The Surface Laptop 3 is slightly heavier at 2. The same goes for their dimensions: the MacBook Air comes in at Battery life is also similar.
The MacBook Air hit very average battery life, at about eight hours of web browsing and 10 hours of video watching in our review. The Surface Laptop 3, meanwhile, managed seven to eight hours in light usage.
Our review unit was the inch Surface Laptop 3 rather than the inch variant, but Microsoft gives identical battery life estimates on its website. If you want to max out the MacBook Air, you can get one with a 1. Overall, the Surface Laptop 3 is just as good looking and well built as the MacBook Air, but is significantly faster. The best budget laptops for 3 days ago.
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The inch MacBook Pro is our top Mac pick in our guide to laptops for video and photo editing. Andrew Cunningham spent more than six years testing, reviewing, and otherwise writing about PCs, Macs, and other gadgets for AnandTech and Ars Technica.
He has been building, upgrading, and fixing PCs for more than 15 years, and he spent five of those years in IT departments buying and repairing laptops and desktops as well as helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He has also used just about every Mac laptop that Apple has released in the past two decades. The operating system is stable and easy to use, but more important, it integrates well with iPhones and iPads—iMessages and SMS messages sent from your Mac also appear on your iPhone and vice versa, and features such as AirDrop and iCloud make it easy to share notes, pictures, videos, reminders, contacts, passwords, bookmarks, and other data between your devices.
Macs are also a good choice if you want great support. Windows ultrabooks provide as good or better performance, more kinds of ports, and more storage at or below the price Apple charges for the MacBook Air.
As of this writing, Apple offers four different laptops in multiple configurations. We considered the following criteria when deciding which ones to recommend:. The Touch Bar is a high-resolution touchscreen that dynamically changes to display controls specific to the current app if the app supports that. Apple now includes the Touch Bar on every MacBook Pro and not just on the more expensive models—even if you never use it, getting the added performance of the Pro is worth putting up with the Touch Bar. The inch MacBook Pro weighs 3 pounds, just 0.
Current MacBook models use Thunderbolt 3 for all connectivity, including power. This means that if you own any hard drives, scanners, printers, thumb drives, or card readers that use USB Type-A ports, you need a hub or adapter ; similarly, if you want to use an external display or projector, you need the right video adapter.
The only other port is a 3. The keys are still full size, but they feel stiff and shallow. Plus, it has slightly better battery life than the Pro. It also skips the Touch Bar in favor of a row of physical function keys and a standalone Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Depending on how you feel about the flashy but superfluous Touch Bar, however, you might regard that omission as a feature rather than a bug. The Air runs on a dual-core eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, and you have no options for upgrading to a faster model.
But for intensive tasks such as encoding video or compiling code, the Air is around half the speed of the quad-core MacBook Pro. Neither feature is something most people need or even notice, though True Tone is a nice addition that Apple left off the version of the Air. Apple has made the function keys taller to match the height of the Touch ID sensor.
Photo: Andrew Cunningham. The MacBook Air has the exact same footprint— Carrying it feels very similar to carrying the Pro. Its inch Retina display is the biggest and highest-resolution display you can get in a Mac laptop, and it has four Thunderbolt 3 ports. Only creative professionals who make their living editing video, doing 3D drafting, or coding apps should even consider paying more for an eight-core processor and Radeon Vega graphics—the added cost is too much to justify otherwise, and our recommended configuration is still plenty fast.
Rather, if you were to compare a Computer running Windows to a Mac, or a specific computer manufacturer, you'd get a better comparison. Wondering what the differences are between Macs and PCs? The conflict between Apple supporters and Windows fans has raged on college campuses.