If you can’t decide on a computer from Apple’s lineup, here’s everything you need to know to make the decision easier. 

We understand that it isn’t always easy to choose the right Mac Model. What’s the better choice for laptop shoppers – the MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro? If you’re considering a desktop, is the all-in-one iMac a better buy than the Mac Mini, which comes without a monitor or keyboard but is also less expensive consequently?

These are choices that have always taken time to think through. However, the introduction of the all-new Apple-designed processor, the M1, complicates things further. 

The Mac computers launched in 2020 are the first to use the M1. This replaces the Intel chips which powered Macs since 2006. The first Macs with these new processors were tested in the fall of 2020 and looked at criteria like performance, versatility, and battery life.

So which Mac is the right pick? Let’s begin with laptops.

MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro

Both laptops, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro perform well in most ratings. However, it’s important to note that each is aimed at different audiences.

The Air is available at a beginning price of $1,000 and comes in one size. It’s a good choice for everyday use and can efficiently run a wide range of apps. And now, with the M1, you can run iPhone and iPad apps.

At 2.8 pounds, it’s pretty lightweight (as the name Air suggests). The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13 inches, 2.8 pounds), Dell XPS (13-inches, 2.7 pounds), and Apple’s MacBook Pro (13-inches, 3 pounds) are comparable.

With regard to specs, the Air starts with the Apple M1 processor, 256GB of solid-state storage, and 8 gigabytes of memory. It can last anywhere between 10.75 and 12.5 hours based on how hard it’s pushed.

The MacBook Pro is an option for people who need more horsepower to perform complex, tougher computing tasks.

Apple’s offering includes two Pro models: the 13-inch laptop which uses the Apple M1 processor and the older 16-inch model which has an Intel processor.

The 13-inch Pro, unlike the Air, has an onboard fan that kicks in when you’re performing intense tasks like rendering 4K video. This keeps it cool and allows the laptop to push harder for longer before it gets too warm. This definitely makes the 13-inch Pro a better fit for professionals or people who frequently use highly demanding apps like Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe Photoshop.

Meanwhile, for people who like to play games, the 16-inch Pro with an Intel processor may be useful due to its dedicated AMD graphics card.

Both the Air and Pro’s  M1-equipped versions open with 8GB of memory and 256GB of solid-state storage. However, the Pro has a somewhat higher ceiling – it can be configured with up to 16GB of memory and 2 terabytes of solid-state storage.

The Pro’s display gets brighter, and this is certainly useful if you enjoy working outside in direct sunlight.

So what’s the verdict for an Apple fan who’s looking to buy a new laptop?

Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are pretty solid choices. So what it eventually comes down to, is how much you want to invest in high-end specs for specific tasks like video rendering,  photo editing, and playing games. The Air starts at $1,000.The 13-inch Pro is at $1,300, and the 16-inch Pro starts at $2,400.

Still unsure? Here’s a final word of advice. If you aren’t planning to use the laptop for creative work the Air is a smarter, more cost-efficient choice and the laptop most people need.

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