M1 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Air – Which Should You Buy?

The M1 MacBook Pro and Air are similar in areas like processor, keyboard, and form factor. On the other hand, both devices also differ in many ways. For example, the M1 Pro is more expensive than the M1 Air. However, many people, especially people who are buying an Apple laptop for the first time, usually have a hard time choosing amongst these devices.

This guide will look at the differences between these devices and the similarities that they share. By the end of this guide, you will be able to choose one amongst both devices.


Both MacBooks share a number of features. For example, they share the same display size, ports, processor, etc. These similarities are listed below:

  • Up to 2TB storage on both device
  • Up to 16GB unified memory
  • 3″ LED-backlit display that uses IPS technology
  • Supports Dolby Atmos playback
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 11ax WiFi 6
  • USB 4 ports/two Thunderbolt
  • Touch ID and magic keyboard
  • Available in Gray and silver
  • Truetone technology and wide color


Though the two MacBooks have a lot in common, they also differ in many ways. Some of the key differences in both devices can be found below:

M1 MacBook Pro

  • Thick slab-like design
  • Active cooling
  • Eight core GPU
  • Battery life up to 20 hours
  • 500 nits brightness
  • Studio quality 3-mic array
  • High dynamic range stereo speakers
  • Weighs 3 pounds (1.4kg)
  • Touch bar
  • Available in space gray and silver

M1 MacBook Air

  • Slim wedge-like design
  • Fanless (passive cooling)
  • Up to eight-core GPU with configuration
  • Battery life up to 18 hours
  • 400 nits brightness
  • 3-mic array
  • Stereo speakers
  • Weighs 2.8 pounds (1.29kg)
  • Available in gold, silver, and space gray

Design and Portability

The MacBook Pro and MacBook Air share the same look. However, the M1 Air looks a lot slimmer than the M1 Pro, making it more portable and convenient to carry. If portability is a priority for you, then you should go for the MacBook Air.


The two device uses the Apple Silicon processor. The only key difference in this aspect is the cooling systems. The MacBook Pro has cooling fans and ventilation, while the M1 Air is passively cooled with no fans or ventilation. Due to this, the M1 Pro performs slightly better.


The two MacBooks have the same display size and display technology. The colors and content look the same on the two devices. However, the only key difference in this aspect is that the M1 Pro can reach 500 nits of display brightness, making it up to 20% brighter than the MacBook Air.

Battery Life

The MacBook Pro has a stronger battery life than the M1 Air. This is primarily due to the smaller battery used in the MacBook Air. So, if your major priority is long battery life, you should go for the M1 Pro.


The two devices share similar features in few areas, and they also differ in many ways. However, the MacBook Pro seems to win, as it has better display brightness, battery life, speaker quality, and cooling system.

What do you think?

Written by Rindotnet


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