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Apple’s MacBook lineup offers impressive performance and at first glance, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro seem quite similar. They have the same CPU/GPU, same ports, same FaceTime camera, and more. However, the more powerful 2023 14-inch MacBook Pro may complicate your decision. Let’s take a closer look at the MacBook Air vs Pro to see what differentiates these MacBooks and help you decide which to buy.
Update: With the arrival of the M2 chip, we have a new comparison of the 2023 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro:
Beyond the larger screens, the all-new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks feature a refreshed design, mini-LED display backlighting, the return of I/O including HDMI, SD card slot, and MagSafe, and the removal of the Touch Bar.
And of course, they have more power than ever with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. If you’re on the fence between the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, check out our detailed guide.
But if you know you want a compact 13 or 14-inch MacBook, read on for our in-depth Air vs MacBook Pro comparison. Also, keep in mind there is a new MacBook Air in the works that could arrive as soon as summer 2023.
Initial reactions to Apple unveiling the new M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in late 2023 included confusion about the point of continuing to offer both since they appear so similar.
While it is impressive and somewhat confusing that the $999 base M1 MacBook Air has the same CPU/GPU and neural engine as the $1,299 and higher M1 MacBook Pro, there are some notable differences that are worth considering before making a decision.
And with the 14-inch M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro available there are even more differences.MacBook Air vs Pro hardware comparison
You’re getting the powerful and efficient M1 chip with 2023 MacBook Air and Pro machines with 4 high-efficiency cores and 4 high-performance cores for the CPU. But interestingly enough, it’s actually a 7-core GPU on the base MacBook Air models instead of the 8-core on the higher end Air configurations and all the MacBook Pro models. My colleague Ben Lovejoy wrote an explainer on what’s happening with that.
For the 14-inch MacBook Pro, you get the M1 Pro or M1 Max chip with the option for more CPU and GPU cores, increased RAM, full HD 1080p FaceTime camera, and more.
13″ MacBook Air (2023)13″ MacBook Pro (2023)14″ MacBook Pro (2023)ProcessorM1 – 8-coreM1 – 8-coreM1 Pro or M1 Max – 8 or 10-coreStorageUp to 2TBUp to 2TBUp to 8TBRAM8 or 16GB8 or 16GB16 to 64GBGraphics7-core8-coreUp to 32-coreNeural engine16-core16-core16-coreFaceTime camera720p720p1080pSpeakersStereo speakers with wide soundStereo speakers with high dynamic range6-speaker high-fidelityMics3-mic arrayStudio-quality 3-mic arrayStudio-quality 3-mic arrayThermal managementFanlessActive cooling with fansActive cooling with fans
Maybe more minor in the big picture, but both MacBook Pro models features high dynamic range with stereo speakers and the mics are “studio-quality.”
It’s great to see Wi-Fi 6 support all models. However, it’s just a 720p FaceTime camera on the 2023 MacBooks. Apple says it’s improved the image quality with its image signal processor. But to get the full HD 1080p FaceTime camera, you’ll need to buy the new 14-inch MacBook Pro.
You’re going to see awesome performance for everyday computing with all three of these computers but if you lean toward heavier workflows, the new MacBook Pro is the winner.
If you have medium to light workflows, the MacBook Air is a great choice for portability and those who are more price sensitive.MacBook Air vs Pro display comparison
If screen brightness is important to you, chalk up another point for the MacBook Pro with its 500-1600 nits brightness vs 400 nits on the MacBook Air.
The new MacBook Pro’s up to 1,000 sustained nits brightness (1,600 peak) may be just for HDR content, but you’re still getting up to 120Hz refresh rates with ProMotion, mini-LED backlighting, and even thinner bezels.
13″ MacBook Air (2023)13″ MacBook Pro (2023)14″ MacBook Pro (2023)Actual screen size13.3″13.3″14.2″Resolution2560 x 16002560 x 16003024 x 1964Aspect Ratio16:1016:1016:10 + notchPPI227227254Nits (brightness)400500Up to 1000 sustained, up to 1600 peakRetina display✅✅–Liquid Retina XDR display❌❌✅ProMotion (up to 120Hz)❌❌✅mini-LED backlit❌❌✅True Tone✅✅✅P3 wide color✅✅✅
The new 14-inch MacBook Pro display does include a notch at the top center of the display for the 1080p FaceTime camera. But unlike the iPhone, the notch doesn’t include Face ID hardware/support on the new MacBook Pro notebooks.MacBook Air vs Pro I/O comparison
The difference between the 2023 Air and Pro with the rest of the I/O not covered above is the Touch Bar coming on the MacBook Pro and dedicated row of function keys (new ones too for dictation, spotlight, more) on the MacBook Air.
One downside with the 2023 MacBooks is support for just 1 external display up to 6K at 60Hz.
In contrast, the 14-inch MacBook Pro offers much more I/O including 3 USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, SDXC slot, MagSafe, and support for up to 3 external displays.
13″ MacBook Air (2023)13″ MacBook Pro (2023)14″ MacBook Pro (2023)Magic Keyboard✅✅✅Touch ID✅✅✅Touch Bar❌✅❌USB-C/Thunderbolt ports223HDMI❌❌✅SDXC card reader❌❌✅MagSafe charging❌❌✅Bluetooth5.05.05.0Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)External display support1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60HzUp to 2 external displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz (M1 Pro) or Up to 3 external displays with up to 6K resolution and 1 external display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz (M1 Max)Size, weight, and finish comparison
As you’d expect, the MacBook Air is the lightest machine with the 13-inch MacBook Pro weighing a touch more, and the 14-inch naturally being the heaviest.
The MacBook Air is also the thinnest notebook from Apple with its tapered design. And if the gold color is appealing, keep in mind it’s only available with the MacBook Air.
13″ MacBook Air (2023)13″ MacBook Pro (2023)14″ MacBook Pro (2023)Weight2.8 lbs. (1.29 kg)3 pounds (1.4 kg)3.5 pounds (1.6 kg)Thickness0.16-0.63 in. (0.41-1.61 cm)0.61 inch (1.56 cm)0.61 inch (1.55 cm)Width11.97 inches (30.41 cm)11.97 inches (30.31 cm)12.31 inches (31.26 cm)Depth8.36 in. (21.24 cm)8.36 inches (21.24 cm)8.71 inches (22.12 cm)Display size13.3 in. (33.78 cm)13.3 inches14.2 inchesFinishesSilver, space gray, and goldSilver or space graySilver or space grayBattery life comparison
Real-life use shows massive battery life gains for Apple Silicon MacBooks compared to the old Intel models. However, keep in mind you probably won’t see exactly the Apple ratings of up to 15-20 hours without compromises like turning down display brightness, etc.
But in any case, the power efficiency and battery life improvements are big with Apple Silicon!
13″ MacBook Air (2023)13″ MacBook Pro (2023)14″ MacBook Pro (2023)Wireless web battery15 hours17 hours11 hoursVideo playback18 hours20 hours17 hoursIncluded power adapter30W USB-C61W USB-C67W or 96W USB-C + MagSafeBattery capacity49.9Wh58.2Wh70WhFast charging❌❌✅Pricing comparison
Across the different configurations, it’s a $300-$1,000 difference between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Stocked models are the 256GB/8GB RAM and 512GB/8GB RAM configurations for the 13-inch Air and Pro. Models with 16GB RAM for the 2023 Air and Pro are custom orders.
And the 14-inch MacBook Pro base model starts at $1,999 with M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD.
Model/price13″ MacBook Air (2023)13″ MacBook Pro (2023)14″ MacBook Pro (2023)256 / 8GB$999$1,299–512 / 8GB$1,249$1,499–256 / 16GB$1,199$1,499–512 / 16GB$1,399$1,699$1,9991TB / 16GB$1,599$1,899$2,4991TB / 32GB––$2,899Custom buildsUp to $2,049Up to $2,299Up to $5,899MacBook Air vs Pro wrap-up
Meanwhile, if you have light to medium performance needs, and prefer the lightest machine with great battery life, the MacBook Air is the choice starting at a really reasonable $999.
But don’t forget about the possibility of a refreshed MacBook Air in the coming months. If you know you’d like an Air but don’t need it immediately, it could be worth waiting to see if a new model arrives this summer or fall.
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It’s too early to come to any firm conclusions since we haven’t yet run our benchmarks on these laptops. But even without confirmed battery runtimes or performance scores, it’s clear that they are two different machines. The Surface Book is much more versatile and can be used as a laptop, a notepad and a tablet: everything you need is in the box. If you go for a model with the GTX 965M GPU, you can even play games on it.
But if you want a dedicated laptop with a larger screen, the 15.4in MacBook Pro looks to be an exceedingly good bit of kit too.
If you’re in the market for a powerful laptop, Microsoft and Apple have both just unveiled their latest wares: the Surface Book i7 and the 2023 MacBook Pro. On paper their specifications may look similar, but these are two very different beasts. Here we explain their differences.
Also see: Best Black Friday Laptop Deals
Note that this comparison is based on what we know about the new devices from Apple and Microsoft. We have not yet received them for review, and therefore have not been able to benchmark the laptops to verify each manufacturer’s claims.Surface Book i7 vs MacBook Pro: Design
Clearly there is one major difference between the two. The MacBook Pro is a traditional laptop, while the Surface Book’s touchscreen is detachable so it can be used as a tablet.
While the Surface Book can be used like a laptop (and it’s far better at this than the Surface or Surface Pro), it is equally at home as a tablet and especially so when being used with the Surface Pen for sketching or writing.
Both devices are targeted at creatives, but the best one for you will depend on exactly what it is you want to do. If you prefer to draw on the screen with a pen, the Surface Book is obviously the better option.
But the MacBook has a much larger touchpad and a new ‘Touch Bar’, which is a touchscreen that sits above the top row of keys on the keyboard and essentially replaces the function keys. This puts common shortcuts at your fingertips, and these change as you switch between apps.Screen
In fact, this also brings us to screen size. You can either buy a MacBook Pro with a 13.3in screen or a 15.4in panel.
But there’s only one size of Surface Book: 13.5in.
Yet the Surface Book has the highest resolution at 3000×2000 pixels. The 13.3in MacBook Pro gets a 2560×1600 screen and this increases to only 2880×1800 on the 15.4in model.
Like the iPhone 7, the new MacBook Pro’s screen has a wide colour gamut (P3) which can display 25 percent more colours than sRGB, particularly greens and reds.
Meanwhile, the Surface Book’s screen displays roughly 100 percent of sRGB. It’s a great screen which, as we’ve said, is a capacitive touchscreen and also works with the pressure-sensitive stylus, the Surface Pen. You can read more about this in our Surface Book review.
Surface Book i7 vs MacBook Pro:
Performance and battery life
There’s a range of options with the MacBook Pro and Surface Book, but both offer a 6th-gen Intel Core i7 model.
RAM in the MacBook Pro is either 8GB or 16GB depending on the model you choose, and it’s the same with the Surface Book.
Storage, though differs. With the MacBook there’s 256GB or 512GB, but you can go up to 1TB with the $3299 flagship model.
Graphics-wise, Microsoft says GPU performance is twice as good thanks to the GeForce GTX 965M which you get in the Surface Base. The lower-end models don’t have discrete graphics but rely on Intel HD Graphics.
Surface Book i7 vs MacBook Pro:
Apple claims up to 10 hours between charges, while Microsoft says you can expect 12 to 16 hours from a Surface Book. As ever, actual runtime will depend on what you’re doing. Demanding apps (and games) will seriously reduce these figures, but if you’re only typing in Word or browsing the web, you may well see the quoted figures.
The Surface Book i7 has – according to Microsoft – 30 percent better battery life than the original model. When we tested that device we were amazed when it lasted more than 16 hours in our looped video playback test, so we’re eager to test out the new model and see if it really does last even longer.
Surface Book i7 vs MacBook Pro:
Connectivity and security
On the 13in MacBook Pro you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, and four on the 15in version. These can be used for various things, including charging, video output and data transfer. There’s no Lightning port, so Apple has kept the minijack headphone socket on both versions.
The Surface Book doesn’t have USB-C, but has two full-size USB 3 ports, mini DisplayPort and a full-size SD card slot. On the tablet section is a headphone jack.
802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present throughout, but neither device has GPS.
Apple has integrated a Touch ID sensor into the power button so you can unlock your MacBook Pro with your finger, just like an iPad and iPhone. The Surface Book also has biometric security in the form of a Windows Hello camera which recognises your face and logs you into Windows.
Surface Book i7 vs MacBook Pro:
The MacBook, of course, runs Apple’s operating system, macOS. It would be easy to leave this as a throwaway line, but for many people this will be the biggest difference between the Surface Book and the MacBook Pro.
Most software (especially creative software) is available on both platforms, but some programs are only available on one and not the other. Most Apple software, such as Final Cut Pro, is not available on Windows. But Adobe software – Premiere Pro, for example – works on both.
If you’re already a Windows or Mac user, you might prefer to stick with what’s familiar, but switching (in either direction) is not difficult. However, remember that you will usually have to re-buy the Windows or Mac version of software as few licences give you both versions.
As a tablet, the Surface Book’s closest rival would be the iPad Pro 12.9. Apple is keeping its laptop and tablets completely separate, but this does mean that you have to buy both. With the Surface Book, you get two in one device, and the Surface Pen is included in the box (it’s a £99 extra with the iPad Pro).
Surface Book i7 vs MacBook Pro:
Price and configurations
There are three models of the MacBook Pro to choose between:
13in MacBook Pro without Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2x Thunderbolt 3. Price: £1,499 ($1,499).
13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 550, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Price: £1,749 ($1,799).
15in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, AMD Radeon Pro 450 Graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Price £2,349 ($2,399).
With the Surface Book, UK pricing has not yet been announced, but it starts at $2,399 for the model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Boost that to 512GB with 16GB RAM and it’ll cost you $2,799, or 1TB with 16GB RAM at $3,299.
Read next: Our colleagues on Macworld UK have also compared these two machines, in their case from a Mac user’s point of view: New MacBook Pro 2023 vs new Surface Book 2 with Performance BaseSpecs Microsoft Surface Book: Specs
Windows 10 Pro
13.5in screen with 3:2 aspect ratio. 3000×2000 pixel resolution
Intel Core i5 or Core i7 Skylake 6th-gen processor
Up to 16GB RAM
Up to 512GB SSD
2x full-size USB 3.0 ports
Full-size SD slot
8Mp rear camera, 5Mp front camera
Front- and rear-facing microphones
Front-facing stereo speakers
Five-point multitouch trackpad
51Wh battery (tablet)
18Wh battery (keyboard)
I prefer to use a sleeve for a couple of main reasons—to carry the notebook more comfortably and safeguard it from scratch. The one with classic design topped by rich workmanship has always been my favorite pick. That’s the prime reason why the Harber MacBook sleeve has fascinated me no end.
But as they say, “All that glitters is not gold,” it would be apt to take a close look at the sleeve before making a surefire conclusion. Hence, I’m going to weigh Harber on four crucial parameters: Design, Durability, Craftsmanship, and Convenience. It would be nice to see how well it stands up to these important aspects.Harber London Leather Sleeve for MacBook Pro and Air Impressive Slim Design
Sporting a pretty slim profile, the sleeve looks really adorable. The handcrafted design further enriches its appearance, while also reinforcing the construction. Refined craftsmanship gives it an executive feel. Hence, you would love to carry it to your office or professional environments.
The smooth-exterior feels pretty nice to the touch, whereas the soft interior offers the desired care to the notebook ensuring it enjoys top-of-the-line comfort.
As for design, I would rate Harber very highly. The svelte design adds yet another feather to its cap. Moreover, it makes a form-fitting match with a laptop
As far as craftsmanship is concerned, the notebook sleeve is at par with the very best in the business. You can’t help admiring its urbane looking appearanceFull Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather
Harber has been carved out of full-grain vegetable-tanned leather. Thanks to the top-grade material; the MacBook sleeve has got enough strength to absorb shock. Incorporated with wool felt lining, it’s capable of resisting scratch. You can trust it to be a long-lasting match for your notebook.
While picking out a fine cover for my laptop, the one quality I never compromise is the quality material. I’m really charmed by the leather texture that will age gracefully. As a result, it will be able to retain its class for long.
The combo of high-grade leather and appreciable workmanship makes this sleeve such a great option. If you have a soft corner for the vintage profile, you will find it right on the money—from the very first moment.
About durability, the laptop sleeve is strong enough to last long. Besides, it can also withstand the impact of minor falls. For normal use, it may just be good enough
For convenience, it’s up to the mark. Due mainly to the enhanced grip and lightweight construction, you will be comfortable while carrying itAvailable in Multiple Color Options and Sizes
With the availability of multiple color variants like tan, black, navy and deep brown, you can choose a more befitting companion for your laptop. Though I find all the color variants impressive, tan has instantly appealed me. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t adored the navy color.
Moreover, Harber comes in multiple sizes. So, you can pick it for your 11 or 12-inch MacBook Air. It’s also available for 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro.The Verdict
To put it straight, Harber is one of the most elegant MacBook sleeves available in the market. Whether it’s excellent design or quality material, it ideally lives up to all the pivotal aspects. If you admire a vintage profile, you’d love to have it on your MacBook.
Full-grain vegetable-tanned leather
Wool felt lining
Smooth leather texture
Buy it from HarberLondon
Let me know what you think of this sleeve and whether or not you would like to pair it with your notebook.
In the meantime take a look at:
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.
Cyber Monday is upon us as now that Black Friday has come and gone, with a collection of the latest from Apple already going on sale. While you’ll find discounts on AirPods, iPhone 13 accessories, and much more, we’re also seeing a number of Cyber Monday Mac deals, too. With price cuts on the more affordable wearables in Apple’s stable kicking off the festivities this year, you can head below for all of the best Mac Cyber Monday deals.M2 MacBook Air and Pro discounts arrive for Cyber Monday
The Mac discounts have slowly been rolling in this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and now that the savings event is officially live, we’re seeing some price cuts land on the latest M2 portable machines from Apple. Courtesy of Amazon, the new 13-inch M2 MacBook Air 256GB is sitting at $1,049 shipped. Also available for the same price at Best Buy. Marked down in all four styles for one of the very first times, this $150 discount arrives from the usual $1,199 going rate. It matches our previous mention, as well.
If you’re looking for a more capable portable machine that ditches some of the flashier features found above, Amazon is also marking down Apple’s latest 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro to $1,149. Normally you’d pay $1,299, with today’s offer arriving at the second-best price to date which is also matched courtesy of Best Buy. At $150 off, we’ve only seen it sell for less once before, and that was back in July. This MacBook Pro configuration steps up to a more powerful package thanks to the built-in active cooling, but ditches the more unique colorways and MagSafe charging found on the M2 Air.Give the gift of macOS with an all-time low on Apple’s M1 MacBook Air
One of this holiday season’s best Apple deals isn’t on the brand’s most recent tech, but instead on one of its most popular offerings in the macOS lineup. Courtesy of Amazon, Apple’s 13-inch M1 MacBook Air 256GB is now down to its best price ever of $799 in several colorways. Normally fetching $999, this $200 discount arrives as the lowest we’ve seen in months at $1 below previous mentions while matching the all-time low.
While it isn’t that all-new version of Apple’s most portable MacBook, there is still something to be said for just how good of a value the original M1 MacBook Air still is, especially with as steep of a discount attached as you’ll find. Centered around a 13-inch Retina display with Apple Silicon under the hood, there’s also a pair of Thunderbolt ports supplemented by Wi-Fi 6 as well as 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. So if you’re looking to put some macOS action under the tree come Christmas, this is your best bet. Get a better idea of its performance in our hands-on review.Apple’s latest M1 Pro MacBooks get in on Cyber Monday savings
Amazon is now offering Apple’s latest 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro 512GB for $2,000 in two styles. Down from the $2,499 price tag you would more regularly pay, today’s offer amounts to $499 in savings in order to deliver a new all-time low. In what will likely be the best price of the Black Friday shopping season, this is $99 under the previous best price and the only time we’ve seen it drop under $2,099.
Apple’s latest flagship MacBook Pro refreshes the popular 16-inch form-factor with a redesign inside and out. The new M1 Pro chip powers the experience and pairs with a 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display backed by ProMotion, 120Hz refresh rates, and 1600 nits of peak brightness. Packed into that new chassis is up to 21-hour battery, as well as a new array of I/O like the return of MagSafe charging, HDMI, three Thunderbolt ports, and more. We also aren’t expecting to see new M2 models drop until March of next year. See why it was our Apple product of the year.
Also on sale ahead of Cyber Monday, the 14-inch version of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro also comes centered around the same design with the M1 Pro chip under the hood. It packs a similar spec sheet as well, just with the 14-inch Retina display instead of the lead deal’s more capable counterpart. And clocking in at $400 under the larger version, it’s worth a look for those who want a less unwieldy addition to their everyday carry with much of the same power. Now down to $1,599.99, you’re also looking at $399 in savings to match the second-best price to date.Save $200 on Apple’s Mac Studio at an all-time low
Trusted retailer Expercom is now offering the Apple Mac Studio M1 Max 10-core 32GB for $1,799. Delivering a new all-time low just in time for the holiday season, you’re looking at $200 in savings from its usual $1,999 price tag. This is $50 under our previous mention from earlier in the fall and the first chance to save in months.
Apple’s all-new Mac Studio arrives as the most powerful M1 machine yet thanks to a series of redesigns both inside and out. For starters, there is the much taller form-factor that sits in the same footprint as Apple’s other desktop headless Macs. That enables a wide array of I/O like four Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 4K HDMI, and more. Then there’s the M1 Max chip and its 10-core design at the center of the package for improved performance. Dive into our hands-on review for a closer look.
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With increasing Air Pollution levels and the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus, people are panic buying face masks. However, most people don’t know the mask they are buying and whether those masks will be effective or not. So, in this article, we will compare the most popular face mask types and let you know their features and shortcomings. We will also discuss if these masks can help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, here are the different masks-type available in the market and their features.What Air Pollution Face Masks You Should Buy
Before we begin, let us first discuss what we mean by air pollution masks and how they work.What are Face Masks and How They Work?
Face Masks as the name suggests are masks that cover your nose and mouth. The masks filter out pollutants when you breathe through them. Thus, ensuring that you are breathing clean and purified air. Most air pollution masks are made of different layers. Each layer is designed for stopping a different pollutant. The three main filters are:
Primary filter – It’s the outer-layer. Its work is to stop all the large particles such as dust and pollen. While it can stop PM10 particulate matter, it cannot remove PM2.5.
Particle filter – The second layer is the particle filter. It’s there to stop the smaller pollutants such as PM2.5.
Carbon filter – Some high-end pollution masks also contain an activated carbon filter that filters out the gaseous pollutants that cannot be trapped by either primary or particle filter.
“PM10 and PM2.5 refer to particulate matters that are 10 micrometers and 2.5 micrometers in size. Since these particulates are so small, they stay in the air for a long time and can easily pass through our nasal cavity and accumulate in our lungs causing breathing problems, asthma, and even prolonged heart and lung diseases.”Types of Air Pollution Face Masks
Surgery Masks (Face Masks)
Surgery masks are simple face masks most people use (see picture below). Surgery masks are often made in different thicknesses and are designed only to protect you against contact and liquid. They are there to provide a barrier between your mouth and nose and environment. A good quality surgery mask if worn properly can help block droplets, splashes, and splatter that may contain germs.
But that’s all it can do. It cannot stop smaller particles resulting from sneezes or air pollutants like PM particles and gaseous air pollutants. So, it makes no sense to wear these masks. They only bring a false sense of protection. It’s even more true for the over-the-counter masks we buy as they are not put through any standard checks.
N95 Air Masks
N95 air masks are the basic air pollution masks that everyone should wear for protection against air pollution. It can filter 95% of all air pollutants including some part of PM2.5 pollutants. But this cannot protect you against oil-based pollutants. A good thing about these masks is that you can wash them and use them for six months before you need to replace them. N95 masks are available in several designs. When shopping for this mask, choose one with a separate air valve for exhaled air. This will prevent the building of moisture and fogging of spectacles.
N99 and N100 masks
These are premium masks and can filter particles like PM2.5 with 99% and 99.97% efficiency. They are great for people living in highly polluted cities like New Delhi. If you cannot find these masks, buy at least the N95 mask. Also, like N95, these masks are not good against oil-based pollutants, so keep that in mind.
If you want total protection, you should buy the P95 masks. The major difference between the P-series and N-series masks is that the former can stop the oil-based pollutants while the latter cannot. However, this also means that P95 masks are costly, not readily available, and require replacement after just 40 hours of use. That’s why these masks are meant for industrial usage and are not recommended for everyday use.
These are the main masks types. If you look at the masks’ name, you might have realized that the numbers and letters stand for specific properties. In the table below, I have concisely explained everything.
NNot Oil Resistant (Only stops Airborne Particulate)
ROil Resistant (Stops Airborne Particulate as well as oil-based pollutants to some extent)
POil Proof (Stops Airborne Particulate as well as oil-based pollutants )
95Stops 95% of Airborne Particles
99Stops 99% of Airborne Particles
100Stops 99.99% of Airborne Particles
So, those are the mask types that you can buy for protecting yourself against air pollution. If you don’t remember the different mask types, just remember the table, and it will help you figure out the mask you are buying.Can The Face Masks Protect You Against COVID-19
One of the biggest questions that I have seen people ask is whether these masks can protect a person against COVID-19. Well, the short answer is no. As I have mentioned above, the surgery masks cannot stop smaller droplets that people release during sneezing, and hence, you can still inhale and contract COVID-19 while wearing the mask.
So, to be extra careful, use sanitizer or wash hands whenever you touch your mask. That’s why it’s still a better option to isolate yourself if you want to protect yourself. Masks can help you stop spreading COVID-19 to other people if you have already contracted the virus. But again, the best option is to self-quarantine yourself and seek professional medical help.Choose the Best Air Pollution Mask for You
There have been many months that I’ve questioned why I’m paying the monthly subscription to Photoshop when there are programs like GIMP that seem to do almost the same thing for free. So with the idea of saving a few bucks every month, I tried GIMP to see if it could replace Photoshop in my regular editing workflow. Although there were some pretty great things about GIMP, I can’t say it offered enough to make me jump ship from Photoshop.
However, for some, GIMP could be a perfect option to get started with, depending on what you need out of an editing program. So here’s everything you need to know about GIMP Vs Photoshop, what to consider about each program, and why I’m not going to be canceling my Adobe subscription anytime soon.What Is GIMP?
GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free, open-source raster-based image processor. The program is commonly used for photo editing, manipulation, and retouching, as well as free-form drawing and converting files into different formats.
GIMP was not designed for digital drawing and graphic design. However, the program has tools and features available for these functions, but not on a professional level. The program is well-suited for individuals doing a one-off image editing project for an assignment or showing a mock-up.
The program is also a good starting point for beginners who want to try photo editing and basic graphic design tasks before committing to a subscription-based program. It can also be used to make minor adjustments for clients by a freelancer trying to break into the industry.
However, the downside is that the program may experience glitches and bugs occasionally since it’s open source. You may also find limitations with the software when editing photos as the features, capabilities, and tools are limited compared to other programs such as Photoshop.
GIMP will likely be complex for users who aren’t familiar with any graphics editing programs. However, the interface is clean, and each tool offers a lengthy description to help you learn the various functions.
Free and open-source software
Raster-based editing capabilities
Easy learning curve for beginners
Similar interface to Adobe products
Limited editing tools and features
Capabilities not at an industry-level standardWhat Is Photoshop?
Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based photo editing, manipulation, and retouching program that is used by creative professionals worldwide. The software has been labeled the industry-standard leader among photographers and graphic designers.
The program allows you to edit images down to individual pixels while preserving quality. You can also do certain graphic design processes, such as website design, as there are certain vector processing capabilities.
Photoshop is a useful tool for users who want to create professional work in the photography, graphic design, or digital marketing industry, as well as many others. The program is used by interior designers and architects too.
Not only can users use the program to manipulate photos on a high level, such as removing objects, adding objects, or manipulating features, but they can also use Photoshop as a tool for creating mockups, text effects, and so much more.
Photoshop constantly evolves and offers more in-depth tools and features, including many AI functions that speed up your workflow and seamlessly complete complex tasks. The program has several tools, features, and capabilities, and even experts need to consistently learn the new functions and features as the program evolves.
While Photoshop offers several capabilities, it is a steep learning curve for users to get used to the program.
High-level editing and graphic design tools and features
Constant updates and bug fixes by a dedicated Adobe team
Regular intuitive AI developments
Subscription-based and costly for beginners
A steep learning curve, especially for users new to editing softwareComparing Features Of GIMP Vs Photoshop
To decide which program is the best for you, it helps to compare the features of both programs head-to-head. I will compare the general photo editing, graphic design, and drawing capabilities and features to show you what each program offers.
Whether you are new to design software or looking to upgrade your programs, the comparisons below will help you see which program is better for you.General Capabilities
GIMP is primarily a photo editing program, so the general capabilities relate to editing raster-based images. Users can manipulate and edit photos in various ways, such as cropping, resizing, and creating new image compositions.
The program has a crop tool, multiple selection tools, a path tool, a type tool, and various color tools, which provide users with the necessary functions to apply basic edits and create new compositions.
GIMP is limited in vector-based tools as there are no shape tools, so users can’t create logos or vector graphics unless drawing freehand or by using paths.
GIMP offers limited adjustment layers, such as Curves, Levels, Saturation, and more. This enables users to add effects and adjust the colors on images.
The program also has several filters, such as noise, animation, and web filters. You can use these filters on photos to create unique effects.
Users can edit and save files in multiple common formats, including PSD, PNG, JPEG, WebP, PDF, GIF, and more.
The interface is relatively clean and straightforward, which helps beginners learn the program more efficiently. The tools offer a description for new users to know what the tool will accomplish. There is also a large online community with helpful tutorials and experienced users to assist new users.
Photoshop is primarily a photo editing program but offers vector-based tools and other functions that allow for specific graphic design and digital drawing possibilities. This enables users to crop, re-color, and manipulate photos and create digital marketing material, such as social media posts and website banners.
There are currently over 69 tools in Photoshop, and every Photoshop tool has a function to work on photos or new designs. You will find more tools and processes in Photoshop than GIMP, as you also have specific vector tools in Photoshop, such as shape tools.
There are several selection tools in Photoshop, including more tools than GIMP. In addition, many of Photoshop’s selection tools are taking on AI capabilities, such as the Select Subject feature.
Photoshop has a panel of adjustment layers, including Curves, Levels, Black-and-White, Hue/Saturation, and Color Balance. You can use these to correct colors or create unique photo effects.
The program also offers several filters, including Noise, Distort, and Blur. Photoshop offers better filters than GIMP when looking at Neural filters, which use AI to complete complex tasks, such as adding color to a black-and-white or sepia-tone photo when restoring old photos.
Photoshop is compatible with a more extensive range of common file formats than GIMP, which offers the main ones users likely need. You can open and export files as PSD, PDF, GIF, PNG, JPEG, WebP, PSB, TIFF, and more. The main format that stands out is the ability to open and process RAW image files.
Photoshop’s interface is complex and can be daunting to beginners unfamiliar with similar software. The learning curve is steep, but everything makes sense once you learn the program and get used to the interface.
Photoshop also has a fully customizable workspace to save different tools and panels for different workflows.
Both programs use layers to allow for selective edits, and the two programs also have general retouching tools. You can access various brushes in both programs, although Photoshop has more default brush presets available.
Personally, I find that GIMP is not as intuitive, and some of the processes are awkward, such as the text feature where each letter is placed in a separate box while editing it. The adjustment controls are busy and confusing. Photoshop is more straightforward in how you use tools and functions. The panels are cleaner and more straightforward to use and understand.Photo Editing Capabilities
Since these two programs are designed for photo editing, it is the space where both programs shine. Both programs allow users to edit photos using non-destructive editing techniques. Common image editing processes include exposure edits, object removal, and color grading functions.
In GIMP, you can find exposure edits in the adjustment options, especially the Exposure, Curves, Levels, Shadows/Highlights, and Brightness/Contrast adjustments. You can use any of these features to edit the exposure by darkening, lightening, or changing the image’s contrast.
You can apply these effects to the entire image, a layer, or a selection for more selective edits.
GIMP also offers object removal features, which include the Clone Tool, Perspective Clone, and Healing Tool. These tools can all be used to remove objects or retouch certain areas of the photo.
Using the Levels or Curves adjustments, you can create color grading effects in GIMP. The Levels option works to correct the white balance of an image, while Curves allows you to add creative color grading effects to the photos by using the RGB curves.
In Photoshop, you can access the same adjustment options as GIMP to adjust the exposure of an image. In this regard, the exposure edit capabilities are tied. You can produce similar edits in both programs using the adjustment options.
For instance, you can use the Levels adjustment in Photoshop to adjust the image’s exposure.
Object removal in Photoshop is excellent, and there are several functions to achieve these edits. You have access to the same tools as GIMP, plus more, such as the Patch Tool and Content-Aware Fill.
Photoshop added a new tool in the May 2023 version 24.5 update called the Remove Tool, which uses AI to accurately remove objects by merely brushing over them, simplifying the process of removing objects from photos.Graphic Design Capabilities
Photo editing and graphic design are often interchangeable practices used by many creative professionals. This is why having a program with certain graphic design capabilities is important.
GIMP offers limited graphic design capabilities and can be used to create basic designs for school, college projects, or once-off designs. However, the program isn’t suited for more complex and professional designs.
GIMP offers a text tool that allows you to add text to the canvas and format the text by changing the color, spacing, font, and more. The tool is relatively easy to use but slightly awkward in how you add and edit text in the design.
GIMP falls short in shape creation as there are no straightforward shape tools to use, which is limiting when designing web assets and posters. There is a workaround where you can use the selection tools or the pen tool to create shapes, but this limits the editing capabilities of the shapes.
Selection tools are essential when creating designs for web and print, as they allow you to cut out and rearrange objects in the layout. GIMP has basic selection tools, such as rectangle and ellipse select, freehand select, and color-based selection tools.
These tools allow for basic selections but make it challenging to create complex selections, such as selecting a subject to cut out of the background. This limits users in the graphic design capabilities.
GIMP only works with the RGB color mode, which limits users from designing artwork for print. Print projects must be in CMYK color mode to print correctly without any color inconsistencies.
Photoshop has vertical and horizontal type tools, which gives users more flexibility when adding text to designs. The Type Tools are straightforward and allow users to customize the text by changing the color, font, size, and other text formatting options, such as kerning and spacing adjustments. Users can also easily add images or patterns to the text.
The program has shape tools, including basic shapes and custom shapes. This allows users to easily draw shapes to add to the design and create logos and other marketing material using vector shapes.
Photoshop has the same selection tools that GIMP has, plus more. The selection tools are more intuitive and allow users to make more selections in designs, such as using the Object Selection Tool to remove the background or isolate objects for edits.
Users can work in a fully CMYK color mode in Photoshop, allowing them to create designs for print that are correctly colored without causing any color deviations on print. This means Photoshop is more suited for digital and print graphic design purposes.
Photoshop is also easy to work in alongside Adobe’s other graphic design programs, such as Illustrator and InDesign, to create cohesive designs on a professional level.Drawing Features
Neither of these programs is recommended for digital artists if drawing is the primary purpose. These programs weren’t designed for creating artwork. I recommend Adobe Fresco, Procreate, Krita, or Inkscape if you need a dedicated drawing app.
However, GIMP and Photoshop do offer basic drawing tools that you can use on digital projects and images.
GIMP offers a few tools for drawing, including the Paintbrush, Pencil, Airbrush, Ink, and MyPaint Brush tool. These tools all provide different types of drawing capabilities. The Paintbrush tool is similar to the Brush Tool in Photoshop.
Each brush tool offers the same brush presets, which is limited. However, the MyPaint Brush tool provides a more extensive selection of brush presets to create unique drawings on the canvas. The tool is linked to the free program called MyPaint.
When using the other brush tools, there are several settings to customize the brush presets, including Size, Angle, Jitter, Opacity, and more.
You can also change the blending mode of the brush. GIMP offers more blending mode options than Photoshop.
Photoshop also offers limited drawing tools, which include the Brush Tool, Pencil Tool, Color Replacement Tool, and Mixer Brush Tool. The Brush and Pencil tools offer simple brush strokes, but the Color Replacement and Mixer Tools offer more creative drawing functions.
The tools offer several brush presets to choose from, and users can create or load new brush presets.
You can adjust basic settings using the Options bar, such as the Brush Size, Flow, Smoothing, Opacity, and Hardness.
There is also a full Brush Settings panel for more complex setting adjustments, including Spacing, Jitter, Smoothing, and more.
Photoshop also offers several Blending Modes for the brushes.
While neither program offers in-depth tools for digital drawing on the level of creating Manga, Comics, or Animations, there are basic drawing tools in both programs with a decent amount of settings and brush presets to choose from.
Winner: TiedGIMP Vs Photoshop – Which Is Better Overall?
Photoshop has several high-level photo editing and graphic design capabilities, with a decent range of drawing tools. The program also supports and saves files in multiple common and useful file formats. Photoshop is also a much-needed tool in a professional graphic designer’s toolkit as it works hand-in-hand with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign to offer a complete package.
The program works non-destructively on high-quality RAW images to produce stunning compositions and can also be used to create digital designs from scratch.
If you are looking for a once-off photo editor with a few graphic design and drawing capabilities, a free program such as GIMP is ideal, as you don’t need to commit to a yearly subscription.
GIMP offers all the essential tools and functions a beginner or hobbyist would need without the yearly price tag. The tools and features available in GIMP are impressive and can produce good results. However, the drawbacks prevent the program from being used professionally.
When it all boils down, Photoshop allows users to imagine and create professional-standard photo edits and designs using the almost endless tools, filters, and features available. However, while Photoshop offers a lot, there are instances where it won’t be the right program.Who Should Use GIMP?
GIMP is an excellent choice for beginners and hobbyists who want to try out photo editing and graphic design to see if it is something they want to pursue. You can also use the program to start as a freelancer and gain some clients before spending money on a paid program.
GIMP is ideal for making quick one-off adjustments when you don’t need an extensive range of tools. For instance, it can be used for basic image adjustments such as cropping, exposure edits, and basic color grading.
This program is an excellent choice to use alongside free graphic design software such as Canva.Who Should Use Photoshop?
If you are a serious hobbyist or professional needing to create industry-level compositions and designs, you need to have a capable program such as Photoshop. The program allows you to manipulate photos in ways you may not know are possible.
Photoshop also has the capacity to keep images high-quality while adding creative elements. The program is also suited for creating digital and print marketing materials. You can professionally design posters, websites, YouTube banners, and logos in Photoshop.
Photoshop is the best choice for professionals or businesses looking for a high-quality image editor capable of various graphic design tasks. The program is the right choice for anyone able to pay for the software, as Photoshop comes at a monthly fee with an annual commitment in most cases.
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