But the Air is guaranteed to run silently forever, whereas the Pro is apparently inaudible when operating normally. I’d certainly research the Skype/Meet use case for fan noise before going that route.
Both are fully capable of performing your tasks.
I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I did: I got the Air because this is my secondary machine and it’ll be used for travel. I love that it’s utterly silent. Also, if the choice is between a better equipped Air and a lesser equipped Pro (that is, if you’d forego a RAM or storage upgrade on the Pro because it costs more) then I’d go with the Air. Otherwise they’re both fantastic machines and I think either would be fine for your use. (If you use it for long periods without plugging in, that favours the Pro)
If you’re happy to watch films on a small screen I assume (maybe wrongly) that you’re not that bothered by the small benefit of the Pro’s screen, and if you are, buy a cable and plug it into a fancy TV or use AirPlay!
I tried both, and found the Air is perfect for my needs. Videoconferencing is great on it, as is watching media. I always use headphones when using a laptop, so the speaker upgrade doesn’t make a difference to me, and the screen is more than good enough.
I much prefer typing in the Air due to the profile, I found the hard edge of the Pro uncomfortable for longer writing sessions.
Any I love that I can do intensive coding sessions and not have a fan kick in.
I live in Thailand and use the Air on my lap without air con using Final Cut Pro.
The only time I’ve noticed heat that wasn’t equivalent to having a tray of marking on my lap was when it was plugged in AND doing the initial setting up.
It is as good as hype. Actually it’s better because I didn’t believe it would be cool in ambient temperatures of 35 deg C. ymmv
For clarity, I completely agree with @cornchip .
As long as the machine behaves as intended, you won’t notice the fans by all accounts, so there’s no reason to avoid them. The counterpoint is not that “no fan” is better, it is that “no fan” is an equally viable option.
The fan does not affect the working temperature of the machine much as far as I can tell, it affects how hard the machine can work at Apple’s chosen Mac temperature.
What a great pair of machines!
I have the Pro and I did manage to make the fans go with an unoptimised video transcode. Compared to the fans in my 2016 model I had a couple of years back it’s really not that loud. I have external hard drives that are louder. We’re used to “rocket ship” fan noises, but I don’t think that’ll even be possible on (current) M1 hardware.
The one other benefit of the Pro is longer battery life. I think it’s 20 vs 17 watching video. Not a lot in the scheme of things but it is a difference.
I went for a pro with 2TB SSD and 16GB. It was replacing a 2013 MBP 15" so a gigantic leap forward for me.
It’s my primary machine and I haven’t had any fan noise even when doing 3D CAD rendering.
Definitely a +1 for the pro if that’s any help. But either way well worth it!
As an aside the battery life is truely astonishing. I can easily get around 10-14 hours of work done using CAD software.