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Difference Between MacBook Air And MacBook Pro

The difference between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro used to be major — the MacBook Pro was one of the pricier options, decidedly marketed towards professionals, such as programmers, graphic designers, and others that needed a reliable solution for demanding and rigorous work. That said, you had choices that would allow you to outfit the MacBook Pro with some pretty high-end hardware, making it an easy choice for professionals. But, not everyone has a couple thousand to spend on a laptop, which is where the MacBook Air came in — it was a way to offer lower-end hardware at a much more affordable price point, something that even students could afford. However, with the MacBook Air’s most recent model refresh, it’s gotten a whole lot closer to being a MacBook Pro clone, confusing the differences even more.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AppleApple MacBook Pro (15" Retina, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver (Latest Model)Buy on Amazon|$2499(Price as of 01/18/2019 16:49 ET)
AppleApple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 128GB) - Space Gray (Latest Model)Buy on Amazon|$1149.99(Price as of 01/18/2019 17:49 ET)

So which one does what, and for who? If you stick with us below, we’ll cover all of the major differences that you need to know, and hopefully help you make the smart buying decision here.

MacBook Pro

As we already mentioned, the MacBook Pro was a laptop designed for the professional — the programmer, the graphic designer, the video editor, and so on. That’s why you’re able to outfit it with hardware that can cost well up to around $4000 right now. You can get a base model for much, much less, but that’s what you’re looking at for all the top hardware. That said, the MacBook Pro is going to be able to handle just about anything you throw at it.

The MacBook Pro come with some much more impressive screen sizes as well. You can get them in 13- and 15-inch models, making them a little more optimal for all-day work. These also have the Retina display, whereas the MacBook Air does not — that said, you get much sharper detail, better clarity, and overall more color support.

Now, there are differences between 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. In the MacBook Pro 15’s, you get a 6-core processor paired with 16GB of RAM. In the 13-inch models, you get a dual-core processor and 8GB of RAM. Naturally, you get slightly better battery life here, since there’s a lot less hardware power eating through your battery.

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MacBook Air

The MacBook Air was made for portability and affordability. The MacBook Air is one of Apple’s thinnest laptops available, enabling you to take it with you almost anywhere without much hassle — that could be a cafe to get some work done, or to a school lecture to take notes during the session with the professor, and so on.

That said, the MacBook Air comes with some slightly lower-end hardware, albeit very similar to what is packed inside of the 13-inch MacBook Air. You get options for a dual-core processor and 8GB of memory, though you can choose to upgrade either one for added price. The base model actually starts out at just $1200, which is much easier to swallow than the almost $2000 price point of the base MacBook Pro 15.

The MacBook Air’s actually come with Thunderbolt 3 ports built into the machine, whereas the MacBook Pro has gotten rid of those in favor of USB-C all-around. Battery life is actually the best in the MacBook Air, offering you up to twelve hours of Web time off of a single charge. The MacBook Pro has around 10-hours off of a single charge, though it usually ends up being much less than that.

One of the nice things about the new MacBook Air models is that they now look similar to the MacBook Pro, giving you that almost bezel-less display. Previous Air generations had a massive frame around the screen, which made them ugly and unattractive.

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Verdict

As you can see, both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are admirable devices, and are actually some of the best that you can buy today, whether you’re looking for power or portability. The MacBook Pro will be able to keep up with many of the demanding tasks that you require from a computer.

Now, the MacBook Air will be able to do much of what the MacBook Pro can do — for example, you can develop for the Web on it just fine — however, eventually you will probably run into a point where you need more powerful hardware, such as if you start working with virtual machines. That said, the MacBook Air is most optimal for Web-based work that doesn’t require a massive amount of computing power.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AppleApple MacBook Pro (15" Retina, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver (Latest Model)Buy on Amazon|$2499(Price as of 01/18/2019 16:49 ET)
AppleApple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 128GB) - Space Gray (Latest Model)Buy on Amazon|$1149.99(Price as of 01/18/2019 17:49 ET)

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