The choice for most people

iPad Air 4

Take it up a notch

iPad Pro (2020)

The latest iPad Air offers many of the hottest features found on the more expensive iPad Pro. And yet, it's available for much less, making it the best selection for most people.

from $599 at Apple

Pros

  • Five color choices
  • Less expensive
  • A14 Bionic processor, a first for iPad

Cons

  • A slighter smaller display vs. 11-inch iPad Pro
  • No Face ID
  • No ProMotion technology
  • Weaker camera system

If it's not found on the iPad Air, it's almost certainly on the iPad Pro. Available in two sizes, this is the best of best, but not the one for everyone due to its high price.

From $799 at Apple

Pros

  • 11-inch and 12.9-inch displays
  • More available storage
  • Better camera, other extras
  • Speedier A12Z processor

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Only two color choices
  • Overkill for many users

Apple's iPad lineup is worth buying at any price, but it is also will sometimes go on sale on Prime Day. Check out this year's Prime Day iPad deals going on now!

When it comes to an iPad Pro vs. iPad Air 4 comparison, it's essential to look inside and out. Overall, the iPad Pro offers more, but it also costs more than the newer iPad Air. That's why even though it's a lesser machine, we're recommending the less expensive iPad.

iPad Pro vs. iPad Air 4: So much is the same

First introduced in March 2020, the current-generation iPad Pro is available in two sizes, 11-inch and 12.9-inch. By contrast, the iPad Air, arriving in October 2020, is only available in one size, 10.9-inch. The differences between the models extend beyond screen size.

The current-generation iPad Pro and iPad Air are the two best Apple tablets in the history of the product line. Both include a great list of features that should keep it upgrade-proof for many years to come. In comparing the two models, let's start with the similarities before moving onto the differences.

iPad Air 4 iPad Pro (2020)
Price From $599 From $799
Release date October 2020 March 2020
Screen size 10.9-inch 11-inch
12.9-inch
Display Liquid Retina Liquid Retina
ProMotion No Yes
Weight (Wi-Fi) 1 pound 1.04 pounds
1.41 pounds
Weight (Wi-Fi + Cellular) 1.01 pounds 1.04 pounds
1.42 pounds
Resolution 2360x1640 resolution at 264 ppi 2388x1668 resolution at 264 ppi
2732x2048 resolution at 264 ppi
Storage 64GB
256GB
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
Processor A14 Bionic A12Z Bionic
Face ID No Yes
Touch ID Yes No
Camera setup 12MP Wide camera 12MP Wide
10MP Ultra Wide
LiDAR No Yes
Battery life Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching video
Up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network
Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching video
Up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network
4K recording 4K video recording at 24 FPS, 30 FPS, or 60 FPS 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (Wide)
60 fps (Ultra Wide)
Colors Silver
Space Gray
Rose Gold
Sky Blue
Green
Silver
Space Gray
USB-C Yes Yes
Speakers Two Four
Smart Connector Yes Yes
Magic Keyboard Yes Yes
Smart Keyboard Folio Yes Yes
Apple Pencil Support 2nd-generation 2nd-generation

iPad Air 2020 Photos appSource: Apple

Both iPad models support the second-generation Apple Pencil. The iPad Air 4 is the first non-iPad Pro to use the pressure-sensitive stylus, which burst onto the scene in 2018. Similarly, both devices use a USB-C connector; again, the iPad Air is the first non-iPad Pro to support this.

Moving on in our iPad Pro vs. iPad Air comparison, both offer an LED-backlit Liquid Retina display with Multi-Touch and IPS technology. The fully laminated/anti-reflective screen includes fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, the company's Wide Color standard, and True Tone. This all works to make sure you have the best picture possible.

Both support Apple's Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio. The one for the 11-inch iPad Pro is also usable with the 10.9-inch iPad Air.

Finally, when it comes to battery life, both provide up to 10 hours of use while surfing the web or watching video while connected to Wi-Fi, and up to nine hours when doing the same connected to cellular.

iPad Pro vs. iPad Air 4: But there are significant differences

iPad Pro - Hot LavaSource: Apple

Intended for creatives and professionals, the iPad Pro offers key features the iPad Air does not, starting with ProMotion technology and a LiDAR Scanner. The former delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz, which means fluid scrolling, better responsiveness, and smoother motion content. ProMotion technology also improves display quality and reduces power consumption.

LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a technology that lets you scan and map your environment by firing out laser beams. For many on iPad Pro, its use will focus on augmented reality or AR. Because of this, the iPad Pro features a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, which also improves photo- and video-taking.

The iPad Pro also includes a better front-facing camera. Where it offers a TrueDepth 7MP camera, the iPad Air has a less robust FaceTime 7MP camera. Improved goodies on the iPad Pro include portrait mode, portrait lighting, Animoji, and Memoji.

Digging deeper, the iPad Pro is available with as much as 1TB of storage versus 256GB found on the iPad Air. The Pro model also includes four speakers, not two. Finally, keep in mind, only the iPad Pro includes Face ID, while the iPad Air (2020) comes with a Touch ID that's built into the top button.

What about the processor?

When the iPad Air 4 was announced, one couldn't help but notice it offers an A14 Bionic processor, the first Apple device to do so. The iPad Pro includes an A12Z Bionic processor, by contrast. Until experts get a chance to test both processors side-by-side, one might assume the A14 bests the A12Z. However, that will likely be proven incorrect.

A12Z Bionic is an 8-core CPU that's been designed for both speed and energy efficiency. The A14 offers a 6-core CPU, with two of those for performance and four for efficiency. In other words, the iPad Pro handles graphics- and computation-heavy apps much better, even if the processor is older.

iPad Pro vs. iPad Air 4: Who should buy the iPad Air?

The iPad Air (2020) is the *best* Apple tablet for most people. If you plan on using it for writing, video-consuming, and casual game-playing, you'll be amazed, while also saving a lot of money. As a bonus, you get to choose from five consumer-friendly colors, include the all-new Sky Blue and Green.

iPad Pro vs. iPad Air 4: Who should buy the iPad Pro?

The well-reviewed iPad Pro (2020) is the ideal choice if you're a graphics designer or plan on embracing AR. Need more storage or the largest display possible? Have the money to spend? There's nothing better than the iPad Pro.

Best choice for most

iPad Air 4

Wow, this is exciting

Featuring a fresh-design, incredible color choices, and brilliant internals, the iPad Air (2020) is a great choice to consider.

Overall, still the best

iPad Pro

Not surprisingly, professionals should embrace this tablet

Sure, the color choices are drab. However, the iPad Pro packs the biggest punch among all Apple tablets. It's pricey, however.

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