Apple’s laptops at the moment are comprised of a 13-inch MacBook Air and three flavors of MacBook Professional: 13 inches, 14 inches and 16 inches. It may be powerful deciding which MacBook to purchase, particularly since Apple provides some fashions with M1 chips and others with M1 Professional or M1 Max processors.
That’s the place our MacBook Air vs. MacBook Professional information is available in. Between the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Professional, the 14-inch MacBook Professional and the 16-inch MacBook Professional, we’ll enable you resolve which laptop computer is value your cash by evaluating value, options, efficiency, battery life and extra. By the tip of this information, you need to know precisely which laptop computer to spend your hard-earned cash on — or whether or not you need to anticipate the subsequent model to reach.
If you wish to get accustomed to life with a MacBook earlier than shopping for one, try our evaluate of macOS Large Sur together with easy methods to enhance your Mac’s safety and privateness. Undecided you need to go along with a Mac? Take into account giving our finest laptops rankings a glance to see all the opposite glorious choices out there out there. Plus, there’s additionally the Mac mini with M1 as a commendable choice.
Which MacBook is finest?
It is a improbable time to be searching for a MacBook now that Apple has accomplished its transition from Intel CPUs to customized Apple Silicon chips. Now the MacBook Air and all three MacBook Professional fashions include M-series processors designed proper in Cupertino.
To date, they ship breathtaking efficiency and record-setting battery life. The M1 chip within the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Professional brings unmatched efficiency and endurance to those ultra-portable machines, making them the laptops to beat of their respective classes. To not point out they help iOS and iPadOS apps, and within the case of the MacBook Air, do not even want a fan to remain cool.
Then there may be the brand new 14-inch MacBook Professional and 16-inch MacBook Professional, which include both an M1 Professional an M1 Max chip. We bought our palms on the M1 Professional chip and are blown away by its bonkers CPU and GPU efficiency, like 70% sooner efficiency than the M1 and as much as 2x sooner GPU speeds. And that is only for the M1 Professional, not the extra highly effective M1 Max.
MacBook Air vs. MacBook Professional: Specs in contrast
|Finest for Most||Most Velocity for $||For energy customers||For energy customers who want a big display screen|
|MacBook Air||MacBook Professional 13 (Entry Degree)||MacBook Professional 14-inch||MacBook Professional 16-inch|
|CPU||M1||M1||M1 Professional or M1 Max||M1 Professional or M1 Max|
|RAM||As much as 16GB||as much as 16GB||As much as 64GB||as much as 64GB|
|Show||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)||14.2 inches (3024 x 1964), 120Hz||16.2 inches (3456 x 2234), 120Hz|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||2 Thunderbolt 3, headphone||3 Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC card, headphone||4 Thunderbolt 3, headphone|
|Graphics||M1||M1||M1 Professional or M1 Max||M1 Professional or M1 Max|
|Storage||as much as 2TB||as much as 2TB||As much as 8TB||as much as 8TB|
|Battery Life (hrs)||14:41 (examined)||16:32 (examined)||14:08 (examined)||21 hours (rated)|
|Safety||Contact ID||Contact ID||Contact ID||Contact ID|
|Measurement||12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches||12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches||12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches||14 x 9.8 x 0.66 inches|
|Weight||2.8 kilos||3.1 kilos||3.5 kilos||4.7 kilos|
MacBook Air (M1, 2020): Finest for most individuals
Execs: The brand new MacBook Air delivers virtually every thing you may need in an Apple laptop computer because of its M1 chip, which allows record-setting efficiency and battery life. Particularly, the MacBook Air lasted for 14 hours and 41 minutes on our battery check, making it one of many longest-lasting laptops round.
Our MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM scored a convincing 5,962 on the Geekbench 5.2 total efficiency check, crushing the XPS 13 (5,319, Core i7-1165G7) with an eleventh Gen (Tiger lake) Intel Core. The Floor Laptop computer 3 (4,791) with tenth Gen Intel chips dropped additional behind, however nonetheless topped the class common (4,178).
And, in fact, the MacBook Air has the Magic Keyboard, which is much extra comfy and dependable than the earlier Butterfly keyboard. We in contrast these two keyboards side-by-side and unanimously voted in favor of the brand new model as a result of its bouncier keys and improved structure.
The display screen is sharp, too, with a 2560 x 1600-pixel decision. The newest model of the Air helps the P3 colour vary for punchier tones and True Tone, which adjusts the colour temperature on the show based mostly on ambient lighting circumstances.
One other characteristic is Contact ID, which makes it simple to unlock the system, make safe funds, and change passwords. The brand new MacBook Air’s 720p webcam additionally bought a minor improve because of the M1 chip, and the system helps iOS and iPadOS apps now, though few are optimized for laptops.
The MacBook Air, at 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches and a pair of.8 kilos, is bigger than the Dell XPS 13 (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches, 2.8 kilos), however extra compact than the 13.5-inch Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 3 (12.1 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, 2.9 kilos).
Cons: Two USB-C ports aren’t sufficient for most individuals so be prepared to make use of a dongle. Additionally, the MacBook Air is not essentially the most compact or lightest 13-inch laptop computer, and the show bezels are too chunky for 2021. The laptop computer additionally lacks an IR digicam (for facial recognition login)) and USB Kind-A ports so these legacy units will want an adapter.
See our full MacBook Air (M1, 2020) evaluate
MacBook Professional (13-inch): Finest for energy customers on a funds
Execs: The 13-inch MacBook Professional crams quite a lot of energy right into a slim and light-weight (3 kilos) chassis with its new M1 chip — and it even has a superb keyboard. Sure, the 13-inch MacBook Professional will get the identical M1 chip because the MacBook Air however this highly effective machine can run demanding duties for longer as a result of it has a fan inside for retaining issues cool.
Wanting on the numbers, the MacBook Professional achieved 5,882 on the Geekbench 5 check, surpassing the 4,215 premium laptop computer common. The XPS 13 got here the closest to matching the MacBook whereas the Asus ZenBook and HP Spectre x360 13 weren’t anyplace close to as highly effective.
This machine is just a bit heavier than the MacBook Air, however you get the identical M1 processor and longer battery life. I need to emphasize that battery life: the MacBook Professional lasted for 16 hours and 32 minutes on our check. That is simply…properly, ridiculous, and it places the MacBook Professional in a special league than its opponents.
Apple introduced the Contact Bar to the MacBook Professional, in addition to a Contact ID sensor. The 13-inch MacBook Professional additionally provides an improved 720p webcam, a ridiculously quick SSD and a glossy design. What extra are you able to ask for?
Cons: Sadly, the bottom mannequin MacBook Professional has solely two Thunderbolt 3 ports versus 4 ports on the pricier MacBook Professional 13-inch. Oh, and it is time for Apple to do away with these ugly show bezels.
See our full 13-inch MacBook Professional (M1, 2020) evaluate
MacBook Professional (14-inch): Finest for inventive professionals needing portability
Execs: If you happen to’re prepared to spend $1,999, the 14-inch MacBook Professional is a virtually excellent choice, if not the very best laptop computer, in the marketplace. The M1 Professional and M1 Max processors Apple revealed promise to be the quickest, most power-efficient chips ever constructed for moveable computing, and we will affirm the M1 Professional suits that description. The center youngster in Apple’s proprietary line of chips, it has greater than sufficient energy to outperform a few of the strongest Intel and AMD-powered laptops. And with Apple’s dedication to each energy and effectivity, the pocket book powers by essentially the most grueling duties with barely a whisper from the followers.
The opposite efficiency specs are simply as spectacular, with the laptop computer supporting as much as 32GB of RAM and an 8TB SSD. Battery life is examined at 14 hours and eight minutes.
Furthermore, this redesigned laptop computer comes with a 14.2-inch, 3024 x 1964-pixel Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED show with a 120Hz refresh price. This panel is without doubt one of the brightest laptop computer display screen ever (at 1,600 nits of peak luminance), and essentially the most vivid outdoors of OLED panels.
At 12.3 inches x 8.7 x 0.6 inches and three.5 kilos, the 14-inch MacBook Professional stays moveable regardless of the facility it packs beneath the hood.
Another good options embrace a 1080p webcam, Contact ID, a six-speaker setup, and a keyboard and not using a Contact Bar.
Cons: So, what’s fallacious with the laptop computer? Nicely, there’s a notch. Sure, very similar to the iPhone 13, the MacBook Professional has a cutout on the high heart of the show. It is not too distracting, although, due to how a lot bigger the panel is. Additionally, there isn’t any Face ID regardless of the dimensions of that cutout. One other unquestionable con with the 14-inch MacBook Professional is its $1,999 beginning value, and that is and not using a USB-A port. Ouch.
See our full MacBook Professional 14 evaluate
MacBook Professional 16-inch: Finest for energy customers needing a big show
Execs: All the pieces we love in regards to the 14-inch MacBook Professional however with a big 16-inch show. It has the identical M1 Professional and M1 Max chips together with as much as 64GB of reminiscence and as much as an 8TB SSD. Battery life on this mannequin, nevertheless, is rated at an excellent 21 hours (we’ll check that to make sure).
Cons: Identical because the Professional: the 16-inch MacBook Professional is every thing we love in regards to the 14-inch model with a big display screen. Meaning you possibly can rating the smaller mannequin at a a lot lower cost with out sacrificing the rest in addition to show dimension. If you happen to want the bigger panel, then get this 16-inch MacBook Professional. If you happen to do not, then it is most likely will not be well worth the value trade-off.
Additionally at 14 x 9.8 x 0.66 inches and 4.7 kilos, the 16-inch MacBook Professional is significantly bigger than the 14-inch mannequin.
See our full MacBook Professional 16-inch preview
To search out out extra about how for much longer Apple will maintain your MacBook wholesome, learn our complete Apple Guarantee Test information.
How we check MacBook laptops
We put MacBooks by in depth benchmark testing — each artificial and real-world — earlier than they find yourself within the palms of our reviewers. We consider every thing from pace and battery life to show brightness, speaker quantity and system warmth.
We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB colour gamut of a laptop computer’s show. For efficiency benchmarking, we run the laptop computer by a gauntlet of benchmarks, together with Geekbench 5.0 and 3DMark skilled graphics exams.
To find out real-world efficiency, we process the laptop computer to transform a 4K video to 1080p decision and to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics check is the Dust 3 benchmark with medium settings and 1080p decision.
We additionally run warmth exams by taking part in a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery check consists of steady internet browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We think about every thing over the class common (8 hours and 36 minutes) to be a superb end result. After all, these exams are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.