Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023)
Best MacBook for Most
The latest 15-inch MacBook Air from Apple comes with a highly capable M2 chipset, up to 24GB of unified memory, 18 hours of battery life, a six-speaker system, and a stunning 15.3-inch display with 500 nits of peak brightness.Pros
- Slim and portable
- Big display
- Powerful M2 chip
- 60Hz display
- No HDMI port or SD Card slot
14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
Best MacBook for Professionals
The latest 14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023) comes with the new M2 Pro or M2 Max-powered chips. The machine boasts up to a 12-core CPU, up to 38-core GPU, and up to 96G of unified memory. It’s one of the most powerful laptops on the market.Pros
- Faster processor
- SD Card slot and HDMI port
- 120Hz display
At the WWDC 2023 event, Apple introduced a new addition to its MacBook Air lineup, the 15-inch MacBook Air. If you’re in the market for a MacBook with a bigger screen, you now have two choices: the 15-inch MacBook Air and the 2023 14-inch MacBook Pro, which Apple introduced earlier this year. Which one is right for you? Let’s find out.
Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) 14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023) Color Starlight, Midnight, Space Grey, Silver Space Grey, Silver Storage 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB CPU Apple M2 chip Apple M2 Pro or M2 Max chip Memory Up to 24GB Up to 96GB Battery 66.5Wh, 18 hours use, 70W charging supported 69.6Wh, up to 18 hours use, 96W charging supported Ports Two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 3.5mm headphone jack Three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, SD card, 3.5mm headphone jack Camera 1080p 1080p Display (Size, Resolution) 15.3-inch, 500 nits peak 14.2-inch, mini-LED, 1600 nits peak, ProMotion up to 120Hz Weight 1.51kg 1.63 kg GPU 10-core GPU Up to 38-core GPU Network Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 Speakers Six-speaker sound system High-fidelity six-speaker sound system Price $1,299 $1,999 Model 2023 2023
Price and availability
The 15-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,299 for the base model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. In contrast, the 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 and offers 16GB RAM and 512GB storage in its base model. You can configure both machines as needed (adding more RAM, storage, etc.). The highest-end version of the 15-inch MacBook Air will cost you $2,499, while the fully maxed-out configuration of the 14-inch MacBook Pro comes at a staggering price of $6,299.
Both laptops are available for purchase from Apple’s website and retail store. Students can take advantage of special offers to lower the price of these devices. Additionally, popular retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Adorama often provide discounts on Apple MacBooks, making them more affordable for the average buyer.
Design and Build
Let’s start our comparison guide between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro by looking at their designs. Both laptops share a similar design language, featuring a sleek aluminum body with a shiny Apple logo on the back. Opening them up reveals a large force touch, a backlit Magic Keyboard with speaker grills on each side, and a fingerprint Touch ID sensor in the corner. Unlike the previous generation MacBooks, there is no MacBook Air or MacBook Pro branding underneath the display (more on this later).
In terms of size, the MacBook Air is larger than the MacBook Pro, which is a given since it features a larger 15.3-inch display. But, at the same time, it is also lighter and slimmer than the Pro model. The MacBook Air weighs 1.51 kg, while the MacBook Pro weighs 1.63 kg. In terms of thickness, the MacBook Air measures 1.15cm, while the Pro model is slightly thicker at 1.55cm.
Taking a look at the I/O ports, MacBook Pro, being the model for professionals, features a plethora of ports. The 14-inch MacBook Pro features three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an HDMI port, and a SD card slot. On the other hand, the 15-inch MacBook Air comes with only two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is also worth noting that both the laptops feature MagSafe port for charging.
When it comes to color options, the 14-inch MacBook Pro offers two choices: Space Gray and Silver. On the other hand, the MacBook Air provides a wider range of options with four colors available: Starlight, Midnight, Space Gray, and Silver.
Coming to the display, both the laptops offer large screens for everyday use and feature a notch at the top. The MacBook Air boasts a larger 15.3-inch display, while the MacBook Pro has a slightly smaller 14.2-inch display. However, when it comes to display technology, the Pro model surpasses the Air.
The MacBook Pro features a mini LED panel, which delivers superior color reproduction compared to the LCD display of the MacBook Air. It also features ProMotion technology, enabling content to refresh at a 120Hz, providing a more fluid experience than the Air. Additionally, the Pro offers a higher peak brightness of 1,600 nits compared to 500 nits on the Air.
That being said, both laptops offer satisfactory displays for day-to-day usage, and most content will appear similar on both. It’s also worth mentioning that both models also support True Tone technology, which adjusts the display’s color temperature to match the ambient lighting, making it easier on your eyes.
In terms of performance, there is a huge difference between these laptop models. The 15-inch MacBook Air features the M2 chip, while the 14-inch MacBook Pro is powered by more powerful M2 Pro or M2 Max chips. The base M2 chip should provide satisfactory performance for most, but for the individuals who demand the best of the best, M2 Pro or M2 Max might be a better choice.
For a more detailed comparison of the M2 chips, we recommend you to check out our guide comparing all the Apple M2 chips.
Regarding RAM and storage, the MacBook Air can be upgraded to a maximum of 24GB unified memory and up to 2TB of storage. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro can be upgraded to a whopping 96GB of memory and 8TB of storage.
Both laptops come with the latest macOS pre-installed and are eligible for software update on the day of release. Finally, in terms of wireless connectivity, both models feature Bluetooth 5.3. However, there is a slight difference in Wi-Fi connectivity, with the Pro featuring Wi-Fi 6E while the Air offers Wi-Fi 6.
Apple says both the 15-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Pro should offer an impressive 18-hour battery life. However, the company claims that the Air offers an additional three hours of web surfing — we assume it’s down to the company’s less powerful and more efficient Apple M2 chip. As mentioned earlier, both laptops feature a MagSafe charging port and support USB-C charging as well.
Which MacBook Should You Buy?
The MacBook Air offers an overall better package. Despite its relatively low price compared to the MacBook Pro, it offers a premium build quality, a large display, excellent speakers, long battery life, and a highly capable Apple M2 chip. For most MacBook buyers, it is the best laptop choice available.
Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023)
Best for Most
The latest 15-inch MacBook Air from Apple comes with a highly capable M2 chipset, up to 24GB of unified memory, 18 hours of battery life, a six-speaker system, and a stunning 15.3-inch display with 500 nits of peak brightness.
However, if your workflow involves demanding tasks like daily video editing, handling large photo files, or 3D rendering, the MacBook Pro might be a more suitable choice. This laptop not only offers a premium build and a faster processor but also comes with a superior display that will showcase content at its absolute best.
14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
Best for Pros
The latest 14.2-inch MacBook Pro (2023) comes with the new M2 Pro or M2 Max-powered chips. The machine boasts up to a 12-core CPU, up to 38-core GPU, up to 96G of unified memory, and 8TB of storage. It’s one of the most powerful laptops on the market in 2023 and one of the best devices for professionals and power users.