M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro: Which is the best buy in 2024?

M3 MacBook Air vs M2 Pro
Which is a better device between M3 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro (Image via Apple)

Apple's MacBook series, whether Air or Pro, offers compelling laptops, both of which are very popular and cater to slightly different needs. The Air series is comprised of sleek and lightweight design laptops. In contrast, the Pro lineup is known for its impressive computing power.

According to Apple, the M3 SoCs are faster and more powerful than M2 chips. However, there are more factors to consider while selecting a device. This intricate comparison between the M3 MacBook Air and the M2 MacBook Pro aims to ease out the decision-making process. It delves into performance metrics, battery life, and advanced features, to facilitate an informed choice aligned with individual needs and preferences.


M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro: Specs comparison

Feature comparison of M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro (Image via Apple)
Feature comparison of M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro (Image via Apple)

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's take a look at the two devices' core specs:

Specifications

M3 MacBook Air

M2 MacBook Pro

Processor

M3

M2

CPU core

8

8

GPU core

10

10

Memory

Up to 24GB

Up to 24GB

Storage

Up to 2TB

Up to 2TB

Battery life

18 hours

20 hours

Display

13.6-inch or 15.3-inch

13.3-inch

Price

Starts at $1099

Starts at $1299

As seen in the table, there is not much difference in the core specs, except for the processor and the battery life.

Also read: MacBook Air vs Pro


M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro: Which device has a better display?

The latest Air series has two size variants (Image via Apple)
The latest Air series has two size variants (Image via Apple)

The major differences in the displays of both devices are the size and type. The latest Air laptops are available in two screen sizes, 13.6-inch and 15.3-inch utilizing Liquid Retina technology. On the other hand, the Pro model with an M2 chip is available in a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with an IPS technology screen.

Both devices have 500 nits brightness, Wide color (P3), and True Tone technology resulting in a smooth visual experience. However, the bigger Air model has better pixel resolution (2880x1864 pixels compared to 2560x1600 pixels). Thus, it gets an extra point for display.


M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro: Which delivers superior performance?

Which device delivers better performance? (Image via Apple)
Which device delivers better performance? (Image via Apple)

Generally, the Pro series is focused on performance. But here we have the latest M3 processor that narrows down or even clears out the performance gap between both devices. With that said, both devices have the same configuration, such as CPU core, GPU core, memory bandwidth, media engine, memory, and storage options.

So the only difference we have now is the chipset. According to NanoReview, the M3 processor is 12% faster in a single-core Geekbench compared to its counterpart. In other tests, the new chipset by Apple came out more polished.

We believe the latest Air series will give a slightly better performance in daily tasks.


M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro: Which has more running time?

The Pro lineup offers better battery optimization (Image via Apple)
The Pro lineup offers better battery optimization (Image via Apple)

Apple claims up to 17 hours of web scrolling and up to 20 hours of media streaming with the MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, the Air variants are said to run 15 hours and 18 hours on the same tasks respectively.

The MacBook Pro M2 13-inch supports 67W fast charging similar to the base variant of the Air series. However, the high-end models can take up to 70W, which is slightly better. But, in a nutshell, the Pro model is more battery-efficient.


M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro: Final verdict

In short, the M3 MacBook Air M3 offers the better value. It comes with the latest processor, a sleek and lightweight design, and is available at a lower cost. On the other hand, the M2 MacBook Pro offers sustained performance, and additional ports, which means it will run smoothly under heavy workloads and provide more flexibility.

So the ultimate winner of the M3 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Pro comparison depends on individuals' needs.

Quick Links

Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
App download animated image Get the free App now