MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro (2022): Which should you buy?

M2 for all

MacBook Air (2022)

Power at a cost

MacBook Pro (2022)

MacBook Pro 2022 in Space Gray

The MacBook Air (2022) is a ton of computing power in a super lightweight and portable package, thanks to the new M2 SoC. It can hold up to 24GB of unified memory and 2TB storage and has an impressive battery life of 18 hours.

From $1,199 at Apple

Pro

  • Most affordable MacBook
  • Comes with Apple M2 SoC
  • Highly portable
  • Large display
  • Comes in five colors

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a Touch Bar
  • Slightly less battery life than Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022) also comes with Apple’s new M2 system-on-a-chip (SoC), so you get the best performance. It’s still thin, but not as thin as the MacBook Air — however, you can also get up to 24GB memory and 2TB storage. It offers 20 hours between charges.

From $1,299 at Apple

Pro

  • Decent starting price
  • Comes with Apple M2 SoC
  • Has Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Longer battery life

Cons

  • No option without Touch Bar
  • Can get way more expensive

When it comes to the MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro, we think that the MacBook Air with M2 is the best MacBook for most people. This is because it’s been updated with the new Apple M2 SoC, is super lightweight and portable, and you get Touch ID without having the Touch Bar. The most significant difference, aside from cost, between the MacBook Air with M2 and the MacBook Pro with M2 is that you get slightly less battery life, BUT you do get a larger display.

MacBook Air vs. Pro: Breaking it down

Macbook Air Hands On

Source: iMore

The 2022 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are the first two MacBook models that have been updated to include Apple’s new M2 SoC. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are very similar on the surface since they both have the 8-core M2 chip with four performance and four efficiency cores. In addition, they both start at 8GB of memory and go up to 24GB, plus they have a base point of 256GB of SSD storage that goes up to 2TB.

The MacBook Air also sports a bigger display and comes in more color choices, including the first time we’ve seen Midnight and Starlight on MacBooks. There are a few more differences as well, which we’ll break down below.

MacBook Air (2022) MacBook Pro (2022)
Cost From $1,199 From $1,299
Display 13.6-inch (diagonal) Liquid Retina display 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology
Colors Midnight
Starlight
Space Gray
Silver
Space Gray
Silver
Resolution 2560 by 1664 pixels 2560 by 1600 pixels
Security Touch ID Touch Bar with Touch ID
CPU 8-core M2 SoC 8-core M2 SoC
GPU Up to 10-core 10-core
Memory 8GB
16 GB
24GB
8GB
16 GB
24GB
Storage 256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
Dimensions 0.44 x 11.97 x 8.46 inches 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches
Weight 2.7 pounds 3.0 pounds
Battery Life 18 hours 20 hours
Battery Adapters 30W USB-C Power Adapter (included with M2 with 8-core GPU)
35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter (included with M2 with 10-core GPU and 512GB storage, configurable with M2 with 8-core GPU)
Fast-charge capable with available 67W USB-C Power Adapter
67W USB-C Power Adapter
MagSafe Yes No
Ports Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Camera 1080p FaceTime HD camera 720p FaceTime HD camera

Regarding the MacBook Air vs. Pro, we recommend picking up the MacBook Air with M2 for most folks. That’s because it has a slightly lower starting price point, while still giving you the latest and greatest with Apple’s M2 chip, which outperforms the older Intel-based MacBooks.

M2 Macbook Air Screen

Source: Gerald Lynch / iMore

The M2 chips have 8-cores, with four performance cores and four efficiency cores — this means you’re getting blazing fast performance while not burning through the battery. And while the MacBook Air with M2 is fanless, you won’t have to worry about overheating thanks to the power efficiency cores. It starts at 8GB of memory (also found in the M2 chip), but you can bump it up to 24GB if needed. Storage starts with a 256GB SSD that you can configure up to 2TB. You’ll also get Touch ID for security biometrics without the Touch Bar that Apple never fully embraced.

New on the MacBook Air this year is a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display that offers thinner borders and more real estate than the previous model. The display is 25% brighter than before and supports 1 billion colors. At the top center of the display is a 1080p FaceTime HD camera — another upgrade from the previous model and a step up from the Pro’s 720p camera. This year’s MacBook Air also brings back the beloved MagSafe, which gives users a dedicated charging port that’s easy to connect and will quickly release if the cable is accidentally pulled. MagSafe was removed from MacBooks years ago, but finally returned in 2021 with the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and now the 2022 MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro with M2 does not have MagSafe, instead of opting for USB-C.

The latest MacBook Pro also has the Touch Bar with Touch ID, which can become an invaluable tool with some of the best Touch Bar apps. The MacBook Pro also has two more hours of battery life, clocking in at 20 hours on a full charge, whereas the MacBook Air with M2 lasts about 18 hours (real-life results may vary depending on usage). The Pro model also offers some increased GPU at the starting price point. Where the MacBook Air starts at 8GB, the Pro begins at 10GB.

MacBook Air vs. Pro: Which should you buy?

How to download and install macOS Big Sur beta to your Mac

Source: iMore

For most people, the MacBook Air with M2 is the best option. It has the latest and greatest M2 chip from Apple, has blazing fast performance, and is even capable of running certain iOS apps because of the Apple silicon. The MacBook Air is also super lightweight, portable, and is the most affordable MacBook for the average person. You still get a Touch ID for biometrics without having a gimmicky Touch Bar. Although, for some people, not having a Touch Bar may be a con, depending on preference.

But if you need more graphical power for photo and video editing or the like, you should consider the MacBook Pro with M2. That’s because it offers a 10-core GPU for all models, whereas the Air starts with an 8-core GPU. And if you prefer to have the Touch Bar, then the Pro is the way to go.

Powerful computing for all

MacBook Air 2022 in Starlight

MacBook Air with M2

Portable power

The MacBook Air with M2 is blazing fast and powerful. It can get up to 24GB of unified memory and 2TB SSD storage.

Even more power

MacBook Pro 2022 in Silver

MacBook Pro with M2

For the pros

The MacBook Pro is like the Air but has more battery, a Touch Bar, and slightly more GPU power. Just make sure you don’t spend too much!

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