Apple hasn't officially killed the MacBook Air yet, but it didn't update it during its October event either.

Instead, the company announced a third MacBook Pro: the 13-inch base model that doesn't offer the new Touch Bar and is thinner than last year's ultraportable MacBook Air. What does that mean for the Air line? Who knows.  

Before you spend money on the aging Air though, you might want to check out how it stacks up against the latest (though Touch Bar-less) 13-inch MacBook Pro.

  • MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model is thinner than MacBook Air
  • MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model is slightly heavier than MacBook Air

Both versions of the 13-inch laptop lack the new Touch Bar but feature an aluminium casing and an LED-backlit display. While the MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model comes in silver or space grey colours, the MacBook Air is only available in silver.

The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model weighs 1.37kg and measures 304.1 x 212.4 x 149mm, while the MacBook Air weighs 1.35kg and measures 325 x 227mm with a tapered height from 33mm to 170mm.

In other words, if you're looking for a portable laptop, the MacBook Pro (2016) is now the thinnest and smallest model from Apple, while the MacBook Air just about holds on to the title of lightest.

  • MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model has a Retina display
  • MacBook Air (2015) doesn't have a Retina display

The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model has a 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display with IPS technology and a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution at 227ppi. It offers 500nits of brightness and a P3 wide colour gamut.

The MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1440 x 900 native pixel resolution for a pixel density of 128ppi. It's therefore not Retina, nor as bright as the MacBook Pro (2016) and it doesn't support as many colours, even if millions are still offered and for most, it will be enough.

Overall though, the new MacBook Pro features a far superior display over the MacBook Air.

  • The MacBook Air has a longer battery life
  • The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model is more powerful on paper

The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model features the 2.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and a 10-hour battery life. It is configurable to the 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 chip, up to 1TB of flash storage and up to 16GB of RAM. 

The MacBook Air base model features the 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 chip, Intel HD Graphics 6000, 128GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM and a 12-hour battery life. It is configurable to the 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 and up to 512GB SSD.

The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model is therefore more powerful, has more storage and RAM, and comes with better graphics, as you would probably expect. It does however offer two hours less of battery life, which is probably down to the Retina display.

Both models feature a 720p FaceTime HD camera.

  • The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model ditched all the old ports
  • The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model doesn't have an SDXC card slot

The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model only features two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.1.

Everything has been streamlined, allowing you to charge and transfer data using the same ports, but there are disadvantages too, such as not being able to plug in an SD card without a dongle.

The MacBook Air has two USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt 2 port, MagSafe 2 power port and a SDXC card slot, meaning it might be the better option for those that don't want to have to use a dongle to perform tasks they do now without one, like transferring files from their SD card. 

Both models offer a 3.5mm headphone jack.

  • The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model is expensive yet more powerful
  • The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model is available to pre-order now

The MacBook Pro (2016) 13-inch base model starts at £1449, while the MacBook Air (2015) starts at £949, meaning a £500 difference in price.

The new MacBook Pro (2016) base model without the Touch Bar is more expensive, thinner, more powerful, and has a Retina display. It's battery isn't as long as the MacBook Air though and you lose some handy connections.