2018 MacBook Air vs. 13-inch MacBook Pro and 2017 MacBook Air

The brand new Apple 2018 MacBook Air is the second major redesign of the line since Steve Jobs pulled the original from the manila envelope more than 10 years ago. We compare the new thin and lightweight model with its predecessor and step up to the MacBook Pro without the 13 "touchpad.

Comparing MacBook Air 2017 and 2018 models

Comparing MacBook Air 2017 and 2018 models

Just like other Mac laptops, the MacBook Air is now available in three different color variants: silver, gray and gold. We chose the gold, the color that matches the Apple Stainless Steel Gold Series 4 and the golden iPhone XS, which is a nice touch for those who like their equipment.


The MacBook Air 2018 looks very similar to the MacBook Pro, except for a few key features borrowed from the previous Air. The round shape of the wedge shape is back and still contrasts against the Proxy design, which has more hips. The new Air features a cut-out in a small holster that captures and lifts an open display, a notch that looks the same as the cut on the previous MacBook Air.

One extraordinary feature of the new MacBook Air 2018 is the Touch ID. It comes with a T2 chip that not only processes biometric authentication but also SSD encryption, support for Hey Siri and others. Neither of the other MacBooks we're comparing has a touch ID that is now limited to the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pros.

In addition, everything else about the new MacBook Air resembles MacBook Pro. From the keyboard display, speaker layout, high power trackpad, the lack of Apple's backlit logo and metal hinge design, the designs of both laptops are similar.

Compare with MacBook Air Trackpad

Compare with MacBook Air Trackpad

By comparing the size of the new MacBook Air with the previous model, it's easy to see that the new version is a bit smaller, both in length and in width. In terms of weight, the new air is quarter lighter at 2.75 pounds.

At its strongest point, the new MacBook Air is approximately the same thickness as the previous MacBook Air if its display was removed. The air is developing a bit longer than last year's model, so its thinnest edge is a bit thinner.

Compare the wedge and ports on the MacBook Air

Compare the wedge and ports on the MacBook Air

New Air is basically the same as the MacBook Pro when it is stored on top of each other. On the side, it seems that the wedge shape is obvious and causes the air to be thinner than it really is; The air is actually stronger than Pro by 0.02 inches.

One thing we've noticed when we use the MacBook Pro since its last redesign in 2016 is that its infinite writing edge writes to the wrist. This will not happen with the new air, because the wedge structure narrows to almost nothing. The keypad further drops down towards the user instead of maintaining a flat surface like Pro.

MacBook Air is more handy to write wrist versus MacBook Pro

MacBook Air is more handy to write wrist versus MacBook Pro

Apple push to simplify Mac I / O ports continues with new Air. The older MacBook Air has a number of ports, including the SD card slot, the Thunderbolt 2 port, two USB-A ports, the headphone connector and, of course, the MagSafe connector, with the last iteration identical to Pro for the two Thunderbolt 3 ports and jack for headphones.


In the Geekbench 4, 2018, the Intel Core i5 processor Intel Core i5 processor with 4MB of L3 cache changed to a score of 4,246 and 7,788 in the single and multi-test test. The MacBook model in the 13-inch 2017 3,312 units in one core and 5,971 units in multi-core devices, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2017 reached 4,524 single-pot and 9,554 multi-core.

Compare MacBook Air Geekbench Processor Results

Compare MacBook Air Geekbench Processor Results

Based on these results, the new Air is approaching Pro technology in terms of single-core performance, and basically it is a true skirmish in the middle of both devices in terms of multi-core performance.

One thing to think about is that the new MacBook Air processor is an Intel 8th-generation processor, so it should be faster when transcoding HEVC files, although relatively slower benchmark results.

Air View Air UHD 617 Air with Geekbench 4 Metal tested the machine 21.865 points compared with 17.970 on the previous Air and 30.961 on the MacBook Pro. Interestingly, there was not such a big difference between MacBook Airs, but Pro expected a 40% better graph score.

MacBook Air Metal Comparison Results

MacBook Air Metal Comparison Results

Batteries and power adapters

The MacBook Air 2018 is equipped with a 50.3 watts battery compared to 54 Wh on the previous Air and 54.5 Wh for the 13 "MacBook Pro Apple claims the Air battery is suitable for up to two hours of wireless web browsing, up to 13 hours of iTunes movie playback or up to 30 days of standby time.

As of 2017, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro run 15watt dual-core processors while the new MacBook Air features a 7W dual-core processor so the new Air should be much more efficient than the battery.

The new MacBook Air comes with a 30W USB-C power adapter, which is slightly upgraded from an old 29W adapter. It also comes with a USB-C USB-C charging cable to USB-C, so MagSafe appears to be a footnote in Mac history.

The previous MacBook Air comes with a 45W MagSafe power adapter, while the 13 "MacBook Pro comes with a 61W power USB-C adapter, more than twice the power adapter supplied with the new MacBook Air.

It is displayed

The biggest complaint to the previous generation of MacBook Air was its display. The resolution was very low by 1,400 pixels by 900 pixels. It was an LED LED backlighting panel that is known to have some terrible viewing angles. Moving the display to the side, the color and the contrast are actually begun.

In 2018, the MacBook Air will receive a 13.3-inch 2560-pixel retinal display.

Although the 2018 MacBook Air has the same network resolution as the MacBook Pro, P3 is actually lacking support for the wide-screen gamut. We did not think we could see any difference, but just by being next to each other, Pro can boast more contrast and richer colors.

2018 MacBook Air Color vs. 2017 MacBook Pro Color Comparison

2018 MacBook Air Color vs. 2017 MacBook Pro Color Comparison

This is not the only difference we have noticed. Laptop Mag found that the new MacBook Air screen brightness is limited to 234 nits, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro is 458 nits in diameter. Not only that, but the previous generation MacBook Air measured at 336 levels of brightness.

If you're a random user, you'll probably be very happy with the Retina display on the new MacBook Air, but if you're someone who's often using your laptop outside or performing color classification or photo editing, we'd better go with the MacBook Pro.

Keyboards and trackpads

The new MacBook Air uses Apple's third-generation keyboard switch, similar to the one that comes with the new MacBook 2018. Buttons of first and second generation butterflies noted problems with sticky or dead keys, as dust and dirt came into the mechanism and blocked key contacts.

This new keyboard is equipped with a silicone barrier that helps prevent fragments from falling under the keyboard. Because of the silicone, the keyboard has a different feeling, softer and less "cranking", which we personally prefer, but some may not like it.

The previous MacBook Air contained the traditional chiclet-style keys that we like, but to be honest, the new keyboard is definitely better. You will also get individual key backlighting in the new air compared to the global backlight on the previous model.

The MacBook Air 2018 gets the Force Touch trackpad as a 13-inch Pro. Once you've experienced this trackpad, it's almost impossible to go back to the diving board trackpad that appeared on the previous MacBook Air.

2017 Size of MacBook Air vs 2018 MacBook Air

2017 Size of MacBook Air vs 2018 MacBook Air

The new Air Path is slightly larger than the trackpad of the 2017, but is smaller than the trackpad on the MacBook Pro 2017, even though the external dimensions are almost identical.


The new MacBook Air speakers look the same as the 13-inch MacBook Pro speakers, compared to the speakers on the previous MacBook Air, which are actually hidden beneath the keyboard.

The MacBook Air compares

The MacBook Air compares

We made a quick comparison of the sound and found that the new MacBook Air sounded louder and clearer than the previous model, especially in terms of bass, which was surprisingly steep and deep.

However, the 13-inch MacBook Pros speakers exploded the new MacBook Air from the water. They were noticeably louder and the heights were much sharper and clearer. The bass seemed to look good on both machines, but new world-class and quiet MacBook Air models emphasize bass.

Prices and offers

Looking at Apple's prices, it still sells its previous MacBook Air for $ 999. The new MacBook Air has an MSRP of US $ 1,199, while the MacBook 2017 13 "MacBook Pro and 2017 12" in the MacBook for $ 1,299. However, you can buy the 2018 MacBook Air for $ 1,149 or 2017 13 "MacBook Pro without a touch panel for $ 1,199 from Apple's authorized dealers, with both systems moving between $ 50.

The biggest savings however comes with the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar, which is currently $ 150 with coupon code APINSIDER when used with this purchase link at Adorama. Adorama will also not charge sales tax on orders delivered outside of New York and New Jersey, which further contributes to savings for many customers.

To check out the latest deals that lead to the Black Friday, as well as the current product availability, visit us Price Guide for Mac.

Source link