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MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023 – which MacBook is better?

Last Updated on January 2, 2024
MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023. Image shows the text "MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023" underneath the MacBook Pro 2023 and MacBook Air 2023 on a pink gradient background.
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Lovers of the MacBook, look no further – we’re comparing the new MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023. In the world of laptops, Apple has always been a pioneer, constantly pushing the boundaries of performance and innovation. The recent release of the new MacBook Pro lineup featuring the M3 family of chips has sparked excitement among tech enthusiasts and professionals alike. But how does the new MacBook Pro M3 stack up against its counterpart, the MacBook Air 2023? In this article, we will compare the key specifications, performance, and pricing of these two impressive machines to help you make an informed decision.

MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023 specs

SpecificationMacBook Pro M3MacBook Air 2023
ProcessorM3, M3 Pro, M3 MaxM2
GraphicsNext-generation GPU architecture – 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency coresPower-efficient GPU – 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
MemoryUp to 128GB unified memoryUp to 16GB unified memory
DisplayLiquid Retina XDR displayRetina display
StorageUp to 8TB SSDUp to 2TB SSD
Battery LifeUp to 22 hoursUp to 18 hours
ConnectivityWide array of connectivity optionsWide array of connectivity options
Starting Price$1,599 (base model)$999 (base model)

Apple MacBook Pro 2023 with M3 Max Chip

Apple MacBook Pro Laptop M3 Max chip

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MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023 features

From the specifications, it’s evident that the MacBook Pro M3 offers more power and versatility with its advanced chip options, higher memory capacity, and larger storage options. However, the MacBook Air 2023 is by no means a slouch, providing a balance of performance and portability at a more affordable price point. By comparing the features of the two one after the other, you should be able to get a feel for which one lines up with your personal preferences and needs.

MacBook Pro M3

Unleashing the Power

The new MacBook Pro M3 lineup introduces the next generation of M3 chips: M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. These chips are built using the industry-leading 3-nanometer technology, offering unparalleled performance and efficiency. With a faster CPU and a next-generation GPU architecture, the M3 family brings remarkable capabilities to the MacBook Pro, becoming a better all-rounder for extreme workflows and multitasking across pro apps.

A Pro Laptop for Everyday Tasks

The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 is not only great for everyday tasks but also delivers phenomenal sustained performance in professional apps and games. It is perfect for aspiring creatives, students, and entrepreneurs. The MacBook Pro M3 Pro and M3 Max models provide even greater performance and additional unified memory support, making them ideal for users with more demanding workflows, such as coders, creatives, and researchers.

Enhanced Graphics Capabilities

With its next-generation GPU architecture, the MacBook Pro M3 brings new rendering features to Apple silicon, quoted by the company as the “biggest leap forward in graphics architecture ever for Apple silicon”. A new technology called Dynamic Caching has been bought onto the GPU, which enables the chip to allocate the use of local memory in hardware in real time. As a result, the GPU utilization is significantly increased as the exact amount of memory needed is used for each task. You can also expect an overall visual boost, with hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing enabling more visually complex scenes and more accurate shadows and reflections in games.

If you’re sold on the newer device without needing to compare, we’ve got all you need to know about the MacBook Pro M3 pre-order information right here.

MacBook Air 2023

Light and Powerful

While the MacBook Pro M3 lineup offers impressive performance, the MacBook Air 2023 should not be underestimated. First launched in 2008, the MacBook Air was introduced as a lightweight, thin, and portable laptop in the MacBook series. Its 2023 model is powered by the M2 chip, providing power-efficient performance that ensures a smooth and seamless user experience with a weight staying a t a comfortable 2.7 pounds for the 13″ option. Whether you’re browsing the web, streaming content, or working on documents, the MacBook Air delivers impressive speed and responsiveness.

Stunning Retina Display

The MacBook Air 2023 features a brilliant Retina display, offering vibrant colors and sharp details. With True Tone technology, the display automatically adjusts the color temperature based on the ambient lighting, providing a more natural viewing experience. Whether you’re editing photos or watching movies, the MacBook Air’s display will not disappoint.

Enhanced Keyboard and Touch ID

The MacBook Air 2023 comes with an improved Magic Keyboard, offering a comfortable typing experience. The keys are backlit, making it easier to work in low-light environments. Additionally, the MacBook Air features Touch ID, allowing you to securely unlock your laptop and make secure online purchases with just a touch of your finger.

Impressive Battery Life

One of the standout features of the MacBook Air 2023 is its impressive battery life. With up to 18 hours of battery life, you can go all day without needing to charge. The power efficiency and upgraded technology of the M3 chip does allow the MacBook Pro to extend up to a 22-hour battery life, but on the whole there’s not a whole lot of difference between the two. Ultimately, your laptop’s battery life will depend on usage.

MacBook Pro M3 vs MacBook Air 2023 price

The starting price of the 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 is $1,599, which may be a significant investment for some users. However, for those who require the highest level of performance, the MacBook Pro M3 is worth every penny. The price of the models increases as you go up the line, with the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips coming at a higher cost than the base M3 model.

On the other hand, the MacBook Air 2023 has a starting price of $999, making it the more affordable option out of the two. While it may not get you the advanced performance of the M3 chip, the MacBook Air did still come this year and includes some of Apple’s best technology.

Is the MacBook Pro M3 better than the MacBook Air 2023?

At the end of the day, both machines have their strengths, and the question of which is better comes down to both personal preference and budget. The MacBook Pro M3 offers unparalleled performance and capabilities, making it the perfect choice for professionals and power users. On the other hand, the MacBook Air 2023 strikes a balance between performance and portability, making it a great option for students and casual users, and has a starting price of $600 less than its MacBook Pro sibling.

However, now that we’ve seen the release of the M3 MacBook Pro, it’s likely that we might start getting some deals on the older MacBook Pro models. It’s worth keeping an eye on our Apple Black Friday deals page to see if you can get your hands on a laptop upgrade for a decent price!

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.