If you're in the Mac laptop market, there are basically two options: a 15-inch MacBook Pro, which offers a number of options to satisfy the most demanding users and everything else. Apple offers at least four MacBooks with 12 or 13.3-inch screens, and deciding between them can be enough to opt out and buy a Dell XPS 13.
We are here to help. Regardless of whether you are buying yourself or someone else, we looked at every angle, color, specification, and port to help you overcome the confusion and make sure that you made the right choice.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Price
The Apple price matrix for the smallest MacBooks does not really help when choosing which one to buy. While $ 300 provides the entry-level MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air is the 2017 model. Then there is a group of three laptops with similar prices.
MacBook Air (2017): $ 999
MacBook Air (2018): $ 1199
MacBook: $ 1299
MacBook Pro (no touchpad): $ 1299
If you want a Touch Bar MacBook Pro, you need to spend at least $ 1,799, which is significantly higher compared to the prices here. But you also get a lot more computers, with twice as much memory as a non-Touch Bar Pro, an eighth processor, a True Tone display and four USB-C ports. But for comparison, we compare the model without touch with other models here.
MacBook Air vs MacBook vs 13-inch MacBook Pro: Screen
The MacBook is the smallest laptop here, with a 12-inch screen, not a 13.3-inch one. However, it has the same resolution as larger retinal models:
MacBook Air (2017): 13.3-inch, 1440×900, 128 dpi
MacBook Air (2018): 13.3 inches, 2560 × 1600, 227 dpi
MacBook: 12 inches, 2304×1440, 226 dpi
MacBook Pro: 13.3 inches, 13.3 inches, 2560 × 1600, 227 dpi
Air 2017 is the only MacBook with a non-Retina display, and the difference is palpable. It has only 128 pixels per inch, so images and text will definitely be displayed with a pseudonym. It also uses a twisted nematic (TN) display, which suffers from weak viewing angles and a lower overall quality compared to IPS displays on other Retina MacBooks. Another tidbit: the Touch Bar version for the 13-inch MacBook Pro includes the Widescreen (DCI-P3) True Tone display, while the model without a bar code doesn't work.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Size
If you buy one of these laptops, size is obviously a very important factor in your decision. Not surprisingly, the four models are very similar in height, only a few tenths of an inch, separating the three models:
MacBook Air (2017): 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.11-0.68 inches
MacBook Air (2018): 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.16-0.61 inches
MacBook: 11.04 x 7.74 × 0.14-0.52 inches
MacBook Pro: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59
As you can see, the MacBook is the smallest of the three, but not by much. Just 0.83 x 0.62 inches separates it from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and it is smaller than the tenth inch thinner than the MacBook Air. In the thickest place, the new MacBook Air is actually thicker than the MacBook Pro, but since the latter does not have a wedge design, the Pro will feel a little thicker when carried. Recalling his last name, the MacBook Air 2017 is the thickest and largest of them, the clock is almost two inches wider than the MacBook, despite having a screen of the same size.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Design
MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air have very similar aesthetics: skinny black bezels frame the screen, and the giant trackpad is located under the black keys. Since the MacBook is the smallest model, the keys are adjacent to the sides of the case, and the speakers are above the keyboard, while the MacBook Air 2018 and MacBook Pro 2018 have enough space next to the keys for stereo speakers. They are all immediately recognizable as modern Apple laptops, even if they no longer have a bright Apple logo.
The MacBook Air 2017, however, is the last remaining Apple laptop that does There is a logo that lights up, although it comes with a much older design. The frames around the screen are silvery and much larger than on other MacBooks, and the trackpad is much smaller, leaving a bit of dead space under the keyboard. This is a nice design, but it is a bit old.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: colors
You can get any of these MacBooks in silver, as well as several other colors:
MacBook Air (2017): Silver
MacBook Air (2018): Silver, Space Gray, Gold
MacBook: Silver, Space Gray, Gold
MacBook Pro: Silver, Space Gray
It mainly depends on preference, but if you have your heart for gold, the MacBook Pro does not work.
MacBook Air vs MacBook vs 13-inch MacBook Pro: Weight
All Apple laptops are light enough to throw in a bag without adding too much weight, but the MacBook is still significantly lighter than others:
MacBook Air (2017): 2.96 pounds
MacBook Air (2018): 2.75 pounds
MacBook: 2.03 pounds
MacBook Pro: 3.2 pounds
There was a time when the MacBook Air 2017 was the lightest Apple laptop. But now, compared to its upgraded brothers, it is rather heavy, weighing almost as much as the MacBook Pro. In 2018, the MacBook Air sheds about a quarter of a pound, but it is still much heavier than the non-Air MacBook. It is just confused.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: CPU
As with any PC, processor speed is where the MacBook really stands apart. First, let's look at the base processor for each model:
MacBook Air (2017): 1.8 GHz dual core fifth generation Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.9 GHz
MacBook Air (2018): 1.6 GHz dual-core eight-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz
MacBook: 1.2 GHz dual core Intel Core m3 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.0 GHz
MacBook Pro: 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with seven cores, Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz
For the untrained eye, the old MacBook Air may seem newer rather than new. This is not true. In 2017, the Air uses a fifth-generation Core i5 dust-like chip, while the new model uses the current eighth generator. So it's pretty quick. The MacBook Pro, meanwhile, uses the seventh i5 gene with a much higher clock speed, so it is the fastest of all, as it should be.
The MacBook uses a slower Intel Core m3 processor, so it is noticeably slower than the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but slightly faster than the Airbus 2017. However, you can increase it to 1.3 GHz of the dual-core Intel Core i5 processor 7 generations if you want to get an extra 300 USD. The Pro can also be seriously tuned, with options for up to 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, the eighth-generation Intel Core i7 in the Touch Bar model and from there.
MacBook Air vs MacBook vs 13-inch MacBook Pro: graphics
With integrated graphics, none of the MacBooks will force you to go too far if you want to do high-end games or serious graphic work. However, they all offer slightly different graphics processors, and Pro launches the package again:
MacBook Air (2017): Intel HD Graphics 6000
MacBook Air (2018): Intel UHD Graphics 617
MacBook: Intel HD Graphics 615
MacBook Pro: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Despite the higher number, the MacBook Air 2017, as usual, raises the back with an old slower graphics processor. Others are much more capable, and Iris Plus in the MacBook Pro comes out of the UHD unit in the air. And if you go to the Touch Bar version, you get a slightly better Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics with 128 GB eDRAM (against 64 GB on models without a touch panel).
MacBook Air vs MacBook vs 13-inch MacBook Pro: RAM
All models start with 8 GB of RAM and offer up to 16 GB, but between them there is a slight difference in speed:
MacBook Air (2017): 8 GB of memory 1600 MHz LPDDR3
MacBook Air (2018): 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 memory
MacBook: 8 GB 1866 MHz LPDDR3 Memory
MacBook Pro: 2133 MHz LPDDR3 Memory
RAM speed will not have a noticeable difference in performance (even from 1600 MHz in 2017 Air mode to 2133 MHz in the 2018 model), but if you can afford it, more RAM is always better. On each of these models (except for Airbus 2017), you can double the RAM to 16 GB for an additional $ 200. This is a steep price for 8 GB of RAM, but since you cannot upgrade it after the fact, this is something to consider, no matter which model you buy.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Storage
All Apple laptops offer SSD storage, so no matter which model you choose, you'll get a very fast drive. The only difference is the entry level capacity:
MacBook Air (2017): 128GB
MacBook Air (2018): 128GB
MacBook Pro: 128GB
As with RAM, you will want to get the most out of your purchase at the time of purchase. Apple offers many upgrade options for MacBook Air and Pro, exceeding 1.5 TB, and we definitely recommend upgrading from the 128 GB offered in the base models. As a rule, Apple charges $ 200 for an additional 128 GB, but, oddly enough, there are no SSD BTO options on a MacBook. If you need more memory, you will have to buy a Core i5 model with 512 GB of memory for an extra $ 300.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Ports
That's what separates cars from toys. On a MacBook, you only get one USB-C port and a headphone jack, while you have several connection options on Pro:
MacBook Air (2017): Two USB 3, one Thunderbolt 2, SDXC slot, 3.5mm headphone jack
MacBook Air (2018): Two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C, 3.5 mm Headphone Jacks
MacBook: One USB-C (non-Thunderbolt), 3.5mm headphone jack
MacBook Pro: Two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C, 3.5 mm Headphone Jacks
Once again, the MacBook Air 2017 shows its age here: USB-A ports and the previous-generation Thunderbolt port, as well as the old-school MagSafe magnetic connector for charging. The MacBook also disappoints with single-port USB-C I / O without Thunderbolt for handling charging and peripheral connections. Thus, a docking station and dongles are largely necessary if you are going to do something similar to work.
The new Air adds a second USB-C Thunderbolt port that allows you to do two things at once, but you probably want to pick up a hub to add additional functionality. You also get a pair of USB-C ports with an entry-level Pro, but the gold standard is the Touch Bar model with four USB-C ports, enough to plug in a charger, a display, and two peripheral devices.
MacBook Air vs MacBook vs 13-inch MacBook Pro: keyboard / trackpad
Although all keyboards are full-sized with ambient light sensors for backlighting, the MacBook Air 2017 is the only model that doesn’t use heavily colored butterfly. The MacBook Air 2018 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with touchpad use a newer version of the third generation, which protect against dust and dirt damage and slightly dampen the noise of the keys, but it still depends on preferences. MacBook Air also uses the older Apple trackpad, which supports gestures, but not Force Touch commands.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Touch ID, Touchpad and Security
The entry-level MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have a number of function keys at the top of the keyboard. If you choose a 13-inch quad-core quad-core Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro with a diagonal of 1.3 GHz, you will receive a touchpad that replaces the function key string with a narrow screen of keys that vary depending on the application you are using.
The MacBook Pro with touchpad and the new MacBook Air are equipped with a fingerprint sensor in the upper right corner of the keyboard. Like the iPhone and iPad, you can use it to unlock your Mac, authenticate secure applications such as password administrators, and make purchases. MacBook and 2017 MacBook Air do not have a fingerprint sensor.
Along with Touch ID, the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2018 also feature the Apple T2 security chip, which "provides a new level of security, including the secure enclave co-processor, which provides the basis for new encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities." He is responsible for storing and encrypting biometric fingerprint data, protecting the MacBook microphone from potential hackers.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Battery
All small Apple laptops will take you through a full-time job, give or take several tasks:
MacBook Air (2017): 54-watt battery, up to 12 hours of video playback in iTunes
MacBook Air (2018): 50.3-watt battery, up to 13 hours of video playback in iTunes
MacBook: 41.4-watt battery, up to 12 hours of video playback in iTunes
MacBook Pro: 54.5-watt battery, up to 10 hours of video playback in iTunes
The battery life of Apple's MacBooks largely depends on the power and efficiency of the processor, so the MacBook Pro, which has the largest battery of the group, is designed for the shortest usage time. It should be noted that if you approach the Touch Bar model, you will get a slightly larger 58-watt battery, but it is still designed for the same 10 hours of iTunes playback.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: Buying Tips
Now that you know what is different from the smallest Apple laptops that you should buy? The choice is not as difficult as you think.
MacBook Air (2017): Buying Tips
If you do not have exactly thousands of dollars to spend (plus tax), and you absolutely
must have a macbook, there is no reason to buy a macbook air 2017. (And even we recommend them to get an updated MacBook.) Even with the lowest entry price among Apple laptops, it is still overpriced, and the only thing it does for it is superficial: a keyboard without a butterfly, a glowing Apple logo, and a magnetic connector MagSafe. The list of things he does not have is much longer: USB-C, Retina screen, touch ID, Force Touch trackpad, respectable processor. And his design is very similar, that he is eight years old.
Recommendation: Only buy it if you can get it for 700 dollars or less.
MacBook Air (2018): Buying Tips
Apple’s newest laptops are usually safe to buy, and the MacBook Air 2018 isn’t
an exception. Although it does not necessarily bring anything revolutionary to the table, this is a terrific update compared to the previous generation, and its cost is $ 1,199. It has a great design, comes in three excellent colors and is the only non-Touch Bar MacBook that includes a Touch ID sensor and a T2 chip.
Unfortunately, you can not upgrade the processor, but the eighth generation dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with a clock frequency of 1.6 GHz should have enough power for those who are considering this machine. The battery, storage, and Retina display are also good, although if you can swing it, the extra 128 GB of storage will go a long way.
Recommendation: If you need the best 13-inch Mac laptop that is not a Pro, this is it.
MacBook Buying Tips
If not one inch and three quarters of a pound mean this, we cannot see
Any reason to recommend paying another $ 100 to get a MacBook over the new MacBook Air. The entry-level MacBook has 256 GB of memory compared to 128 GB on the MacBook Air, which makes it easier to get $ 100 in price, but otherwise you get a slower processor, a smaller screen, one USB-C port (and a non-Thunderbolt one). ) and a smaller battery. And he has no Touch ID.
Recommendation: Buy a MacBook if you absolutely need the smallest and easiest MacBook.
MacBook Pro: Buying Tips
The difference between MacBook Pro and other MacBooks comes down to
versatility. The $ 1299 model without a touchpad has a better processor than the MacBook Air, but not much, and has the same basic storage, RAM, ports, and screen. The air is lighter, it feels thinner due to its wedge-shaped design and has the best battery life. And the Air touch sensor is just a bonus that is not available on an entry-level MacBook Pro.
But Pro offers amazing upgrade options. Like Air, you can double the RAM and add a terabyte of memory, and you can upgrade the processor, which you can't do on the air. And, of course, there is no Touch Bar option in the air.
Recommendation: At the right price, the MacBook Pro can become the ultimate 13-inch Mac, but if you only have a budget of $ 1,300, we’ll get an Air with 256 GB of memory for only $ 100.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro: our common choice
For $ 1,199, the MacBook Air 2018 is hard to miss. It is $ 100 cheaper than the MacBook and MacBook Pro, which gives you the opportunity to upgrade the storage without breaking the budget, and has a fantastic design, a touch-sensitive touch sensor and a T2 chip. The only other model we recommend is the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which starts at $ 1,799. However, you get a lot more for your money, including a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 256 GB of memory, a True Tone display and four USB-C Thunderbolt ports. If you can't get a crazy deal on your MacBook or MacBook Air in 2017, these are basically your two choices.