The new 4th Generation iPad Air Vs the iPad Pro – which should you choose?

28th September 2020
iPad Air and iPad Pro on black background

the new 4th Gen iPad Air now shares a lot of the similarities with the iPad Pro… which raises a question. Which iPad is the best value?

The iPad Air has been considered in recent years as almost an iPad Pro jr, sharing a lot of the Pro features but without that higher-end price tag, until the iPad Pro received its latest redesign with squared-off edges, a much more industrial look, Face ID, and small slim bezels. When you looked at an iPad Air and an iPad Pro side by side, one clearly looked more advanced than the other, but not any more.

iPad Air space grey with accidental damage cover
4th Generation iPad Air in Space Grey

Apple announced a new design for the iPad Air that is extremely reminiscent to the iPad Pro. The 4th Generation iPad Air has a beautiful industrial looking design, with the same squared-off corners and slim bezels, with a large 10.9″ display. There is also no home button, but if you look at it next to an iPad Pro there are a couple of things that separate these two devices.

iPad Air Colour Options

First, if you like your devices coloured, the iPad Air is going to be perfect for you! With the latest iPad Air, there are five new colour options to choose from, the standard space grey and silver, and now three new colours, rose gold, green, and sky-blue. A little more fun, and adds a little more uniqueness to the iPad Air line up.

There also are some differences with the display to note. The iPad Pro is available in 11-inch or 12.9-inch options, but with the iPad Air there is just the 10.9-inch display, there are no larger options. Both the iPad Air and iPad Pro displays are True Tone capable, but the iPad Pro is just going to be a touch brighter at 600 nits compared to the 500 nits on the new iPad Air. So if you’re looking for more screen brightness, iPad Pro is going to be the way to go. One more thing on displays is promotion, there is 20HZ high refresh rates technology built into the iPad Pro display, making it a little more responsive. It’s an exclusive feature to the iPad Pros that isn’t making its way down to the iPad Air and although the screens look very similar it’s a very important distinction to note.

As for authentication, on the iPad Pro you have all the benefits of Face ID for unlocking your iPad when making purchases on Apple pay and this is all tucked into the bezel. The iPad Air is a different story, for the first time its actually built the Touch ID technology into the power button. We haven’t seen this from Apple before, and they explained they are using some custom technology to do this new, faster, secure enclave. It’s a touch ID, which is especially useful in light of mask-wearing in the fight against Covid-19 right now, using your finger to authenticate on the Touch ID button and not having to use any kind of facial authentication.

iPad Pro 12.9" tablet front and slight back view with camera showing
iPad Pro 12.9″

We’ve talked about display and design, let’s look at price, which is where the tables start to turn to the iPad Air’s favour. The iPad Air is equipped with Apple’s new A14 Bionic processor, the fastest processor that they are currently producing. It’s a little hard to compare the A14 Bionic to the A12Z Bionic in the iPad Pro because we don’t have the two side by side to test yet, but it looks like the iPad Air with the A14 Bionic is going to be more capable and currently more powerful than theA12Z in the iPad Pro.

Another feature of the iPad Air is like the iPad Pro it has a USB-C port, which allows you to connect external storage, faster data transfer speeds etc. Looking at cameras, the iPad Pro has a 12 megapixel main and an ultra wide sensor as well. It also has LIDAR technology built in, whereas the iPad Air just has one single 12 megapixels camera. It’s the same sensor as on the iPad Pro, but there’s just one camera with no ultra wide.

One small, but important, difference to take note of is with the speakers. The iPad Pro has a four-speaker setup for an immersive stereo audio experience, on the other hand the iPad Air has two speakers for a landscape stereo audio experience. So if you want the best speakers, the iPad Pro is going to be the one to choose.

iPad Pro 11" tablet front and slight back view with camera showing
iPad Pro 11″

The iPad Air has got Touch ID built into the power button, and it’s also going to have another advantage when it comes to accessories. The magic keyboard that launched a few months ago on the iPad Pro and the Apple pencil are now going to work on the iPad Air.

Looking at capacity, the iPad Pro has 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options. So you have pretty much the entire range of capacities to choose from, but on the iPad Air you have just two options, 64GB or 256GB. This means if you want the maximum storage on your iPad, need to go with the Pro.

Right now, if you are choosing between these two iPads, you have a hard choice to make. The good news is that both the iPad Air and the iPad Pro are available to lease from HardSoft, with our 3-year warranty including technical support, as well as accidental damage cover. Make affordable monthly payments with our Flexi-Lease and get the option to change or continue after 24 months.

To find out more about leasing iPads give our expert team a call on 020 7111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk