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Apple MacBook Pro (2017) vs MacBook Air: Key specs differences

13 June 2017 3

MacBook Air lineup is considered as an affordable laptop lineup from Cupertino giant. In the last couple of years, the company didn't bring any change in the design of their MacBook Air. Recently at WWDC, it was expected Apple might release completely redesigned MacBook Air or the company might ditch the entire lineup and keep only the Pro lineup.

At the WWDC event, the company upgraded the MacBook Air internal hardware but keeps the same old design. Not just that the recently released MacBook Pro machines also receives hardware level internal upgrade. Last year when Apple MacBook Pro lineup design was upgraded with Touch Bar, the company released an affordable MacBook Pro without touch Bar. After the recent upgrade to specs sheet, the MacBook Air comes pretty close to the entry level MacBook Pro. Now customers have six options to choose amongst the Apple MacBook Pro and Air lineups.

Today we will compare the MacBook Air with the entry level 13-inches MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. The comparison will surely help out those Apple fans who are looking forward to grabbing anyone of the aforementioned laptop. Starting with the design as it is the first thing buyers consider while making a purchase.


Both the machine features an aluminum chassis and their display is backlit by a LED. The MacBook Pro 13-inches variant can be grabbed in Space Grey and Silver color options whereas the MacBook Air was announced in silver color variant only.

The MacBook Air measurements are 325 x 227mm x 170mm and it weighs 1.35KG. As opposed that the MacBook Pro 13-inches variant measurements are 304.1 x 212.4 x 149mm but weigh slightly heavier at 1.37KG. The MacBook Pro variant is slim in size which means it is more portable as opposed to MacBook Air but the later weighs light. It is pretty much your decision, Are you looking for a slim portable machine or the relatively solid design.


The MacBook Pro IPS Retina display is of 13.3-inches with a 2K screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. This display pixels density is 227 and it offers brightness up to 500nits. On the other hand, the MacBook Air 13.3-inches display screen resolution is 1440 x 900 pixels. Its brightness max level is just 300 nits.

Another plus point of MacBook Pro display is RGB screen which offers a wide range of vivid colors but the MacBook Air comes with color gamut display which doesn't bring as much vivid color option as the Pro machine display. Without any doubt, the MacBook Pro display tech and performance is way better than the MacBook Air.


As far as hardware specs is a concern both the machines comes in different configurations. The MacBook Pro base variant is powered up by Intel's i5 Processor at a clocking speed of 2.3GHz. The Intel Iris graphics 640 is on board as GPU. The i5 processor has accompanied with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD memory. The good thing is it last 10 hours on single charge. For those who are looking for a top of the line variant, the Intel's i7 Processor is powering it under the hood at 2.5GHz clocking speed and 16GB RAM with 1TB SSD memory.

Now the MacBook Air is also available in two variants. The base variant has Intel i5 chipset clocking at 1.8GHz. Its SSD internal storage is 128GB and RAM on board is 8GB. The best thing about MacBook Air is its battery backup of 12 hours on single charge. The top of the line variants comes with Core i7 processor running at 2.2GHz. Its RAM remains same but the SSD storage increased up to 512GB.

In terms of memory, RAM, Graphics and clocking speed the MacBook Pro is quite a beast and for sure it can beat MacBook Air in performance but the battery back is where MacBook Air takes lead because of its low-resolution Retina display. Up front, the FaceTine camera sensor on both machines is of HD quality.

Comm Ports

As far as connectivity ports are a concern, Apple laptops are packed with minimum ports. The latest MacBook Pro 13-inches variant comes with two Thunderbolt 3 Aka USB Type-C ports which can be used for charging the device as well. Other ports are USB 3.1, Display port and a Thunderbolt. Lack of SD card slot, the user will require dongle if they are looking to fetch data from SD card.

The MacBook Air features Thunderbolt 2 port, SDXC card slot, two USB 3 ports and a Magsafe 2 power port. This machine will suit those users who frequently use SD card. Although Apple ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack from their latest iPhones, however, both these laptops offers 3.5mm jack for audio output via headphones.


Last but not the least important factor which is deciding factor amongst the two is their pricing. The MacBook Air was announced back in 2015 at £949, although it is now offering latest specs sheet to compete against latest machines. The latest MacBook Pro 13 base variant unveiled at a whopping price tag of £1249. However, the company reduced the price tag of MacBook Pro at the recent WWDC which means you don't have to pay much difference if you grab the MacBook Pro.

The latest MacBook Pro is thinner as opposed to MacBook Air and also its display is Retina. Despite having all these perks its battery life is less as compared to MacBook Air.



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