This week Apple reorganized its notebook line with the update of MacBooks Air and 13 ″ Pro and the end of the sales cycle for the 12 ″ MacBook, the old Air and the Pro without Touch Bar.
Although there are now only two models, the difference between them may not be exactly clear to you – after all, the MacBook Pro corresponds to the top-of-the-line version of Apple notebooks, while the MacBook Air is more student-oriented / domestic use.
If you are looking to purchase a portable Mac and are in doubt between the two options, check out the technical differences between the current models below.
The MacBook Air had already gained some news that raised the specifications of the entry-level notebook from Apple; this time, the focus was on the quality of the display. As we reported, now it has the technology True Tone, which changes the color temperature according to the environment, making the visualization less aggressive to the eyes.
In addition, the Retina display maintained the same proportions: 13.3 inches (LED backlit with IPS technology), native resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels, 16:10 and 400 format nits brightness.
The new MacBook Air is equipped with Intel’s eighth generation Core i5 dual-core and 1.6GHz chips (with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz). What varies is the internal storage, with 128GB and 256GB SSDs (you can still customize it with the 512GB and 1TB options).
The rest of the MacBook Air’s features have remained unchanged since its last version, launched at the end of last year. The machine has an 8GB LPDDR3 RAM (expandable to 16GB) with 2.133MHz, Intel UHD 617 graphics, Touch ID (remember that the MacBook Air does not have a Touch Bar, only the biometric sensor), trackpad with Force Touch technology and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
While the MacBook Air news was restricted to the computer display, the update to the 13 ″ MacBook Pro leveraged the processor from the entry-level versions of this model, which now feature an Intel Core i5 chip, also in the eighth generation, with four cores and 1.4GHz.
Most of the entry versions of the machine also have the same characteristics as the heavier models. The display, for example, is very similar to that of the MacBook Air: 13.3 inches, backlit by LED, with IPS technology, resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels and technology support True Tone. What changes between the two models is the support for the wide color tone (P3) and the luminance, which on the MacBook Pro is 500 nits (that is, it has more shine).
As we said, the MacBook Pro Core i5 processor now has four cores and 1.4 GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz), similarly to versions equipped with a 2.4 GHz processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz). There is, however, the possibility to equip it with an Intel Core i7 processor quad-core 1.7 GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz).
The top-of-the-line models (15 ″), on the other hand, have an Intel Core i7 (ninth generation) processor with six cores of 2.6 GHz and 2.3 GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz and 4.8GHz, respectively).
As for internal storage, the incoming MacBook Pro is equipped with 128GB SSD (here, PCIe), but you can customize it with up to 2TB (against 1TB on MacBook Air). On 15 ″ models, you can customize them with up to 4TB of internal storage.
All 13 ″ models are equipped with 8GB LPDDR3 memory (configurable up to 16GB) with 2.133MHz, while top-of-the-line versions have 16GB DDR4 memory (configurable up to 32GB) with 2.400MHz.
The graphics on the MacBook Pro, of course, are much more advanced than those on the MacBook Air. The 13 ″ model features Intel Iris Plus 645 graphics; the 15 ″ uses the Radeon Pro 555X or 560X graphics card with 4GB GDDR5 memory (can also be customized with a Pro Vega 16 or 20 with 4GB HBM2 memory).
The MacBook Pro has, like the Air, a trackpad with Force Touch, Touch ID (but integrated with the Touch Bar, which offers other customizable settings options) and options with two or even four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Here comes an important point, but when it comes to notebooks it is not an incredibly relevant factor. It is clear that greater capacities represent a longer duration, but in this case, this is not true.
Although the MacBook Pro battery has a greater internal capacity, it can last up to 10 hours navigation on Wi-Fi networks. Meanwhile, Apple claims that the MacBook Air can reach 12 hours navigation and even 13 hours for playing movies on iTunes. This is due to the lower energy consumption of the Air, as well as the use of less powerful graphics.
The choice of a notebook is very much based on each person’s personal needs, but the cost of these machines is almost always a starting point when it comes to discarding some options. As well as technical specifications, the prices of MacBooks Air / Pro, mainly in Brazil, place the two machines at different levels.
Thus, while the MacBook Air (configured with the input options) costs R $ 9,700 (or R $ 8,729.10 in cash), the MacBook Pro entry model costs R $ 12,000 (or R $ 10,799.10 in cash). Even with the stiffer configurations, the Air still costs less than the simpler Pro (R $ 11,300).
After all, which one to choose?
Returning to what I said at the beginning of the article, each of Apple’s notebooks subjectively has a certain target audience. Based on the aforementioned specifications, the MacBook Pro is intended for professional use, such as photo / video editing, for example – because it has more options for connecting to external devices and monitors.
MacBook Air, on the other hand, masterfully performs simpler tasks, such as web browsing, creating and editing documents and presentations. Although it does not have such expansive connections, the Air is known for being extremely light (1.25kg), winning in terms of portability (the Pro has 1.37kg).
It is worth noting that the keyboard of both machines is practically the same and has the controversial butterfly mechanism, which generated quite a headache for both consumers and Apple itself.
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Were you able to see the main differences between MacBooks Air and Pro? You can compare the entire current line of Apple notebooks on this page.
If you have any questions about the models and / or possible differences between them, comment below! ?