Written by Gijs

Compare the Apple MacBook Air 2018 to the MacBook Pro 2017

With the arrival of the Apple MacBook Air 2018, the MacBook Pro 2017 is in for a lot of competition. Apple listened to its customers: the MacBook Air 2018 has a strongly improved screen and is much faster than its predecessor. Now that the MacBook Air 2018 has been upgraded, it's much more difficult to choose between the MacBook Air 2018 and the Pro 2017. I investigate the differences and similarities between the two.

Apple MacBook Air 13,3 inches (2018) MREA2N/A Silver

Powerful enough for photo editing | Intel Core i5 - 8GB - 128GB SSD | Nearly edgeless Retina display
no longer available
  • The MacBook Air 2018 has a Retina display, which gives you an image that's 4 times sharper than that of previous MacBook Air models.
  • The 13.3-inch Retina display is nearly edgeless, so you have relatively more screen space than when you have thicker edges.
  • Use Touch ID to log in to MacOS without typing a password.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 inches (2017) MPXQ2N/A Space Gray

Powerful enough for photo editing | Intel Core i5 2.3GHz - 8GB - 128GB SSD | Intel Iris Plus 640
no longer available
  • This MacBook Pro has an IPS panel that displays true colors from any angle.
  • The sharp 2560x1080 Retina Display lets you watch movies and photos down to the smallest detail.
  • The Force Touch trackpad is pressure sensitive. You can, for instance, forward videos faster by simply pressing harder.


Apple Macbook Air Retina

First MacBook Air with Retina screen

The screen of the MacBook Air 2017 has a resolution of 1440x900 pixels. For me, this was the reason I didn't buy an Air 2017. Since I watch a lat of series and movies, I didn't think the images were sharp enough. Luckily, Apple upgraded the screen of the MacBook Air 2018. The Retina Display with a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels displays even the tiniest details of my favorite series.

Apple Macbook Air Retina

Crystal clear Retina screen

The MacBook Pro 2017 also has a Retina Display with a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels. This, too, allows me to comfortably watch movies and series and makes sure I don't miss a single detail while editing photos in Photoshop. The bezels of the screen are slightly larger than those of the MacBook Air 2018. In terms of screen, the Air 2018 and the Pro 2017 are very similar.


Apple Macbook Air gold

New golden color

With a weight of only 1.25 kilos and a thickness of 1.56 centimeters, the MacBook Air 2018 is lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air 2017. The MacBook Air 2018 is also lighter than the MacBook Pro 2017, but it is slightly thicker. I can easily take the laptop with me in my bag. The MacBook Air 2018 is available in 3 colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold. I especially like the gold version.

Apple Macbook Air thin

Thinner than MacBook Air

With its 1.37 kilos, the Apple MacBook Pro 2017 is slightly heavier than the MacBook Air 2018, but with its thickness of 1.49 centimeters, the MacBook Pro is thinner than the MacBook Air. I can choose from 2 colors: Space Gray and Silver. Similar to the Air 2018, I can take the Pro 2017 with me in my bag without heaving to carry a lot of extra kilos.

Touch ID

Apple Macbook Air fingerprint

Your fingerprint is your password

Apart from the improved screen, the addition of Touch ID is the biggest improvement of the Apple MacBook Air 2018. I can now log in by putting my finger on the fingerprint scanner. Logging in is faster than ever and I no longer have to type long passwords. On top of that, I can use Touch ID to log into websites and to make payments. I no longer have to remember ten different passwords, which pleases me greatly.

Apple Macbook Air password

Log in the 'old-fashioned' way with a password

The Apple MacBook Pro 2017 doesn't have Touch ID. This means I still have to log in with a password. It also means I have to remember and type various passwords for various websites and my email. It's also not possible to quickly make payments via Touch ID. In this area, I prefer the MacBook Air 2018 to the MacBook Pro 2017.


Apple Macbook Air intel core i5

Demanding apps aren't a problem

The Apple MacBook Air 2018 is equipped with a 1.6GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor of the 8th generation. Thanks to the Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, I can run more demanding applications without encountering any problems. This means I can retouch photos in Photoshop without any glitches while having multiple other tabs opened in my browser. With the MacBook Air 2018, I can't choose between any other processor. If I want another processor, the MacBook Pro 2017 does have the option to choose one.

Apple Macbook Air video editing

Powerful enough for video editing

With the Apple MacBook Pro 2017, you can choose between a 2.3GHz Dual-Core i5 processor or a 2.5GHz i7 Dual-Core processor of the 7th generation. The i5 processor of the Pro 2017 is equal to that of the Air 2018. Thanks to the 4.0GHz Turbo Boost of the i7 processor, I can edit videos and use more demanding applications.


Apple Macbook Air USB mini jack

USB-C and 3.5mm Mini Jack connection

Similar to the MacBook Pro 2017, I only spot 2 Thunderbolt 3 inputs. I use these USB-C ports to charge my MacBook and connect a mouse. Apart from these ports, I also find another 3.5-millimeter connector for my AUX cable or headphones. Any other peripherals, such as a keyboard, an external hard drive, and extra monitors, have to be connected via a dock. I do have to separately purchase such a dock.

Apple Macbook Air USB-C

USB-C for charging and connecting peripherals

MacBook Pro has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. These are small USB inputs you can use to charge your MacBook and connect peripherals. The data transfer speed of Thunderbolt 3 is high: with 40 gigabit (or 5GB) per second, you can transfer files fast. Since the connectors are the exact same as the MacBook Air 2018, I don't have a preference for one of the laptops in this field.


Thanks to the improvements Apple made to the MacBook Air 2018, the laptop is now a keen competitor for the MacBook Pro 2017. The new Retina display and the Touch ID are functions that I especially like. For on the go, daily use, and photo editing, I opt for the MacBook Air 2018. I choose the MacBook Pro 2017 with an i7 processor when I want to edit videos or use more demanding applications.

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