February 26, 2024

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro 2023: All MacBooks explained

So you are ready to buy a MacBook Air. Or is it a MacBook Pro? I understand; you’re not sure yet.

you know you want a MacBook, but you’re wondering whether you should buy an Air – or spend a little more money for a Pro.

The 15-inch MacBook Air
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon/Mashable

With Apple introducing the new 14-inch MacBook Pro models – all featuring an M3, M3 Pro or M3 Max chip – you might be wondering if you should get the latest kids on the block. Fortunately, this MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro guide intended to clear your confusion.


The most expensive 16-inch MacBook Pro costs an eye-watering $7,199

MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro 2023

The MacBook Air is known for its ultra-light, fanless design, so if you travel often and want your laptop to fit like a manila folder in your travel bag, the Air line is for you. If you don’t mind having a more expensive, heavier laptop with beastly internals that can handle heavy workloads, consider the MacBook Pro.

However, there are other factors to consider with the Air and Pro lines beyond their weight and chipset power.

15-inch M2 MacBook Air (2023)

15-inch M2 MacBook Air card

15-inch M2 MacBook Air price and specs
Credit: Mashable/Rapid Tables

The 15-inch MacBook Air, packed with the M2 chip, excited MacBook fans because: for onceconsumers could buy a MacBook Air with a large screen. For After the launch of the 15-inch MacBook Air, you’d either have to settle for a small-screen Air or grab a Pro model with a larger screen, which would require you to shell out the big bucks.

15-inch M2 MacBook Air

The 15-inch M2 MacBook Air.
Credit: Apple

I personally have a 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, and it’s a beauty, but here’s what you need to know before you buy it.

Why you should do that not buy a 15-inch M2 MacBook Air

  • This 15-inch MacBook Air was rumored to have an M3 chip, but due to production issues, Apple changed its plans and equipped the MacBook Air with the M2 chip.

  • The M2 chip is more than a year old. It was first launched in July 2022. However, it is the “newest” chip you can find in a MacBook Air.

  • A new M3 MacBook Air may be available in the summer of next year; we could see it unveiled at Apple’s WWDC 2024 event in June. It may be worth waiting.

  • The chassis attracts fingerprints.

  • You have a heavy workload (e.g. 3D modeling and high-resolution video editing). You’re better off with the Pro. The MacBook Air has a fanless design, so it’s best for less intensive workflows.

  • No HDMI port or SD card slot

  • Brightness only rises to 500 nits (Pro models can jump up to 1,600 nits)

15-inch M2 MacBook Air

15-inch M2 MacBook Air
Credit: Apple

Why you should buy the 15-inch MacBook Air

  • You are a student.

  • It’s the cheapest 2023 MacBook you can get.

  • It is thin and light with a slimness of 0.45 inches and a weight of only 3.3 pounds.

  • The M2 chip is more than enough to meet your workflow needs, as long as you’re not doing anything that pushes the limits (e.g. running multiple Adobe apps at the same time)

  • Sturdy, solid build quality with an anodized aluminum chassis

  • Great battery life! According to Mashable’s tests, it lasted 19 hours and 4 minutes.

  • Speakers sound divine, but not as great as the Pro models, which have hi-fi sound

14-inch M3 MacBook Pro (2023)

14-inch M3 MacBook Pro chart

14-inch M3 MacBook Pro chart
Credit: Mashable/Rapid Tables

The new 14 inch M3 MacBookPro does not to be confused with the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Pro chip.

MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro that Apple unveiled at its “Scary Fast” event.
Credit: Apple

The M3 chip, compared to the M3 Pro chip, is less punchy, but has an incredible multi-core score of 12,111 on the Geekbench 6 test, which analyzes CPU proficiency. Compare this to the M2 chip in the 15-inch MacBook Air, which only returned a score of 9,744.

Why you should do that not buy the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro

  • The $1,600 price tag is shocking to you. If you don’t have a demanding workflow, you can’t go wrong with the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air.

  • You want more color options. This variant only offers Space Gray and Silver. The 15-inch M2 MacBook Air offers these two colors, plus Starlight and Midnight (I personally Love Midnight).

  • You prioritize the idea of ​​a lighter laptop. All 2023 MacBook Pros weigh approximately 3.5 pounds and are just 0.61 inches thin.

  • It only has two USB-C ports and you can only connect one display at a time (the M3 Pro/M3 Max versions have 3 ports and can connect at least two external monitors).

14-inch M3 MacBook Pro

14-inch M3 MacBook Pro
Credit: Apple

Why you should buy the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro

  • Striking 120 Hz mini LED display

  • It replaced the clunky 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, so to put it succinctly, 13-inch variants of the MacBook Pro are now dead. From now on it will all be 14 inches or better.

  • The entry-level MacBook Pro no longer comes with the controversial Touch Bar.

  • It is the most affordable MacBook Pro you can get with a starting price of $1,600.

  • As mentioned, the M3 chip is super fast. It’s 60% faster than the M1 MacBook Pro, especially when it comes to rendering via Final Cut Pro.

  • According to Apple, the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro should have that 22 hours of battery life.

M3 Pro, M3 Max 14 inch and 16 inch MacBook Pro (2023)

M3 Pro/M3 Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro overview

M3 Pro/M3 Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro overview
Credit: Apple/Rapid Charts

Now we’ll take a look at the most luxurious 2023 MacBook Pro models that Apple has to offer.

M3 Pro MacBook Pro

M3 Pro/M3 Max MacBook Pro
Credit: Apple

The power of these villains is astonishing. If you have a monstrous workload and need storage and memory space that rivals the vastness of our galaxy, the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, found in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models , the best choice for you. For the uninitiated, the M3 Max is more powerful than the M3 Pro.

Why you should do that not buy the M3 Pro/M3 Max MacBook Pro

  • This machine is ideal for professionals, including machine learning programmers, 3D artists and professional video editors, who need all the power and space for their complex projects. If you don’t fall into this category, consider the M3 14-inch MacBook Pro.

  • It is rated as having fewer battery life than that of the M3 MacBook Pro (18 hours), according to Apple.

Why you should buy the 14-inch M3 Pro/M3 Max MacBook Pro

  • It has one more USB-C port for a total of three compared to the entry-level M3 MacBook Pro.

  • Unlike the M3 MacBook Pro, the M3 Pro/M3 Max models support a minimum of two external monitors (M3 Pro) and a maximum of four displays (M3 Max).

  • You can only get the Space Black color in the M3 Pro and M3 Max models. Space Black is a highly sought after shade. And that’s not just because of the rich, inky black color. Its biggest selling point is that it does not attract fingerprints. (Many of the other non-M3 Pro/M3 Max models Doing attract fingerprints.)

  • You can get as much as 8TB of storage and 128GB of RAM (with M3 Max). You will never run out of space in this life.

Final thoughts

The average user should be fine with the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, but if you’re a regular photo or video editor, you’ll be better off upgrading to the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro.

If you are a professional who works with multiple external displays and needs extensive storage and memory, the M3 Pro and M3 Max models are the best choice for you. Additionally, you may come across the Space Black model, which uses a nice anodizing seal that keeps fingerprints at bay.

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