A MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 13-inch 2022 comparison is just what you need if you’re trying to decide which new MacBook to buy this year. Starting at $1,199 and $1,299, respectively, only $100 separates these two laptops. But there are some significant differences you need to know.
The new MacBook Air 2022 has a lot going for it, including the powerful new M2 chip, a sleeker and more colorful design, brighter and bigger display and upgraded webcam. But Apple is keeping the entry-level MacBook Pro 2022 13-inch around for a reason, and it packs the same chip while offering some notable advantages over the Air.
Both the new MacBook Air and new MacBook Pro could be good enough to land on our best laptop list. But which is right for you? Here’s how the new Air and Pro stack up.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Specs compared
|MacBook Air 2022||MacBook Pro 2022 (13-inch)|
|Price||from $1,199||from $1,299|
|Display||13.6 inches (2560 x 1664)||13.3 inches (2560 x 1600)|
|RAM||8GB, 16GB, 24GB||8GB, 16GB, 24GB|
|GPU||8-core CPU||10-core GPU|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 3/USB 4, heaphone||2 Thunderbolt 3/USB 4, heaphone|
|Battery life (rated)||18 hours video / 15 hours web||20 hours video / 17 hours web|
|Dimensions||11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches||11.97 x 8.36 x 0.6 inches|
|Weight||2.7 pounds||3 pounds|
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Price
The MacBook Air 2022 represents a significant price increase over the MacBook Air M1, starting at $1,199. The previous M1 Air stays in the lineup at $999.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro 2022 retains its $1,299 price. So these are both premium laptops, but the Pro attempts to justify its premium with a beefier 10-core GPU and longer battery life, plus stronger sustained performance, which we’ll get into below.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Design
The MacBook Air 2022 wins on portability vs the MacBook Pro 2022, and that’s because Apple managed to deliver a laptop that’s 20% smaller in volume than the previous Air while delivering a solid aluminum design.
The Air measures 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds, compared to 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.6 inches and 3 pounds for the MacBook Pro. So the Air is thinner and lighter while offering a larger display with narrower bezels.
Plus, the MacBook Air gives you more color options with Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Space Gray. With the chunkier Pro you’re limited to Silver and Space Gray.
The MacBook Pro is the only one of these two systems to offer a Touch Bar, but I’d rather have the dedicated function row on the Air.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Display
The new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are pretty evenly matched when it comes to their displays. In fact, the Air’s panel is slightly larger at 13.6 inches compared to 13.3 inches for the Pro. And the Air gives you a few more pixels to play with at 2560 x 1664 vs 2560 x 1660 for the Pro.
Otherwise, both laptops offer a strong 500 nits of brightness, wide color (P3) support and True Tone technology. So the Air arguably has a small edge here.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Ports
There’s not much to this category for either laptop. Both the new Air and new Pro pack just two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports for plugging in peripherals, plus a headphone jack for wired headphones.
The only notable difference is that the new Air offers MagSafe charging while the Pro charges via USB-C, so you could make the case that the Air gives you more ports. And that’s because the two USB-C ports can remain free while you juice up the system.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Specs
This is where the MacBook Pro 2022 pulls ahead. While both the new Air and Pro come with Apple’s new M2 chip for faster performance, the Pro offers a 10-core GPU standard. To get that on the Air you have to pay extra.
In addition, the MacBook Pro offers active cooling while the Air has a fanless design. This difference enables the Pro to reach higher levels of performance, such as faster video edits for larger projects.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Webcam and speakers
The MacBook Air hits back in this category, as it includes a sharper 1080p camera, compared to a 720p webcam for the MacBook Pro. However, Apple says that the image quality should be improved on the new Pro thanks in part to the M2 chip.
We can’t say much about the audio quality yet, but the new Air sports a new four-speaker system that’s positioned between the keyboard and the display, complete with Spatial audio and Dolby Atmos support. The stereo speakers on the MacBook pro offers the same capabilities, and they’re located to the right and left of the keyboard.
We’ll have to compare the laptops side by side to see which one looks and sounds better.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Battery life and charging
The MacBook Pro 2022 should offer longer endurance overall with its larger 58.2 watt-hour battery, as it’s rated to last 20 hours of video playback and 17 hours of wireless we surfing. Meanwhile, the new MacBook Air’s 52.6 watt-hour battery is designed to get 18 hours of video and 15 hours of wireless web.
When it comes to charging, the MacBook Air ships with a 30W power adapter, and it costs $20 to upgrade to a dual USB-C charger for juicing two devices at once. Or you can can opt for a $20 67W charger that promises to get the Air to 50% in 30 minutes.
The MacBook Pro ships with a 67W charger standard, but Apple doesn’t make any fast charging claims with that system.
MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Bottom line
The MacBook Air 2022 delivers strong M2 performance, a bigger display than the Pro and a sharper webcam in a slimmer and lighter design. And you can get it for $100 less than the MacBook Pro 2022. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
Well, the MacBook Pro 2022 has some things going for it, too, including a larger battery, active cooling for faster performance and a 10-core GPU standard.
For my money, I’d probably rather have the MacBook Air as you get Pro-like performance in a more portable chassis. But I could see some splurging for the Pro to get a little more extra oomph and more time away from the outlet. Stay tuned for our full review of both laptops.