A comparison of specs, key information, reviews, and best pricing from top retailers
Last updated -- hours ago | Report incorrect information
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
Company ProductName Specs











MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
Company ProductName Specs











Advantages of the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)
  • Very good portability
Advantages of the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
  • Very good for engineering and design
  • Good for gaming and AI
  • Excellent for software development
  • Excellent overall display quality
  • Best in class battery life

Key differences

Chevron down

Screen Quality

7.8
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
9.4
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
497.0 nits
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 has a better screen than the Apple MacBook Air 15 for general use, AI, engineering and design, and content creation.

Battery

15.0 Hours
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
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 (2021)
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 (2021) has good portability.
The most portable laptops are small, thin, and light.

Cost

$1,367
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
$1,999
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 $1,367 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) costs $1,999.
Image of Laptops
Let Us Help Find Your Perfect Laptop
Find your new laptop

Key similarities

Chevron down

General Use

9.1
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
9.0
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
IPS
DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY
Mini LED
501.0 nits
DISPLAY BRIGHTNESS
497.0 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 Air 15 (2023) and Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) are both excellent for general use.

Gaming and AI

6.9
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
7.1
2.6/10
OVERALL GPU SCORE
3.2/10
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
Although they have very similar scores, PerfectRec considers Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) to be 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 (2021)
8.3
6.6/10
OVERALL CPU SCORE
7.6/10
2.6/10
OVERALL GPU SCORE
3.2/10
24.0 GB
RAM
32.0 GB
Although they have very similar scores, PerfectRec considers Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) to be very good for engineering and design, while the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) is good.

Content Creation

8.8
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
8.8
6.6/10
OVERALL CPU SCORE
7.6/10
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
24.0 GB
RAM
32.0 GB
IPS
DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY
Mini LED
The Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) and Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) are both very good for content creation.

Software Development

8.9
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
9.0
6.6/10
OVERALL CPU SCORE
7.6/10
24.0 GB
RAM
32.0 GB
2880 x 1864
RESOLUTION
3456 x 2234
10.0/10
KEYBOARD QUALITY SCORE
9.5/10
Although they have very similar scores, PerfectRec considers Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) to be excellent for software development, while the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) is very good.

Build Quality

10.0
MacBook Air 15 (2023)
MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
10.0
The Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) and Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) both have best in class build quality.

Give feedback

We’re constantly working to improve.

How the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) compare to other laptops

Chevron down

Spec Comparison

Chevron down
Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021)
Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021)

GENERAL

Price
$1,367
$1,999
Release Date
June 1, 2023October 1, 2021
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 M1 Pro (10C)
Graphics
M2 (8C) M1 Pro (16C)
Mux Switch / Advanced Optimus
NoNo
RAM
24 GB32 GB
DDR Memory Version
55

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 nits497 nits

RELIABILITY, APPEARANCE & ACOUSTICS

Build Quality Score
10/1010/10
Portability Score
9/107.6/10
Gaming Laptop Appearance
NoNo
Fan Noise Score
10/108.8/10
Keyboard Lighting Color
WhiteWhite
Warranty Period
1 year1 year

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

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 (2021)

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."

Get a great deal on the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) or the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021)

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.

Give feedback

We're constantly perfecting our model

Laptop guides you might be interested in

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
59,895
Recommendations made
12,978
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.

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