The iPad Air: Soaring Higher Than the Pro


Harrison Zuritsky

The current iPad Pro, reflecting the pink and blue lights of the room.

When Apple introduced the reimagined iPad Air to its product line-up this September, the primary question was, “Why buy an iPad Pro?” The Pro used to carry certain privileges; it was able to use the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil with a glamorous and bezel-less display allowing for up to 15% more screen space due to the camera and microphone being in a tiny area at the top.

However, nearly all of these benefits (except for the higher refresh rate 120Hz screen on the post-2018 iPad Pro models and Face ID) are available on the new Air. The Air also is priced much cheaper at $599 compared to the iPad Pro 11-inch’s $799 price tag, and The Air boasts a newer processor with the A14, which allows for faster response to touch.

Granted, The A14 Bionic chip has not yet been tested by the public, so it is too early to say if the chip will give the iPad Air a large enough leap over the current-generation iPad Pro models.

Apple only says the iPad Air’s new chip gives it 40 percent performance improvement over the earlier iPad Air, and the Air’s A14 Bionic is a 6-core chip while the Pro’s A12Z Bionic is an 8-core one with a faster GPU (graphics processor with acceleration of creation of images on your screen) and specific benefits toward computer-like use for graphics and computation-heavy apps.

Computer heavy apps are usually powerful applications and games that require substantial internet connection and data storage.

The iPad Pro still has some noteworthy features over the Air. The quad-speaker array isn’t present in the Air, which now uses a stereo setup in landscape mode. The iPad Pro also has 512GB and 1TB storage options, while the Air maxes at 256GB.

Furthermore, the Pro has a high refresh-rate ProMotion display that can get brighter, a LIDAR scanner, and an ultra-wide camera on the back. Other than storage, there are a lot of specifications that aren’t likely to affect the average iPad user.

In comparing the two current iPad models when deciding on which to purchase, the new Air is cheaper and faster, since it has faster response speeds, shoots photo and video in 4k (the highest quality of video taking) and an A14 chip, which is the fastest chip in Apple’s history, allowing for quick processing speeds.

All this new Air lacks is a lot of storage and ProMotion, which is its 120Hz display. Overall, the iPad Air is a better deal than the iPad Pro.