Ultimate Guide Which Is The Best M2 13-inch? MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
Intro to the best M2 13-inch? MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
The 13-inch Apple MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro currently feature Apple’s latest M2 processor, which is a slight improvement over the groundbreaking M1 chip that initiated the Mac’s departure from Intel processors nearly two years ago.
In terms of physical design, the M2 MacBook Air underwent a complete redesign for 2022, while the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro retains the same physical design it has had for several generations. Both Macs possess their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, leaving you unsure about which one to purchase.
In our view, both Macs are excellent, but each may be a better fit for different needs. So, which 13-inch Apple laptop should you choose? The Air might be the ideal machine for some individuals, while the Pro could be a better match for others. To help you make a decision, we’ll assist you in evaluating various features, as well as processor, memory and storage options.
Let’s start with the M2 MacBook Air 13-inch
The M2 MacBook Air takes design cues from the M2 MacBook Pro 14 and 16 models, which debuted earlier. Despite its slim profile, Apple did not compromise its solid build quality. The chassis remains stiff, with minimal flex in the lid and it retains the easy one-finger opening characteristic.
The new M2 Air reintroduces the magnetic MagSafe charging connector, ensuring worry-free charging without the risk of accidental disconnection and it comes with a colour-matched braided cable, a feature like in the higher end MacBook Pro models.
Apple offers a few charger options for the Air, including the base model with a common 30W charger and a new 35W charger featuring two USB-C ports or even a more powerful 67W adapter like those in the MacBook Pro line.
The Air’s keyboard like the 14-inch MacBook Pro, features a full-height function row and includes Touch ID for convenient user authentication.
With a slightly larger screen size of 13.6 inches, the Air’s display is also brighter by boasting 500 nits compared to the previous M1 MacBook Air’s 400 nits. It also excels in colour accuracy, covering 100% of the SRGB spectrum, 84% of Adobe RGB and 95% of P3.
The new Air’s webcam now offers a 1080p resolution compared to the older M1 Air and the new M2 MacBook Pro’s which are on a 720p resolution. The improved camera delivers sharper images with enhanced colour, contrast and overall image quality.
Combined with the three-mic array, its exceptionally well build for video calls.
The new speaker system consists of two tweeters and two woofers, supporting Apple’s Spatial Audio technology, to learn about Spatial Audio, see here.
Summary M2 MacBook Air 13-inch
If you only use it occasionally for photo or video editing, the M2 13-inch MacBook Air is a better choice over the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro. These advantages include a better screen, a higher resolution webcam, MagSafe, a thinner and lighter design and more! It would be unnecessary to sacrifice these features just to save a few seconds on photo or video tasks.
However, if your work heavily relies on regular and heavy creative tasks like professional video editing, RAW photo editing or colouring and extensive coding, the Air might not be the right choice for you. In such cases, it is highly advisable to consider a MacBook Pro, particularly the high-end 14 or 16-inch models, as they are better suited to handle the demands of intense creative work.
Pro Tip 1
The 67W charger can charge the M2 MacBook Air’s battery from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes.
Pro Tip 2
Apple restricts the new M2 Air to a single external display only. If you require the capability to plug your laptop into more than one external monitor at a time, it is advisable to consider the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro models, as they support up to four external displays.
Now the competitor M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch
I understand that you may not be pleased to hear this, but we found the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch to be highly disappointing and not worth the money.
The design of this MacBook Pro remains unchanged from the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro released in 2020, which was itself based on a MacBook Pro design from 2016.
It features the same 2560 x 1600 screen, Magic Keyboard, two Thunderbolt ports, Touch Bar and a 720p resolution webcam. Additionally, it does not include the magnetic MagSafe charging connector and does not utilize a mini LED display.
Summary M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch
We recommend opting for the M2 MacBook Air instead of this particular model or you may consider the higher-end 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro if you require more power for intensive tasks.
Pro Tip 3
The M1 Pro MacBook Pro outperforms the M2 in terms of speed, as indicated by early Geekbench benchmarks. The M2 achieved a multi-core score of 8928, while the eight-core M1 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro scored 9511, reflecting a 6% increase in speed. Furthermore, the ten-core M1 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro scored 12011, demonstrating a significant 25% speed improvement compared to the M2.
We think this could be the tiebreaker between these two. In the MacBook lineup, the presence of the Touch Bar has always been a matter of personal preference: either you appreciate it, or you don’t find it important. That’s precisely why the only MacBook device that still retains the Touch Bar is the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro.
If you’re specifically interested in having the Touch Bar functionality, the M2 MacBook Pro is your sole choice. It’s worth noting that opting for a MacBook with the Touch Bar means forgoing the traditional function row.
Historically, the MacBook Air lineup has never included the Touch Bar, as it remained exclusive to the MacBook Pro models. However, with the M2 MacBook Air, you do get a full-height Function Key row. While the improvement might not be substantial, it does offer an upgrade compared to previous MacBook Air models.
Side by side specifications comparison
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