MacBook Air vs iPad Pro: A comprehensive comparison

Apple’s MacBook Air vs iPad Pro offer similar performance, but different features and design
An undated image illustrating MacBook Air vs. iPad Pro. — Future
An undated image illustrating MacBook Air vs. iPad Pro. — Future 

If you're in the market for a shiny new Apple device, you are probably torn between the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro. Both boast the same robust M2 chip, promising swift performance and extended battery life. They're also lightweight and portable, making them easy to tote around. But, my friend, there are key distinctions that could sway your decision.

First up, is the MacBook Air, a classic laptop running on macOS, much like its Mac brethren. It flaunts a 13.3-inch or 15-inch display, delivering crisp visuals at 2560 x 1600 pixels. It comes with a full-sized keyboard, a handy trackpad, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Oh, and it's got Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity.

Then there's the iPad Pro, a tablet that dances to the iPadOS tune, tailored for touch interaction. It sports an 11-inch or 12.9-inch display, with resolutions of 2388 x 1668 pixels and 2732 x 2048 pixels, respectively. The 12.9-inch model goes all out with a mini-LED screen, promising even brighter visuals and sharper contrast compared to the 11-inch LCD screen. The iPad Pro adds a USB-C port, a magnetic connector for accessories, and a rear camera decked out with a LiDAR scanner. It also boasts Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and optional cellular connectivity.

But here's where it gets interesting: the iPad Pro can moonlight as a laptop with accessories like the Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio, which introduce a physical keyboard and a trackpad to the tablet. Plus, it's buddy-buddy with the Apple Pencil, a nifty stylus for drawing, writing, and scribbling on the screen.

MacBook Air vs iPad Pro

 MacBook Air 
iPad Pro
PriceStarts at $1,099Starts at $799 (11-inch) or $999 (12.9-inch)
CPUApple M1 chipApple A12Z Bionic chip
Storage256GB - 2TB SSD128GB - 1TB flash storage
Display13.3-inch (2560 x 1600)11-inch (2388 x 1668) or 12.9-inch (2732 x 2048)
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 3, headphoneUSB-C, magnetic connector for accessories
Cameras720p FaceTime HDRear: 12MP wide, 10-MP ultra-wide; Front: 7MP
Battery LifeUp to 14:41 hoursUp to 10:16 hours (12.9-inch model)
Size12 x 8.4 x 0.2 - 0.6 inches11 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches (12.9-inch model)
Weight2.8 pounds - 3 pounds1.03 pounds - 1.5 pounds


The MacBook Air starts at $1,099 for the 13-inch and $1,299 for the 15-inch model. On the other side of the aisle, the iPad Pro kicks off at $799 for the 11-inch and $1,099 for the 12.9-inch version.

But, hold on to your wallets. If you intend to use the iPad Pro as a laptop, prepare to shell out extra cash for accessories like the Magic Keyboard ($299-$349), Smart Keyboard Folio ($179-$199), and the Apple Pencil ($129). This could make the iPad Pro pricier in certain scenarios.


If mobility is your top priority, the iPad Pro wins hands down, especially if you don't need a keyboard or trackpad. It's lighter, tipping the scales from 1.03 pounds to 1.5 pounds, depending on the model and cellular option. The MacBook Air, on the other hand, ranges from 2.8 to 3 pounds in weight and is slightly thicker at 0.16-0.63 inches compared to the iPad Pro's sleek 0.23 inches.

Both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro are tech wonders that can cater to most of your computing cravings. However, they each have their unique strengths and weaknesses, making one a sweeter deal for you than the other. If you're after a laptop with ample storage, multitasking prowess, and a familiar OS, the MacBook Air might be your match. On the flip side, if you're craving a tablet with a plethora of apps, superb portability, and a flair for creativity, the iPad Pro could be your muse. Happy choosing!