It’s no secret that whenever you are browsing the internet for a new laptop, the main brand that most people usually target to purchase is an Apple MacBook. And while on the surface, it may seem that purchasing one will be a rather straightforward affair, that is not usually the case. This is because Apple’s MacBook range is divided into two main models: The Mac Air and the Mac Pro. What’s more is, the difference between the hardware specs of the two devices is relatively small. To the point, that it can be hard to figure out which one among these two is best suited to your needs.
As such, we decided to dive into the differences between these two Mac’s. And help those of you who may be struggling to make a decision. We are also going to focus more on the budget ended buyers. So, we will be discussing the differences between the 2019 models, as the newest 2020 models may be too expensive for some. So, for those who may not keep up with all the latest Apple news and are just getting started on their MacBook journey, it can feel like a daunting task having to get familiar with the hardware. After all, Apple has some rather complicated specification options that can often leave first-time visitors scratching their heads. However, for the sake of context, we’re going to dive a little into what makes the two machines different and have a side-by-side comparison.
What Do You Need The Mac For?
The first thing you need to do before diving into the comparison is that you need to figure out what the man reason is for you buying the machine. For most users, their needs tend to be basic. As they usually just need a well-functioning machine to tackle common tasks and programs eg. word processing, music and video streaming, internet browsing etc. However, if you are looking for something more advanced to help you tackle intense tasks like; video gaming, music production, video editing etc… then you will need a Mac that has the powerful hardware required. As such, it is usually the differences between a basic Mac user or a professional Mac user that determine the final purchased product.
Comparing the Differences
As we stated, there used to be many things that separated the two devices for a long time, and compared to the 2020 models, the 2019 models still had a few telling differences. For instance, the 2019 MacBook Pro comes with a Touch Bar Sensor, while the Air does not. Moreover, the Pro has a more powerful quad-core processor than the Air. But let’s not summarize and dive deeper into the details below.
Touch Bar: The first thing you will notice when you sit the two sidebar side is that the 2019 MacBook Pro has a Touch Bar whilst the Air does not. This changes in 2020 as both laptops now both have the sensor. But since we are focussed on budget Macs and those buying the 2019 models, this is a key difference. For those unfamiliar with it, the Touch Bar essentially presents some unique functional shortcuts by using a digital LED strip that simulates buttons depending on the software you’re using. You can either adjust your volume settings, screen brightness, open new tabs, among many other features. However, despite its benefits, many users who’ve mastered its use still state they barely use it for day to day tasks. In which case, the Air will still prove useful even without it.
Display: Both devices come with a 13” screen size, except the Pro having an extra 16” version for the who prefer some extra screen space. There was a time when the Air had a few screen size varieties to choose from as well, but Apple seems to have decided to standardize that model. So, if the display size is important to you, you can opt for the 16” MacBook Pro, but if it’s isn’t then there is no clear winner between the two, in this regard. On a side note, you should always remember to purchase a Screen Protector before getting a new Mac, because while Macs are usually tough machines, the screen is one of the most sensitive parts of the machine. As such, adding one offers long-term benefits such as protection from scratches, screen glare, full-screen privacy etc. They are also easy to remove and stick on with a simple, bubble-free application every time.
Weight: When it comes to weight, the hardware differences are so small, that even the weight difference is next to nothing. This means that portability and weight are no longer a defining factor as it used to be. The difference between the two devices likes at just 0.25 lbs. So, when it comes to weight, there’s very little to choose between the two. Additionally, although these devices are designed with sturdy yet lightweight material, they are prone to damage like unexpected keyboard scratches, trackpad water spills, etc. As such, it is recommended that you install a MacBook Skin to prevent such problems from happening in advance. The befit of these accessories is they offer protective material that is scratch resistant and waterproof keeping your Mac safe from external damage. They are also very easy to install and cheap to purchase, making them a worthwhile investment that could end up saving you significant amounts of money in repair.
Storage: Both devices come with similar storage choices with the only major distinction being that the Pro allows for storage expansion of up to 2TB, while the Air has a maximum of 1TB. However, because you can either use cloud storage or an external hard drive to improve your storage options, that is not a big issue.
Battery: In regards to battery life, the Air is the better device as it consumes less power than the Pro. The Air offers up to 12 hours of extended battery life while the Pro offers 10 hours. That difference may not seem big. But if you are someone who is constantly on the move and away from a charger, those extra 2 hours can prove to be significant.
Processor: One of the most striking differences between the two machines is their processors and graphics cards. For instance, while the Air comes with a dual-core processor, it can handle a good amount of tasks but not to the extent that the Pro can. This is because the Pro comes with a quad-core processor which brings a huge difference in performance. It is highly noticeable when running multiple tasks at once or when running intense programs eg. music production software. Moreover, the Pro version has much better graphics chip that producers better image and video renders. This makes the Pro the ideal choice for those working in the creative industry.
Price: As you may have guessed, when it comes to the price point, the MacBook Air is the more affordable choice.
Seeing that the differences between the two are minimal, it is much like we said at the beginning. When it comes to deciding which one is the better option between these two Macs, you have to take into consideration the tasks you want to use it for. If you line of work doesn’t require care amounts of commuting power, then the Air is the cheaper and preferable option However, if you are involved in intensive work programs that require powerful hardware then the Pro is your best bet.