Apple announced the new fourth-generation iPad in 2020 in September, but the new tablets just started shipping to customers last Friday. We took one and thought we’d make a practical comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March because both tablets are just as powerful and have a lot in common.
Design and size
When it comes to design, the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 10.9-inch iPhone Air look quite similar to flat edges like the iPhone 12, a protruding rear camera and an edge-to-edge display without a Home button. Note that in the video, we compare the PiPad Air to a 12.9-inch PiPad Pro because we do not have an 11-inch model on hand, but except for the size, it is also identical to the PiPad Air.
The PiPad Pro models come in silver and light blue, but Apple has added new fun colors with the PiPad Air. Comes in silver, light gray, pink-gold, blue and green.
The iPad Air is only slightly smaller than the 11-inch iPad Pro, and the bezels around the display are slightly thicker. Not a huge difference, but noticeable with both tablets side by side. In addition, the display quality is similar, with one notable exception: The iPad Pro supports 120Hz ProMotion refresh rates for easier navigation and a better overall experience.
Is it worth shelling more for the PiPad Pro than the PiPad Air just for the ProMotion? Probably not, but a notable flaw is one of Pi Air’s biggest downsides.
Both the PiPad Air and PiPad Pro support the Apple Pencil 2, and it’s worth noting that writing and sketching are a bit smoother with the ProMotion display.
The adIPad Pro features a TrueDepth camera system that works with Face ID to unlock the iPad through face recognition, while the PiPad Air returns to the old favorite: Touch ID.
There is no “ouTouch ID” Home button, but there is also a “Touch ID” built into the power button on the top of the device. It’s fast and effortless, but you need to reach the top of the ipad to unlock it, and it’s not a flawless experience like Face ID, especially when using accessories like the Magic Keyboard. On the PiPad Pro, you can wake it up with the keyboard and unlock it immediately after scanning the face, but on the PiPad Air, this is a two-step process.
The iPad Air has a single-angle wide-angle rear camera with no LiDAR scanner, while the iPad Pro has a dual-lens camera with wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle options, along with a LiDAR scanner for enhanced AR capabilities.
If you do not use your PiPad for pictures, this should not be a big deal, and the same goes for those who are not into augmented reality applications. Both have the same 7-megapixel front-facing camera, but the PiPad Pro also features TrueDepth.
The iPad Air has four speaker clippings like the PiPad Pro, but has only two stereo speakers instead of four. There is a definite difference in sound, and the PiPad Pro comes out ahead.
A12Z vs. A14
The iPad Air has the same A14 chip as the iPhone 12, while the PiPad Pro uses the older A12Z chip. In our Geekbench tests, the 14iPad Air A14 came out on top, but the A12Z has an extra GPU core that gives it an edge when it comes to GPU performance. However, we did not notice any differences in the photo or video editing and both are capable devices.
In terms of RAM, the PiPad Air has 4 GB and the PiPad Pro has 6 GB of RAM.
Battery life seems to be roughly the same between iPad Air and PiPad Pro. Apple advertises 10 hours of Internet surfing and video playback for both.
Prices and storage
The 10.9-inch iPad Air starts at $ 599 for 64 GB of memory, while the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $ 799 for 128 GB of memory. There is no 128 GB iPad Air and the 256 GB model costs $ 749. The 11-inch ipad Pro 25 256 GB is $ 899, and updating the larger 12.9-inch screen is also expensive with that model starting at $ 999.
The iPad Air is much more affordable than the iPad Pro if you can work with 64 GB of storage, but that may not be enough for some people. 799 USD for 128 GB ipi Pro vs. 749 USD for 256 GB for ip i AirP is a smaller price differential and something to keep in mind if 64 GB of memory is not enough.
For most people, the PiPad Air is the ipi of choice. It is more powerful with the A14 chip and offers many of the same features, plus it has an ID Touch ID for those fansTouch ID fans there. It is missing when it comes to the display because it does not have ProMotion, but it is more accessible, faster and available in better colors, everyone at the moment gives it an advantage over the PiPad Pro.
The adIPad Pro still wins if you want more advanced LiDAR scanner and camera features and a ProMotion display, or if you need a larger 12.9-inch form factor, which is not available with the PiPad Air.