Want to know what is the difference between iPad Air and iPad Pro? Read this detailed iPad Air vs iPad Pro comparison of the best tablets from Apple:
iPad is the best tablet among all that available in the market. It’s powerful, stylish, and very easy to use.
With so many models available, it often gets difficult to choose one from them. Among various models, iPad Air and iPad Pro are the two most power-packed models from Apple. And if you want performance, you are likely to pick one of these two iPad variants.
In this article, we will help you decide and select one of these two. We will take you through their specifications, designs, functions, and everything they offer. Consider what they offer and how they differ from each other to make your pick.
What You Will Learn:
iPad Air VS iPad Pro: Which Is Better?
Both these models are made for strong performance, but they differ a little in specifications.
iPad Air comes with a standard A14 Bionic processor while Apple has stepped up a notch with iPad Pro that gets the ultra-powerful Apple M1 chip. For most people, this isn’t a big deal, but those who are into graphic designing and video editing will know that can make all the difference.
M1 is comparatively a more powerful chip. And while Air and Pro both have Neural Engine, Pro’s is Next-generation with 8-core CPU and graphics. If you want a tablet that can deliver a laptop-like performance with its 64-bit desktop-class architecture, iPad Pro is the winner.
#2) Storage Options
Both iPad Air and iPad Pro come with similar storage options. However, Air offers storage up to 256GB bit with Pro, you get up to 1TB.
If you do little with tour Tablet, 256 GB storage works just fine. However, if you edit photos and videos, carry a lot of files and apps on your device and that will need a bigger storage option like 1TB.
Both devices have extremely different displays. iPad Air comes with a 10.5-inch screen with a Liquid Retina display. While you get two options with iPad Pro- 11-inch and 12.9-inch screens with Liquid Retina XDR display.
Pro also comes with an additional feature called ProMotion Technology that provides an adaptive refresh rate of 10Hz to 120Hz. iPad Pro is more powerful as compared to iPad Air, but unless you need powerful performance from your tablet, iPad Air should be enough for you.
#4) Camera & Battery
iPads are not known for their cameras, so don’t expect to be blown away in this area. However, you will find decent cameras on both of them. iPad Pro comes with a 12MP main rear sensor plus a 10MP ultra-wide back camera as compared to a 12MP regular snapper on iPad Air.
For the front camera, Pro is laced with a 12MP camera with an ultra-wide lens while Air is on a more traditional side with its 7MP camera. Pro also has an additional feature called Center Stage. It allows its camera to follow you around the room when you are recording a video or on a video call.
iPad Air and Pro both come with Digital zoom up to 5x. However, Pro also has an additional 2x optical zoom-out and Brighter True Tone flash. So, yes, you can expect Pro to take better pictures of you as compared to Air.
Both iPads deliver the same result on the battery aspect. Both Pro and Air provide 10 hours of browsing and watching videos over Wi-Fi and 9 hours on the mobile data network. They both offer USB-C charging, while Pro also supports Thunderbolt/USB 4 charging.
#5) CPU, GPU, and RAM
iPad Air comes with 6-cores CPU and 4-cores GPU, while Pro has an 8-core CPU and GPU. Needless to say, this makes iPad Pro faster than iPad Air. However, a Hexa-core CPU is good even for gamers. But for gamers that stream, an Octa-core CPU improves the end results significantly.
Talking about RAM, the 12.9-in iPad Pro comes with 8GB or 16GB RAM as compared to 6GB of 11-in iPad Pro and 4GB of iPad Air. So, expect a better performance from the latest iPad Pro as compared to the other two.
Design is the biggest difference between iPad Air and iPad Pro.
Apple gave iPad Pro a major design upgrade last year, making it look as expensive as it is and a whole lot modern. Pro now comes with an edge-to-edge screen, limited bezels, and rounded corners. Pro also uses touch gestures and face ID for navigation and security instead of a traditional home button or touch ID that Air still uses.
iPad Air has a footprint of 9.8 x 6.8 inches, just a little smaller as compared to that of the 11-inch iPad Pro’s 9.74 x 7.02-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s 11.04 x 8.46 inches dimension. And for thickness, all three of them are very similar.
So, if you want an ultra-thin tablet, you can pick any of the three. But if you want something that’s unique and modern looking, iPad Pro is your tablet.
Since both devices run on iPadOS, using either of them delivers the same experience. You can multitask in them, use apps, browse the Internet, and do a lot of things. Both versions support Second-generation Apple Pencil.
However, unlocking them is different. iPad Pro needs facial ID recognition while Air uses the touch ID home button. They come with Smart Connectors that allow you to use Apple’s Smart Keyboard. You can also use Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio and higher-end Magic Keyboard.
For iPad Air with 64GB storage, pay $599 and for 256GB, the price rises to $749. If you want mobile connectivity, add an additional $130 to the cost of the Wi-Fi-only model to get the LTE support. There is no 128GB option for Air.
128GB 11-inch iPad Pro is available for $799, just $50 over iPad Air, and the 256GB version is available for $899. While for its 512GB variant, you will have to pay $1099. Add $200 to these prices to get both WiFi and cellular support for Pro.
As evident, the 12.9-inch variant of Pro is the most expensive of them all. 128GB 12.9-inch Pro with only Wi-Fi support costs $1099, while 256GB and 512GB costs $1199 and $1399 respectively. For an extra $200, you can get cellular support as well.
Key Differences Between iPad Air And iPad Pro
|iPad Air||iPad Pro 11-in||iPad Pro-12.9-in|
|Price||$599(64GB), $749(256GB)||$799(64GB), $899(256GB), $1099(512GB)||$1099(128GB), $1199(256GB), $1399(512GB)|
|Processor||A14 Bionic||M1 chip||M1 chip|
|Storage||Up to 256GB||Up to 1TB||Up to 2TB|
|Display||10.5-inch screen with a Liquid Retina display||11-inch screen with Liquid Retina XDR display||12.9-inch screen with Liquid Retina XDR display|
|Camera||Back: 12MP regular snapper|
Digital Zoom: 5X
|Back: 12MP main rear sensor plus a 10MP ultra-wide|
Front: 12MPwith an ultra-wide lens
Digital Zoom : 5X plus 2x optical zoom-out
|Back: 12MP main rear sensor plus a 10MP ultra-wide
Front: 12MPwith an ultra-wide lens
Digital Zoom : 5X plus 2x optical zoom-out
|Battery||10 hours of browsing and watching videos over WiFi, 9 hours on the mobile data network, USB-C charging||10 hours of browsing and watching videos over WiFi, 9 hours on the mobile data network, USB-C charging, Thunderbolt/USB 4 charging||10 hours of browsing and watching videos over WiFi, 9 hours on the mobile data network, USB-C charging, Thunderbolt/USB 4 charging|
|RAM||4GB||6GB||8GB or 16GB|
|Unlocking||Touch ID||Facial ID||Facial ID|
|Display Size||10.86 inches||11 inches||12.9 inches|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) Should students get iPad Air or Pro?
Answer: Air is a good option for students for several reasons. It has many features of Pro but for a lesser price. Unless you want your tablet to work as a laptop or you need a bigger screen than Air, we highly recommend students should go for iPad Air.
Q #2) Why should I buy an iPad Air instead of an iPad?
Answer: If you need a tablet for playing games and surfing the Internet, probably not. But if you want something to do more with a tablet with a sleeker design and a bigger screen, iPad Air will be a better option.
Q #3) Why do you need cellular on an iPad?
Answer: The Wi-Fi-only version of iPads will need access to Wi-Fi for functioning. So, if you travel a lot and your iPad is your primary computer, cellular data will make sense. It will allow you to continue working even when there is no WiFi coverage.
Q #4) What iPad do artists use?
Answer: Apple iPad pro has everything an artist might need. It comes with the tools for illustrators, designers, artists, animators, and all types of artists around the world. It has the proper software, second-generation Apple Pencil support, and a big beautiful display.
Q #5) What generation is the newest iPad Air?
Answer: The newest iPad Air is a 4th generation that comes with10.9-inch Retina touchscreen along with an A14 Bionic processor. It was launched in October 2020.
Q #6) Can you make phone calls on an iPad with cellular?
Answer: No. iPad models with Wi-Fi and cellular don’t support calling services. You can only use its data services. To make calls from an iPad, you will need an iPhone and Wi-Fi calling.
Q #7) What is the newest iPad Pro generation?
Answer: The newest iPad Pro generation is the 5th generation. It was released on May 2021 and comes with a 12.9-inch screen, M1 chip, and runs on iPadOS 15.0.1. It weighs 1.51 pounds, which is a little heavier than iPad Air and 11-inch Pro.
Q #8) What is the difference between WiFi only and WiFi and cellular?
Answer: The WiFi-only version connects only with WiFi. It will not connect if you are not in the WiFi range. But WiFi and cellular will connect with WiFi and cellular data if you have signed up for one.
iPad Air comes with a lot of punch and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you just want the best tablet, Air does the job and is fairly powerful for its price range. But if you want a tablet that delivers a laptop-level performance and you can afford to spend a fortune on it, iPad Pro is the best choice.
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With Pro, you will pay a premium for its speed and high-end specification. And if you want to buy a keyboard, well, they also come expensive. If you are going for an iPad Pro, you also need to decide the right screen size for you.
If you are a video editor or a graphic designer, the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be a good option for you. Otherwise, you can settle for the 11-inch Pro.