Must you purchase iPad Air or 11-inch iPad Professional?

The 2020 iPad Air is a compelling pill and would be the prime choose for lots of customers. Nonetheless, whereas it matches and even surpasses the 2020 11-inch iPad Professional in a wide range of points, the latter nonetheless holds the higher hand in the case of sure use circumstances. Let’s take a look at some essential elements that will help you resolve if you can purchase iPad Air or the 11-inch iPad Professional.

Replace: One thing essential to bear in mind, a 2021 iPad Professional refresh might arrive as quickly as March.

Rumors are pointing to a brand new iPad Professional and mini launching as early as March 2021. Nonetheless, to make issues a bit trickier in deciding whether or not to go for a at the moment obtainable 2020 iPad Air or iPad Professional, the 2021 iPad Professional is anticipated to be the 12.9-inch mannequin with the 11-inch probably coming later.

Learn extra ideas within the conclusion under on whether or not to attend it out or choose up a brand new iPad now.

The newest iPad Air would be the go-to choice for a lot of seeking to choose up a brand new pill. That’s as a result of the 2020 iPad Air (4th gen) has obtained many of the iPad Professional’s premium options at an interesting beginning worth that’s $200 under the $799 11-inch iPad Professional. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply the iPad Professional received’t be the higher match for people who want one of the best general efficiency. Let’s dive into what to contemplate when occupied with what iPad you can purchase.

Must you purchase iPad Air or iPad Professional?

The place iPad Air matches or outshines the 11-inch iPad Professional


Very notably, the 2020 iPad Air has the latest processor in Apple’s pill lineup with the A14 whereas the 2020 iPad Professional makes use of the A12Z. Nonetheless, that’s to not say the A14 will blow the A12Z away and even beat it in all eventualities. Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad product advertising and marketing, Tom Boger tempered expectations in an interview lately:

As a result of the A14 has our latest-generation CPU cores, you may even see just a few issues right here and there that the A14 might probably outperform the A12Z in.

As we’ll focus on under, the 2020 iPad Professional nonetheless has the sting for intense workflows due to a better CPU and GPU core rely and extra RAM. Nonetheless, with the A14 being the latest chip, iPad Air customers are assured to get iPadOS for years to come back.

Show, Apple Pencil, I/O

Different new iPad Air options shared with the iPad Professional embody an all-screen design (no dwelling button) flat-edge chassis, USB-C, Apple Pencil (gen 2) and Magic Keyboard assist, in addition to Wi-Fi 6.

It’s nice to see assist for the second era Apple Pencil with the iPad Air. This marks the primary time probably the most succesful writing and illustration software works past the iPad Professional line. The newest Apple Pencil has a extra ergonomic design, makes use of wi-fi charging when connected to your iPad, comes with faucet gestures to do issues like shortly change writing devices, and gives an all-around improved expertise.

Apple Pencil

With the iPad Air’s display, you’re getting a ten.9-inch Liquid Retina show with True Tone and P3 large coloration that options the identical 264 ppi (2224 x 1668 res on the Air) because the 11-inch iPad Professional. Each shows are totally laminated and have Apple’s anti-reflective coating.

Because it has ditched the house button for the good new show, Contact ID has been carried out into the highest button of the iPad Air. This one will range with private desire whether or not it’s a professional or con in comparison with Face ID that comes with the iPad Professional.

iPad Air colors

Splash of coloration

If the colour of your subsequent iPad is a vital issue, it’s good to bear in mind you’ve obtained extra decisions with the 2020 iPad Air with house grey, silver, rose gold, inexperienced, and sky blue. The iPad Professional solely is available in house grey and silver.


Right here’s an in depth breakdown of the value variations (MSRP) between the iPad Air and 11-inch iPad Professional. It’s not precisely apples to apples because the two iPads have totally different storage choices, however it can save you some important money with the iPad Air.

iPad Air vs iPad Pro which should you buy?

Battery life

The 2020 iPad Air has the battery life because the 11-inch iPad Professional at 10 hours of net on Wi-Fi or video use. And each are rated for 9 hours of use on mobile.

The place iPad Professional outperforms iPad Air

CPU/GPU cores and RAM

Whereas even Apple has confirmed the iPad Air will outperform the iPad Professional in some use circumstances with the A14 chip, the iPad Professional nonetheless features a extra highly effective GPU and extra RAM (and truly has extra CPU and GPU cores).

The iPad Professional with A12Z has 8 CPU and GPU cores in comparison with 6 CPU and 4 GPU cores with the A14. Which means it is going to supply one of the best efficiency for issues like graphic intense work and apps/processes that use a number of cores. One other edge for the iPad Professional is 6GB of RAM whereas the iPad Air has 4GB.


As mentioned above, the iPad Air’s new Liquid Retina show options nearly the entire options discovered on the iPad Professional’s display. However there may be one notable distinction, the iPad Professional options Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion show tech. This is probably not a deal-breaker for a lot of (particularly in the event you haven’t had a 120Hz show earlier than), however is essential to notice. As described by Apple, ProMotion gives “fluid scrolling, better responsiveness and smoother movement content material.”

Like a minor distinction, however yet one more is that the iPad Professional show maxes out at 600 nits brightness, whereas the iPad Air is 500 nits.

Should you buy iPad Air vs iPad Pro cameras
2020 iPad Professional rear-facing cameras


If taking images together with your iPad is a vital issue, it’s price occupied with the digital camera system variations between the iPad Air and Professional.

You get a stable single-camera setup with the iPad Air that features the identical 12 MP large lens that’s discovered on the iPad Professional. It shoots 4K video as the identical fps as the professional too.

Nonetheless, with the iPad Professional you’ve obtained a 10MP extremely large lens plus the LiDAR Scanner, and the True Tone flash.


Together with the upper costs of the iPad Professional, you get better storage choices that go as much as 1TB. The bottom can also be 128GB. In the meantime, the iPad Air base mannequin gives 64GB and maxes out at 256GB.

One factor to bear in mind right here is that with USB-C on each fashions it’s simpler than ever to make use of exterior storage.


Why lean iPad Air?

When you think about all of the similarities and variations, the iPad Air is probably going going to be your best option for most individuals with a worth round $200 lower than the iPad Professional.

Why lean iPad Professional?

Nonetheless, if you realize you’ll be pushing your pill to the restrict often, the iPad Professional nonetheless delivers the top-performing bundle with 8 CPU and GPU cores and 6GB RAM.

And naturally if different elements like Face ID, 120Hz ProMotion show, extra succesful digital camera system, and the larger storage choices are essential, the iPad Professional additionally turns into one of the best match.

Wait it out?

However in the event you’re eyeing the iPad Professional, there’s one other conundrum: get the early 2020 mannequin obtainable now (launched final March) or watch for the next-gen iPad Professional that’s anticipated to reach with the A14X (or Z) chip in March 2021.

The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Professional is anticipated to characteristic a design nearly equivalent to the 2021 model, however include the improve of mini LED backlighting and the brand new, extra succesful A-series processor.

The 11-inch 2021 iPad Professional might not arrive on the identical time however in the event you don’t completely want a brand new iPad proper now, it is going to doubtless be price ready to see the next-gen unveiled in just some brief weeks. Even in the event you assume the 2020 iPad Professional is loads highly effective, it could be good to attend till subsequent month as costs for the previous-gen model will doubtless drop.

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