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Compared to MacBook Air compared to MacBook Pro (13 inches) and MacBook Air (2017)

Apple's brand-new MacBook Air 2018 is the second major redesign since Steve Jobs took the original out of a manila envelope over 10 years ago. We compare the new thin-and-light model with the predecessor and the upgrade to the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 without Touch Bar.

Compare the sizes of the MacBook Air 2017 and 2018

Compare the sizes of the MacBook Air 2017 and 2018

Like other portable Macs, the MacBook Air is now available in three different color options: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. We have chosen the gold, a color that matches the gold-colored Apple Watch Series 4 stainless steel and the golden iPhone XS, a nice touch for those who like their devices.


The MacBook Air 2018 looks very similar to the MacBook Pro, except for some key features taken over from the previous Air. The distinctive conical wedge shape is back and still contrasts with the more boxy slate design of the Pro. The new Air also has a recess in the lower case to grab and lift the display, a notch that looks identical to the one on the previous MacBook Air.

One outstanding feature of the new MacBook Air 2018 is the Touch ID. This is ensured by the T2 chip, which supports not only biometric authentication, but also SSD encryption, Hey Siri support and more. None of the other MacBooks we compare has the Touch ID, which is now limited to the new MacBook Pros for MacBook Air and Touch Bar.

Otherwise, the new MacBook Air is similar to the MacBook Pro. From the display to the keyboard, the speaker layout, the touchpad with large touchpad, the missing Apple logo with backlight and metal hinge design are the designs of the two notebooks eerily similar.

MacBook Air trackpad comparison

MacBook Air trackpad comparison

Comparing the size of the new MacBook Air with its predecessor model, it is easy to see that the new version is slightly smaller in both length and width. In terms of weight, the new Air at 2.75 pounds is a quarter lighter.

At its thickest point, the new MacBook Air is about as thick as the previous MacBook Air if its display were removed. The Air extends a little longer than last year's model, so the thinnest edge is slightly thinner.

Comparison of wedges and ports of the MacBook Air

Comparison of wedges and ports of the MacBook Air

The new Air is essentially identical to the MacBook Pro when stacked on top of each other. From the side, the wedge shape becomes visible and makes air appear thinner than it really is. The air is actually 0.02 inches thicker than the Pro.

When using the MacBook Pro since the last redesign in 2016, we noticed that the front edge cuts into our wrists as we tap it. This does not happen with the new Air, because the wedge design gives almost nothing. In addition, the keyboard falls off towards the user rather than having a flat surface like the Pro.

The MacBook Air is friendlier to typing than the MacBook Pro

The MacBook Air is friendlier to typing than the MacBook Pro

Apple's efforts to optimize Mac I / O ports continue with the new Air. The older MacBook Air has a plethora of ports, including an SD card slot, a Thunderbolt 2 port, two USB-A ports, a headphone port, and of course the MagSafe port, while the latest version is identical to the Pro two networks Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack.


In a Geekbench 4 rating, the MacBook Air 2018 with 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 CPU with 4MB L3 cache achieved 4,246 and 7,788 points, respectively, in the single and multi-core test. The 2017 13-inch MacBook Air scored 3,312 in single-core and 5,971 in multi-core, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro of 2017 scored 4,524 in single-core and 9,554 in multi-core.

Compare CPU results from MacBook Air Geekbench

Compare CPU results from MacBook Air Geekbench

Based on these results, the new Air is close to the Pro in terms of single-core performance, and essentially in terms of multi-core performance in both devices.

It should be noted that the processor of the new MacBook Air is the 8th generation of Intel's CPU. Therefore, HEVC files should be transcoded faster, although they score more slowly in benchmarks.

When testing the Intel UHD 617 Graphics from Air with the Geekbench 4 Metal test, the device scored 21,865 points, compared to 17,970 in the previous Air and 30,961 in the MacBook Pro. Interestingly, there was not much difference between the MacBook Airs, but the Pro was expected to get around 40 percent better graphics.

Benchmarking results for the MacBook Air

Benchmarking results for the MacBook Air

Batteries and power supplies

The 2018 MacBook Air is equipped with a 50.3 Whh battery, compared to 54 Whh for the previous Air and 54.5 Whh for the 13 inch MacBook Pro. According to Apple, the Air battery for up to two hours of wireless Internet surfing, up to 13 hours of iTunes movie playback or up to 30 days of standby time.

Both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 2017 work with 15-watt dual-core processors, while the new MacBook Air is equipped with a 7-W dual-core processor. The new Air should therefore be more battery-efficient than its counterparts.

The new MacBook Air comes with a 30W USB-C power adapter that has been slightly upgraded from the old 29W adapter. Also included is a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, making MagSafe a footnote in Mac history.

The previous MacBook Air came with a 45 W MagSafe power adapter, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 61 W USB-C power adapter. This is more than twice the performance of the adapter that comes with the new MacBook Air.


The biggest complaint regarding the previous generation MacBook Air was the ad. The resolution was 1,440 x 900 pixels. It had a TN panel with LED backlight, which is known for pretty terrible angles. If you move the display to the side, the colors and contrast are really washed out.

For the year 2018, the MacBook Air will receive a 13.3-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels.

Although the MacBook Air 2018 has the same Retina resolution as the MacBook Pro, it lacks support for the P3 wide-gamut spectrum. We did not think we would notice a difference, but the Pro offers more contrast and richer colors.

2018 MacBook Air compared to 2017 MacBook Pro color rendering comparison

2018 MacBook Air compared to 2017 MacBook Pro color rendering comparison

That's not the only difference we've noticed. Laptop Mag The screen brightness of the new MacBook Air is limited to 234 nits, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro has an average of 458 nits. Not only that, but the MacBook Air's predecessor generation measures 336 nits of brightness.

If you're an occasional user, you'll most likely be pleased with the Retina display on the new MacBook Air. However, if you're someone who often uses his laptop outdoors, or does color adjustments or photo editing, we would do that suggest you go with the MacBook Pro.

Keyboards and trackpads

The new MacBook Air uses the third generation of Apple's Butterfly Switch keyboard, similar to that of the new MacBook Pros 2018. The first and second generation Butterfly keyboards had problems with sticky or dead keys as dust and dirt could enter the mechanism and block the key contacts.

This new keyboard has a silicone barrier that prevents dirt from getting under the keyboard. Due to the silicone, the keyboard feels slightly different, softer and less "clicking", which we personally prefer, but some do not like it.

The previous MacBook Air contained the traditional chiclet buttons we liked, but to be honest, the new keyboard is definitely better. Compared to the global backlight of the predecessor model, the new Air also features individually illuminated buttons.

The 2018 MacBook Air gets a Force Touch trackpad like the 13-inch Pro. Once you've experienced this trackpad, it's almost impossible to switch back to the Diving Board trackpad on the previous MacBook Air.

2017 MacBook Air vs 2018 MacBook Air Trackpad Size

2017 MacBook Air vs 2018 MacBook Air Trackpad Size

The trackpad of the new Air is slightly larger than the trackpad of the 2017 model, but is a decent size smaller than the trackpad of the MacBook Pro 2017, although the outside dimensions are almost identical.


The speakers on the new MacBook Air look identical to those on the 13-inch MacBook Pro compared to previous MacBook Air speakers, which are actually hidden under the keyboard.

MacBook Air speakers in comparison

MacBook Air speakers in comparison

We did a quick sound comparison and found that the new MacBook Air sounds much louder and clearer than its predecessor, especially in terms of the bass, which is surprisingly punchy and deep.

However, the 13-inch MacBook Pros speakers blew the new MacBook Air out of the water. They were much louder and the heights were also crispier and brighter. The bass sounded equally good on both machines, but the overall quieter mids and heights of the new MacBook Air emphasized the bass.

Prices and offers

When pricing Apple still sells the previous MacBook Air for 999 US dollars. The new MacBook Air has an MSRP of $ 1,199, while both the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 and the 12-inch MacBook 2017 are available for $ 1,299. However, you can purchase the MacBook Air 2018 for $ 1,149 or the 13 "MacBook Pro for 2017 without a touchbar for $ 1,199 from authorized Apple retailers, making each system more than $ 50 apart.

However, the biggest savings can be made with the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018 with Touch Bar, which currently costs $ 150 with a coupon code APINSIDER when using this shopping link at Adorama. Adorama does not charge sales tax on orders shipped outside of New York and New Jersey, which further increases the savings for many buyers.

Visit our website to see the latest offers through Black Friday and the latest product availability Mac Price Guide,



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