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MacBook Air 15 (2023)
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MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
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What we think

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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.
Advantages of the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)
  • Very good portability
Advantages of the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
  • Very good for engineering and design
  • Good for gaming and AI
  • Excellent overall display quality
  • Best in class battery life

Key differences

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Gaming and AI

6.6
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
7.3
4.3/10
OVERALL GPU SCORE
5.8/10
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
60Hz
REFRESH RATE
120Hz
No
SUPPORTS DLSS
No
No
MUX SWITCH / ADVANCED OPTIMUS
No
10.0/10
FAN NOISE SCORE
8.7/10
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) is good for gaming and AI, while the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) is only fair.

Engineering and Design

7.9
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
8.7
6.7/10
OVERALL CPU SCORE
8.5/10
4.3/10
OVERALL GPU SCORE
5.8/10
16.0 GB
RAM
16.0 GB
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) is very good for engineering and design, while the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) is good.

Screen Quality

7.8
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
9.3
15.3in
SIZE
16.2in
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
IPS
DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY
Mini LED
60Hz
REFRESH RATE
120Hz
501.0 nits
BRIGHTNESS
487.0 nits
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 has a better screen than the Apple MacBook Air 15 for general use, AI, engineering and design, content creation, and software development.

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

$1,189
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
$1,886
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 $1,189 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) costs $1,886.
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Key similarities

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General Use

8.4
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
8.7
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
IPS
DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY
Mini LED
501.0 nits
DISPLAY BRIGHTNESS
487.0 nits
15.0 Hours
BATTERY LIFE
17.5 Hours
10.0/10
KEYBOARD QUALITY SCORE
9.5/10
8.9/10
PORTABILITY SCORE
7.6/10
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) and Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) are both very good for general use.

Content Creation

8.3
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
8.7
6.7/10
OVERALL CPU SCORE
8.5/10
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
16.0 GB
RAM
16.0 GB
IPS
DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY
Mini LED
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) and Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) are both very good for content creation.

Software Development

8.4
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2023)
8.7
6.7/10
OVERALL CPU SCORE
8.5/10
16.0 GB
RAM
16.0 GB
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
10.0/10
KEYBOARD QUALITY SCORE
9.5/10
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) and Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) are both very good for software development.

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 best in class build quality.

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

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Spec Comparison

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

GENERAL

Price
$1,189
$1,886
Release Date
June 1, 2023January 1, 2023
Overall Dimensions
13.4'' x 9.4'' x 0.45''14'' x 9.8'' x 0.66''
Weight
3.3 lbs4.7 lbs
Width
13.4"14.01"
Depth
9.35"9.77"

INTERNAL

Processor
Apple M2Apple M2 Pro (12C)
RAM
16 GB16 GB
DDR Memory Version
55
RAM Slots
00
Storage
512 GB512 GB

BATTERY

Battery Life
15 Hours17.5 Hours
Battery Capacity
66.6 Wh99.6 Wh

SCREEN

Diagonal Size
15.3"16.2"
Display Technology
IPSMini LED
Resolution
2880 x 18643456 x 2234
Refresh Rate
60Hz120Hz
Display Brightness
501 nits487 nits

RELIABILITY, APPEARANCE & ACOUSTICS

Build Quality Score
10/1010/10
Portability Score
9/107.6/10
Gaming Laptop Appearance
NoNo
Premium Business Laptop
YesYes
Fan Noise Score
10/108.8/10

HARDWARE FEATURES

Keyboard Quality Score
10/109.5/10
Speaker Quality Score
10/1010/10
Webcam
1080p1080p
Fingerprint Reader
YesYes
Backlit Keyboard
YesYes
Number Pad
NoNo

CONNECTIVITY

USB Type-A
00
USB-C ports
23
USB-C Charging
YesYes
Display Outputs
12
Thunderbolt Version
34

Shopping

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Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)

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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)

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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."

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

About Apple

Apple, an American technology company, is one of 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.

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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

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Laptops evaluated
48,640
Laptops stats compiled
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Proprietary Laptops ratings developed
77,295
Recommendations made
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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.

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.

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