The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air were revealed during WWDC 2022. Given how rare it is to see hardware reveals at WWDC, the new laptops received a fair bit of attention — especially since they both sport Apple’s new M2 processor. We’ve yet to test the chip ourselves, but recently leaked benchmarks suggest the M2 is indeed impressive.
Of the two laptops, the MacBook Air 2022 seems more enticing. It sports an updated design akin to 2021’s MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch laptops, a larger display, MagSafe charging and a sharper webcam. In contrast, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro has the same MacBook Pro design that’s been around since 2016. That includes the old 720p webcam and the much-maligned Touch Bar. The MacBook Air also starts at $1,199 whereas the base MacBook Pro begins at $1,299.
As detailed in our 5 reasons you should buy MacBook Air 2022 instead of the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022: Which new MacBook should you buy? articles, the updated Air seems like the clear winner over the Pro. However, the latter has features that could make it the better choice for some people.
Here's why you should buy the MacBook Pro 2022 instead of the new MacBook Air.
Active cooling is the biggest advantage the new MacBook Pro has over the redesigned MacBook Air. Because it doesn’t have a fanless design, the Pro should achieve higher levels of performance.
Active cooling may not be important for users who generally use laptops for web surfing, watching streaming content or for word processing. However, video and music editors want a machine that can deliver sustained performance. If you fall into that camp, the MacBook Pro could be more appealing than the Air.
10-core GPU as standard
While both of Apple’s newest laptops pack the M2 chip, the MacBook Pro has a 10-core GPU as standard. If you want that for the Air, you’ll need to shell out an extra $300.
More GPU cores mean faster rendering and processing. Combined with active cooling, this is another aspect of the MacBook Pro that could make it more performant than the MacBook Air. But as with active cooling, additional GPU cores may only deliver meaningful benefit to pro users like video and audio editors.
Longer battery life
The MacBook Pro 2022 has a 58.2 watt-hour battery whereas the MacBook Air has a 52.6 watt-hour battery. Apple says the Pro is rated to last for 20 hours of video playback and 17 hours of wireless web surfing.
On the other hand, the MacBook Air is rated for 18 hours of video and 15 hours of wireless web surfing. Both laptops offer what is effectively all-day battery life, but the Pro should last a bit longer, according to Apple. This is another advantage it has over the Air.
Reasons you might still consider the MacBook Air
Based on what we’ve covered, the MacBook Pro 2022 seems like a laptop geared toward professional editors who need a machine that delivers sustained performance.
However, the majority of prospective buyers don’t necessarily need to render videos or edit audio tracks. They just want a solid laptop for everyday use. Because of that and other reasons, the MacBook Air appears to be the ideal machine for most people.
The MacBook Air has a new design that’s more in line with the MacBook Pros released in 2021. In contrast, the MacBook Pro 2022 features the same design that the Pro line had has for nearly half a decade. The new Air also sports a sharp 1080p camera, a larger display and MagSafe charging.
You get all of these modern features for $100 less than the Pro. If nothing else, price alone may steer people into getting the Air over the Pro.
Though I still maintain that the new MacBook Air is the better overall deal compared to the MacBook Pro 2022, the latter shouldn’t be completely written off.
On its own, the Pro should be a more than capable laptop for both casual and professional users. This is mostly due to its M2 processor. Sure, it may not be as powerful as the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, but it’s looking like a marked improvement over the original M1.
We’ve yet to test the M2, but based on recent leaks, it should be a monster of a chip — enough to potentially land both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in our best laptops list.
The Pro also has several benefits over the Air, such as active cooling, more GPU cores as standard and potentially longer battery life. While better and sustained performance may not be necessary for average users, professionals or those who want a beefier rig will no doubt appreciate the additional power. To that end, the MacBook Pro 2022 is worth considering.
Our MacBook Pro and MacBook Air reviews will arrive soon and should provide a clearer picture of what these machines are capable of –—and ultimately help you determine which is right for you. Stay tuned!