Last updated -- hours ago | Report incorrect information
MacBook Air 15 (2023)VS
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
$1,499
$1,800
Company ProductName Specs
Company ProductName Specs






What we think

Chevron down
PerfectRec Logo
The PerfectRec laptop team Learn more
Updated January 10, 2024·

If you prioritize a longer battery life and can invest a bit more, the MacBook Pro 16 (2023) with its more powerful M2 Pro processor and better graphics will excel in handling intensive tasks such as 3D rendering, machine learning, and engineering software. However, it is heavier and has a slightly lower portability score, so it's not as convenient to carry as the MacBook Air 15 (2023). The MacBook Air, while less costly and more portable, offers a fanless design for silent operation and is sufficiently powerful for general use, but will not match the Pro in demanding applications or in fast motion scenarios such as gaming. Both laptops have high-quality displays, but the Pro has a Mini LED screen which translates to higher brightness and contrast, benefitting users doing color-critical work or seeking a visually richer experience. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs and product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars and the variant with some specs cost some dollars.

Get a great deal on the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) or the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)

Key differences

Chevron down

Gaming and 3D

6.8
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
7.4
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) is good for gaming and 3D, while the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) is only fair.

Engineering and Design

7.7
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
8.5
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) is very good for engineering and design, while the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) is good.

Performance

7.3
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
7.9
General use
3D
Engineering and design
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) performs better than the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) for general use, 3D, and engineering and design.

Screen Quality

7.8
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
9.4
General use
Gaming and 3D
Design and engineering
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 has a better screen than the Apple MacBook Air 15 for general use, 3D, and engineering and design.

Battery

15.0 Hours
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
17.5 Hours
The Apple MacBook Air 15 has 15 hours of battery life. The Apple MacBook Pro 16 has 17.5 hours of battery life.

Portability

Very Good
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
Good
15.3in
SIZE
16.2in
3.3 lbs
WEIGHT
4.7 lbs
0.4in
THICKNESS
0.6in
The Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) has very good portability, while the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) has good portability.
The most portable laptops are small, thin, and light.

Cost

$1,499
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
$1,800
Product image
Product image

$500

$1,000

$1,500

$2,000

$2,500

$3,000

The Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) has a price of $1,499 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) costs $1,800.
Image of Laptops
Let Us Help Find Your Perfect Laptop
Find your new laptop

Key similarities

Chevron down

General Use

8.4
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
8.5
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) and Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) are both very good for general use.

Build Quality

10.0
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
10.0
The Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) and Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) both have the best build quality.

Get your personalized laptop recommendation

Chevron down
How important is battery life ?

Give feedback

We’re constantly working to improve.

How the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) compare to other laptops

Chevron down

Spec Comparison

Chevron down
Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)

GENERAL

Price
$1,499
$1,800
Brand
AppleApple
Release Date
January 06 2023January 01 2023
Operating System
MacOSMacOS
Overall Dimensions
13.4'' x 9.4'' x 0.45''14'' x 9.8'' x 0.66''
Weight
3.3 lbs4.7 lbs

INTERNAL

Processor
Apple M2Apple M2 Pro (12C)
Overall CPU Score
6.7/108.6/10
Graphics
M2 (8C) M2 Pro (19C)
Overall GPU Score
2.7/104.7/10
RAM
16 gb16 gb

SCREEN

Resolution
2880 x 18643456 x 2234
General Use Screen Score
8.2/109.7/10
Gaming and 3D Screen Score
7/108.9/10
Design and Engineering Screen Score
8.2/109.7/10
Diagonal Size
15.3"16.2"

PORTS & CONNECTIVITY

USB Type-A
00
USB-C ports
23
USB-C (Non-Thunderbolt)
00
USB-C Charging
YesYes
Display Outputs
12

BATTERY

Battery Life
15 hours17.5 hours
Battery Capacity
66.6 wh99.6 wh

OTHER HARDWARE

Webcam
1080p1080p
Keyboard Quality Score
10/109.5/10
Fingerprint Reader
YesYes
Number Pad
NoNo
Backlit Keyboard
YesYes

RELIABILITY

Build Quality Score
10/1010/10
Warranty Period
1 year1 year

Comparison summary

Chevron down
Comparison Summary
Better BatteryApple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
More portableApple MacBook Air 15 (2023)
Better keyboardApple MacBook Air 15 (2023)
Better for creative useApple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)

Shopping

Chevron down

Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)

See more

Dig into reviews and images

NotebookCheck

Andreas Osthoff | June 2023
"The Apple MacBook Air 15 is boringly good. The new MacBook Air 15 is a very good, but also boring device, because apart from the larger screen and the higher price, there are no differences compared to the smaller MacBook Air M2 from last year. No new processor, no additional ports, just the usual basic hardware - but the overall package is extremely good and it simply works. Above all, the lack of fans is an aspect that should not be underestimated in everyday use. In our opinion, the Air could be a lot better, but Apple goes easy on itself here."

Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)

See more

Dig into reviews and images

NotebookCheck

Andreas Osthoff | February 2023
"The Apple MacBook Pro 16 2023: M2 Max challenges GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. The new MacBook Pro 16 2023 with the M2 Max SoC is the most powerful laptop Apple has on sale right now. While we do not get the expected performance and efficiency improvements from completely new 3 nm chips, which we expected ahead of the launch, the 2023 model is still a solid update. The CPU of the M2 Max can be up to 20 % faster than the old model and we also see an advantage of 25-30 % for the GPU with 38 cores. However, both components also consume more power, so the efficiency did not change that much under maximum load."

About Apple

Apple, an American technology company, is the world’s largest company in terms of market capitalization. Their MacBook laptops feature a slim, minimalistic design, class-leading battery life, and premium display and speaker quality. In 2020 Apple switched from using Intel processors to their own silicon chips which have excellent performance and efficiency. The macOS operating system is the second most widely used OS, after Windows.

Give feedback

We're constantly perfecting our model

Laptop guides you might be interested in

Chevron down

More comparisons for you

Chevron down

FAQs

Chevron down

FAQs about laptops

Questions about PerfectRec >

Why trust us

Chevron down
This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec laptops team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest laptop information and makes it digestible for you.

By the numbers

380
Laptops evaluated
48,640
Laptops stats compiled
13
Proprietary Laptops ratings developed
34,095
Recommendations made
7,388
Consumer hours saved

About the laptop team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

CEO and Laptops Editor
Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Nick Landia, Ph.D

Chief Data Scientist
Nick is a machine learning expert with a Ph.D in recommendation systems from the University of Warwick.

Aaron Koller, Ph.D

Head of Product
Aaron is a product leader and recommendation enthusiast with a Ph.D in philosophy from Syracuse University.

Jason Lew

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

Chandradeep Chowdhury

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Chandradeep is a staff expert and software engineer and expert in televisions and monitors. He’s been making monitor recommendations for ten years.

Craig Russell

Laptops Expert
Craig is a UK-based laptops expert. Craig works in IT, where he recommends and supports laptops and PCs for clients and has been recommending laptops on Reddit for five years.

Featured in

Color LTT LogoGeekwire logo9to5 Mac logoPhone Arena LogoColor Daring Fireball logo