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Difference Between MacBook and MacBook Air

MacBook vs MacBook Air

Apple has been producing different types of computers with the MacBook being its laptop line. A different line of Apple laptops is the MacBook Air. Its main difference from the MacBook is its focus on being extremely portable. Compared to the MacBook, the MacBook Air is a whole lot thinner and often weighs less than half the weight. But in order to achieve this, sacrifices were needed in terms of features.

The first sacrifice is the use of low voltage processors that do not perform as well as regular processors. A low voltage processor uses less energy, which means that the MacBook Air can have longer battery life or use a smaller battery. It also produces less heat, thereby reducing its airflow needs and the size of the heatsink. A related difference between the two is the switch to SSDs (Solid State Drives) in the MacBook Air. SSDs also consume less power but perform better than traditional hard drives but at the cost of capacity. While MacBooks have drives up to 500GB or even more, the MacBook Air tops at 256GB. This also adds a significant amount to the price of the unit as SSDs are very expensive.

The MacBook, like most notebooks, has an optical drive where you can play your DVD movies, install software, and even transfer files. But most of the time, especially when you are on the go,this is not used and is just dead weight. Apple decided to remove the optical drive in the MacBook Air, just like in most netbooks to reduce size and weight. An external drive can be used with the MacBook Air for times when you need it.

One of the major downsides that the MacBook Air doesn’t have is upgradeability. Almost all of its parts are not user replaceable. Even the battery is not easily accessible and needs to be brought to an Apple store to be replaced. On the other hand, many parts on the MacBook can be replaced just like with most notebooks. You can swap batteries on your own and you can have it serviced to add more memory or swap with a bigger capacity drive.


1.The MacBook Air is much thinner and lighter than the MacBook
2.The MacBook Air uses low voltage processors while the MacBook doesn’t
3.The MacBook Air uses flash memory for storage while the MacBook doesn’t
4.The MacBook Air doesn’t have an optical drive while the MacBook does
5.The MacBook is upgradeable while the MacBook Air isn’t

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  1. Macbook Pro batteries are not user accessible either; if yours is wearing out it’s $130-$200 to have Apple replace it.

  2. The Macbook, since 2017, does not have a built in optical drive. I use a separate optical drive connected by USB.

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