Apple recently launched its largest 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 chip at WWDC 2023. Calling it the best and the thinnest 15-inch laptop, the tech company states that the 2023 MacBook Air delivers incredible performance and extraordinary battery life in its thin and fanless design.
However, the new 15-inch M2 MacBook Air starts at a $1299 premium price, and it falls in the same price range as the 14-inch MacBook Pro (base model) if purchased with upgrades like more memory, and SSD storage.
If you are looking to buy a new MacBook or want to upgrade your older Mac but can not decide which one to opt for, then do not worry.
YouTubers did comprehensive performance and battery comparison tests of the 15-inch MacBook Air and 14-inch MacBook Pro to see which MacBook model is better.
Table of Contents
15-inch MacBook Air vs. 14-inch MacBook Pro: Specs comparison
The 15-inch MacBook Air is 2.78cm wider and 1.64cm taller than the 14-inch MacBook Pro, along with being thinner and weighing less.
The 2023 MacBook Air features a larger trackpad and more real screen estate than the 14-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro.
|14-inch MacBook Pro||15-inch MacBook Air|
|Display||14.3-inch mini-LED display|
120Hz refresh rate
1600 nits brightness
Thinner bezels than the 2023 MacBook Air
|15.3-inch LCD display.|
60Hz refresh rate
500 nits brightness
Thicker bezels than 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
|15-inch MacBook Air (2023)||Price||14-inch MacBook Air||Price|
15-inch MacBook Air vs. 14-inch MacBook Pro: Performance comparisons
YouTuber ZoneofTech compared the performance of the 15-inch MacBook Air against the 14-inch MacBook Pro and here are the results:
- 14 MBP: 10-core CPU/16-core GPU/ 16GB RAM/ 512 storage
- 15 MBA: 8-core CPU/ 10-core GPU/ 8GB RAM/ 256GB storage
|Performance Tests||14-inch MacBook Pro||15-inch MacBook Pro|
|AJA disk speed test||Read: 2829|
|Transfer speed |
(17.91GB transferred from SSD)
|20 seconds (35% faster)||27 seconds|
(multiple run average)
|11, 648 (50% faster)||7,761|
(multiple run average)
|Sustained at 102 celsius||Throttled at 87 Celsius|
(228 images from RAWs to JPEGs)
|8 seconds (5x faster)||38 seconds|
(Effects and filters on 227 images)
|1 minute 5 seconds||1 minute 15 seconds|
|Lightroom Export |
(227 images in full resolution)
|6 minutes 3 seconds|
|19 minutes 11 seconds|
|Blender CPU||7 minutes 21 seconds|
|13 minutes 40 seconds|
|Blender GPU||2 minutes 11 seconds||5 minutes 14 seconds|
|Final Cut Pro video export speed||13 minutes 10 seconds||43 minutes|
(max playable tracks)
|122 tracks||70 tracks|
The 14-inch MacBook Pro delivered double the frame rate of the 15-inch MacBook Air.
- Shadow of the Tom Raider (not natively supported on Apple Silicon Macs)
- 15 MBA: 14 fps
- 14 MBP: 33 fps
- World of Warcraft (Optimized for Apple Silicon Macs)
- 15 MBA: 36.5 fps
- 14 MBP: 71.5 fps
The 2023 MacBook Air offers longer battery life with up to 15 hours of web browsing (wireless) in comparison to up to 12 hours of web browsing on the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023).
However, with more power-consuming workflows like video editing and exporting others, 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023) gives better battery life.
YouTuber MaxTech tested the 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD against the 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. Here are the results.
|Tests||14-inch MacBook Pro||15-inch MacBook Air|
|SSD speed test|
|Read: 3,477||Read: 3,239|
|Cinebench 6 score|
|single-core: 2, 614|
|Geekbench 6 Metal GPU score|
|73, 318||45, 503|
|98 seconds||122 seconds|
|Lightroom Classic – |
11 minutes 9 seconds
|1 minute 17 seconds|
25 minutes and 35 seconds
|4K HEVC export||2 minutes 22 seconds||2 minutes 21 seconds|
|ProRes RAW export||1 minute 3 seconds||1 minute 41 seconds|
|Web browsing speed||389||385|
Wild Life Extreme
- 15 MBA: 41 fps with throttling
- 14 MBP: 67 fps
YouTuber Arthur Winer compared the 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 chip, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD and the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD.
He found the MBP was faster and more power efficient during heavier workflows like editing, exporting, and coding. Having said that, MBA also proved to be an efficient machine for heavy workflows but just not as good as MBP.
Conclusion: MacBook Air does not compare to the MacBook Pro’s performance but is a capable machine
Apple has widened the gap between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup with the new 15-inch MacBook Air. The larger screen and improve power efficiency make it a great machine for everyday tasks like web browsing, video streaming, assignments, and even light photo and video editing.
The answer to which model should you buy comes down to your need and pocket.
- If you think have extra dollars to spare and think that you will need a machine that a handle heavy workflows, then the 14-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro is the right choice for you.
- But if you want a lighter machine with a larger screen, then opt for the 15-inch MacBook Air.