I’m tired of reading reviews declaring the current 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt ports, an awkward misunderstanding, which in all inferior to the cheap and easy MacBook Air, and whose existence in the line of Apple notebook devoid of any meaning. Apple’s main talent is the ability to earn money, everything – and design and ecosystem and even processors – again. Sometimes Apple is wrong in this, but not in this case. New 13 MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt ports very well.

If you compare the specifications of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt ports with the new MacBook Air, not paying attention to the particular details, it is easy to conclude about the absolute superiority of the latest Intel chips of the 10th generation of integrated graphics is the 11th generation surpassing the same integrated graphics in the Pro twice. In Geekbench single-core tests 5 results from Air better than the Pro (MacBook Air c Intel Core i3 inferior to the MacBook Pro with Intel Core i7, but this is the only exception). The processors in MacBook Pro the clock frequency higher, but Apple argued that this superiority is, in itself, proves nothing. That’s not all, but for sentencing is sufficient. Laptop which is more expensive by hundreds of dollars, but no better, to consider worthless and pointless. But we will try to understand.

The advantages the 13-inch MacBook Pro

Let’s start “by contradiction”: with the exception of a normal keyboard (like “scissors”), new base Pro dual port almost one-to-one identical to the 13-inch MacBook Pro budget 2019. The same processor (8th generation), the most “ancient” in the current line of Apple laptops, the same memory controller (LPDDR3 SDRAM with a clock frequency of 2133 MHz) – slow and limit the amount of memory is 16 Gigabytes. All the way. This is the same computer that a couple of months ago wrote that he would be “a very good little laptop, if not for his keyboard.”

Scolded him for his lack of physical Escape button. It was considered it the main disadvantages, on the other (thick frame around the screen, etc.) grumbling, but in real life they do not interfere. “Replace the keyboard and return the Escape” – was demanded by the users. And that was done. MacBook Pro is very tenacious. I have 8 years, during this time, problems which had to go to the repairmen only happened once. 8 years is extreme, but for three or four years MacBook Pro 2019 and 2020, if the first of them nothing will happen to it with the keyboard, will remain fully operational. This is not a disadvantage.

Performance comparison MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

Apple argued that higher clock speed and more performance – not one and the same. True. And what better test scores matter. Both of these statements is true, but not the whole truth. Here the arithmetic mean of the results of hundreds of tests Geekbench 5 for a budget MacBook Pro and MacBook Air this year. “SC” is the test of the performance of one core, and “MC” – all cores together:

  • C MacBook Air Intel Core i3 with a clock frequency of 1.1 GHz: 1002 SC, MC 1998;
  • C MacBook Air Intel Core i5 processor with a clock frequency of 1.1 GHz: SC 1055, MC 2645;
  • C MacBook Air Intel Core i7 with clock frequency of 1,2 GHz: SC 1102, MC 2843;
  • MacBook Pro c Intel Core i5 1.4 GHz: 928 SC, MC 3828;
  • MacBook Pro with Intel Core i7 processor with a clock frequency of 1.7 GHz: SC 1037, MC 3911.

The test results Geekbench MacBook Pro 5 for 2019 and 2020 are nearly identical, the differences are within the statistical margin of error. The results of the core tests are almost identical, and in favor of the Air. In multi-core tests Pro “tearing” Air on the British flag.

But it’s not the whole truth. Air processors Ice Lake Y-class, with very low requirements for the heat sink. The processors in Y-class are designed for use in very thin and light laptops, even without fans. The MacBook Air’s fan is, and he’s not fake – but for any long period of time to cope with heavy load and work at maximum capacity processors Y-class can not.

Despite a decent cooling system in Air, the CPU is overheated, and to avoid dangerous overheating, the clock frequency is automatically reduced.

The U-processor-class longer withstand the load, the cooling system in the MacBook Pro is much more efficient, and that makes all the difference. Air is designed to perform “light” tasks: browse web pages, read our Telegram chat, video, spreadsheet, text editing, simple games. As a last chance (if something needs to be done urgently, and anything else at hand), he will be fine with video rendering, and with the heavy filters in Photoshop, but it’s not his job. MacBook Pro, 13-inch, budget and with processors of the 8th gen interior, with rendering and other heavy work very well.

For tasks that require serious graphics performance, equally no good 13-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. For these tasks you need a powerful discrete graphics processors, such as 15- or 16-inch MacBook Pro. 13-inch MacBook Pro with three Thunderbolt ports and the processor of the 10th generation of class U, naturally, more productive than low-end models, but they are expensive. And similarly, they are not suitable for tasks that require serious graphics performance.

And yet, all 13-inch MacBook Pro compared to MacBook Air:

  • more bright display (500 CD/sq m vs 400 CD/sq. m);
  • wider P3 color gamut;
  • the radio, though not much, but better.