Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) vs Air (M2, 2022)

You can select specific configurations for the laptops to get a more accurate comparative review
CPU Apple M2
RAM
Storage

Review

Evaluation of Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) and Air (M2, 2022) important characteristics
Performance
System and application performance
Gaming
Performance in popular 3D games
Display
Viewing angle, color accuracy, brightness
Battery Life
Potential battery life in light and average use
Connectivity
Ports, webcam and other interfaces
Case
Design, materials, durability and usability

Key Differences

What are the key differences between the notebooks
Advantages of the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021)
  • Higher screen refresh rate: 120 versus 60 Hz
  • Can run popular games at about 40-55% higher FPS
  • Higher number of cutting-edge USB Type-C ports: 3 versus 2
  • Around 43% better multi-core CPU performance in the Cinebench R23 test
  • Features a much bigger (~33%) battery – 70 against 52.6 watt-hours
  • Thinner bezels and 3% higher screen-to-body ratio
Advantages of the Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
  • Easier to carry: weighs 360 grams less (around 0.79 lbs)
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Tests and Specifications

Comparison table of test results and technical specs

Case

Weight 1.6 kg (3.53 lbs) 1.24 kg (2.73 lbs)
Dimensions 312.6 x 221.2 x 15.5 mm
12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches
304.1 x 215 x 11.3 mm
11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches
Area 691 cm2 (107.2 inches2) 654 cm2 (101.3 inches2)
Screen-to-body ratio ~84.6% ~82%
Side bezels 3.4 mm 5.6 mm
Colors Silver, Gray Silver, Gold, Gray, Blue
Transformer No No
Opening angle 135° 130°
Size comparison
Cooling solution
Cooling system Active Passive
Vapor chamber No -
Number of fans 2 -
Max. fan speed (RPM) 6241 RPM -
Noise level 49.5 dB -

Display

Size 14.2 inches 13.6 inches
Type Mini LED IPS LCD
Refresh rate 120 Hz 60 Hz
PPI 254 ppi 225 ppi
Aspect ratio 16:10 16:10
Resolution 3024 x 1964 pixels 2560 x 1664 pixels
HDR support Yes, Dolby Vision Yes, HDR10
Touchscreen No No
Coating Glossy (Antireflective) Glossy (Antireflective)
Display tests
Contrast 48900:1 1384:1
sRGB color space - 99.9%
Adobe RGB profile - 87.6%
DCI-P3 color gamut 99.3% 98.4%
Response time 49 ms 29 ms
Max. brightness

Battery

Capacity
Full charging time 2:30 hr 2:30 hr
Battery type Li-Po Li-Po
Replaceable No No
Fast charging Yes Yes
USB Power Delivery Yes Yes
Charging port position Left, Right Left
Charge power 67 / 96 W 30 / 35 / 67 W
Cable length 2 meters 2 meters
Weigh of AC adapter 274 gramm 174 / 189 gramm

CPU

CPU name
Base frequency 2.0 GHz 2.0 GHz
Turbo frequency 3.2 GHz 3.4 GHz
Cores 10 8
Threads 10 8
Integrated GPU Apple M1 Pro GPU (16-core) Apple M2 GPU
Fabrication process 5 nm 5 nm

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)
Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)

Graphics Card

GPU name
TGP 30 W 15 W
Type Integrated Integrated
Fabrication process 5 nm 5 nm
GPU base clock 450 MHz 500 MHz
GPU boost clock 1296 MHz 1456 MHz
FLOPS 5.2 TFLOPS 3 TFLOPS
Memory size System Shared System Shared
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Memory bus 256 bit 128 bit
Memory speed 6.4 Gbps 5.2 Gbps
Shading units (cores) 2048 1024
Texture mapping units (TMUs) 128 64
Raster operations pipelines (ROPs) 64 32
GPU performance

RAM

RAM size
Channels 4x4 GB -
Clock 6400 MHz 5200 MHz
Type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Upgradable No No

Storage

Storage size
Bus Custom Custom
Storage type SSD (M2) SSD (M2)
Channels 1x512 GB 1x256 GB
Upgradable No No
NVMe Yes -

Sound

Speakers 4.2 2.2
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Loudness 84.9 dB 82.7 dB
Microphones 3 3

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard v6 v6
Bluetooth v5 v5
Fingerprint Yes Yes
Optical drive No No
Webcam Above the display Above the display
Webcam resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Ports
USB-A No No
USB Type-C 3x USB 4.0 2x USB 4.0
Thunderbolt Thunderbolt 4 Thunderbolt 4
HDMI 1x HDMI 2.0 No
DisplayPort No No
VGA No No
Audio jack (3.5 mm) Yes Yes
Ethernet (RJ45) No No
SD card reader Yes No
Proprietary charging port Yes Yes

Input

Keyboard
Keyboard type Island Island
Numpad No No
Backlight Yes Yes
Key travel 1 mm -
Touchpad
Size 13.2 x 8.1 cm -
Surface Glass Glass
Windows Precision No No
*Disclaimer! Ports, speakers, display, and other specifications can be different depending on the laptop’s particular configuration or region.

Cast your vote

So, which laptop would you choose?
423 (84.4%)
78 (15.6%)
Total votes: 501

Comments

Write your opinion about the comparison of Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) and Pro 14 (2021) or ask any questions
Avatar
Nigel Poulter 20 July 2022 22:27
I have already placed an order for the MacBook Air M2 but after reading this excellent article am now having second thoughts! Will reflect overnight and decide in the morning! Thank you.
+36 Reply
Avatar
Nigel Poulter 21 July 2022 23:15
Decided to offset the slightly greater weight, and additional cost of under £200 against the impressive powerhouse qualities and purchased the MacBook Pro M1 2021 Very pleased that I have done so. Thanks, guys!
+13 Reply
Avatar
Cannon 14 July 2022 04:15
Was planning on the M2 air, but after more research and would upgrade to 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, the price was much closer. Then today, Best Buy had a sale for the base MBP 14 for $1799 so paying 180 bucks more for it was a no-brainer. Love the look of the new air, but if the 13 M2 MBP has cooling problems with a fan, I think the air will too without a fan lol.
+37 Reply
Avatar
Allen 15 July 2022 21:28
I was thinking the same thing but then I want a terabyte of storage then the difference in price between the Air and 14 is $300.
+14 Reply
Avatar
Ernest Cooper 12 July 2022 13:04
So unless portability is a consideration the 14" mac book pro with as much spec as you can afford, with better screen/display, connectivity, and air cooling, is so very obviously the one to go for with the price for the base configuration not all that much more for the mac book pro!
+22 Reply
Avatar
Joe Rye 02 July 2022 10:22
Great article and it really helped me out in deciding to purchase the MacBook Pro 14! Even though I may not need the additional power the pro has over the air now, but there may be a time where I will need to use it. The difference between both of them in size or weight being critical is a joke to me as the difference between them is not like it’s going to be 20lbs or so. So, after this weekend, I’ll go select my 14 Mackbook Pro…..oh, by the way, I can still carry the 14 MbP in my various cases, backpacks that can carry the 13 MacBook Pro!
+93 Reply
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