MacBook Professional vs. Air: Here’s how the M3 and M2 laptops examine

Apple’s MacBook lineup has been overhauled with the brand new MacBook Pro arriving with M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips to shut out 2023 and the 15-inch MacBook Air arriving at WWDC 2023. Be a part of alongside for our in-depth take a look at the MacBook Pro vs. Air to see what’s comparable and totally different and assist slender down the only option.

Table of contents

The MacBook Air acquired a serious improve in 2022 with M2 chip, an all-new design, a larger thirteen.6-inch display, a flat-edged chassis, a brand new midnight colour, an upgraded webcam, and far more.

At WWDC 2023, Apple launched the anticipated 15-inch MacBook Air.

Then, most just lately, the MacBook Pro laptops have been refreshed in This fall 2023 with M3, M3 Professional, and M3 Max chips, a new area black finish, and extra.

For a detailed comparability of Air vs. Air and Pro vs. Pro, take a look at these guides; in any other case, head under for a way the Pro vs. Air examine:

MacBook Professional vs. Air: How do they examine?

CPU, GPU, reminiscence, neural engine

The M2 chip helps as much as 24GB reminiscence, eight CPU cores, up to 10 GPU cores, and up to 2TB of storage.

Meanwhile, with the MacBook Pro and M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max chip, you’ve the option for up to 16 CPU cores, forty GPU cores, and memory up to 128GB.

Hardware MacBook Air MacBook Professional
CPU M2 – eight-core M3, M3 Professional, or M3 Max – as much as sixteen-core
Storage Up to 2TB As much as 8TB
Memory 8, sixteen, or 24GB eight to 128GB
Graphics As much as 10-core As much as forty-core
Neural engine 16-core sixteen-core
FaceTime digital camera 1080p 1080p
Audio system four-speaker with broad sound, 6-speaker with 15-inch 6-speaker high-constancy
Mics three-mic array Studio-high quality three-mic array
Thermal administration Fanless Lively cooling with fans

Apple says the M3 chip efficiency cores are up to 30% quicker than the M2 household and as much as 50% quicker than the M1 household.

MacBook Pro vs Air M3 efficiency cores

For efficiency cores, the M3 family is 15 and 30% quicker than M2 and M1, respectively.

MacBook Pro vs Air M3 performance cores

And Apple says rendering on M3 is as much as 1.8x quicker than M2 and up to 2.5x quicker than M1.

MacBook Pro vs Air M3 rendering performance

Apple additionally says the M3 chips characterize the “Largest leap forward in graphics structure” with Dynamic caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading.

Transistor rely

The overall transistor rely has increased to 25 billion for the M3, 37 billion for the M3 Professional, and ninety two billion for the M3 Max.

CPU benchmark scores

In our first take a look at M3 iMac benchmarks, the only-core and multicore scores came in close to the 35% improvement that Apple claims.

And for the M3 Max, it’s clocking in about 44% quicker than the M2 Max for multicore scores and about 10% quicker for single-core efficiency. 

We haven’t seen M2 Professional benchmarks appear just yet.

GPU benchmark scores and new options

In one of many first GPU benchmarks to point out up on Geekbench, the M3 Max earned a metallic score of 158466, which is up 15% in comparison with the 137525 Metallic rating of the M2 Max.


Difference between MacBook Air displays

The MacBook Air is obtainable in thirteen.6 and 15.2-inch fashions. And the MacBook Pro options stay slightly larger with 14.2 and sixteen.2-inch variations.

For display brightness, the MacBook Air has up to 500 nits. That’s one hundred under the 600 nits of the MacBook Professional (for SDR content material).

However the Professional laptop computer screens go up to 1,000 sustained nits brightness (1,600 peak) for HDR content. Different show upgrades over the Air embrace 120Hz refresh rates with ProMotion, mini-LED backlighting, and a better pixel density with the Professional.

13″ MacBook Air 13” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 15” MacBook Air
Actual display measurement 16” MacBook Professional thirteen.6” 15.3” 14.2”
Resolution 2560 x 1664 2880 x 1864 3024 x 1964 3456 x 2234
Facet Ratio 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch
PPI 224 224 254 254
Nits (brightness) 500 500 600 for SDR, one thousand sustained, up to 1600 peak for HDR 600 for SDR, one thousand sustained, as much as 1600 peak for HDR
Liquid Retina Show ✅ + XDR ✅ + XDR
ProMotion (as much as 120Hz)
mini-LED backlit
True Tone
P3 large shade

The MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro embrace a notch at the prime middle of the display for the 1080p FaceTime digital camera. However in contrast to the iPhone, the notch doesn’t embrace Face ID hardware/help, even within the latest MacBook Pro and Air fashions.

All the current MacBooks function much slimmer bezels than their predecessors.

I/O: MacBook Pro vs. Air

The MacBook Air gained MagSafe charging like the fashionable MacBook Professional in 2022 – the same for the 2023 15-inch model. Nevertheless, Apple has stored additions like HDMI, SDXC slot, and help for up to four exterior shows unique to the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The thirteen and 15-inch MacBook Air have help for just one external display as much as 6K at 60Hz with the M2 chip. And take note the M3 nonetheless solely has help for one external show. That could be a deal-breaker for some.

Different upgrades with the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max MacBook Professional embrace Wi-Fi 6E and help for 8K video output with an HDMI 2.1 port.

 MacBook Air MacBook Pro
Magic Keyboard
Contact ID
USB-C/Thunderbolt ports 2 3
Headphone jack
HDMI ✅ 2.1
SDXC card reader
MagSafe charging
Bluetooth 5.three 5.three
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 ( Wi-Fi 6E (
Exterior display help 1 external show as much as 6K/60Hz M3: 1 external show as much as 6K/60Hz

M3 Pro: As much as 2 exterior shows at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt, or 1 at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt and 1 at 4K/144Hz over HDMI, or 1 at 8K/60Hz or 1 at 4K/240Hz over HDMI

M3 Max: Up to four external shows: three at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt and 1 at 4K/144Hz over HDMI, or
as much as 3 displays: 2 at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt and 1 at 8K/60Hz or 1 at 4K/240Hz over HDMI

Measurement, weight, and finish

As you’d anticipate, the MacBook Air stays the lightest machine with each MacBook Pro fashions weighing more. The MacBook Air can also be super-skinny at eleven.3 mm (zero.forty four in).

The new MacBook Professional laptops can be found in area grey, silver, and area black (the latter only for M3 Professional/Max fashions). Notably, area black is extra of a dark area gray than a real black.

The Air comes in 4 decisions, including midnight, which is actually darker than area black.

13″ MacBook Air thirteen” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 15” MacBook Air
Weight 2.7 pounds (1.24 kg) 3.three kilos (1.29 kg) three.4, 3.5, or 3.6 kilos (1.fifty five, 1.61, or 1.sixty two kg) 4.8 or four.eight kilos (2.14 or 2.sixteen kg)
Thickness zero.forty four in. (1.13 cm) 0.45 in. (1.15 cm) zero.sixty one inch (1.55 cm) zero.66 inch (1.68 cm)
Width eleven.ninety seven in. (30.41 cm) thirteen.40 in. (34.04 cm) 12.31 in. (31.26 cm) 14.01 inches (35.57 cm)
Depth 8.46 in. (21.5 cm) 9.35 in. (23.76 cm) eight.71 inches (22.12 cm) 9.seventy seven inches (24.81 cm)
Display measurement thirteen.6 in. 15.3 in. 14.2 in. 16.2 in.
Finishes Silver, area grey, starlight, midnight Silver, area grey, starlight, midnight Silver, area gray, or area black Silver, area gray, or area black

Because the 2022 MacBook Air shifted from the wedge design it had for years, all the new MacBooks share the flat-edged chassis.

Battery life

Actual-world battery life for Apple Silicon MacBooks compared to the previous Intel fashions has been spectacular and often matches the corporate’s claims. However that may rely in your workflow, display brightness, and more.

Apple has boosted the M3 MacBook Professional battery life to the purpose where the 16-inch MacBook Pro has as much as 22 hours of video playback.

Both thirteen and 15-inch MacBook Air models share robust but barely less battery life at as much as 18 hours of use. Nevertheless, wi-fi net use is 15 hours for each Air models.

Here’s how the machines examine:

thirteen″ MacBook Air thirteen” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 15” MacBook Air
Wireless net battery 15 hours 15 hours 12 hours 15 hours
Video playback 18 hours 18 hours 18 hours 22 hours
Included power adapter 30W, 35W, or 67W USB-C + MagSafe 35W or 70W USB-C + MagSafe 70W or 96W USB-C + MagSafe 140W USB-C + MagSafe
Battery capability 52.6Wh sixty six.5Wh 70Wh 100Wh
Quick charging ✅ with 70W ✅ with 70W ✅ with 96W ✅ with 140W

All of those trendy MacBooks can quick cost to give up to 50% battery in simply 30 minutes. However take note you’ll want to make use of the larger power adapters listed above.


With a starting worth of $1,099, the thirteen” M2 MacBook Air comes in at $500 lower than the 14” MacBook Professional. And the 15” MacBook Air is $1,200 lower than the 16” MacBook Pro.

The 14” MacBook Professional base model at $1,599 comes with an M3 chip, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. The sixteen” MacBook Professional with the same base specs starts at $2,499.

Model/worth thirteen″ MacBook Air thirteen” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 15” MacBook Air
256 / 8GB $1,099 $1,299
512 / 8GB $1,399 $1,499 $1,599
512 / 16 or 18GB $1,599 $1,699 From $1,999 From $2,499
Custom builds As much as $2,399 As much as $2,499 As much as $6,999 As much as $7,199

MacBook Pro vs. Air wrap-up

Why buy a MacBook Air?

  • For mild to medium efficiency needs and some restricted intensive needs, in the lightest package deal with all-day battery life, the MacBook Air is the perfect fit starting at an inexpensive $1,099 or $1,299.
    • Apple does still sell the M1 MacBook Air, however with many upgrades from simply $one hundred more, go for the M2 MacBook Air if in any respect potential.

Why purchase a MacBook Professional?

  • In the event you want or value probably the most energy throughout CPU, GPU, and memory (nonetheless with an all-day battery), lively cooling for heavy workloads, a brighter display, extra ports, larger external display help, and extra, the MacBook Professional is the best way to go.

You will discover the newest MacBooks at Apple, Amazon, Adorama, and more.

What do you consider the present MacBook lineup? Share your thoughts within the feedback! Thanks for reading our information on MacBook Professional vs. Air!

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