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Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019)
Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020)
See Top Ranked Traditional Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro (late-2019) vs Apple MacBook Air (early-2020)

Analysis:

The Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019) and Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) are both excellent choices at their respective budgets. The Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019) is among the very best Traditional Laptops for $3799 and the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) is exemplary at $949. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can't go wrong with either option.

The Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019) has done great in a couple of roundups conducted by highly trusted sources that perform objective in-depth testing, like PCmag, Wirecutter (NYTimes), Wirecutter, and Laptop Mag - it earned the "Best for Multimedia Content Creators" title from PCmag, "Upgrade pick" from Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "Upgrade pick" from Wirecutter. Any product that's held in high regard by such reliable sources should be considered by anyone that's looking for a Traditional Laptop at this price point.

As for the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) - it was received really well by reviewers from a couple of highly trusted sources, such as Wirecutter, Wirecutter (NYTimes), Laptop Mag, and PCmag; it performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups and earned the "Top Pick" title from Wirecutter, "Top Pick" from Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "The best 13-inch Apple laptop" from Laptop Mag, which indicates that this product is worthy of consideration.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Traditional Laptops, Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, and Techradar preferred the Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019), whereas reviewers at hardwarezone.com.sg liked the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) better. The Verge and PCmag gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019) rating came from Lifewire, whereas the Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) most impressed reviewers at hardwarezone.com.sg; they earned scores of 9 and 9, respectively.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Traditional Laptops on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Traditional Laptops being 7.6 out of 10, whereas the Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019) and Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) managed averages of 8.6 and 8.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Apple MacBook Pro 16" 4TB, i9, 16GB RAM (late-2019) vs. Apple MacBook Air i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (early-2020) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Laptop Mag
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Wirecutter
Tom's Guide
Notebookcheck.net
Techradar
TrustedReviews
Good Housekeeping
The Verge
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “2020 Apple MacBooks Compared: Air or Pro, Which Model Is Right for You ?” 
Last updated: a month ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptops for photographers in 2020: Photo editing in Photoshop” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best MacBook 2020: Which Apple laptop should you buy?” 
Last updated: 16 days ago
Digital Camera World
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best MacBooks for photo editing in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best balance of speed and battery life
in “Best laptops of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best MacBook ever
in “Best laptop UK 2020: The finest Windows, Apple and Chrome OS laptops you can buy from £230” 
Last updated: a month ago
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.5 out of 10
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Battery Life Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptops for graphic design 2020: top picks for graphic designers” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Mac 2020: What are the best Apple computers?” 
Last updated: 2 Mar 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best MacBook
in “Our expert guide to buying a laptop” 
Last updated: 23 Aug 2019
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2020” 
Last updated: 30 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “Best laptop 2020: Our top 10 notebooks ranked” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Multimedia Content Creators
in “The Best Business Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio PC in 2020: Digital Audio Workstations and audiophile machines” 
Last updated: 18 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for macOS-Bound Pro Content Creators
in “The Best Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best video editing laptops of 2020: Top notebooks for NLE and more” 
Last updated: 26 Feb 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Multimedia Content Creators
in “The Fastest Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 13 Feb 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best mobile workstations 2020: the most powerful laptops for businesses” 
Last updated: 26 Feb 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Apple laptop ever
in “Best laptop 2020: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Apple laptop
in “Best business Mac in 2020: best laptop, all-in-one, workstation, mobile workstation and laptop replacement” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Amazon Cyber Monday Deals of 2019” 
Last updated: 1 Dec 2019
The Spruce
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 18 Best Graduation Gifts of 2020” 
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best MacBook Laptops” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best MacBooks” 
Last updated: 4 May 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Frequent Travelers, Everyday Computing
in “2020 Apple MacBooks Compared: Air or Pro, Which Model Is Right for You ?” 
Last updated: a month ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best laptop for college: Apple, Dell, Microsoft and more compared” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
The Verge
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best laptops 2020” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best cheap Apple laptop
in “Best laptop 2020: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Digital Camera World
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “The best MacBooks for photo editing in 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Apr 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 8
in “The Best Laptops Under $1,000 of 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Laptops” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Everyday Computing Under macOS
in “The Best Ultraportable Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best MacBook for most people
in “Best laptops of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best student laptops 2020: all the best options for school” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The most affordable MacBook
in “Best Ultrabooks in 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “Tested: The Lightest Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 10
in “Best laptop for programming in 2020: top picks for coders, developers and sysadmins” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Mainstream macOS Use
in “The Best Battery Life Laptops for 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptops for graphic design 2020: top picks for graphic designers” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Basic Productivity
in “The Best Laptops for College Students in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 7
in “Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #6 out of 6
in “Best laptops for kids 2020: the top laptops for kids in elementary school and beyond” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for College Students” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Laptops for College Students” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best graduation gifts to buy for 2020” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “These are our favorite gifts for grads in 2020” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best business Mac in 2020: best laptop, all-in-one, workstation, mobile workstation and laptop replacement” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
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