The new iPad Pro looks sleek with angular build and edge-to-edge design. It offers excellent compatibility with a wide range of accessories. It is competing with its sibling, the new iPad Air, which is more affordable, even compared to the basic new iPad Pro variant. So, iPad Pro vs. iPad Air, which one to choose?
Both tablets have razor-thin bezels and edge-to-edge display design. Although the bezels are still thicker than on regular smartphone, the larger display still make them quite thin. At first glance, the new iPad Pro and iPad Air look quite identical, but the bezels of iPad Air is slightly thicker. The iPad Air doesn’t have Face ID, but its power button also doubles as Touch ID. It should be responsive and super quick to use. If you want a more convenient biometric solution, iPad Pro is a better selection with its Face ID. The iPad Pro won’t prompt you to touch the power button, each time you use it. If you seek an extra flair to your new tablet, the iPad Air is more interesting with pink, blue or green case. This time, the new iPad Air supports the Magic Keyboard and the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Both tablets have flat edge that can connect magnetically to the Apple Pencil. With their identical dimensions, both tablets also support Magic Keyboard. With the changes in design, the new iPad Air gives you a “Pro” experience.
With their large displays, both tablets need to ensure excellent clarity when reading text, checking images and playing games. The 10.9-inch (1640 x 2360) display of iPad Air offers 264 ppi pixel density, while the iPad Pro 11-inch gives us 265 ppi pixel density (1668 x 2388). Although still with LCD displays, both tablets offer deep black levels. They have unique brightness and vivid colours, which benefit you for outdoor usages. At 600 nits, the new iPad Pro has slightly brighter display, although the difference is barely noticeable. If you love playing games, the iPad Pro 11-inch is a better choice with 120Hz display, while the new iPad Air still with 60Hz display.
In terms of processing power, the new iPad Air wins with the A14 Bionic processor. The larger iPad Pro still uses the older A12Z processor. This processor is an improved version of A12 Bionic with 8 cores, instead of 6. The newer A14 only has 6 cores, but uses 5nm manufacturing process for better performance and efficiency. In terms of computational performance, both are fairly equal. However, the A14 comes with built-in AI and faster GPU for gaming performance. The iPad Pro has up to 1TB of internal storage and the lowest variant with 128GB of storage. Also, with 6GB of RAM, multitasking performance should be adequate. As comparison, the top trim of iPad Air only has 256GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.
Cameras on tablets are not as advanced or usable than on smartphones. Both tablets have 12MP f/1.8 cameras, which produce excellent results. However, if you want to get better photos, the iPad Pro is much better with LIDAR autofocus and quad LED flash. Even so, the A14 chipset for the iPad Air has an AI technology that can post-process your photos for more favourable results. The iPad Pro also has the second 10MP ultra-wide angle camera, which gives you more expansive photo results. The 7MP front-facing cameras on both tablets are adequate for casual social media uses.
If pricing is a major concern, the new iPad Air is $200 cheaper than the basic iPad Pro variant. Consequently, iPad Air users get less convenient biometrics, smaller display, much reduced refresh rate and less capable camera. With its 5nm processor, the iPad Air should perform better for single-core operations, but iPad Pro should win the race for multi-core performance with its eight cores. With this iPad Pro vs. iPad Air comparison, you may have a clearer idea of what to choose.