iPad Pro 2020 vs iPad Air 4 Comparison
The Apple iPad is considered the best tablet overall, with the iPad Pro being the primary choice for folks that want a powerful tablet workhorse. It continues to be popular among remote workers and learners, but with the iPad Air getting a new model – one of the most common questions we get asked by consumers who are considering to purchase an iPad from us is - Which one should I get?
The answer isn’t as simple and the best tablet really depends on what use case we need to consider. Both iPads share a lot of features and support iPadOS, now get support for Keyboard, Trackpad and Mouse, as well as support the Apple Pencil 2 and Apple’s Smart Keyboards.
Chipset / Processor
The iPad Pro has Apple’s A12z chip, it is an older chip compared to the A14 chip in the iPad Air. From a chipset perspective, the A14 comes out on top in several tests – but we have to take a look at the whole rather than just the sum of its parts.
The iPad Pro which has the A12Z chip has an octa-core setup with 8 CPU and GPU cores, versus the 6-Core CPU and 4 GPU cores with the A14 chip configuration on the Air. Overall the iPad Pro will still offer more Pro-type performance for more intense workloads like those involving graphics intensive workloads, and multi-threading apps and processes which a multi-core CPU will help with. So while the A14 chip is faster, due to the octa-core config of the Pro, it would remain the more consistent performer for more intense workloads.
Both iPads have a thinner bezel design, however the iPad Air is has a bit thicker bezels compared to the pro though not by much. The iPad Pro however does support Pro-Motion and thus has a faster screen up to 120hz, which helps in graphics intensive tasks and a smoother experience in real-world use, though a lot of people might not notice. Both support about 264 ppi (2224x1668 resolution).
The iPad Pro screen is brighter and can max at 600 nits, while the air maxes out at 500 nits. This only becomes a factor when you use the iPad outdoors a lot and the brighter screen helps.
The iPad Pro supports face ID just like the recent iPhones. The iPad Air on the other hand supports a fingerprint recognition on the power button, which is a cool feature given the pandemic situation where face-ID may not work optimally if you are wearing a mask.
The front facing cameras are the same for both, however the rear camera will have an advantage towards the Pro due to the 12MP camera on the iPad Pro which also has a LiDAR scanner, and 10MP ultra-wide lens. Both can shoot 4k video with the same frame rates.
The iPad Pro and Air has similar battery life at approximately 10 hours of use with web, video and normal usage.
The iPad Air starts out with a 64GB storage, which is fine if you use mostly internet and cloud apps, and specially if you subscribe to additional storage on iCloud. The 128GB base config on the Pro gives a bit more flexibility, though some users may find 256GB to be a good balance. But with both tablets getting USB-C support, its fairly easy to hook up external storage options so the 64GB storage isn’t as much of a deal breaker compared to the past.
The 64GB iPad Air is an excellent value vs the iPad Pro in terms of pricing as there is a significant price difference between the two, with the Air offering somewhat similar compute in some situations. However when you start to compare the 128GB Pro vs the 256GB Air, the price difference becomes closer – and this is where the value can go either way depending on what type of use case.
If you are a normal user who uses the tablet mostly for ingesting content like web browsing, watching youtube videos or shows on Netflix, Disney+, doing emails – then the iPad Air seems to be an excellent value for you. The Air in general maybe the tablet for most people.
However if you create more content using your tablet, do more graphics intensive workloads or are a power user, then the iPad Pro still remains to be a preferable option due to the 8-core CPU/GPU setup, as the Pro will also come with the Pro-Motion screen.