First of all, about the necessary investment: In terms of equipment and pricing, Apple has set up the MacBook Air M2 and MacBook Pro M2 largely identically. Both the base price and the additional options are on the same level – the bottom line is that there is only a difference of just 20 euros in favor of the MacBook Air. So the costs are not an argument for one of the two series.
Performance: Benefits MacBook Pro
The MacBook Air is still passively cooled, while the MacBook Pro uses a fan. In the case of the M1 variants, it could be observed that this only works audibly under prolonged load. In this case, the MacBook Pro 13″ actually has advantages, because at some point the chip in the MacBook Air has to be throttled. If it behaves similarly to the 2020 models, there can be performance advantages of the order of 20 to 25 percent . Our tests at that time resulted in an increase of 15 percent after 30 minutes of full load and almost 25 percent after three quarters of an hour. It remains to be seen whether this is relevant for many users.
Design, equipment: Advantage MacBook Air
In terms of design, the MacBook Air M2 and MacBook Pro M2 differ very clearly, because the Air is already a representative of the new design language – although this is accompanied by the black notch and high menu bar. With the Pro, on the other hand, everything is still the same as it used to be, even the Touch Bar is there. Anyone who can benefit a lot from the input form that has since been abolished might be better off with the MacBook Pro 13″. In return, the MacBook Air shines with better speakers, microphones and a more up-to-date webcam. MagSafe is also available in the Air, but not in the Pro.
Battery Life: Advantage MacBook Pro
A battery with 52.6 watt hours is used in the MacBook Air, while the MacBook Pro has a slightly higher 58.2 watt hours. However, the Pro model lasts much longer, because the Air doesn’t manage 20 hours of movie playback or 17 hours of wireless surfing – there it’s “only” 18 or 15 hours.
Conclusion: MacBook Air M2 or MacBook Pro M2?
The comparison shows that the MacBook Pro 13″ still has a certain relevance. This also applies to the MacBook Pro 14″, because it costs 400 euros more with the same SSD size. However, an M1 Pro with eight cores is slightly superior to the M2 with eight cores: After all, the M1 Pro has six instead of four performance cores. The M1 Pro with 10 CPU cores even offers eight high-performance cores, but then costs 650 euros more than the MacBook Pro M2. However, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13″ only support one external display, quite unlike the large MacBook Pro.
However, the MacBook Air M2 should be the better choice for the majority of users because it is simply the more modern platform. The MacBook Pro is only more suitable for users who don’t want to get used to the design and who often demand maximum performance over a longer period of time. Except for active cooling, this can otherwise not show any significant advantages in most aspects.
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