MacBook Professional vs Air: How the lineup compares

Apple’s MacBook lineup was overhauled between the brand new MacBook Professional arriving with M2 Professional and Max chips to begin out 2023 and the MacBook Air with M2 chip that launched in 2022. Comply with alongside for our in-depth take a look at the MacBook Professional vs Air to see what’s totally different between these laptops.

The MacBook Air with M2 chip bought a giant improve in 2022 with an all-new design, bigger 13.6-inch show, flat-edged chassis, new midnight colour, upgraded webcam, and far more.

And to kick off 2023, the MacBook Professional laptops have been refreshed with M2 Professional and M2 Max chips and extra that construct on the late 2021 updates that introduced a recent design, mini-LED show, the return of I/O like HDMI, SD card slot, and MagSafe.

For an in depth comparability between the 2023 and 2021 MacBook Professional laptops, we’ve bought a devoted information on that too:

MacBook Professional vs Air: How do they examine?

CPU, GPU, RAM, neural engine

M2 allows as much as 24GB RAM, as much as 10 GPU cores, with as much as 2TB of storage.

In the meantime, with the MacBook Professional, you get the M2 Professional or M2 Max chip with the choice for as much as 12 CPU cores, 38 GPU cores, and RAM as much as 96GB.

{Hardware} MacBook Air (2022) MacBook Professional (2023)
CPU M2 – 8-core M2 Professional or Max – 10 or 12-core
Storage As much as 2TB As much as 8TB
RAM 8, 16, or 24GB 16 to 96GB
Graphics As much as 10-core As much as 38-core
Neural engine 16-core 16-core
FaceTime digital camera 1080p 1080p
Audio system 4-speaker system with broad sound 6-speaker high-fidelity
Mics 3-mic array Studio-quality 3-mic array
Thermal administration Fanless Energetic cooling with followers

Apple introduced as much as 18% sooner CPU efficiency and as much as 35% sooner GPU efficiency with the M2 in comparison with the M1. And it has over 20 billion transistors because of its second-gen 5 nm chip expertise.

However the M2 Professional and M2 Max supply 20, 30, and 40% efficiency enhancements when in comparison with the M1 Professional and Max for CPU, GPU, and neural engine. The M2 Professional doubles the M2’s 20 billion transistors to 40 billion, and the M2 Max options an incredible 67 billion transistors.

One other main distinction between the M2 and M2 Max would be the GPU functionality.

Apple says the brand new media engine has “twice the ProRes help to dramatically speed up media playback and transcoding.” The brand new M2 Max chip continues to incorporate two video encode engines like Apple did with the M1 Max.

In the meantime, the MacBook Air with M2 chip and the M2 Professional chip have single encode, decode, and ProRes encode/decode engines.

We’ve even seen the M2 Max outperform the M1 Extremely on the subject of ProRes exports:


Difference between MacBook Air displays

The MacBook Air has the smallest display screen by just below half an inch. After all, the MacBook Professional is out there in each 14.2 and 16.2″ variations.

For display screen brightness, the MacBook Air has as much as 500 nits. which is similar for the MacBook Professional (for SDR content material). However that goes as much as 1,000 sustained nits brightness (1,600 peak) for HDR content material on the MacBook Professional. Different show upgrades over the Air embody 120Hz refresh charges with ProMotion, mini-LED backlighting, and a better pixel density with the Professional.

MacBook Air (2022) 14″ MacBook Professional (2023) 16″ MacBook Professional (2023)
Precise display screen dimension 13.6″ 14.2″ 16.2″
Decision 2560 x 1664 3024 x 1964 3456 x 2234
Facet Ratio 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch
PPI 224 254 254
Nits (brightness) 500 500 for SDR, 1000 sustained, as much as 1600 peak for HDR 500 for SDR, 1000 sustained, as much as 1600 peak for HDR
Liquid Retina Show ✅ + XDR ✅ + XDR
ProMotion (as much as 120Hz)
mini-LED backlit
True Tone
P3 broad colour

The MacBook Air and the MacBook Professional embody a notch on the prime middle of the show for the 1080p FaceTime digital camera. However in contrast to the iPhone, the notch doesn’t embody Face ID {hardware}/help, even within the 2023 MacBook Professional fashions.

The entire present MacBooks function a lot slimmer bezels than their predecessors.

I/O: MacBook Professional vs Air

MacBook Pro vs Air I/O

The 2022 MacBook Air gained MagSafe charging like the trendy MacBook Professional. Nevertheless, Apple has stored additions like HDMI, SDXC slot, and help for as much as 4 exterior shows unique to the 14 and 16″ MacBook Professional.

The 2022 MacBook Air has help for simply 1 exterior show as much as 6K at 60Hz, even with the brand new M2 chip. Which may be a deal-breaker for some.

Different upgrades which have arrived with the M2 Professional/Max MacBook Professional embody Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and help for 8K video output with the brand new HDMI 2.1 port.

 MacBook Air (2022) MacBook Professional (2023)
Magic Keyboard
Contact ID
USB-C/Thunderbolt ports 2 3
Headphone jack
HDMI ✅ 2.1
SDXC card reader
MagSafe charging
Bluetooth 5.0 5.3
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 ( Wi-Fi 6E (
Exterior show help 1 exterior show as much as 6K/60Hz M2 Professional: As much as 2 exterior shows at 6K/60Hz, 1 exterior show at 8K/60Hz, or 1 show at 4K/240Hz over HDMI
M2 Max: As much as 4 exterior shows, 3 at 6K/60Hz and 1 at 4K/60Hz or 3 complete with 2 at 6K/60Hz and 1 exterior show at 8K/60Hz or 1 show at 4K decision at 240Hz over HDMI

Measurement, weight, and end

2022 MacBook Air

As you’d count on, the MacBook Air stays the lightest machine with each MacBook Professional fashions weighing extra. The MacBook Air can also be super-thin at 11.3 mm (0.44 in).

The brand new MacBook Professional laptops stay obtainable in area grey and silver whereas the Air is available in 4 decisions.

MacBook Air (2022) 14″ MacBook Professional (2023) 16″ MacBook Professional (2023)
Weight 2.7 kilos (1.24 kg) 3.5 kilos (1.6 kg) 4.7 kilos (2.1 kg)
Thickness 0.44 in. (1.13 cm) 0.61 inch (1.55 cm) 0.66 inch (1.68 cm)
Width 11.97 in. (30.41 cm) 12.31 in. (31.26 cm) 14.01 inches (35.57 cm)
Depth 8.46 in. (21.5 cm) 8.71 inches (22.12 cm) 9.77 inches (24.81 cm)
Show dimension 13.6 in. 14.2 in. 16.2 inches
Finishes Silver, area grey, starlight, midnight Silver or area grey Silver or area grey

Because the 2022 MacBook Air shifted from the wedge design it had for years, the entire new MacBooks share the flat-edged chassis.

Battery life

MacBook Pro vs Air battery life

Actual-world battery life for Apple Silicon MacBooks in comparison with the outdated Intel fashions has been spectacular and normally matches the corporate’s claims. However that may rely in your workflow, display screen brightness, and extra.

Apple has boosted the M2 Professional/Max MacBook Professional battery life to the purpose the place the 16″ MacBook Professional has as much as 22 hours of video playback. Right here’s how the machines examine:

MacBook Air 2022 14″ MacBook Professional (2023) 16″ MacBook Professional (2023)
Wi-fi net battery 15 hours 12 hours 15 hours
Video playback 18 hours 18 hours 22 hours
Included energy adapter 30W, 35W, or 67W USB-C + MagSafe 67W or 96W USB-C + MagSafe 140W USB-C + MagSafe
Battery capability 52.6Wh 70Wh 100Wh
Quick charging ✅ with 67W ✅ with 96W

All of those fashionable MacBooks can quick cost to surrender to 50% battery in simply half-hour. However consider you’ll want to make use of the larger energy adapters listed above.


With a beginning worth of $1,199, the MacBook Air is available in $800 lower than the 14-inch MacBook Professional which begins at $1,999.

The 14-inch MacBook Professional base mannequin at $1,999 comes with an M2 Professional chip, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. The 16-inch MacBook Professional with the identical base specs begins at $2,499.

Mannequin/worth 2022 MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Professional (2023) 16″ MacBook Professional (2023)
256 / 8GB $1,199
512 / 8GB $1,399
256 / 16GB $1,399
512 / 16GB $1,599 From $1,999 From $2,499
1TB / 16GB $1,799 From $2,199 From $2,699
1TB/ 24GB $1,999
1TB / 32GB From $2,899 From $3,499
Customized builds As much as $2,499 As much as $6,299 As much as $6,499

MacBook Professional vs Air wrap-up

  • For mild to medium efficiency wants and a few restricted intensive wants, within the lightest package deal with all-day battery life, the MacBook Air is the perfect match beginning at an affordable $1,199.
  • In case you want or worth probably the most energy (nonetheless with an all-day battery), lively cooling for heavy workloads, a brighter display screen, extra ports, larger exterior show help, and extra, the MacBook Professional is the way in which to go.
  • Whereas the 13-inch MacBook Professional was refreshed with the M2 chip 2022, you shouldn’t purchase it. You must both go for the M2 MacBook Air which has many extra upgrades or if you actually need the additional energy, step as much as the M2 Professional or Max MacBook Professional.
    • Apple does nonetheless promote the M1 MacBook Air, however with many upgrades for simply $200 extra, go for the M2 MacBook Air if in any respect doable

What do you consider the present MacBook lineup? Share your ideas within the feedback! Thanks for studying our information on MacBook Professional vs Air!

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