M3 MacBook Pro vs Air: How they compare and purchaser’s guide

Apple’s MacBook lineup was once overhauled with the M3 MacBook Air devices arriving in March 2024 and the most up-to-date MacBook Pro laptops coming with M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips on the end of 2023. Join alongside for our in-depth search at MacBook Pro vs Air to explore what’s identical and varied and a purchaser’s guide to relief you make essentially the most productive different.

Table of contents

  • MacBook Pro vs Air: How function they compare?
    • CPU, GPU, memory, neural engine
    • Displays
    • I/O: MacBook Pro vs Air
    • Dimension, weight, and function
    • Battery lifestyles
    • Pricing
  • MacBook Pro vs Air: Buyer’s guide

For an intensive comparison of Air vs Air and Pro vs Pro, test out these guides; otherwise, head beneath for the manner the Pro vs Air compare:

  • M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Air
  • M3 MacBook Pro vs M2 MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro vs Air: How function they compare?

CPU, GPU, memory, neural engine

The M2 and M3 MacBook Air supports up to 24GB memory, 8 CPU cores, up to 10 GPU cores, and up to 2TB of storage.

Meanwhile, with the MacBook Pro and M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max chip, you may perchance presumably even accept as true with the option for up to 16 CPU cores, 40 GPU cores, and memory up to 128GB.

Hardware MacBook Air MacBook Pro
CPU M2 or M3 – 8-core M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max – up to 16-core
Storage As a lot as 2TB As a lot as 8TB
Reminiscence 8, 16, or 24GB 8 to 128GB
Graphics As a lot as 10-core As a lot as 40-core
Neural engine 16-core 16-core
FaceTime camera 1080p 1080p
Audio system 4-speaker with vast sound, 6-speaker with 15-journey 6-speaker excessive-fidelity
Mics 3-mic array Studio-quality 3-mic array
Thermal management Fanless Active cooling with followers

Apple says the M3 chip effectivity cores are up to 30% sooner than the M2 family and up to 50% sooner than the M1 family.

For performance cores, the M3 family is 15 and 30% sooner than M2 and M1, respectively.

Apple says rendering on M3 is up to 1.8x sooner than M2 and up to 2.5x sooner than M1.

Apple also says the M3 chips signify the “Largest jump forward in graphics architecture” with Dynamic caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading.

Transistor depend

The overall transistor depend has elevated to 25 billion for the M3, 37 billion for the M3 Pro, and 92 billion for the M3 Max.

CPU benchmark ratings

As you can hope, the M3 MacBook Air’s performance has been confirmed to compare M3 MacBook Pro in benchmarks:

  • M3 MacBook Air benchmarks match detestable MacBook Pro, as expected

And for the M3 Max, it’s clocking in about 44% sooner than the M2 Max for multicore ratings and about 10% sooner for single-core performance.

  • MacBook Pro with M3 Max chip on par with M2 Extremely in performance, per Geekbench tests

GPU benchmark ratings and original functions

In a single in all the early GPU benchmarks on Geekbench, the M3 Max earned a metal rating of 158466, that is up 15% compared to the 137525 Metal rating of the M2 Max.


The MacBook Air is supplied in 13.6 and 15.2-journey devices. And the MacBook Pro alternatives remain moderately better with 14.2 and 16.2-journey versions.

For conceal brightness, the MacBook Air has up to 500 nits. That’s 100 beneath the 600 nits of the MacBook Pro (for SDR screech material).

But the Pro pc pc monitors shuffle up to 1,000 sustained nits brightness (1,600 top) for HDR screech material. Numerous instruct upgrades over the Air consist of 120Hz refresh charges with ProMotion, mini-LED backlighting, and the next pixel density with the Pro.

13″ MacBook Air 15” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 16” MacBook Pro
Actual conceal size 13.6″ 15.3” 14.2” 16.2”
Resolution 2560 x 1664 2880 x 1864 3024 x 1964 3456 x 2234
Aspect Ratio 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch
PPI 224 224 254 254
Nits (brightness) 500 500 600 for SDR, 1000 sustained, up to 1600 top for HDR 600 for SDR, 1000 sustained, up to 1600 top for HDR
Liquid Retina Converse ✅ + XDR ✅ + XDR
ProMotion (up to 120Hz)
mini-LED backlit
Perfect Tone
P3 vast color

The MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro consist of a notch on the tip heart of the instruct for the 1080p FaceTime camera. But no longer like the iPhone, the notch doesn’t consist of Face ID hardware/strengthen, even in the most up-to-date MacBook Pro and Air devices.

All of the most up-to-date MacBooks feature grand slimmer bezels than their predecessors.

I/O: MacBook Pro vs Air

The MacBook Air gained MagSafe charging like the trendy MacBook Pro in 2022 – which stays with the M3 devices. Nonetheless, Apple has saved additions like HDMI, SDXC slot, and strengthen for up to 4 external shows unfamiliar to the 14 and 16-journey MacBook Pro.

The M3 13 and 15-journey MacBook Air accept as true with strengthen for two external shows when the pc pc lid is closed. And withhold in mind the M2 MacBook Air only has strengthen for one external instruct.

  • Most efficient USB-C instruct and Thunderbolt shows for MacBooks

Numerous upgrades with the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max MacBook Pro consist of Wi-Fi 6E and strengthen for 8K video output with an HDMI 2.1 port.

M3 MacBook Air M3 MacBook Pro
Magic Keyboard
Contact ID
USB-C/Thunderbolt ports 2 3
Headphone jack
HDMI ✅ 2.1
SDXC card reader
MagSafe charging
Bluetooth 5.3 5.3
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6E (802.11.ax) Wi-Fi 6E (802.11.ax)
Exterior instruct strengthen 2 external shows with up to 6K at 60Hz for 1 and 5K at 60Hz for the 2nd when MacBook Air lid is closed M3: 1 external instruct up to 6K/60Hz

M3 Pro: As a lot as 2 external shows at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt, or 1 at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt and 1 at 4K/144Hz over HDMI, or 1 at 8K/60Hz or 1 at 4K/240Hz over HDMI

M3 Max: As a lot as 4 external shows: 3 at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt and 1 at 4K/144Hz over HDMI, or
up to 3 shows: 2 at 6K/60Hz over Thunderbolt and 1 at 8K/60Hz or 1 at 4K/240Hz over HDMI

Dimension, weight, and function

As you’d expect of, the MacBook Air stays the lightest machine with both MacBook Pro devices weighing more. The MacBook Air shall be vast-skinny at 11.3 mm (0.44 in).

The MacBook Pro laptops come in in put gray, silver, and put unlit (the latter only for M3 Pro/Max devices). Seriously, put unlit is more of a unlit put gray than an exact unlit.

The M3 (and M2) Air comes in four choices, at the side of middle of the night, which has a blueish hue. The M3 MacBook Air is speculated to be less fingerprint-y than forward of with a brand original anodization seal.

13″ MacBook Air 15” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 16” MacBook Pro
Weight 2.7 kilos (1.24 kg) 3.3 kilos (1.51 kg) 3.4, 3.5, or 3.6 kilos (1.55, 1.61, or 1.62 kg) 4.7 or 4.8 kilos (2.14 or 2.16 kg)
Thickness 0.44 in. (1.13 cm) 0.Forty five in. (1.15 cm) 0.61 journey (1.55 cm) 0.66 journey (1.68 cm)
Width 11.97 in. (30.41 cm) 13.40 in. (34.04 cm) 12.31 in. (31.26 cm) 14.01 inches (35.57 cm)
Depth 8.46 in. (21.5 cm) 9.35 in. (23.76 cm) 8.71 inches (22.12 cm) 9.77 inches (24.81 cm)
Converse size 13.6 in. 15.3 in. 14.2 in. 16.2 in.
Finishes Silver, put gray, starlight, middle of the night Silver, put gray, starlight, middle of the night Silver, put gray, or put unlit Silver, put gray, or put unlit

For the reason that 2022 MacBook Air shifted from the wedge assemble it had for years, the general original MacBooks share the flat-edged chassis.

Battery lifestyles

Genuine-world battery lifestyles for Apple Silicon MacBooks compared to the aged Intel devices has been spectacular and continually suits the corporate’s claims. But that will presumably well depend upon your workflow, conceal brightness, and more.

Apple has boosted the M3 MacBook Pro battery lifestyles to the purpose the put the 16-journey MacBook Pro has up to 22 hours of video playback.

Each 13 and 15-journey MacBook Air devices share solid but moderately less battery lifestyles at up to 18 hours of exercise. Nonetheless, wireless internet exercise is 15 hours for both Air devices.

Here’s how the machines compare:

13″ MacBook Air 15” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 16” MacBook Pro
Wireless internet battery 15 hours 15 hours 12 hours 15 hours
Video playback 18 hours 18 hours 18 hours 22 hours
Included energy adapter 30W, 35W, or 67W USB-C + MagSafe 35W or 70W USB-C + MagSafe 70W or 96W USB-C + MagSafe 140W USB-C + MagSafe
Battery ability 52.6Wh 66.5Wh 70Wh 100Wh
Mercurial charging ✅ with 70W ✅ with 70W ✅ with 96W ✅ with 140W

All of these fashioned MacBooks can fast stamp to hand over to 50% battery in just half-hour. But withhold in mind you’ll must make exercise of the better energy adapters listed above.


With a beginning stamp of $1,099, the 13” M3 MacBook Air comes in at $500 less than the 14” MacBook Pro. And the 15” MacBook Air is $1,200 less than the 16” MacBook Pro.

The 14” MacBook Pro detestable model at $1,599 comes with an M3 chip, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. The 16” MacBook Pro with the identical detestable specs begins at $2,499.

Mannequin/stamp 13″ MacBook Air 15” MacBook Air 14″ MacBook Pro 16” MacBook Pro
256 / 8GB $1,099 $1,299
512 / 8GB $1,399 $1,499 $1,599
512 / 16 or 18GB $1,599 $1,699 From $1,999 From $2,499
Customized builds As a lot as $2,399 As a lot as $2,499 As a lot as $6,999 As a lot as $7,199

MacBook Pro vs Air: Buyer’s guide

Why purchase a MacBook Air?

  • For gentle to medium performance needs and some restricted intensive needs, in the lightest kit with all-day battery lifestyles, the MacBook Air is basically the most productive fit beginning at a cheap $1,099 or $1,299 (or less).
    • Apple does peaceable sell the M2 MacBook Air, but the M3 is barely $100 more

Why purchase a MacBook Pro?

  • In uncover for you or worth essentially the most energy across CPU, GPU, and memory (peaceable with an all-day battery), fascinating cooling for heavy workloads, a brighter conceal, more ports, greater external instruct strengthen, and more, the MacBook Pro is easy straight forward methods to head.

It is seemingly you’ll presumably fetch the most up-to-date MacBooks at Apple, Amazon, Adorama, and more.

What function you focus on in regards to the most up-to-date MacBook lineup? Share your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for studying our guide on MacBook Pro vs Air!

Learn more 9to5Mac guides:

  • M3 MacBook Pro vs M2: What’s varied?
  • iPhone 15 vs 15 Pro: Here’s every thing that’s varied
  • Apple Stare Series 9 vs 8 and earlier: What’s varied?

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