Which MacBook on M2 to Choose? During a recent Apple Presentations introduces two new MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Air 13 laptops both on the new M2 processor. At the same time, the time spent on the Pro version of the laptop was so small that users doubted the need for such an upgrade.
In turn, the MacBook Air, in addition to the new processor, also received a new design in the style of Pro laptops. The question arises, which one to choose?
Which MacBook on M2 to Choose?
We have already published two comparisons on the site. In one, we compared the new MacBook Pro with its predecessors, and in the other, we compared the MacBook Air based on the M2 and M1 chips. Now we have decided to figure out which laptop to choose if you decide to go for M2 processor. Let’s see what these devices have to offer us.
MacBook Air or Pro 2023
Of course, the main place during the presentation of the iron was given to MacBook Air 2023. The new laptop received not only a new processor, but also a new design. The computer is now equipped not with the classic wedge-shaped case of the Air series, but with a square case of the same thickness around the entire perimeter. It turns out that Apple has unified the design of all its laptops.
New MacBook Air, in addition to the new case, received a new display with a diagonal of 13.6 inches with a maximum brightness of up to 500 nits. What blew me away about the new laptop is the screen cutout for the front camera. Yes, it has become better, now it supports 1080p resolution, but the presence of a bang does not justify such an improvement.
In addition to Apple’s dual USB-C and 3.5mm, Apple is finally bringing back the Air series MagSafe port for fast charging. The 2023 MacBook Air went on sale for $1,199 for the 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD version with 8-core GPU. Four colors are available at once: Space Grey, Silver, Starlight and Midnight.
Larger screen and M2 processor power solve a wide range of problems. Due to the fact that the new chip supports the Media Engine, which was introduced in the M1 Pro and M1 Max for processing, encoding and decoding video including ProRes video, Macbook Air Performance suitable for video and photo editing.
Text documents, programming, and the normal web browsing laptop will work effortlessly. In the Geekbench multi-core test, the MacBook Air scores 9,801 to the MacBook Pro’s 10,287. In the single-core, the gap is even less at 1601 vs. 1693. Looking at the benchmark results, it can be said that the Air is hardly inferior to the Pro in terms of performance. So the new Air can be used in almost any scenario. True, the “air” laptop obviously will not be able to work at its peak for a long time – it will inevitably start to choke.
If you add to this the most convenient fast charging MagSafea new webcam, a larger screen, up to 18 hours of battery life and absolutely silent operation due to the absence of a cooler, we can honestly say that Apple has turned out to be a truly versatile laptop.
MacBook Pro M2 – is it worth buying
On the other side of the Air stands new macbook pro 13. Apple did not change the usual design, left everything as it was. The laptop is equipped with a 13.3-inch screen, the same as the previous generation. And Macbook Air M1 also has a 13.3-inch screen.
The maximum screen brightness reaches 500 nits, there are no cutouts, the frames are classic. This may appeal to some users, but as they say, it is customary to pay for everything. In this situation, the camera fell victim. It’s an old 720p here.
An interesting point is that it was in this laptop that Apple retained the Touch Bar, which was ruthlessly removed from older and more powerful 14-inch and 16-inch models. MacBook Pro M2 equipped with two USB-C ports, 3.5mm and… everything. No MagSafe, no HDMI, no SD reader. Not the best laptop for professionals.
But most of the downsides are covered by a plus. New MacBook Pro 2023 has an active cooling system, which the Air does not have. This will allow the processor to maintain performance at a high level for much longer in resource-intensive tasks. Of course, power efficiency in this case will fade into the background, but most likely the best power will be achieved in this particular computer.
New MacBook Pro with the M2 chip went on sale for $1299 for the 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD version with a 10-core GPU.
Looking at the characteristics of these computers, not everything will be unambiguous. On the Air side, we find a larger screen (albeit slightly), on the Pro side, a more powerful filling with active cooling and the possibility of working longer at peak power. Under load, the MacBook Pro performs better and handles heavy files more easily.
MacBook Air cannot be called low-power, just to perform time-stretched resource-intensive tasks, it will have to spend a little more time, but the result will still be achieved. At the same time, the advantages of Air clearly compensate for these shortcomings. In this regard, I see no reason for me to overpay for the Pro version and recommend stopping at MacBook Air at midnightso you can see from afar that you have the latest model.
But, objectively speaking, Pro will be able to work much longer under load, so for processing high-resolution videos and photos it is better to take it.
I think for users who work with graphics, video, 3D modeling and other similar tasks, the Pro series computer will be the best choice. Another question is whether you don’t need it. Aside from slightly better performance, there’s nothing else to get the MacBook Pro M2 to show off. Most users don’t need the Touch Bar, the camera is from somewhere in the past, charging is only via USB-C, and there are no other options, and most importantly, the active cooling system noise in resource-intensive tasks.
If the difference of performance at 6% is of fundamental importance to you, so of course MacBook Pro 13 your choice, but if you’re a rational person, you won’t pay more than $100 for such a small benefit. It is better to opt for new air and enjoy a brand new laptop.