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MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air



A few weeks ago, Apple launched a couple of machines in direct competition with each other. Let's look at the differences between Apple's new entry level MacBook Air, and the new base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Which one should you download?

  2019 MacBook Air (left) and 2019 MacBook Pro 13-inch (right)

2019 MacBook Air (left) and 2019 MacBook Pro 13-inch (right)

A couple of weeks ago, Apple decided to kill its 12-inch MacBook with its only USB-C port and replace it with the 13-inch MacBook Air with the retina Display.

Air vers Pro

This new MacBook Air now starts at $ 1099 which packs a 1.6GHz dual-core processor that the turbo boosts up to 3.6GHz, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD and Intel's UHD 617 Graphics.

  2019 MacBook Air

2019 MacBook Air

The new base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt 3 ports starts at $ 1299 and gives you a 1.4 GHz quad core i5 processor that boosts turbo to 3.9 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of SSD and Intel Iris Plus 645 Graphics.

Fantastic build quality, similar design

When it comes to the overall design, both units look amazing. MacBook Air is, like the name, very thin and light. It's the most portable Mac you can take with you. We've seen the same exact design for the Mac Pro since its debut in 2016, and the 13-inch model is still very portable, but not as easy as the MacBook Air.

Both Air and Pro also have Apple's newly updated butterfly keyboard that we have covered for a long time, but to repeat our review of this new keyboard, it's a little better to type on the first gen keyboard. There are little to no keystrokes, but we are not completely sold out if this will end up breaking in a few months.

  2019 13-inch MacBook Pro

2019 13-inch MacBook Pro

However, one of the major differences between these two models and their keyboards is Pro's Touch Bar versus Air's function keys with Touch ID. Personally, I prefer the MacBook Air's function keys over Pro's Touch Bar because they are physical buttons I can press, and in my opinion, the more reliable option. Others – even in the AppleInsider editor – have of course different opinions about the touch pad. It's a heavily debated piece of tech that Apple now has throughout the MacBook Pro range.

Those who advocate the Touch Bar love the well-known shortcuts and app-specific controls that can be displayed. Safari, mail, Final Cut Pro X and many more apps all benefit from the touchline in different degrees.

  2019 MacBook Air (left) and 2019 MacBook Pro 13 inch (right)

2019 MacBook Air (left) and 2019 MacBook Pro 13 inch (right)

I feel that Apple is not yet completely has realized the potential of the Touch Bar. Now that every MacBook Pro comes with the touchpad and not the function keys, maybe developers who haven't embraced it yet, will spend some extra resources equipping it.

Great displays, but one is clearly better

Both devices also have the True Tone display that adjusts the color temperature of the screen to the environment you are in to give you a much better viewing experience. The MacBook Pro screen has P3 wide color gamut, versus Air's sRGB, so colors and contrast ratios are much better on Pro.

  2019 MacBook Air (left) and 2019 MacBook Pro 13-inch (right)

2019 MacBook Air (left) and 2019 MacBook Pro 13-inch (right)

But one of the biggest differences between devices is how much brighter MacBook Pro can get. The air display can go up to 400 nits of brightness, versus Pro's 500 nits brightness. On paper it may not sound as drastic, but personally you can tell which screen looks better and brighter.

Dual-core vs. Quad-core

In terms of performance and daily use, the MacBook Pro is the clear winner here. We've tested both machines and run multiple benchmarks to show how these MacBooks base models work.

  Geekbench 4 results

Geekbench 4 results

In Geekbench, the MacBook Pro got a single core score of 4761 and multi-core score of 16932, while the MacBook Air's dual-core i5 processor scored 4310 in the single core, and received a multi-core score at 7871. It should not come as a surprise that a quad core processor will provide a huge jump in multi-core performance.

As a video player, I was curious how these two machines are compared in Final Cut Pro X. So we imported five minutes of 4K h.264 recordings in the timeline, added color correction, adjusted the saturation, and added some contrast to the overall picture . We exported this five minute long timeline with background rejection on and off.

On the MacBook Air with background listing on the exported video of 4 minutes and 22 seconds, and with it off, it exported the video in 14 minutes and 12 seconds. The MacBook Pro exported the video in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. And with it off, it did it in 10 minutes and 26 seconds.

  Final Cut Pro X Results

Final Cut Pro X Results

Testing the SSD speeds on these two machines noticed that both devices are about the same playing field on average around 1275 MB / s at reading speeds and about 600 MB / s at write speed. Effectively, a dead heat between the couple.

The MacBook Pro is a more performance-oriented choice

The extra $ 200 you'll be modest about Pro can go against AppleCare or accessories if you were to choose the MacBook Air base model, but in the long run we think you'll be much happier with Pro & # 39; s better appearance and overall raw performance.

If you want to download a MacBook Air just for its weight and portability, the difference between the two laptops is very small. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is still a very light and portable Mac, and we think it's the best click for the Apple notebook that you can buy right now.

If you are looking for the best prices on the new MacBook Air or base model MacBook Pro, we will add a link below to AppleInsiders Price Guide where you can find the best deal on these new laptops.

Where can I buy and save on these new laptops

Both the MacBook Air in 2019 and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro are eligible for instant and / or promotional savings with Adorama. All CTO models are up to $ 150 discount with coupon code APINSIDER . Details on how to resolve the code can be found in our savings guide .

And for the lowest prices on all models, check out 2019 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro Price Guides.


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