2020 MacBook Pro Vs 2020 MacBook Air:

Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad
6 min readMay 13, 2020
Credits: Bundo Kim on Unsplash.

Introduction:

I promise to 99% of my readers that by reading this article they will know which MacBook to choose & why.

Apple’s new release of their MacBook laptops has gotten fans & enthusiasts thinking on which laptop to select, today I will help you in making that decision.

Credits: Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash.

Components that are specifically changed in the new lineup:

With the 2020 release, Apple has updated the Air with these specifications:

1: The magic keyboard is now available on the Air. This is the upgrade that the 16-inch Mac received in 2019.

2: The controversial butterfly keyboard is not available on any model of the MacBook anymore, which is great! Many complaints were received relating to the inferior quality of the keys.

I have used a 2016 Mac Pro & trust me the keys are terrible. It feels like they will cripple when typing.

3: The Air now has the option to get processors like the 10th Gen Core i7, the 2019 model had the potential to upgrade to the 9th Gen Core i5.

4: The Air is also cheaper now than the previous year & has a starting price at the US $999 compared to the US $1099 of the 2019 model. So you are getting a better product at a cheaper price. That is a win-win!

Credits: Tomas Stanislavsky on Unsplash.

The design, layouts & colours:

The design differences are minimal. Let’s talk about them:

1: The Air has a hinge to its design which is pronounced once you write on the keyboard as it is easy on your hands & wrists, the Pro has a flat design instead.

2: The colour of the Air is more pleasing because it has a gold colour option which many people prefer.

3: The Pro has the Touch Bar for the Function Keys, whereas the Air has the more simplistic physical buttons on the Bar to adjust the perimeters of the device.

4: When we go on the pricier side of the Pro, they have more ports to them (USB-C Thunderbolt 3).

5: The weight of the two is negligible (2.8 pounds of the Air & 3.1 pounds of the Pro) the 16-inch Pro version carries more bulk & it is 4.3 pounds in weight.

6: The thickness is the same for all the models, which are 0.6 inches.

Credits: Marcus Lofvenberg on Unsplash.

The performance comparison of the two:

This is seeing the hardware that the product offers:

1: Although the Air has received the Core i7, the Pro is faster because it has the Intel U-series processors instead of the Y-series processors which are optimized for daily tasks & to have longer battery life.

2: The 13 inch Pro & Air have got Intel Irish Plus 645 Graphics & the 16-inch version of the Pro has got discrete AMD Graphics (GPU is an AMD Radeon 5500M 4GB & 8GB Variant).

3: The 16 inch Mac Pro is equipped with the 9th Gen Core i9 with 32GB of RAM.

4: The 13 inch Pro has the 8th Gen Core i5 with 16GB RAM.

5: The Air has the 10th Gen Core i5. Although it is the latest version of the Intel Processors, because of the downgraded Voltage level of the Chip means it is not as powerful as it seems on paper.

This is the actual comparison:

1: Geek bench 5 which measures the overall performance of a device the 16-inch Mac Pro scored a whopping 7,245 while the Air had a score of 2,732.

2: The Pro destroys the Air in video testing transcoding a 6.5 GB 4K video to 1080p in 9 mins on the 16 inch Pro, the Air posted a time of 27:17. In terms of SSD performance.

3: On the Blackmagic speed test the Air has a read speed score of 1,310 MBps while the 13 inch Pro has a score of 2,578 MBps & the 16 inches has a score of 2,546 MBps crushing the Air.

4: In terms of Gaming, Apple products have never been good in that aspect. The most powerful version of the bunch is the 16-inch Pro, with the AMD 8GB GPU.

For light games like CS: GO & Overwatch it runs at a smooth FPS of 45–60 at 3440 by 1440 but for heavier games like GTA V & Tomb Raider the performance becomes less than average.

Credits: Oliur on Unsplash.

MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air’s Battery life:

The Pro has a longer battery life. While testing, these were the results.

1: The Air got a result of 9 hours & 40 mins by surfing on the Web at 150 nits.

2: When testing the 13-inch Pro, it posted a time of 10 hours 52 mins

3: The 16-inch Pro posted a time of 10:58 both of them more than an hour longer.

Credits: Mia Baker on Unsplash.

The Displays:

This is the closest battle in the comparison.

1: Both have a Retina display which has incredible colour accuracy & rich colours.

2: However, if you are a professional of your field then you should go to the Pro because the screen is brighter (especially on the 16-inch) & has slightly more competent colour accuracy which is critical for professionals.

Credits: Jelle Van Leest on Unsplash.

The Speakers:

The winner is clear, the 16-inch Pro.

1: The Air & the 13-inch Pro have great sound quality (especially the Pro).

2: But the 16-inch Pro blows the two out of the water because it has a six-speaker setup with force cancelling woofers. The speakers are so accurate, people don’t even believe that the sound is coming from a laptop!

Credits: Alexandru Acea on Unsplash.

The conclusion/buying guide:

When you compare them to each other, the Pro is better but! & that is a big butt.

Just because the Air does not sound so good on paper, it does not mean that all the Apple fans out there should have a heartbreak.

If you are an enthusiast of Apple products, want a good laptop, maybe you are a writer, a student or you want a productivity machine, then the Air is a brilliant choice!

The Pro is actually for Professional Graphics Designers, Photographers, Fashion Designers, Film Makers. People who are not willing to compromise their work.

Then the decision comes between the 13 & 16 inch Mac Pro.

if you have just started in your career, I highly recommend starting with the smaller version because focus on building your skill first.

If you have reached a level of competence where the tools you are using for your work (I.e. your laptop) are limiting your ability to produce the best product possible, then you should consider upgrading & that will take time to occur.

I sincerely hope that this article has helped you out! Thank you for reading. :)

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Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad
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is an enthusiast of Bodybuilding, Financial Education & an aspiring F1 racing driver.