If you are thinking of purchasing a lightweight MacBook laptop, the lightest of those manufactured by Apple, you should know that the natural choice is to purchase the current MacBook Air with M1 chip, the only one you will find in the Apple Store.
However, we wanted to compare the features and characteristics of the two lightest laptops that the company has produced during its existence: the 12-inch Macbook and the MacBook Air. Small and subtle differences in weight and dimensions are joined by larger ones in terms of specifications, performance and price.
Find out which of them is more convenient for you, and if it is worth betting on the purchase of a 12-inch MacBook, the one discontinued by Apple. You may still be able to find it for sale at an official dealer or on the second-hand market.
MacBook Air (2018) vs MacBook
You may find yourself in the need to buy a MacBook and have your doubts about which one to choose. Whether you consider yourself a professional or not, it is not easy to make a convincing decision that allows you to opt for the 13-inch MacBook Airor by the 12-inch MacBook.
Both devices are ultra-slim and very capable laptops, but with subtle differences between them that you have to know in order to make an appropriate decision according to what you really need.
We start from the fact that the 12-inch MacBook was discontinued by Apple in 2019, which plays with the performance disadvantage of depending only on an Intel Core processor configuration and without the possibility of enjoying Apple Silicon chips.
For its part, the MacBook Air has been much more pampered by Apple, to the point that it was the company’s first team to receive the integration of the M1 chip, along with the Mac mini. Since then, it has been the great choice for many users looking for mobility and performance in a computer with macOS.
The 12-inch MacBook was always smaller and lighter than the MacBook Air. Your screen of 12 inches, and the cheapest price corresponds to the configuration of the seventh generation Intel Core m3 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, the last one that Apple launched it with.
Check out our MacBook 2022 buying guide: Which is the best MacBook? with the possibility of acquiring a MacBook Pro computer with its advantages and disadvantages.
MacBook Air (2018) vs MacBook: Design, dimensions and weight
The MacBook is available in gold, silver and space gray finishes, options that Apple extended in its latest update. In this way, both models are equated in terms of colors in their finishes.
For some users, without a doubt, the fact that they are available in shades of gold or pink will be reason enough to buy it, equating it to the iPhone family of devicesas well as to that of iPad tablets. Other users are more of less striking silver or gray finishes.
When it comes to dimensions, where the MacBook Air has traditionally always been Apple’s thinnest and lightest model, things changed with the arrival of the 12-inch MacBook.
In fact, the 12-inch MacBook offers real dimensions of 196 x 280 mm and a thickness ranging from 3.5 to 13.1 millimeters. For its part, the 13-inch MacBook Air measures 227 x 325 mm and its thickness varies between 3 and 17 millimeters at the thickest part.
The MacBook Air model with a 13-inch screen slightly improves the values by having a bottom of 212 x 304 millimeters wide, as well as a thickness that varies between 4 and 15 millimeters. As far as weight is concerned, it stays at 1.25 Kg.
Previously there was a version with a screen size of 11 inches, a model that is no longer sold through the official Apple website, but that you can also find in the second-hand market.
At this point, it should be noted that this 11-inch MacBook Air measured 192 x 300 mm and its thickness varies between 3 and 17 millimeters, just like the 13-inch model.
In the weight section, the MacBook also comes out as the winner against the 13-inch MacBook Air, which weighs 1.35 kilograms. The 12-inch MacBook becomes the lightest in the Mac family at just 920 grams. Even the 11-inch MacBook Air outweighs it by 1.08 kilograms.
If you want to know these dimensions and weight data for Apple’s other star laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, we recommend you consult this other article in which we address your review and analysis.
If it’s the lightest and smallest Mac notebook ever made that you’re looking for for work, then it’s clear that you should get the 12-inch MacBook. Keep in mind, however, that MacBook Air will give you a larger 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display and more performance with M1 chips.
When it comes to design and finishes, both have been matched to offer the same range of colors, something that until the end of this year was not possible in the MacBook Air.
MacBook Air: models and versions
Before going into details about the configurations offered by the MacBook, and those of the MacBook Air, it is convenient to differentiate the models of the latter that you will find for sale.
And it is that the 13-inch MacBook Air whose price starts at € 1,1129 belongs to the new generation that has M1 chips, so you will no longer find any configuration of equipment based on Intel architecture in the Apple Store.
This does not mean that you can still find a pre-2018 MacBook Air model for sale, those that still had Intel Core chips. LThe Retina display of the 2018 MacBook Air model makes it possible for it to handle resolution values of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels with a similar brightness level of 300 nits.
MacBook Air (2018) vs MacBook: Processors and Storage
As far as processors are concerned, we leave aside the MacBook Air after 2019, which are based on the M1 chip, to focus on the one that prevails in both computers, the dual-core Intel Core, with the exception that in the MacBook Air 2018 it already has the 8th generation chipsversus those of the seventh generation that prevail in the macbook.
In this way, the most powerful can reach 3.6 GHz speed in Turbo Boost mode.
Storage capacity is usually another great reason for choice. The 2018 MacBook Air offered a wide margin of choice from its 128 GB SSD to 1.5 TB. For its part, in the case of the 12 MacBook, the choice was exclusively for the 256 or 512 GB SSD.
The other big difference between the MacBook Air lies in its controller trackpad. While in previous generations the Multi-Touch feature has always prevailed, in the 2018 and later MacBook Air models the Force Touch mode has been introduced, obtaining different responses depending on the pressure applied to its surface.
MacBook Air (2018) vs MacBook: Specifications and connections
Both the MacBook Air (2018) and the 12-inch MacBook have an LED-backlit Retina display with differences in the inches offered and the fact that the Air model has IPS technology.
In addition, the 13.3-inch MacBook Air of 2018 supports resolution values of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, compared to the 12-inch MacBook that stays at 2,304 x 1,440 pixels. Thus, the display area differs between both screens.
Also at the level of connectors and ports, the 13-inch Macbook Air now has 2 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports compared to the MacBook that only has 1 USB-C port.
Both share the same type of Wi-Fi 802.11ac connection as well as Bluetooth 4.2, with the difference that the new 2018 MacBook Air offers a FaceTime HD camera compared to the MacBook, which is somewhat more basic.
MacBook Air (2018) vs MacBook: Batteries and autonomies
No less significant is the fact of the batteries of both. All things being equal and with similar processors, the 2018 MacBook Air offers better times than the MacBook.
Its integrated lithium polymer battery is 50.3 watt hours compared to 41.4 watt hours in the MacBook. Apple indicates that with the 2018 MacBook Air you will exceed 12 hours of wireless browsing compared to the 10 hours offered by the MacBook. In the same way, playing iTunes movies the MacBook Air 2018 offers one more hour of autonomy.
Against the forms of use, the latest 2018 MacBook Air incorporated a differentiating element that you will not find in the 12-inch MacBookas is the Touch ID identification to be able to unlock the Mac without passwords, buy on-line with Apple Pay or instantly open password-protected files.
Thanks to the T2 chip in the 2018 Macbook Air, the Mac is more secure by encrypting the data stored on the computer in real time, as well as everything stored on the SSD drive. You may see Apple’s T2 Security Chip white paper.
Regarding the pointer and surface controller trackpadboth models already offer the modality of Force Touch to be able to interact with the MacOS Mojave operating system, compared to the Multi-Touch that had prevailed in previous generations.
MacBook Air (2018) vs MacBook: Models and prices
If we look at what is discussed throughout the entire report, it seems that more compact measurements and lighter weight are reason enough for Apple to impose a higher starting price.
In this way, the MacBook, which boasts of weighing only 920 grams and measuring less than the MacBook Air, ends up having a higher price than its rivals when it was launched by Apple.
It is also true that while the MacBook Air (both 2018 and previous generation) offer the possibility of purchasing a configuration with a 128 GB SSD, in the case of the Macbook the SSD with the lowest profile is 256 GB of storage capacity. storage. This raises the price slightly.
MacBook Air (2018) vs. MacBook: Verdict
Based on what has been said, the macbook with its 12-inch screen it had a market price at the time of €1,505.59, much higher versus the €1,349 for the 2018 MacBook Air model with Intel Core processorsturning out to be €160 more expensive.
We must not ignore the fact that the MacBook Air The previous generation had a lower price, but with much less performance than that of 2018, so it would not be an option to value today if you are thinking of buying a cheap second-hand MacBook laptop.
You should also be willing to do without great advantages such as the LED screen with Retina technology, the use of Touch ID, or the new trackpad with Force Touch.
Thus, both for price, performance and autonomy, it seems clear that most users who consider purchasing one of these laptops already discontinued by Apple, should bet on the MacBook Air to the detriment of a MacBook with a 12-inch screen, a computer that has ceased to be manufactured by Apple.
In short, after the sale of the new MacBook Air with the M1 chip and its excellent performance, it does not make sense today to buy a 2018 MacBook Air with Intel chipsets, or a 12-inch MacBook that, although it is lighter, its price-performance ratio is colorless in today’s era.
If for whatever reason you want to buy the discontinued MacBook 12, we recommend you consult our article on where to buy second-hand Apple products: Buying tips.