Buying guide iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021

In March 2022, Apple introduced the fifth generation iPad Air, featuring the M1 chip, 5G connectivity and a new front camera system. The new iPad Air arrives nearly a year after Apple introduced its current iPad Pro lineup, which also includes the ‌M1‌ chip and 5G connectivity, but sports a number of high-end features like ProMotion and a Port Thunderbolt.

ipad pro vs air early 2022
The introduction of the previous fourth-generation ‌iPad Air‌ in September 2020 brought the device closer to the ‌iPad Pro‌ in terms of design, and with the latest model, the ‌iPad Air‌ acquired the same ‌M1‌ chip as the ‌iPad Pro‌, bringing them even more closer. Despite this, the ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌ are still quite different devices aimed at different user groups.

Should you consider buying the ‌iPad Air‌ to save money, or do you need the premium features of the ‌iPad Pro‌? Our guide answers the question of how to decide which of these two iPads is right for you.

Comparison of iPad Air and iPad Pro

The ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌ share a lot of key features, such as a square industrial design, a 12MP Wide rear camera, a 12MP front-facing Ultra Wide camera and a USB-C port:

Similarities

  • Industrial design with flat edges
  • Liquid Retina display with 264 ppi, full lamination, oleophobic and anti-reflective coating, P3 Wide Color and True Tone
  • ‌M1‌ chip with next-generation Neural Engine
  • 5G connectivity
  • ƒ/1.8 12MP Wide rear camera, with up to 5x digital zoom and Smart HDR 3 for photos
  • 12MP Ultra Wide ƒ/2.4 front camera with 2x optical zoom and Center Stage
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps, 3x video zoom, support for slow motion video for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, time-lapse video with stabilization
  • 10 hour “all day” battery life
  • Wi‑Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • USB‑C connector
  • Compatible with Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Apple’s specs breakdown shows that the two iPads share many of their most important features, including the ‌M1‌ chip. Even so, there are an even greater number of significant differences between the ‌iPad Air‌ and the ‌iPad Pro‌ worth pointing out, including their screens, authentication technologies, and rear camera setups.

Differences


ipad air

  • Touch ID integrated into the top button
  • 10.9 inch screen
  • Liquid Retina LED Display
  • 500 nits peak brightness (typical)
  • 8 GB of memory
  • 5G connectivity under 6 GHz
  • ƒ/1.8 12MP wide rear camera
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • 3x video zoom
  • 12MP Ultra Wide ƒ/2.4 front camera with 2x optical zoom and Center Stage
  • Two-speaker audio landscape mode
  • USB‑C connector
  • Up to 256 GB of storage
  • Available in space gray, starlight, pink, purple and blue
  • Price from $599

iPadPro

  • TrueDepth camera-enabled Face ID
  • 11-inch or 12.9-inch screen, with 120Hz ProMotion technology
  • Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display on a 12.9-inch model with 1,000 nits peak full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits peak brightness (HDR)
  • 600 nits peak brightness (typical)
  • 8 GB or 16 GB of memory
  • Sub-6 GHz and mmWave 5G connectivity
  • ƒ/1.8 12MP Wide and ƒ/2.4 10MP Ultra Wide rear cameras with LiDAR scanner
  • True Tone Flash
  • Digital zoom up to 5x and 2x optical zoom
  • Up to 3x video zoom and 2x optical zoom out
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
  • Audio-zoom
  • ƒ/2.4 12MP TrueDepth Ultra Wide front camera with 2x optical zoom, center stage, portrait mode and portrait lighting, Animoji and Memoji
  • Stereo recording
  • Quad-speaker audio
  • USB‑C connector with Thunderbolt / USB 4 support
  • Up to 2TB storage
  • Available in silver and space gray
  • Price from $799

Final Thoughts

Overall, the ‌iPad Air‌ is the best option for the majority of users, simply based on value for money. For most people, the extra $200 needed to buy the ‌iPad Pro‌ won’t be justified to get the likes of ‌Face ID‌, a more versatile rear camera system, quad-speaker sound, and a ProMotion display with rates refresh rate up to 120 Hz.

Some ‌iPad Pro‌ features, such as LiDAR, the Ultra Wide rear camera, larger storage options and up to 16GB of memory, and Thunderbolt connectivity, will be practically only useful to a small niche of users. ‘iPad. Most users will never use some of these premium features. Indeed, many features such as True Tone flash, mmWave 5G connectivity, audio zoom and stereo audio recording may not be used significantly by many users.

Professionals who have a clear use case for needing larger amounts of RAM and storage, Thunderbolt connectivity, and a mini-LED for HDR content will benefit from purchasing the ‌iPad Pro‌. Prosumers will also appreciate features like 120Hz ProMotion for smoother scrolling and gaming, deeper blacks and more vivid colors with the mini LED display, and LiDAR for AR experiences, even if they’re not needed. , and those who want a larger 12.9-inch screen. the display for content consumption will also have to go with the top-end ‌iPad Pro‌ model.

Prosumers and professionals who want the ‌iPad‌ to replace their laptop or computer should probably choose the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ if they pair it with the Magic Keyboard because of the extra screen real estate for multiple apps . This larger ‌iPad Pro‌ is significantly different from the ‌iPad Air‌, distinguishing itself with a mini-LED and a much larger screen.

Beyond these individual circumstances, the ‌iPad Air‌ is the better option and will be more than adequate for most users’ needs. With the ‌iPad Air‌, users can get an all-screen design, the ‌M1‌ chip, convenience features like USB-C and 5G connectivity, and compatibility with the latest Apple accessories.

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