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M3 MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Basic Facts

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ple MacBookPhotographer: Dmitry Chernyshov | Source: Unsplash

When choosing between the M3 MacBook Air and the M3 MacBook Pro, several factors must be considered, especially for those new to Macs. Here's a comprehensive comparison to help beginner MacBook users make an informed decision.

Price and Affordability

The M3 MacBook Air models are generally more affordable than the M3 MacBook Pro models. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air with an M3 chip starts at $1,099, while the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the same chip starts at a higher price point due to additional features such as a better display and more storage. The MacBook Air is the more cost-effective option for those on a budget.

Performance and Usage

The M3 MacBook Pro models have more unified memory, a more sophisticated GPU and CPU, and a longer battery life than the MacBook Air models. This makes the Pro models better suited for professionals requiring high-performance machines for graphic design, music production, and app development tasks. However, the MacBook Air is sufficient for everyday browsing and office work. They also will handle photo and video editing fairly well.

Design and Portability

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have a sleek design and run the same operating system and apps. The MacBook Air models are thinner and lighter, making them more portable. The 13-inch MacBook Air is particularly light and compact, ideal for those who prioritize mobility.

MacBook Air by Apple

Display and Audio

The MacBook Pro models boast a mini-LED display with deeper blacks and more vivid colors, which is especially beneficial for color-critical work like photo editing. They also have a higher refresh rate with ProMotion technology, providing a smoother visual experience. Regarding audio, the MacBook Pro has a superior sound system compared to the Air.

MacBook Pro
MacBook by Apple

Storage and Memory

The MacBook Pro starts with a larger base storage of 512GB SSD, while the MacBook Air starts with 256GB. Both models start with 8GB of RAM, but the Pro models offer options for more memory, which can be crucial for more demanding tasks.

Cooling and Battery Life

The MacBook Pro features an active cooling system with fans, which allows it to handle more intensive tasks without overheating. It also has a longer battery life, with up to 22 hours of movie playback, compared to 18 hours for the MacBook Air.

Connectivity and Ports

The MacBook Pro offers more connectivity options, including an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, and the standard Thunderbolt ports. This can be a significant advantage for users who require multiple connections for their work.

Color and Aesthetics

The MacBook Air offers a wider range of colors, including Midnight Black and Starlight, providing more personalization options. While the MacBook Pro has limited color options, it has a high-end space black variant that is suitable for those who prefer a more professional look.

MacBook by Apple article by Greg Doig
Photographer: Mia Baker | Source: Unsplash


For beginners to Macs, choosing the M3 MacBook Air and M3 MacBook Pro will largely depend on their needs and budget. The MacBook Air is more affordable and portable, suitable for everyday use and students. The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is designed for professionals who need a powerful machine for specialized tasks. It offers better performance, display quality, and connectivity options.

When deciding, consider your primary use of the laptop, your budget, and whether the MacBook Pro's additional features justify the higher cost. Both models are excellent choices, but they cater to different user profiles.