When it comes to shopping for the best laptop with the Apple logo on the lid, there are really only two options these days – the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. Both are capable laptops, but which one you choose will depend heavily on what you want from a computer.
Let’s face it, neither device is the cheapest option, although one is definitely cheaper than the other. But if you’re just looking for the features, you need to think carefully about what you’re looking for, what the computer needs to be able to do, and how long you’re likely to need it.
With all the excitement surrounding the new MacBook models, there are bound to be some buyers torn as to which one best MacBook (Opens in a new tab) is for her. Thankfully, we’ve reviewed both laptops for years and can now walk you through everything to help you find the right MacBook model for your needs and budget.
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Price and Availability
It costs at the moment Apple MacBook Air (M1) (Opens in a new tab) in the basic configuration from 1,055 euros and the MacBook Air (M2) from 1,199 euros. You can, of course, pay a lot more if you add more memory and storage – the MacBook Air tops out at $2,999 – but you shouldn’t spend that much on features. Then you can also buy a MacBook Pro 14 inch right away.
If you go for the MacBook Pro, you start at $1,599 for the MacBook Pro 13″ (M2), but that’s a model you really shouldn’t buy. If you’re on a tight budget, the MacBook Air is the one better choice. The MacBook Pro you really want is the MacBook Pro 14″ (2021), which starts at $2,200.
If you upgrade to the MacBook Pro 16″ (2021), prices start at €2,750. Again, you can upgrade to get huge specs and downright obscene prices.
In Germany, the entry prices for the new MacBook Pro (Opens in a new tab)models increased slightly: the 14-inch model starts at 2,399 euros and the 16-inch model at 2,999 euros.
In terms of availability, the situation is much better than it used to be. You can buy a pre-built MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and get it delivered within days, and Apple Stores should have it in stock too. When you start customizing your MacBook, however, you’ll have to wait a little longer.
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Design
Both MacBook Air and MacBook Pro come in several versions with different designs depending on what you’re willing to spend.
The first is the MacBook Air, which Apple still sells as a predecessor model with an M1 chip. On the outside, it’s essentially the same MacBook Air that Apple has been selling for years, and to be honest, it’s a bit boring. You can still choose between the colors space grey, gold and silver.
The better option is the newer MacBook Air with M2 power and a whole new look. This includes a design that is no longer tapered like the old MacBook Airs, and a notch at the top of the 13-inch screen that houses the camera. It also means the bezels are smaller, which in turn means the display itself is slightly larger – 13.6 inches instead of 13 – and the overall aesthetic is just a lot more modern. Plus, you can choose from more colors including Midnight, Space Gray, North Star, and Silver.
If you’re switching back to the MacBook Pro, you have two choices. Well, actually three.
The range starts with the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, which you really shouldn’t buy. It’s an older model and features the much frowned upon Touch Bar on the keyboard. The device can be upgraded at purchase like any other Mac, but the CPU cannot be upgraded. If you want the performance of the M2 Pro or M2 Max, you’ll need one of the other MacBook Pro models.
These options are essentially the same device, albeit with 14- and 16-inch screens. Compared to the 13-inch model, the overall design is much more modern, including the notch that some people love and others hate. But that also means the bezels are smaller, just like the MacBook Air. And that’s never a bad thing. The rest of the design is simply more modern, and while the 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in any color as long as it’s silver, there’s also a space gray alternative for the larger devices.
Another big advantage of the modern MacBook Pro models are the ports. And lots of it. You have three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, and a MagSafe 3 port for charging. You can’t say that about any other portable Mac.
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Performance
If raw performance is what matters, there’s really only one device for you – the updated 16-inch MacBook Pro. But it will cost you something.
Priced at $4,149 before you add any options, this model comes with an Apple M2 Max chip with 12 CPU cores and 38 GPU cores. The 32 GB RAM is joined by a 1 TB SSD storage. Of course, you can upgrade both – up to 96GB and 8TB, although the top tier is incredibly expensive either way.
Of course you get that best notebook (Opens in a new tab)that Apple has to offer, but that doesn’t mean the M2 MacBook Air should be ignored. While the upgraded MacBook Pro is for people who need to edit 8K video or hundreds of audio tracks on battery power, the MacBook Air is for everyone else.
The M2 chip is more than fast enough for most people and is the best thin and light notebook on the market and will remain so for a while. Of course, you can also add a bit more memory and storage space to meet your needs. But if durability is your top priority, any of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will serve you well for years, no matter what.
Which MacBook should you buy?
We said right at the start that the decision between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro comes down to what you need it for and how long you want it to last. That hasn’t changed, although we’ve now established that if you’re on a very tight budget, you should avoid the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro and only go for the M1 MacBook Air.
But when it comes to the M2 MacBook Air and the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, things are actually surprisingly simple. If you’re someone who needs the extra power of the MacBook Pro, you probably already know this is the machine for you. You’re a professional whose workflow demands only the best. When time is money, e.g. B. for freelance creatives, it pays to choose the notebook that saves them.
But for everyone else, the MacBook Air is the only option that matters. The M2 chip is insanely fast, the whole device is silent and you have some beautiful colors to choose from. It’s not cheap, sure. But those who buy an M2 MacBook Air can sleep soundly at night knowing their new Mac will last for years to come. Can you say that about any other notebook on the market?
The popular show is now also available as a game for your iPhone and Mac. For the launch you can now win 1 of 20 keys. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for you!
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