What is the difference between a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air?

One of our most common questions is what is the difference between these two Apple products lines. They’re both laptops, come in similar sizes and run the same software so what is it? There are a few differences between them, ranging in severity, and we hope this post will give you some guidance into what would be most suitable for you.

 

Performance

The MacBook Pro is as its name states the “Pro” version. Pro meaning performance. You’ll have seen recently they’ve followed this naming scheme onto the iPhones, so you’re more familiar while you shop across devices. By nature, the MacBook Pros use higher performance components, and the entry-level specifications are just as capable as the most powerful of the MacBook Airs you can buy. You’ll see specs like “Quad-Core” and “i7” or even “i9” advertised on a MacBook Pro meaning these use high-performance processors (the processor is the brain of your computer). In a MacBook Air, you’re more likely to find “i3” or “i5” and sometimes “i7”, but they’re set to a slower speed. MacBook Airs are always “Dual-Core” and 15-inch MacBook Pros “Quad-Core”. i3, i5, i7 and i9 are all the model ranges of processor that Apple use in their MacBooks.

The processor isn’t the start and finish. You also have the graphics card which runs the screen and processes any visuals. You’ll find in MacBook Pros you can get this as a “dedicated component” further improving performance. In a MacBook Air, the graphics are all handled by the processor. This affects the overall speed, and you have no option for a dedicated graphics model.

Lastly, let us not forget about the memory (RAM) and storage as it’s just as important. Both working in unison these parts store and allow your data to be available to the processor and graphics card. Your storage works like the lone term warehouse storage for all of your files. The memory is the middle man who grabs what you need from the warehouse so you can get to it quickly. In short, the more memory you have, the more you can access quickly at once. Imagine having Netflix, facebook, emails and your banking all running open and together. Running all those applications at the same time, fills your memory, and without enough, it could begin to slow it down.

Read more about how much memory you need.

In summary, the MacBook Pro is faster in every way. However, if you’re just a regular user you may not need the performance, so why pay the premium to have it! You should always consider performance first before you look at any of the other factors as if you require it, you must go for a Pro model.

Man using laptop outside

 

Portability

Size and weight. It’s as simple as that. If you’re always out of the office carrying your laptop with you in your bag, you may find a big 15-inch MacBook Pro may not feel like much to begin. Over time though that bag of yours will put a strain on your arm or neck, and you’ll start wishing you got something a little lighter. The 11-inch MacBook Air is the lightest and smallest of the bunch. You’ll have no problem carting it around; however, you are sacrificing screen size and performance. A 13-inch MacBook Air is your compromise, a balance of screen size, power and weight. Alternatively, you could go for a 13-inch MacBook Pro, and you won’t have a massive trade-off of weight, and you’ll get a lot more performance. However, there are changes to the design and most importantly, the price of the MacBook, which may sway you either way that we touch on later. A 15-inch MacBook Pro is the heaviest but unparalleled in power and offers the biggest screen.

 

Design

The MacBook Air is unique in design as it features a tapered edge towards the front, which allows your palms to rest on your work surface comfortably. This feature is popular with people who do a considerable amount of typing while they’re on the go as it reduces the risk of a repetitive stress injury caused by typing. If this is an essential factor for you, it’s worth considering the 13-inch MacBook Air over the MacBook Pro if performance isn’t a huge requirement.
If less typing and more Netflix is your thing, the MacBook Pros comes with a Retina display. You’ll have a better viewing experience with a Retina display so you might enjoy binge-watching that series just that little bit more.

 

Price

Ultimately you’re always going to pay more for a MacBook Pro. They’re a more capable system, and people who either need it or want it for the sake of staying current for longer are willing to pay more. Demand and supply. We stock a wide range of Apple systems in our store and reasonably price to market value and what we believe it’s truly worth. Expect to pay from £395 for a 2013 13-inch MacBook Air, from £495 for a 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro and from £745 for a 15-inch MacBook Pro.

If you’re interested in a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, visit our store, and if you have questions, please get in touch with our team as they’re happy to help!