Is it worth spending the extra money on the new 11 inch M1 iPad Pro or is the iPad Air 4 the better value. And finally, should you upgrade from the iPad Air 4 to the new 11 inch iPad Pro. The iPad Air 4 is a fantastic tablet. And it’s one that I’ve been recommending for quite a while now. It’s a great choice for someone who’s ready to move beyond the features of the iPad 8 but may not have the budget for the 12.
9 inch iPad Pro. But now Apple released the 11 inch version of the M1 iPad Pro which offers virtually identical form factor to the iPad Air 4 with some additional features. And the price isn’t that far off. So let’s take a closer look at these two tablets, cover the similarities and the differences. See how well they perform for multitasking, content consumption, gaming, video calls and general office type work and then ultimately help you choose the right iPad.
Starting off with size. As I mentioned, the iPad Air 4 and the 11 inch iPad Pro are virtually identical. And we’re talking about differences of 0.02 inches in width 0.01 inches in height and 0.
02 pounds or eight grams in weight.
So absolutely not a meaningful difference in terms of both usability and portability. As far as the display, we’re looking at a 10.9 inch on the iPad Air 4 versus 11 inches on the iPad Pro. So again, this wouldn’t be a deciding factor for me.
There are however meaningful differences between the displays and I’ll cover them in the display section. As far as the overall design. Again, these two iPads are very similar. Both iPads have small bezels with the ones on the iPad Pro being ever so slightly smaller and something that you’d only really notice if you held them side by side and took a very close look. Both iPads have rounded corners, squared off edges and both are constructed of solid machined aluminum and have a matte finish. Now going around the edge, the two iPads look similar but there are some meaningful differences.
Both have volume up and down controls and power buttons. But the one on the iPad Pro is just a power button. And the one on the iPad Air 4 includes Apple’s new touch ID and more on this in the next section. We also see four speaker grills on both iPads but the iPad Air 4 only has stereo speakers. Whereas the iPad Pro has an independently controlled quad speaker system. Both iPads have a USB-C port at the bottom. The one on the iPad Air 4 is a USB three port with a max speed of up to five gigabits per second. And one on the iPad Pros at thunderbolts slash USB four port with a max speed of up to 40 gigabits per second. Now whether this will actually matter to you depends on your use case.
If you’re using your iPad to browse the web watch content, if you’re using it for email to text, make video calls, take notes, and then drawing, this isn’t very likely to matter to you.
If on the other hand, you plan on transferring large amounts of data to, and from your iPad. So for example, if you’re copying multiple 4k video files or hundreds of high resolution photos you will notice a significant difference. I copied a 10 gigabyte file going from my Samsung T7 to both devices as a test. On the iPad Air 4, it took one minute and 21 seconds.
Now on the iPadPro it took 24 seconds. So that’s almost three and a half times faster. Then I took my fastest external SSD. And I copy the file over to the iPad Pro in under 19 seconds. I couldn’t actually test that on the iPad Air 4 because it doesn’t support Thunderbolt accessories.
Now, all you need to do is think about how often you would do something like this and whether that is an important enough difference for you.
And the faster Thunderbolt slash USBC port should also allow for compatibility with high resolution external displays like the Pro display XDR at 6K. Again, think about whether that’s something you actually plan on doing with your iPad. Are you hooking it up to an external display to begin with? And if you are, are you hooking it up to that type of external display?
That will actually help you make a decision. Now, next let’s talk about biometric authentication.
And as I mentioned, the iPad Air 4 uses touch ID, which is integrated right into the power button. The iPad Pro uses the front facing true depth camera for face ID. Then both have been very fast and extremely accurate for me.
So this is really an area where you’ll need to choose what works best for you. The next let’s talk about the display where we’re gonna start seeing some differences. So both have a liquid retina display with 264 pixels per inch. The iPad Air 4 has a 10.9 inch display with a resolution of 2360 by 1640, and a maximum brightness of 500 nits.
The 11 inch iPad Pro has an 11 inch display obviously with the resolution of 2388 by 1668 and 600 nits of max brightness. Now you may have heard that the M1 iPad Pro has a mini led liquid retina XDR display but that’s only true for the 12.9 inch mile. Now back to these two, other than the increased max brightness the iPad Pro also has Apple’s promotion which is an adaptive refresh rate with 120 Hertz maximum. This feature is able to conserve that battery life when faster refresh rate is not needed.
And then Provide more fluid user and viewing experience when 120 Hertz refresh rate can be beneficial. If you’ve gotten value from this video, give it a thumbs up. It lets me know what kind of content you like so that I can make more of it. I still see that over 90% of you are new viewers, so hit that subscribe button. Now, I wanna talk about the camera and audio systems.
And starting with the rear facing camera, the iPad Air 4 comes with a 12 megapixel wide camera and the iPad Pro has a more sophisticated camera module.
It has a 12 megapixel wide, 10 megapixel ultra wide a flash and a LiDAR scanner. And when we moved to the front facing cameras, the iPad Air 4 uses a seven megapixel camera and the iPad Pro uses a 12 megapixel true depth camera with ultra wide. And the iPad Pro doesn’t just have the advantage in terms of resolution the new M1 chip, which we’ll talk about in a minute also has a more powerful image signal processor which offers improved photo and video quality. We also get a new feature called center stage. So when you’re on a FaceTime call, for example, the iPad Pro can use this ultra wide camera to track the subject and then zoom in and out to keep them centered in the frame. As far as audio system, the iPad Pro has a quad speaker system versus stereo speakers on the iPad Air 4. And this Provides a much more immersive audio experience with the iPad Pro since each speaker is controlled independently. And it’s able to adjust as you switch from portrait to landscape mode. Now neither iPads offers headphone jack.
So you’ll need to either use wireless headphones or use an adapter. I use my AirPods when I’m listening to music or watching content. And I use a wired headset when I gain. As far as accessories, we don’t see any real differences. Both the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Pro are compatible with Apple smaller magic keyboard, as well as with other options like the larger tech folio touch.
Both keyboard case combos are good options and have a very detailed comparison of the two. So if you’re interested in getting a keyboard, I would definitely suggest that you check it out and I’ll link to it at the end of this video.
Now, when it comes to the Apple pencil, both iPads use the newer second generation pencils. And that pencil pears and charges wirelessly. I absolutely love the Apple pencil.
I like both the second generation and the first generation which I use with my iPad aid. And it’s definitely an accessory that I use more than I thought. And if I had to choose the second generation is just so much better because you don’t have to charge it by sticking it into your iPad. And again, it’s pretty much always charged because it charges while you’re storing it. I use it to take notes, sign documents, mark up PDFs and wire frames, and for photo and video editing.
Now moving on to processing power, here we see another major difference. So let’s take a closer look at the number and then we’ll talk about actual real life use. And the iPad Air 4 uses the bionic chip with a six core CPU and a four core GPU. The 11 inches iPad Pro uses the newer M1 chip with an eight core CPU and an eight core GPU. Let’s get the benchmarks out of the way.
So for single core performance, I got 1585 on the iPad Air 4 versus 1711 on the iPad Pro. And then from multi-core performance, I got 4261 on the iPad Air 4 versus 7098 on the iPad Pro. And a higher score means better performance. So if you’re simply looking for the more powerful device, it’s without question the iPad Pro. We’re also getting more RAM on the iPad Pro with the 128, 256 and 512 gigs of internal storage model.
We’re getting eight gigs of RAM and with the one and two terabyte models, we’re getting 16 gigs of RAM. Compare that with a four gigabytes that we’re getting on the iPad Air 4. And you’re now getting either twice or four times as much RAM. Now a new limitation recently came to light where as of now iPad OS limits a single app to a maximum of five gigs of RAM, regardless of how much is available. So testing both models and procreate, I created a 2360 by 1640 canvas on both devices.
And on the iPad Air 4, I got 134 layers. And on the iPad Pro with eight gigs of RAM, I got a maximum of 212. Now, of course you will need to decide whether this is a meaningful enough difference to you based on how many layers you typically work with.
Now, other apps that would benefit from additional RAM, our photo and video editing apps like Lightroom Affinity Photo, and Luma Fusion. Now moving onto multitasking, both iPads virtually perform the same.
Clearly they have the same features. And even with the added RAM, I didn’t notice a meaningful enough difference when working with multiple apps, opening or closing apps or even switching between open apps. I keep hoping for improved external display support and an enhanced file system. But as of now, the two iPads are essentially indistinguishable in terms of real life multitasking. As far as battery life, both iPads get about 10 hours of battery life for web surfing on wifi and nine hours if you use cellular data.
And with both, I would suggest bringing a small power bank if you plan on doing more resource intensive tasks for long periods of time. As far as cellular service, the iPad Air 4 offers 4G LTE and the iPad Pro comes with 5G support.
So if you’re looking for the fastest speeds possible, and 5G is available in your area then the iPad Pro will give you that feature. I would also say that if you’re a heavy data user and currently don’t have 5G available, I would Probably still get the iPad Pro because this device should last you for many years and you might as well get the most out of it. And moving on to gaming, both iPads were easily able to run every game that I tried to play. I didn’t experience any type of lag or dropped frames with either, but I would choose the iPad Pros 120 Hertz refresh rate display if given the choice. Next, let’s talk about the configuration and pricing options. So the iPad Air 4 is available in 64 gigs for 599 or 256 gigs for 749. And the iPad Pro has more options with 128 for 799, 256 for 899, 512 for 1099, One terabyte for 1499 and then two terabytes for 1899.
Now the only storage size that overlaps between the two is the 256 gig version. And the iPad Pro is $150 more than the iPad Air 4. And this is where you wanna think of all the features that we discussed and whether they’re worth this extra money. If you’re going to do a lot of photo and video editing, you may also need more than 256 gigs of storage. Because as of now apps like Lightroom and Luma Fusion can’t use files that are stored on external storage. And if you wanna use those files in a movie, for example, they must be copied onto your iPad first.
Now, ultimately it comes down to what you need and how much you wanna spend. So let’s break it down. The iPad Air 4 is a wonderful tablet with plenty of processing power. for the vast majority of users. It’s less expensive. It looks very similar has a great 60 Hertz display. Uses touch ID and can play games and multitask at essentially the same level as the iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro has a more powerful chip, comes with more RAM, has a display with a faster refresh rate, offers 5G, higher maximum internal storage, better speakers, a better camera system and uses face ID for biometric authentication. Let me know which one you would get or maybe have already gotten. Remember that I have links in the description to all the products that I talked about.
Hopefully this video is helpful. Click on my face to subscribe and then watch one of these videos. You know what I always say, buy at nice or buy twice. Good luck and see you soon..