MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Pro without TouchBar: what are the differences?

MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Pro

The MacBook Air Retina was expected. But Apple’s new laptop overshadows the MacBook Pro without TouchBar. Should we give in right away and pre-order one of the two computers? We take a look at the differences between the two models.

On the touchscreen tablet side, Apple has made its offer more complex by keeping outdated models in the catalog. As for laptops, the arrival of the new MacBook Air Retina sows trouble at the entry-level. Indeed, we end up with a MacBook Pro without TouchBar from 2017, which costs only 150 € more than a MacBook Air Retina from 2018. The equation would be solved simply if the first ones were “a little better.” than the second, which is not necessarily the case.

But before we understand why, let’s take a look at the technical characteristics of both devices.

MacBook Air RetinaMacBook Pro (without TouchBar)
Screen13.3 inch13.3 inch
Resolution2,560 x 1,600 pixels2,560 x 1,600 pixels
CPU8th Gen Intel Core i5 1.6 GHz7th Gen Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz
GPUIntel UHD Graphics 617Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
RAM8 GB, 16 GB8 GB, 16 GB
SSD storage128 GB, 256 GB,
512 GB, 1.5 TB
128 GB, 256 GB
WebcamFaceTime HD 720pFaceTime HD 720p
Autonomy12 hours10 hours
Ports2x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C
1x jack
2x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C
1x jack
Weight1.25 kg1.37 kg
Dimensions30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm30.41 x 21.24 x 1.49 cm
ColorsGold, silver, space graySilver, Space Gray
Keyboard3rd generation paper keyboard2nd generation butterfly keyboard
AdapterUSB-C 30W61W USB-C

This raw presentation brings up a first observation that is obvious: yes, we are on two almost similar devices. On the design side, the MacBook Air has more colors and is entirely made of recycled aluminum. But as always, the devil is in the details, and Apple isn’t helping us decide that easily.


MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Pro

With the release of Generation 3 butterfly keyboards, Apple put two years of trouble behind it. The new keyboards are quiet, pleasant to type and equipped with a membrane that helps retain dust. Problem: only MacBook Pro with TouchBar were entitled to it.

This means that the MacBook Air Retina has a better keyboard than the MacBook Pro without TouchBar. If your job, like ours, involves a lot of note taking and writing, you will clearly feel the difference between the two models. Gen 2 isn’t as bad as Gen 1 might have been, but Gen 3 is one of the best keyboards we’ve ever touched – and our preference is usually for mechanical keyboards with big, bouncy keys. .

Verdict  : The MacBook Air is the winner.Discover the MacBook Air Retina on


On paper, and in the absence of a benchmark, we can assume that the MacBook Pro is more powerful on the CPU and GPU side than the MacBook Air. Even with a generation less on the Intel processor side, the MacBook Pro is equipped with a more powerful version of the i5 range. Further testing will make it possible to see in practice whether these assumptions are confirmed.

MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Pro without TouchBar: what are the differences?

On the other hand, where it gets tough is that the MacBook Air can go up to 1.5TB of storage, against only 256GB for the MacBook Pro without TouchBar. Therefore, someone looking for an ultimate derush machine, for video or photos, will have better options on an MBA than on an MBP.

Verdict: the MacBook Pro without TouchBar seems better equipped on the CPU / GPU side. The MacBook Air Retina can be configured with more storage. It’s up to you…Discover the MBP without TouchBar on


To answer this question, we are going to look at two elements: dimensions and autonomy. The MacBook Air Retina retains its tapered shape on the front, which allows it to be thinner than the MacBook Pro without TouchBar. But not everywhere: he is overweight on the back. We therefore end up with a thicker MacBook Air where it is thicker than the straight MacBook Pro. On the weight side, there is no photo, the MacBook Air Retina is lighter by a hundred grams.

MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Pro without TouchBar:
MacBook Air (2018) // Source: Apple

If we talk about the battery, the MacBook Air Retina wins the battle with 2 hours more use announced, despite a lower battery – the difference must come from the 8th generation Intel processor, which is more economical. On the other hand, the charger supplied with the MacBook Pro without TouchBar delivers 61 W against 30 W for that of the MacBook Air Retina. We can imagine that the most expensive computer charges more quickly …

Verdict  : The dimensions are quite similar, but the MacBook Air wins on battery life. It is not clear why Apple did not give him the MBP charger. Discover the MacBook Air Retina on


The MacBook Pro without TouchBar meets Apple security standards, but does not have the T2 chip of the latest MacBook Pro with TouchBar and MacBook Air Retina. This chip makes it possible in particular to control TouchID, the unlocking by fingerprint present on the new MacBook Air, but it is also it which, in an automatic way, is responsible for encrypting all the data of the computer. It’s like a secondary processor dedicated to a few features… and of the two, only the MacBook Air Retina has them.


Verdict: So we won’t say that MacBook Pros without TouchBar are not secure, it would be wrong, but the next-generation MBA comes with an additional argument.Discover the MacBook Air Retina on


On closer inspection, the MacBook Air, which is cheaper than the MacBook Pro without TouchBar, is superior in many ways. That said, and this is where it all comes down to, don’t forget that the MacBook Air’s CPU / GPU duo is inferior on paper to MacBook Pro without TouchBar. Processors and graphics processors are the heart of a computer: you don’t want a laptop that lags at the slightest opening of a heavy application or suffers when too many tabs are open.

A possible decrease in performance which will have to be put into perspective in relation to the increase in the definition of the screen: will the CPU / GPU duo be enough?

You can also Read: benefits of MacBook pro

3 thoughts on “MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Pro without TouchBar: what are the differences?”

  1. Pingback: how long do MacBook pros last? - bestlaptopsreviews

  2. Pingback: Why Does My MacBook Air Get So Hot When Playing Games? - Bestlaptopsreviews

  3. Pingback: Which Laptop Is Best For After Effects? - Bestlaptopsreviews

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.