Apple recently unveiled the 15-inch MacBook Air at WWDC 2023. Although this device certainly has its advantages, we can’t help but compare it to the 14-inch MacBook Pro, which also has 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage – but is more powerful.
So, which is better? Let’s explore.
Obviously, the 15-inch MacBook Air has a bigger screen and trackpad. It’s also much thinner and lighter, so it gets points for size and portability. This slenderness is beneficial for those who spend a long time typing – as the 14” has been found to dig into your wrists after a little while. Better yet, the 15” has an LCD screen, unlike the 14” which has a mini-LED.
That being said, its display has a lower pixel density than the 14-inch Pro. Plus, the 15” device has a 60 Hertz panel, whereas the 14” MacBook Pro comes with ProMotion up to 120 Hertz, delivering a smoother refresh rate.
Both devices have a MagSafe 3 charging port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. The Pro also benefits from an extra one, alongside a headphone jack, a HDMI 2.1 port, and a super-speedy SD card reader. The latter is a big plus for creatives, or those who need to plug in external displays. In fact, the 14” device can cater for up to three, whereas the 15-inch MacBook Air allows only one.
As for WiFi speed, the 14-inch Pro wins this battle too – though, we weren’t expecting the 15-inch MacBook Air to have faster WiFi. This is because, unlike the 14” MacBook Pro, it doesn’t come with WiFi 6E. It’s disappointing really, especially as we were anticipating it since the release of the M2 Mac mini, which also has it.
In terms of performance, the 14-inch MacBook Pro has better sound quality. Plus, it may only have a couple of fans to help it keep cool, but the 15-inch device is fanless – though it does experience more thermal throttling. As for SSD speed, both are around the same, which makes sense, as they both have 512GB SSD storage.
When we look at CPU performance, it’s important to point out that the 14-inch device comes with the M2 Pro chip, which holds more cores, whereas the 15-inch MacBook Air only has the M2 processor. Graphics performance is also better in the 14” Pro, with photo editing around 50% faster. Video editing was generally quicker too, though not to the same extent, and it depends on the task. You should note that both devices have ProRes decoders and encoders, so less of a marginality was to be anticipated.
Yet, the MacBook Pro doesn’t win everything. Its web browsing speed is about the same. Plus, with a larger battery and a better chip with more cores, it’s not unsurprising that it has a slightly shorter battery life than the 15-inch MacBook Air.
Which device to go for?
The 14-inch MacBook Pro is clearly the better device in terms of performance and connectivity level. It definitely lives up to its ‘Pro’ name, as you can push the machine further and carry out more professional tasks. Though, if you’re looking for more portability and a larger screen size, the 15-inch MacBook Air wins hands down.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. The cost, however, is down to Apple – and you know they like a premium price. Believe it or not, this doesn’t have to be an issue. With Lease Loop, you can spread the cost over time. We also act as your growth partner, supporting you with your equipment needs as you go from strength to strength.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll find a leasing solution that works for you and your business.