M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional: specs, velocity


M3 15-inch MacBook Air [left], M3 14-inch MacBook Professional [right]

Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 could be very shut, price-wise, to the 14-inch MacBook Professional. With comparable core specs, here is what to contemplate when you must select between the 2.

Apple’s revision of the MacBook Air with M3 now brings the lineup to the identical degree because the M3-equipped MacBook Professional fashions. Following the discharge, it is attainable to configure a MacBook Air and a MacBook Professional with the identical base specs.

Eagle-eyed observers might even spot that you could configure the 15-inch MacBook Air to have the identical specs as the bottom 14-inch MacBook Professional, and save $100 within the course of.

This alone feels like an attractive alternative. MacBook Professional ranges of energy however in a less expensive and thinner type looks as if a discount. You might marvel if it is price shopping for a MacBook Professional if it can save you cash on one thing comparable with the MacBook Air.

The issue is that, whilst you can arrange a MacBook Air to have the identical core internals as a MacBook Professional, there are much more elements and variations to remember. Ultimately, that $100 value distinction appears much less of a discount in spite of everything.

For the needs of comparability, we’re pitting an unchanged baseline 14-inch MacBook Professional with M3 in opposition to a 15-inch MacBook Air configured to the identical degree because the Professional. It is an upgraded MacBook Air for base-spec MacBook Professional cash.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Comparability Specs

SpecificationsM3 MacBook Air (15-inch, 2024)M3 MacBook Professional (14-inch, 2023)Launch Beginning Value$1,299
Finest M3 MacBook Air 15-inch costs$1,599
Finest M3 MacBook Professional 14-inch pricesSpec Value$1,499$1,599Dimensions (inches)13.40 x 9.35 x 0.4512.31 x 8.71 x 0.61Weight (kilos)3.3
3.4Display15.3-inch Liqud Retina
Broad Colour (P3),
True Tone14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR,
Broad Colour (P3)
True Tone
ProMotionResolution2,880 x 1,864
3,024 x 1,964Brightness500 nits1,000 nits sustained fullscreen,
1,600 nits peak HDR,
600 nits SDRProcessorApple M3 8-coreApple M3 8-coreGraphics10-core GPU10-core GPUMemory8GB8GBStorage512GB512GBBattery66.5Wh lithium-polymer70Wh lithium-polymerNetworking802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3Touch IDYesYesCamera1080p FaceTime HD1080p FaceTime HDAudioSix-speaker sound system,
Pressure-cancelling woofers,
Three-mic array with directional beamforming,
Voice Isolation and Broad Spectrum mic modes,
Headphone jack with high-impedance headphone help,
Dolby Atmos help with Spatial AudioSix-speaker sound system,
Pressure-cancelling woofers,
Three-mic array with directional beamforming and excessive signal-to-noise ratio,
Headphone jack with high-impedance headphone help,
Dolby Atmos help with Spatial AudioPortsTwo Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports,
3.5mm headphone,
MagSafe 3Two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports,
SDXC Card Slot
3.5mm headphone,
MagSafe 3

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Storage and Reminiscence

For this comparability, we’re going to talk about the chief issues that must be fairly equivalent first, specifically storage, reminiscence, and the chip operating the present, earlier than going into the opposite areas the place there are variations.

Each the M3 MacBook Air and MacBook Professional begin with 8GB of unified reminiscence, with choices for 16GB or 24GB. They work in the identical method and are priced identically as upgrades: 16GB for $200, 24GB for $400.

It is a comparable however barely completely different story for storage. The Professional has 512GB because the beginning worth, with upgrades accessible to 1TB for $200 or 2TB for $600.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Pro  —  MacBook Pro [left], MacBook Air [right]

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Professional — MacBook Professional [left], MacBook Air [right]

The MacBook Air additionally has a most capability of 2TB, and the improve prices from 512GB are equivalent. The distinction is that you could get the 256GB capability mannequin for $200 much less.

For the needs of this price-based comparability in opposition to the baseline, the 256GB to 512GB improve of the Air is required. However the backside line right here is that the 15-inch Air might be $100 lower than the 14-inch Professional, whatever the storage improve you select.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Efficiency and Thermal Administration

At face worth, there must be no actual distinction between the M3 15-inch MacBook Air and the M3 14-inch MacBook Professional. The M3 chip inside the 2 is equivalent.

Utilizing an 8-core CPU with 4 efficiency and 4 effectivity cores, a 10-core GPU with hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and a 16-core Neural Engine, they’re the identical by means of and thru.

There are not any modifications accessible in reminiscence bandwidth both, at 100GB/s apiece, and the Media Engine’s the identical, too.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Pro —  Geekbench single-core and multi-core benchmarks

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Professional — Geekbench single-core and multi-core benchmarks

When put beneath Geekbench 6 in opinions, the M3 within the 14-inch MacBook Professional managed 3,091 for the single-core check and 11,850 for the multi-core. The 15-inch MacBook Air hit 3,256 and 12,102 respectively.

It is secure to say that the outcomes are shut sufficient to be fairly comparable, with varied small components seemingly inflicting the small variance.

Even so, there’s nonetheless a distinction to contemplate: thermals.

The MacBook Air is designed to be a skinny and light-weight pocket book, sacrificing parts to save lots of area. Which means it depends on slightly little bit of pure airflow and the thermal conductivity of the aluminum enclosure to scale back warmth.

As a bigger system, the MacBook Professional has an enormous profit, within the type of a fan. Pushing air by means of the MacBook Professional helps preserve the pocket book cooler for longer beneath heavy masses.

What this implies to customers is that, in the event you’re utilizing each notebooks for heavy sustained workloads, the MacBook Air will thermally throttle a lot faster than the MacBook Professional because of the fan.

Should you’re a person who does primary net browsing and light-weight duties, you are not going to see this impact in motion in on a regular basis life. For creatives making YouTube movies and different intensive duties, that cooling could also be necessary.

Take into accout, although, that the difficulty just isn’t as dramatic as YouTube might current. For the goal market at this value level, it is principally a non-issue.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Bodily Dimensions

Each the 15-inch MacBook Air and 14-inch MacBook Professional look basically comparable. They each share the identical Apple aesthetic of being a flat slab of aluminum and, when closed and carried round, they might simply be mistaken for the opposite.

Wanting on the precise specs of every, there’s the apparent measurement distinction, partly because of the screens various in dimension. At 13.40 by 9.35 inches, the 15-inch MacBook Air will naturally have a bigger footprint than the 14-inch MacBook Professional at 12.31 by 8.71 inches.

In thickness, the MacBook Air maintains its place of being good and skinny at 0.45 inches in opposition to 0.61 for the Professional. The Air is bodily bigger however thinner total than its Professional counterpart.

In the case of weight, the outcomes are literally fairly comparable. The MacBook Professional is at 3.4 kilos to the MacBook Air’s 3.3 kilos, which is fairly shut contemplating the scale variations.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Show

One of many foremost causes to go for the MacBook Professional is the show high quality, and for just a few good causes.

At 15.3 inches, the MacBook Air’s Liquid Retina display screen is larger than the 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR of the MacBook Professional. You get Broad Colour (P3) protection and True Tone in each, in addition to the digicam notch on the high of the display screen.

Past that, issues swing significantly within the Professional’s route. MacBook Air’s Liquid Retina show makes use of LED backlighting, whereas the MacBook Professional’s Liquid Retina XDR model makes use of miniLED backlighting.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Pro  —  The Air has the inferior, albeit bigger, screen.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Professional — The Air has the inferior, albeit larger, display screen.

For customers, meaning the Air can handle as much as 500 nits of brightness, whereas the MacBook Professional can do as much as 1,000 nits sustained, 1,600 nits peak for HDR content material, or 600 nits for SDR content material.

The Professional additionally has the next decision for its smaller measurement at 3,024 by 1,964 in opposition to the Air’s 2,880 by 1,826. That provides the Air a pixel density of 224 pixels per inch to the Professional’s 254ppi.

That is not all, because the MacBook Professional’s display screen additionally helps ProMotion, permitting it to dynamically modify the refresh fee as much as 120Hz, in opposition to 60Hz for the Air.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Digicam and Audio

Fitted into the notch, each notebooks have a 1080p FaceTime HD digicam. It is supported by the picture sign processor of the M3 chip, offering enhancements to the footage and advantages corresponding to computational pictures.

The audio providing can be fairly comparable, with every having a six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers. There’s Dolby Atmos help with Spatial Audio, too.

In addition they have a 3.5mm headphone jack with high-impedance headphone help, which can fulfill audiophiles.

Oddly, audio enter is a bit completely different. Each do have a three-mic array with directional beamforming, however the MacBook Professional’s mics have a excessive signal-to-noise ratio for readability.

In the meantime, Apple says the mic system within the MacBook Air consists of Voice Isolation and Broad Spectrum mic modes, borrowing the characteristic from the iPhone 15 Professional line.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Connectivity

One other key distinction is in how the notebooks hook up with peripherals. There are two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports on every, in addition to the three.5mm headphone jack and a MagSafe 3 connection.

The MacBook Professional stands out as a result of it manages to slot in just a few extra helpful gadgets.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Pro  —  The Pro has HDMI, the Air does not

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Professional — The Professional has HDMI, the Air doesn’t

That features a HDMI port for connecting an exterior monitor with out utilizing up one of many two Thunderbolt connections. In the meantime, the SDXC card slot makes it simple for videographers to dump footage while not having to plug in or carry round a separate card reader.

This transformation could also be sufficient for creatives to keep away from needing further ports utilizing a dock, for instance. For the MacBook Air, a dock appears slightly extra sure within the proprietor’s future.

Wi-fi connectivity is equivalent throughout the 2 notebooks, with Apple using Bluetooth 5.3 and supporting Wi-Fi 6E.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Battery and Charging

The distinction in measurement and thickness does imply there is a distinction in battery capability, however not by a lot. The 15-inch Macbook Air homes a 66.5Wh lithium-polymer battery, whereas the 14-inch MacBook Professional has a 70Wh model.

Apple says that every pocket book can handle as much as 15 hours of wi-fi net entry. For Apple TV app film playback, Apple says the 14-inch MacBook Professional can last as long as 22 hours, whereas the 15-inch MacBook Professional can go for as much as 18 hours.

Getting energy into the MacBook Professional and Air may be dealt with over USB-C or MagSafe 3, however the charger you get does range.

The 15-inch MacBook Air consists of the 35W Twin USB-C Compact Energy Adapter by default, however there’s an improve accessible to 70W at no cost. The 14-inch MacBook Professional consists of the 70W charger as customary.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Different Options

Each notebooks use Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which has backlighting with an ambient mild sensor. There are 78 or 79 keys relying on the area, together with 12 full-heigh operate keys and 4 arrow keys in an inverted T formation.

On the high proper is the Contact ID sensor for authentication. Apple has nonetheless not but added Face ID to its notebooks, regardless of incorporating a notch into the design.

Under the keyboard is a Pressure Contact trackpad with multi-touch gesture help.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Pro  —  Differences in thickness, sans lids.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Professional — Variations in thickness, sans lids.

The MacBook Professional is obtainable in Silver and Area Grey colorways. The MacBook Air additionally has Starlight and Midnight shade choices.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Comparative pricing

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs 14-inch MacBook Professional – Professional is the best way to go

Paying for upgrades on Apple merchandise is an costly enterprise, so the necessity to penny-pinch the place attainable looks as if a good suggestion. As talked about at first of this text, a $100 saving actually is not to be sniffed at.

Certain, you could be keen to sacrifice just a few GPU cores and marginally decrease efficiency to shave just a few hundred off the value in some configurations. However that is not the case right here.

With the identical CPU, reminiscence, and storage, that $100 saving represents so many smaller modifications that arguably outweigh chopping the price altogether.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Pro  —  A size comparison.

M3 15-inch MacBook Air vs M3 14-inch MacBook Professional — A measurement comparability.

The much better show of the 14-inch MacBook Air, the additional ports, and the decreased thermal throttling are large plusses for the MacBook Professional.

What the 15-inch MacBook Air has going for it past $100 in financial savings are a barely larger display screen, a thinner design, and a tiny little bit of weight reduction.

Until display screen measurement issues, or having a Midnight or Starlight shade scheme, it is most likely finest to swallow the $100 price distinction and go for the Professional mannequin on this value bracket.

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