the category boilerplate (4,178).

And, of grade, the MacBook Air has the Magic Keyboard, which is far more comfortable and reliable than the previous Butterfly keyboard. Nosotros compared these two keyboards side-by-side and unanimously voted in favor of the new version due to its bouncier keys and improved layout.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The screen is precipitous, too, with a 2560 10 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 ambient lighting weather.

Some other feature is Touch ID, which makes it easy to unlock the system, make secure payments, and supersede passwords. The new MacBook Air’s 720p webcam also got a modest upgrade thanks to the M1 fleck, and the system supports iOS and iPadOS apps now, although few are optimized for laptops.

(Prototype credit: Laptop Mag)

The MacBook Air, at 12 10 8.4 x 0.6 inches and 2.8 pounds, is larger than the Dell XPS xiii (11.6 ten 7.8 x inches, 2.8 pounds), merely more meaty than the 13.5-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (12.1 x 8.8 x 0.half dozen inches, 2.ix pounds).

Cons:2 USB-C ports aren’t plenty for about people and then be prepare to use a dongle. Also, the MacBook Air isn’t the about meaty or lightest xiii-inch laptop, and the display bezels are too mesomorphic for 2021. The laptop also lacks an IR camera (for facial recognition login)) and USB Blazon-A ports so those legacy devices will demand an adapter.

See our total

MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review

MacBook Pro (13-inch): Best for power users on a budget

The xiii-inch MacBook Pro crams a lot of power into a slim and lightweight (three pounds) chassis with its new M1 chip — and information technology fifty-fifty has a good keyboard. Yep, the 13-inch MacBook Pro gets the aforementioned M1 chip equally the MacBook Air simply this powerful machine can run enervating tasks for longer because information technology has a fan inside for keeping things cool.

Looking at the numbers, the MacBook Pro accomplished v,882 on the Geekbench 5 test, surpassing the iv,215 premium laptop average. The XPS 13 came the closest to matching the MacBook while the Asus ZenBook and HP Spectre x360 13 weren’t anywhere near as powerful.

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This motorcar is merely a bit heavier than the MacBook Air, but you become the aforementioned M1 processor and longer battery life. I want to emphasize that battery life: the MacBook Pro lasted for 16 hours and 32 minutes
on our test. That’s merely…well, ridiculous, and it puts the MacBook Pro in a different league than its competitors.

(Image credit: Future)

Apple tree brought the Bear on Bar to the MacBook Pro, too as a Touch ID sensor. The 13-inch MacBook Pro also offers an improved 720p webcam, a ridiculously fast SSD and a sleek pattern. What more can you inquire for?

Cons: Unfortunately, the base model MacBook Pro has only 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports versus four ports on the pricier MacBook Pro 13-inch. Oh, and information technology’s time for Apple to get rid of those cruddy display bezels.

See our full

xiii-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) review

MacBook Pro (14-inch): Best for artistic pros needing portability

If you’re willing to spend $one,999, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a practically perfect pick, if not the best laptop, on the market. The M1 Pro and M1 Max processors Apple tree revealed promise to be the fastest, most power-efficient chips always built for portable computing, and nosotros can ostend the M1 Pro fits that description. The middle child in Apple’s proprietary line of fries, information technology has more than enough power to outperform some of the nigh powerful Intel and AMD-powered laptops. And with Apple’s commitment to both ability and efficiency, the notebook powers through the virtually grueling tasks with barely a whisper from the fans.

The other performance specs are merely every bit impressive, with the laptop supporting up to 32GB of RAM and an 8TB SSD. Battery life is tested at 14 hours and viii minutes.

Moreover, this redesigned laptop comes with a fourteen.2-inch, 3024 10 1964-pixel Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This panel is one of the brightest laptop screen e’er (at 1,600 nits of summit luminance), and the most brilliant exterior of OLED panels.

(Image credit: Future)

At 12.3 inches ten eight.7 x 0.half dozen inches and three.5 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 ID, a half dozen-speaker setup, and a keyboard without a Touch Bar.

Cons: And so, what’south wrong with the laptop? Well, at that place is a notch. Yes, much like the iPhone 13, the MacBook Pro has a cutout at the summit center of the display. Information technology isn’t also distracting, though, because of how much larger the console is. Likewise, there is no Face ID despite the size of that cutout. Another unquestionable con with the xiv-inch MacBook Pro is its $one,999 starting toll, and that’due south without a USB-A port. Ouch.

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See our full

MacBook Pro xiv review

MacBook Pro xvi-inch: All-time for power users needing a large brandish

Everything we love most the 14-inch MacBook Pro simply with a big 16-inch display. It has the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips along with upward to 64GB of retentivity and upwards to an 8TB SSD. Battery life on this model, yet, is rated at an outstanding 21 hours (nosotros’ll exam that to be certain).

(Prototype credit: Apple tree)

Aforementioned as the Pro: the 16-inch MacBook Pro is everything we love about the 14-inch version with a large screen. That means you can score the smaller model at a much lower price without sacrificing anything else besides display size. If you demand the larger console, then get this 16-inch MacBook Pro. If you don’t, so it’s probably won’t be worth the price trade-off.

Also at fourteen 10 9.8 x 0.66 inches and four.7 pounds, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is considerably larger than the 14-inch model.

Run across our full

MacBook Pro xvi-inch preview

To notice out more about how much longer Apple tree will keep your MacBook good for you, read our comprehensive

Apple Warranty Cheque


How nosotros test MacBook laptops

We put MacBooks through extensive criterion testing — both synthetic and real-world — earlier they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate everything from speed and battery life to brandish brightness, speaker volume and organisation oestrus.

Nosotros use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the effulgence and sRGB color gamut of a laptop’s display. For functioning benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.

To make up one’s mind real-world functioning, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings and 1080p resolution.

We besides run heat tests past playing a fifteen-minute total-screen video and our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over the category average (8 hours and 36 minutes) to be a adept result. Of form, these tests are complemented with easily-on testing from our reviewers.

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Magazine where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. Later graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. In that location, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he’s non tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.