- Apple’s new MacBook Air is here, with refreshed specs, features, and design – and there’s finally a viable option that’s not the MacBook Pro.
- The new MacBook Air offers a lighter weight and a slimmer overall design for a lower price tag than any MacBook Pro.
- Both laptops’ displays also have the same sharpness and resolution, but they’re not the same quality. The MacBook Air also has better battery life.
- Read on to learn more about the similarities and differences between the new MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pros.
The old MacBook Air wasn’t a good option, considering its old specs and relatively high price tag for those specs. The only realistically good Apple laptop option was the MacBook Pro, or maybe the MacBook if you really valued portability.
But now that the new MacBook Air is here, with refreshed specs, features, and design, there’s finally a viable option that’s not the MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook Air offers a lighter weight and a slimmer overall design for a lower price tag than any MacBook Pro.
Check out the similarities and differences between the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pros:
The MacBook Air’s design is a mix of the original MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.
The overall design of the new MacBook Air is pretty similar to the original’s design, except for the display area, which got the MacBook Pro treatment, with narrower black bezels.
Both the new MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro have a 13-inch display.
Both laptops’ displays also have the same sharpness and resolution — but they’re not the same quality.
The new MacBook Air has the same 2560 x 1600 Retina resolution as the MacBook Pro.
The main area where the two displays differ is in their features.
The new MacBook Air’s Retina display is miles better, with 48% more color than the original’s. But it’s not quite as good as the MacBook Pro’s, which has Apple’s True Tone technology that adapts the display to the type of lighting in a room for what the company says is a more “accurate and natural” viewing experience. The MacBook Pro’s display also comes with better color, according to the specs.
At the end of the day, only professionals are likely to notice the MacBook Pro’s additional color depth and True Tone. The MacBook Air’s display will surely be fine for most people.
The MacBook Air has a less powerful processor chip and can’t be upgraded.
The MacBook Air comes with a dual-core 8th-generation Intel chip, and you can’t upgrade to a more powerful chip with four cores.
The cheaper MacBook Pros from 2017 come with Intel’s 7th-generation dual-core Core i5 chips, and you can upgrade to a more powerful dual-core Core i7.
The 2018 MacBook Pros come with Intel’s 8th-generation quad-core Core i5 chips and can be upgraded to quad-core Core i7 chips.
It’s hard to tell whether the new MacBook Air is as powerful as the 2017 MacBook Pros. It’s pretty much a guarantee that the 2018 MacBook Pros are more powerful than the new MacBook Air, but we’ll need to wait for thorough testing to know for sure.
But the new MacBook Air seems to hold its own. The YouTuber Kraig Adams told 9to5Mac that he tested the new MacBook Air and that it could absolutely be his primary editing machine.
Both laptops come with 8 GB of RAM and have a 16 GB upgrade limit.
The new MacBook Air has a Touch ID sensor, whereas only the more expensive 2018 MacBook Pros have the sensor.
- Kif Leswing
All new MacBook Air models come with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is more useful than you think if you’ve never tried it. Just imagine never having to type your password again to unlock your computer. Same thing for your phone: Could you imagine not having to use your PIN every time you want to unlock it?
As for MacBook Pros, only the 2018 Touch Bar models, which start at $1,800, come with a Touch ID sensor.
The new MacBook Air doesn’t have a Touch Bar.
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
While the new MacBook Air has a Touch ID sensor, none of the available models comes with a Touch Bar. That’s fine, though, as the Touch Bar hasn’t proved to be a particularly must-have feature.
Both laptops have similar storage options.
You get similar storage on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pros, give or take 500 GB in the configuration options for each model.
The MacBook Air has better battery life.
According to the spec sheets, the new MacBook Air can last for up to 12 hours of web browsing, while the MacBook Pro can last up to 10 hours.
The MacBooks Air isn’t that much lighter than the MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Air weighs 2.75 pounds and the MacBook Pro weighs 3 pounds. It’s a quarter-pound difference, which is noticeable but not too significant.
It’s not that the new MacBook Air is heavy, but rather that the recent 13-inch MacBook Pros are already so light to begin with.
That said, the new MacBook Air is a little lighter than the original model, which weighed about 2.9 pounds.
The MacBook Pro is actually slightly thinner than the MacBook Air at its thickest point.
There’s a 0.02-inch difference between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air at their thickest points, with the MacBook Air surprisingly being the thicker model.
At its thinnest point, the MacBook Air is only 0.16 inches. But overall, the MacBook Air takes up less space than the MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have the same number of USB-C ports.
You’ll find two USB-C ports on the left on the new MacBook Air, just as you would on a MacBook Pro. The headphone jack is also on the right on both models.
So long, regular old USB-A (and anything else, for that matter).
Both laptops have similar keyboards and trackpads.
The MacBook Air has adopted Apple’s ultra-slim butterfly keyboard from the MacBook and MacBook Pros.
Specifically, the new MacBook Air has Apple’s third-generation butterfly keyboard, designed to be quieter and more reliable than the first generation.
The cheaper MacBook Pros from 2017 have Apple’s second-generation butterfly keyboard, which also have seemingly been more reliable than the first generation.
Both laptops can connect to the same number of monitors at 5K and 4K resolutions.
The MacBook Air can connect to one external display with 5K resolution at up to 60 Hz, and up to two external displays with 4K resolution at up to 60 Hz. The same goes for MacBook Pros.
The MacBook Air is overall cheaper than the MacBook Pro.
- Kif Leswing
The new MacBook Air costs $1,200 at its cheapest configuration and $2,600 at its most expensive.
The MacBook Pro starts at $1,300 and can be upgraded all the way up to a $3,700 price tag.