Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Comparison: M2 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro with M2 Pro

Updated Jan 30th, 2023 5:04PM EST
MacBook Pro reviews Apple M2 Macs
Image: Apple Inc.

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Of all the Macs Apple sells, two have received the most attention lately: the redesigned M2 MacBook Air and the second-generation of the high-end MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro chip. Although both models have very different specifications, some customers may be struggling to decide which Mac to get – or which will last them longer.

The M2 MacBook Air starts at $1,199, while the MacBook Pro with M2 Pro starts at $1,999. Here are the top differences between them and which could be the perfect choice for you.

Design, display, and port differences

2022 MacBook Air FingerprintsImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

If you want a light, thin, and colorful laptop, the M2 MacBook Air comes in Midnight, Gold, Space Gray, and Silver. With a 13.6-inch display, it weighs 2.7 pounds (1.24 kg) and has two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports alongside a MagSafe connector. It features a notch on the display that houses a 1080p camera and slightly more noticeable bezels than the MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro chip, on the other hand, comes in the classic Space Gray and Silver options. With a 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, it offers miniLED technology combined with ProMotion, giving users up to a 120Hz refresh rate.

MacBook Pro (2022) keyboard
MacBook Pro (2022) keyboard Image source: Jonathan S. Geller

It weighs a bit more at 3.5 pounds (1.60 kg), and it comes with three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port with up to 8K resolution support, an SDXC card slot, and a MagSafe connector. It also has a notch on display with a 1080p camera. Both Macs feature a Touch ID sensor.

Basically, suppose you don’t care about a brighter screen, a higher refresh rate, or HDMI/SD ports. In that case, the MacBook Air is more than enough, while the MacBook Pro offers a better option for those who need more realistic colors and quick access to different accessories simultaneously.

M2 vs. M2 Pro, memory, and storage

The M2 MacBook Air can have up to 24GB of memory and 2TB of SSD storage, while the M2 Pro MacBook Pro can handle up to 32GB in the base model and 8TB of SSD storage.

With an 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, up to 10-cores GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, and 100GB/s memory bandwidth, the M2 MacBook Air is more than enough for daily tasks, including some video and photo editing and even coding.

2022 MacBook Air Keyboard
2022 MacBook Air keyboard. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The M2 Pro, on the other hand, offers up to 12-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, up to 19-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, and 200GB/s memory bandwidth. The user will notice a difference while exporting a video file, editing several high-quality streams, or dealing with multi-layered PhotoShop images.

For browsing, opening apps, and doing basic social media stuff, both Macs will have a similar experience, with a minimum delay between them.

Battery life: M2 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with M2 Pro?

Although the MacBook Pro with M2 Pro offers a bigger battery life on the 14-inch size compared to the battery on the M2 MacBook Air, the Air version has better performance while surfacing the web. It can handle up to 15 hours, while the MacBook Pro lasts 12 hours.

With Apple TV app movie playback, Apple says both computers offer up to 18 hours without needing to be connected to a charger. The MacBook Air comes with a 30W USB-C in the base model, while the MacBook Pro comes with a 67W USB-C charger as its entry option.

16-Inch MacBook Pro Ports RightImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

To fast charge the M2 MacBook Air, users need a 67W charger, while MacBook Pro users will need a 96W USB-C Power Adapter.

In this section, what’s important to notice is that if you need mobility and don’t want cables, the MacBook Air is the go-to choice. Since the M2 Pro has more power, it also consumes more energy. In addition, the high refresh rate on this computer also makes its battery drain faster, so in an eight-hour shift, you may need some juice before finishing your job.

Price and final thoughts

For $1,199, users can get 8GB of RAM and 256 SSD storage in MacBook Air with the entry M2 chip. The MacBook Pro with M2 Pro, on the other hand, the computer offers 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage at its entry price.

I believe the MacBook Air becomes a better deal with 512GB of storage, which costs $1,499 and offers a better 10-Core GPU than an 8-Core GPU. Here, what’s important for the user is to understand what they need.

A person using the 2023 MacBook Pro.
A person using the 2023 MacBook Pro. Image source: Apple Inc.

Do you care more about battery life? Do you need a beast of a laptop? What’s interesting about comparing these models is that it’s very easy to understand their differences.

If you don’t care about more ports, a higher refresh rate, and want more portability, the M2 MacBook Air is the best choice. On the other hand, if you need more power and want to upgrade your Mac with the best specs possible, the 14-inch MacBook Pro might be a perfect choice – or, going beyond, you can choose the 16-inch model or even the M2 Max processor.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.