M1 MacBook Air vs M1 MacBook Pro – which one should you get?

Apple’s new M1 MacBooks are finally here and they are bringing a lot to the table. The new 13-inch M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have the same design with the same ports, FaceTime camera, same wireless technology, and more. However, the technical specifications differentiate between eh models. Here we have a detailed comparison of both the models for users to make an informed decision when upgrading their laptops.

M1 MacBook Air vs M1 MacBook Pro

In this post, we have compared the pricing, display, battery, and other specs of both M1 Apple Silicon MacBooks’, so you can decide which is the right fit for them.

The new MacBook models are powered by Apple custom build chip, M1 Apple Silicon. The new processor brings enhanced performance, innovative technology, and incredible battery life which can not be matched by any laptop processing chip, currently in the market. Reviewers unanimously agree that the M1 has set new industry standards in terms of performance and battery life, where complicated and energy-draining tasks are done in a faster time with minimal battery drain.

Performance

Both the Air and Pro use the same M1 chip, with its 8-core CPU and 16-core Neural Engine. The only small difference here is that the entry-level MacBook Air’s M1 chip has a 7-core GPU, while the Pro has an 8-core GPU.

MacBook Pro also has a fan for active cooling, which does not kick in easily unless you are performing tasks such as 30-minute video renders. MacBook Air does not have a fan, which makes it silent in operation, but also gives it the drawback of thermal throttling under constantly heavy workload.

Display

M1 MacBook Air and the Pro feature 13.3-inch, 2650 x 1600 Retina displays with TrueColor technology. However, this is the first time the MacBook Air features P3 wide color gamut, which offers more vibrant colors to users.

Audio

Both models feature and 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo speakers with wide stereo sound and support for Dolby Atmos playback, however, the Macbook Pro features stereo speakers with high dynamic range.

The Air features a three-mic array with directional beamforming whereas the Pro has a studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.

Battery

M1 MacBook Air

  • Up to 15 hours wireless web battery
  • Up to 18 hours of movie playback

M1 MacBook Pro

  • Up to 17 hours wireless web battery
  • Up to 20 hours of movie playback

Size, weight, and finish

The MacBook Air measures 12 x 8.4 x 0.2~0.6 inches and weighs 2.8 pounds, the MacBook Pro (12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) is just a little heavier at 3 pounds. The MacBook Air is available in three colors: Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. Whereas the MacBook Pro is only available in Silver in Space Gray. Both laptops feature an aluminum finish.

Security

Both laptops feature a Touch ID sensor. The Pro variant also has a Touch Bar. The M1 chip also provides automatic high-performance encryption data encryption and a hardware-verified secure boot to both models

Pricing

  • MacBook Air

The $999 base model of the MacBook Air features 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The 512GB model costs 1,199 and bumps the RAM up to 16GB. The 1TB SSD model raises the base price by $400 while 2TB of storage is $800 extra.

  • MacBook Pro

The base model of the MacBook Pro costs $1,299 and has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The $1,899 model upgrades the RAM and storage to 16GB and 1TB SSD, respectively. The $2,299 version increases the storage up to 2TB.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this helped you make up your mind about which M1 MacBook is the right fit for you. If you have a heavy workload, the MacBook Pro with the longer battery life, active cooling, and a Touch Bar is definitely the right option for you. However, if the absence of those features does not bother you, the MacBook Air is a great option. Both models can be purchased from apple.com.

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About the Author

Mobile gaming editor for iThinkDifferent