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Exclusive MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Specs 2024

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are the two laptop models that Apple currently offers. The MacBook Air has a 13.6-inch or 15-inch display, while the MacBook Pro has a 14- or 16-inch display. And there’s an even greater variety of specs among those versions. 

We’re talking about the best Mac laptops for ordinary use in this post. Professional users would be better served by the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro versions that are powered by M3 Pro or M3 Max CPUs.

We’ll be thinking about the following MacBooks with comparable specs:

MacBook ModelRelease Date
M2, 13.6-inch MacBook AirJuly, 2022
M3, 13.6-inch MacBook AirMarch, 2024
M3, 14-inch MacBook ProOctober, 2023
M3, 15-inch MacBook AirMarch, 2024
Different MacBook Models for Comparison

MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air Design

Since Apple unveiled the MacBook Air in June 2022, the device’s design has remained unchanged. The Air’s iconic tapered edge has been replaced with a more unified appearance. The MacBook Air is somewhat larger than the previous model, yet it is still slimmer than the previous model because of the larger screen.

The second obvious change in the new design is the notch on the MacBook Air’s screen, which is similar to the one on the iPhone and 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Notches aren’t always a terrible thing, but in this case, they permit the larger screen while hiding a far superior FaceTime camera.

You may still get the tapered shape that makes the device instantly recognizable by purchasing the MacBook Air M1.

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro by Weight

As would be expected, the 13-inch MacBook Air weighs less than the 14-inch MacBook Pro, but the 15-inch MacBook Air weighs less than the 14-inch MacBook Pro as well.

MacBook ModelWeight
M3, 14-inch MacBook Pro3.4 pounds (1.55 kg)
M3, 15-inch MacBook Air3.3 pounds (1.51 kg)
M3, 13-inch MacBook Air2.7 pounds (1.24 kg)
Comparison of MacBook Models by Weight

Despite being the biggest of the M3 laptops, the 15-inch MacBook Air weighs less than the Pro due to its slimmer design. The dimensions of the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Air are similar.

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Display

In June 2023, Apple introduced a 15.3-inch MacBook Air to the lineup for those who find a 13.6-inch screen small. This model is only larger than the 13.6-inch MacBook Air, yet it looks the same and has almost the same specifications.

Since the 14-inch MacBook Pro requires fans to dissipate heat, it is somewhat thicker and heavier than the 15-inch MacBook Air; on the other hand, the Air is naturally broader and taller because of its larger display.

MacBook ModelLiquid Retina Display SpecsResolutionMax Brightness
13-inch MacBook Air M313.6 inches diagonal2,560 by 1,664 pixels500 nits
14-inch MacBook Pro M314.2 inches diagonal3,024 by 1,964 pixels1600 nits
15-inch MacBook Air M315.3 inches diagonal2,880 by 1,864 pixels500 nits
Display Specs for Different MacBook Models

There are two Liquid Retina display sizes available for the MacBook Air: 15.3 and 13.6 inches. Excellent 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR panel comes with the MacBook Pro. 

MacBook Display

The maximum brightness of the two Airs is 500 nits, which is half of the Pro’s 1,000 nits when used normally, or a third if you’re using HDR content at a maximum brightness of 1,600 nits. This is executed by the Pro display employing mini-LEDs in place of the Air’s standard LCD screen.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro model features ProMotion, which allows the refresh rate to peak at 120 Hz, double that of the MacBook Air’s 60 Hz refresh rate, is arguably the largest difference between the two devices. This maintains sharp, fluid scrolling and animations.

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Specs

The closest comparison, based on the specs above, is between the $1,599/£1,699 14-inch MacBook Pro and the $1,499/£1,499 15-inch MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is more expensive, but it has a better display, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI connector, and built-in fans to keep the laptop cool during extended use. These features may or may not be necessary.

At $999/£999, the 13.6-inch MacBook Air, M2 (2022) appears to be an excellent option for those on a tighter budget. This machine’s smaller SSD is the primary issue, not only because it’s smaller but also because 256GB SSDs are notoriously slower.

Although the SSD may not be a big deal to you if your programs don’t regularly write to the hard drive, it could still be a wise decision.

However, the MacBook Air may also be slowed down by other issues. If you push the Air too hard, it may run slower to stay cool because it lacks a fan and is less equipped to handle heat.


The base model of every MacBook shown above includes 8GB of Unified Memory. The M2 and M3 chips provide the ability to expand to 24GB RAM, whereas the M1 processor can only handle up to 16GB of RAM. If you want more memory than that, you might consider the M3 Pro and M3 Max, which support up to 128GB for the M3 Max and 36GB for the M3 Pro.


For all the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models, Apple provides an entry-level 256GB storage option. The 512GB model of the MacBook Pro is the base model.

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Battery Charging

Apple claims that the 14-inch MacBook Pro (which also has the same battery life as the 16-inch MacBook Pro) has an astounding 22 hours of battery life, while the MacBook Air offers 18 hours.

Our tests revealed that the M2 MacBook Air battery outlasted both the M1 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro by about an hour and a half, with a duration of 17.5 hours. In our tests, the battery life of the 15-inch MacBook Air proved to be lasted 19 hours. Since the M3 MacBook Air’s battery is identical to that of the M2 models, we don’t anticipate any modifications in testing.

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro USB Ports

MacBook USB Ports

Only two USB/4 and two USB/Thunderbolt ports were available on the earlier M1 MacBook Air, therefore one of those had to be utilized for charging (as was also the case with the 13-inch MacBook Pro). Fortunately, Apple released a MagSafe charging connector with the 2022 MacBook Air, freeing up the two USB ports so that one does not need to be used for charging (this also applies to the 15-inch model).

There are even more ports on the MacBook Pro. Similar to the MacBook Air, the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, a MagSafe charging connector, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the Pro has HDMI and SDXC connections, which the Air does not.

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Sound

Both versions include six-speaker arrays (the 13-inch Air only has four speakers), 1080p FaceTime HD cameras, and an integrated Touch ID sensor in the keyboard. Apple refers to the sound quality of the 14-inch MacBook Pro as “High Fidelity,” which suggests that it is better than the 15-inch Air.

While all Air versions merely provide a “three-mic array with directional beamforming,” Apple also describes the 14-inch Pro as having a “studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.” 

Every MacBook made by Apple has a 3.5mm headphone port. Both variants provide Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.

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