MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro: which laptop to choose?

Instead, to simplify the life of the user, for which at the time called Steve jobs, Apple seems to be doing the opposite. Take, for example, a MacBook – now there are three varieties (ultra-slim 12-inch, thin Air and the powerful Pro), so the potential buyer is quite difficult to figure out which laptop to choose. If you are not experienced enough in the product line of Apple, or can’t decide, we will try to help you.

To start with the specifications laptops Apple:

  • MacBook – 12-inch ultrathin laptop (thickness varies from 0.35 cm to 1.31 cm), weight 0.92 kg.
  • MacBook Air – 13 inch thin laptop (the thickness from 0.3 cm to 1.7 cm) weight 1.35 kg.
  • MacBook Pro (in this case, it will be just about the two versions) is a powerful and productive laptop with a screen diagonal of 13 and 15 inches, with a thickness of 1.49 cm and a weight of 1.37 kg.


This is perhaps one of the most important things that you need to look for when choosing a model. The fact that the latest laptops come with a Retina display that provides high-quality picture with rich colors. The image on the screens of the new MacBook is much better than most Windows competitors.

Here is simple arithmetic – the larger the screen, the more workspace, but the more you have to carry, and the weight can is crucial.

MacBook is equipped with a screen diagonal of 12 inches, a resolution of 2304 x 1440 (16:10) and a density of 226 ppi. It just has a Retina display, you really can’t see pixels with the naked eye, and the picture quality will surprise you.

MacBook Air is represented only by the model with 13-inch screen (the 11-inch model is out of production) with a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels (16:10) and a density of 128 ppi. This is a standard pixel density, and normal distance, the eye catches the “graininess” of the screen.

MacBook Pro is 13-inch with 2560 x 1600 resolution (16:10) and a density of 227 ppi, or 15-inch with a resolution of 2880 x 1800 (16:10) and a density of 220 ppi. Both screens also belong to the category of Retina.

If we talk about MacBook Pro 2016, they got a wider color gamut, so the colors look even brighter and more realistic. In other modifications, use the standard screens with the color space sRGB and they display fewer colors in comparison with reality. MacBook Pro latest generation provide a wider color gamut P3 color space is 25% wider, and with a large number of colors in an image appear brighter, more realistic and allow to examine even more details. If you take a photo taken on an iPhone and compare it with the exact same, but in the format of HDR, you’ll understand what was going on.

  • If you want a quality picture, and it does not need a large working area, feel free to choose MacBook.
  • Full graphics will fit any MacBook Pro.
  • If your principal point is the color accuracy, we recommend to look towards the MacBook Pro 2016.

External monitors

Often use the MacBook as a portable computer, to which if necessary, connect the external monitors. For example, at home or at work. Here too there are nuances.

MacBook can connect to the monitor via a USB-C or via HDMI (with adapter). Then immediately it should be noted that, with this, you will not be able to charge your laptop because it has just one connector. You can connect a monitor with a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 (30Hz) or 4096 x 2160 pixels (24 Hz).

MacBook Air works only with Thunderbolt-resolution monitors up to 3840×2160.

Possible MacBook Pro is much wider than the monitor resolution of 3840 by 2160 connected via Thunderbolt (or two), but if you bought the top included (with AMD Radeon R9 M370X), you can connect the monitor 5120×2880 pixels (60 Hz). “Proshka” with screen resolution of 1920×1080 (60 Hz), 3840×2160 (30 Hz) and 4096×2160 (24 Hz).

13-inch MacBook Pro 2016, supports connecting one monitor with a resolution of 5120×2880 (5K), but 15-inch is working with two such screens. So if you plan to use two external monitor, you should choose the MacBook Pro.


Perhaps one of the few items in the Apple laptops require serious improvement. The company allows you to use FaceTime not only on iPhone but also on my MacBook, and indeed the video do not lose their relevance.

12-inch MacBook has a camera 480p that, to put it mildly, weak. In other models, uses a camera filming in 720p resolution. Even in the newest MacBook Pro – 1080p front-facing camera portable Apple computers do not support. Actually, the choice here is simple – if you want quality video, buy an additional camera with USB connectivity.


The CPU is the second important point which you should pay attention when choosing the MacBook. Hardware affects performance, and we need to understand what tasks we buy a laptop.

MacBook is considered to be the weakest laptop in terms of performance. 12-inch model based on Intel Core M Skylake architecture, which is much weaker Core i5 or i7 processor. On the other hand, for this processor doesn’t need a fan, and the most compact MacBook is absolutely silent. Apple offers a configuration with chips M3, M5 or M7 – they differ in performance, but not much.

MacBook Air still use the old chip with the Broadwell architecture, but it is a proven Intel Core i5 or i7, depending on configuration. This laptop is more powerful than the previous, although it is worth remembering about the weak displays.

MacBook Pro running on Skylake (13-inch), 15-inch version — on Broadwell. Both laptops depending on the diagonal, is equipped with a Core i5 processor (2.7 GHz and 2.8 GHz) or Core i7 (3.1 GHz and 2.8 GHz).

MacBook Pro 2016 works for Skylake with almost the same options: 13 inch — Core i5 (2.0 GHz), Core i7 (2.4 GHz); 15 inch — Core i7 (2.6 GHz, 2.7 GHz, 2.9 GHz); Version with Touch Bar — Core i5 (2.9 GHz, 3.1 GHz), Core i7 (3.3 GHz)

  • If you need thin and beautiful laptop, but with decent performance, choose a MacBook on the basis of the M7.
  • If you need a portable machine, but with better performance – the MacBook Air.
  • If you need a powerful laptop for everyday use – your choice of MacBook Pro.
  • If you need a top laptop for demanding tasks like video rendering, will have to fork out 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 and forget about upgrading for three years.


Apple laptops are no different heavy duty graphics, and it is unlikely you will be able to play video games on a MacBook. Again, much depends on the configuration of the modern GPUs might not be enough for a comfortable game in rich 3D graphics game but with complex multimedia content laptops it just fine.

The MacBook uses the simple graphics Intel HD Graphics 515, which is enough to work on one Retina screen. MacBook Air runs on HD Graphics 6000 – better than MacBook, but for complex processes it may not be enough.

2015 MacBook Pro come with Intel HD Graphics 6100 integrated graphics is slightly more powerful than MacBook Air. The top version provides quite a powerful video card AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 got Intel Iris Graphics 540 (the model without a Touch panel Bar) and Intel Iris Graphics 550 (Touch Bar) with the option to upgrade to Radeon Pro 450 / 460. The 15-inch — 530 Intel HD Graphics and discrete graphics Radeon Pro 455 / 460.

The choice here is obvious – to work with multimedia content should look at the MacBook Pro 2015, MacBook Pro or 2016.


Everyone understands how important the battery life of laptops. You fly the plane, ride the train or bus, or even just sit with laptop in the Park – usually don’t have enough of these “last” 15-20 minutes to finish an important report, finish a presentation, to watch interesting videos. Wherever we need a working computer, and there are no outlets, additional plus to the autonomy of the laptop will not be superfluous.

Fortunately, the MacBook, this is no problem – all models operate without recharging for a very long time.

  • MacBook: 10 hours of browsing and 11 hours of video playback, 30 days standby.
  • MacBook Air: 12 hours online, 12 hours of video playback, 30 days standby.
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch: 10 hours of browsing and 12 hours video playback, 30 days standby.
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch: 9 hours of surfing the Internet, 9 hours of video playback, 30 days standby.
  • MacBook Pro 2016: 10 hours online, 10 hours of video playback, 30 days standby.

If the key factor is autonomy, look to the 13-inch MacBook Air.


The more RAM in the laptop, the more applications you can run simultaneously without sacrificing performance, processing photos or videos.

The MacBook offers only one option: 8GB 1866 MHz LPDDR3

13-inch MacBook Air also comes with only 8 GB of RAM.

MacBook Pro 2015: 8 or 16 GB RAM 1866 MHz LPDDR3 for the 13-inch version. 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 features 16 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3L.

MacBook Pro 2016: 8 GB RAM 1866 MHz LPDDR3 the model without the Touch Bar with the ability to upgrade to 16 GB. 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 with the bar Touch Bar is equipped with 8 or 16 GB RAM 2133 MHz LPDDR3. The 15-inch model is offered with 16 GB RAM 2133 MHz LPDDR3.

  • If you the basic RAM, choose the MacBook Pro.


MacBook: SSD drive PCIe capacity of 256 GB with option to upgrade to 512 GB.

MacBook Air: 128 GB expandable to 256 GB or 512 GB.

MacBook Pro 2015: the 13-inch 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB; 15-inch 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB.

2016 MacBook Pro: 13-inch – 256 GB, 1 TB; 15-inch 256 GB, 512 GB, 2 TB.


MacBook: single USB-C, 3.5 mm audio Jack.

MacBook Air: two USB ports, one Thunderbolt 2 port, a slot for memory cards SD, and 3.5 mm audio Jack.

MacBook Pro 2015: two USB, two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI port, SD card slot and 3.5 mm audio Jack.

MacBook Pro 2016: two Thunderbolt ports 3 (USB-C) for the version without Touch Bar, four Thunderbolt 3 for the version with Touch Bar, while the 13-inch models, two of them are not working at full capacity.

Force Touch trackpad and keyboard

Force Touch allows you to perform pressing force. You just need to click on the trackpad and then make the extra effort. This way you can activate additional functionality in many apps and system functions of your Mac. Force Touch trackpad-equipped MacBook and MacBook Pro.

The keyboard have different laptops – MacBook Air and 2015 MacBook Pro equipped with conventional keyboards with a mechanism called “scissors”, which has one drawback — the keys are slightly loose around the edges. If you press this key closer to the edge she can touch the bottom before the mechanism will register the click.

The MacBook and MacBook Pro 2016 is a new keyboard that uses a butterfly mechanism. It is a one-piece element made of a more rigid material, with a larger area of support. Thanks to this keys more sustainable, more precisely respond to clicks, and thus occupy less space in height.


MacBook is available in different color options. MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2015 is available in silver, MacBook available in four shades (silver, gold, space grey, rose gold), MacBook Pro, 2016 available in two colours (silver, space gray).


MacBook is perfect for managers and travellers, who need the most thin and light notebook with modern technology for comfortable work.

MacBook Air will be the choice for those who need the most affordable laptop from Apple – the device remained almost all the necessary ports, but the model itself is quite outdated.

MacBook Pro 2015 – good laptop with all the ports, it will fit in as an alternative to a desktop computer for almost any user. Although it is not too convenient to travel.

Well, if you need the most advanced and productive in the laptop choose a MacBook Pro 2016 (but remember that “Apple” there is already not lit, if it is principal for you).

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *