Comparisons between the MacBook Pro M1 and MacBook Air M1

Fermín Díaz
6 min read

The MacBook Pro M1 and has built a reputation in the Apple universe since it went on the market and dazzled all fans of this range of laptops worldwide.

The device earned the nickname of the most powerful laptop on earth, and no wonder, with all the attributes that the 13 ”version has. But above all with the incorporation of the super powerful M1 processor that incredibly maximizes its speed.

Comparisons between the MacBook Pro M1 and MacBook Air M1 – Apple Universe
Air vs Pro

While all the compliments that the MacBook Pro M1 has are more than deserved, there is another model that also draws our attention. We are talking about the MacBook Air M1. This laptop, according to the opinion of users who have already tried it, has a design that is identical to its predecessor model. Which should not be taken as a negative, since its predecessor already came with quite significant improvements.

"The MacBook Air is a model capable of competing on an equal footing with the powerful MacBook Pro 13."

The MacBook Air has a very heavy weight which makes it a very comfortable device and easy to move anywhere. Regarding its aesthetics, some users consider it the most attractive model in the Apple universe, not to mention that it has not undergone so many renovations in its external design, but everyone hopes that in successive models we can see important renovations in its physical appearance.

MacBook Pro M1 vs MacBook Air M1

If we talk about the physical aspect, both models are space grays. But if you ever want the Gold version, you can only get it on the MacBook Air. If we talk about weight, the Air has a weight of 1.25 Kg and the Pro version weighs 1.4 Kg. But when you hold both models in your hands, it is very difficult to feel those 150 g of difference, since they seem to have the same weight.

Comparisons between the MacBook Pro M1 and MacBook Air M1 – Apple Universe
MacBook Air Gold version

When it comes to size, the length and width are exactly the same and there is no difference. Where they are minimally different is in height, because in the MacBook Air it has a height difference, this measures 161 mm versus the standard measurement of the MacBook Pro which is 156 mm. So there is a 5mm difference at the back where the Air version is a bit thicker.

But if we look at the front, we notice that the MacBook brings out its 41mm height versus the 156mm that the Pro version has. This is where the wedge-shaped MacBook Air is much thinner.

At the port level, the two are exactly the same. If you place them one on top of the other, you will notice that they both have two ports and there are no differences in it.

If we open them and take a look at the inside of both models, we realize that at the keyboard level they are exactly the same. But the touch bar that we have in the MacBook Pro stands out, and in the MacBook Air we have the standard function keys. In the Pro we have to touch the function keys, so that the functions appear in the touch bar. They both have touch edit.

At the trackpad level, if we put it one next to the other, we see that the Pro has a larger trackpad. But despite the difference in size, the comfort and functionality are exactly the same, although of course, it will always be more comfortable to have a larger trackpad.

Speaking of webcams, both are exactly the same, they are 720p with the help of machine learning thanks to the M1 processor that you have on both laptops. As for the speakers, they are located in the same place and in size they are exactly the same. Only the MacBook Pro has a bit more fidelity, due to the fact that it has HDR technology in the speakers.

If we talk about the microphones they are also very similar. In the Air model, we have an array of three microphones. However, in the Pro version they are a bit superior with studio quality microphones.

As for the screens, both are 13.3 inches and have the same technology and color depth, that is, they have excellent screen quality. Where you can notice a difference is in the brightness, because in the MacBook Air we have 400 nits and in the MacBook Pro we have 500 nits.

When it comes to battery life, on the MacBook Air we have up to 17 hours of video play back and on the Pro we have up to 20 hours of video play back. At the charger level, these laptops come with a different charger. The MacBook Pro charger is a larger size of 61 Watts, and for the MacBook Air we have a smaller one of 30 Watts.

The cooling issue is something very important. The Air version has a passive cooling system, as it does not have fans, while the Pro version has an active ventilation system with fans in the body. Which allows the MacBook Pro to have better cooling capacity and speed.

Speaking of processors, they both have an M1 processor. But the MacBook Air has an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU processor. Unlike the MacBook, where we have 8 CPU strings and 8 GPU strings. So we have one more string of GPUs in the Pro version.

Comparisons between the MacBook Pro M1 and MacBook Air M1 – Apple Universe

Both laptops are full of RAM with 16 GB each, which is 8 GB more than the 8 that originally came. At the SSD level we have a difference, since in the Air we have 256 GB and in the Pro we have 1 Tera of storage.

Regarding the performance of the MacBook Pro in tasks of greater weight and long duration, it has proven to be superior to the MacBook Air, since it has an active cooling system with fans that the Air version does not have. To do this, the Air model has to sacrifice processor performance in order to regulate the temperature that is generated during long periods of heavy and intense work.

Advantages of the MacBook Pro over the MacBook Air

In conclusion, the MacBook Pro is superior to the MacBook Air in three factors :

1. The touch bar that it has and that the Air version does not have.

2. The Pro's speakers are of better quality.

3. The ventilation system makes it possible for the Pro to perform 15% better than the Air model.

Which MacBook is better?