The latest iPad Air is incredibly powerful, beautiful, and full of features for entertainment and productivity. But it does not belong to the most advanced series of tablets by Apple. The most expensive ones belong to the iPad Pro series and they are specifically the iPad Pro 11 and the iPad Pro 12.9. Given that they actually feature similar street prices, is it better to go for the base variant of the Pro series, or the iPad Air 2020 is a superior tablet? This comparison will highlight the main differences between these two amazing Apple tablets.
|Apple iPad Air 4||Apple iPad Pro 11|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT||247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm, 458 g||247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm, 471 g|
|DISPLAY||10.9 inches, 1640 x 2360p (Quad HD+), Liquid Retina IPS LCD||11 inches, 1668 x 2388p (Quad HD+), IPS LCD|
|PROCESSOR||Apple A14 Bionic, hexa-core 2.5 GHz||Apple A12Z Bionic, hexa-core 2.5 GHz|
|MEMORY||64 GB – 256 GB||6 GB RAM, 128 GB – 6 GB RAM, 256 GB – 6 GB RAM, 512 GB – 6 GB RAM, 1 TB|
|SOFTWARE||iPadOS 14||iPadOS 14|
|CONNECTIVITY||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5, GPS|
|CAMERA||Single 12 MP f/1.8
7 MP f/2.0 front camera
|Triple 12 + 10 MP + LiDAR scanner f/1.8 and f/2.4
7 MP f/2.2 front camera
|BATTERY||28.6 Wh||28.65 Wh|
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES||Optional LTE, Pen support, keyboard support||Optional LTE, Pen support, LiDAR scanner|
If I had to choose only by focusing on the design, I would probably go for the iPad Pro 11 2020 because it has a higher screen-to-body ratio than the iPad Air 2020. But its rivals still comes with very narrow bezels and it has a less invasive camera module because it sports just one sensor on the rear side. The iPad Pro 11 is even lighter than the iPad Air. For the rest, they are more or less the same: they are thin and lightweight, and they are built with an aluminum body. Both come with the support of Apple Pencil and the official keyboard.
The display found on the Apple iPad Pro 11 is actually superior to the one of the iPad Air. Besides having a slightly wider diagonal, it offers higher brightness and a slightly higher amount of pixels. But the biggest difference is the refresh rate: the iPad Pro 11 has a 120 Hz refresh rate, while its opponent offers a standard 60 Hz refresh rate. Despite we are talking about IPS panels, they offer very high color accuracy, as well as a high level of detail. They have a very wide color gamut and True-tone support. The iPad Pro 11 relies on facial recognition for authentication (Face ID), while the iPad Air has a fingerprint scanner.
Despite it is not a Pro variant, the iPad Air 2020 offers a stronger chipset than the iPad Pro 11: we are talking about the Apple A14 Bionic built at 5 nm, while the iPad Pro 11 has an older Apple A12Z Bionic built at 7 nm. So, you can get higher performance with the iPad Air. Further, it runs iPadOS 14 out of the box, while the Pro variant is still based on iPadOS 13. With iPadOS 14 you get more interesting productivity features and a lot of improvements. Note that, despite the SoC is different, there is not a huge difference in terms of performance.
IPad Pro 11 is one of the best tablets out there if we consider the camera department. It has a triple sensor composed of a 12 MP main camera, a 10 MP ultrawide sensor, and a ToF 3D LiDAR scanner to calculate depth info for AR appliances and mapping the environment. The iPad Air 2020 has exactly the same 12 MP main camera as the Pro version, but unfortunately, it lacks secondary sensors. The front camera is the same as well.
The iPad Pro 11 and the iPad Air 2020 come with the same battery capacity, but the iPad Air 2020 is able to last more on a single charge for two reasons. First of all, it has a more efficient chipset because the Apple A14 Bionic is built at 5 nm. Further, it does not come with a 120 Hz display, so it has a lower impact on battery life. But we should be talking about marginal differences. On the other hand, the iPad Pro 11 can be used as a power bank thanks to reverse charging. The iPad Pro 11 also supports 18W fast charging for its battery.
The starting price of the iPad Air 2020 is €640/$550 for the configuration with 64 GB of internal storage, while the iPad Pro 11 starts from €800/$750 for the configuration with 128 GB of native storage. The iPad Pro 11 wins the comparison thanks to its better cameras and display, but the iPad Air 2020 actually offers a better hardware department (but it lacks reverse charging). With the iPad Air, you get an inferior camera and display, but the price is more affordable and iPadOS 14 is installed out of the box. Which would be your choice?
Apple iPad Air 4
- Best design
- Better chipset
- Fingerprint scanner
- iPadOS 14 out of the box
- Inferior cameras
Apple iPad Pro 11
- Better camera department
- LiDAR scanner
- Face ID
- Better display
Apple iPad Mini 5
- Compact design
- Good front camera
- Good street prices
- Old iOS version out of the box
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