If you are choosing your first iPad or want to upgrade to a newer one, you will probably want to check the iPad Air vs iPad Pro comparison. These are currently the best tablets from Apple, and selecting between them can be quite difficult. I have examined absolutely all the differences between the iPad Pro 2021 and the iPad Air 3 and can tell you which one you should opt for.
Is iPad Air 3 larger, has better screen resolution, more storage space and support for Apple’s Smart Keyboard case.
The iPad Pro 2021 is the most powerful tablet you can buy today because of its A12Z Bionic processor.
iPad Air 3 will not give you incredible power. It is almost 2 times weaker than the Pro version and has an outdated 8-pixel camera.
The iPad Pro 2021 version in the minimum configuration is more expensive than the iPad Air 3. For this price you can buy a 21.5-inch iMac.
iPad Air 3
iPad Pro 2021
|Price||$559.00 on Amazon||$849.99 on Amazon|
|Processor||A12 Bionic||A12Z Bionic|
|Camera setup||8MP wide-angle||12MP wide-angle
|Video Recording||1080p HD||4K at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps|
|Authentication||Touch ID||Face ID|
|Pencil||Yes||Yes, 2-nd Gen|
|Battery life||10 hours max||8 hours max|
|Storage||up to 256GB||up to 1TB|
If you’re searching for an affordable device that can cover gaming, web browsing, watching movies, reading, or using certain apps necessary for work, I can confidently say that the iPad Air can fully satisfy your requirements without making you bankrupt.
If the main criterion that defines your choice is your creative work, e.g. you are an AR developer and content creator, you should have a closer look at the iPad Pro. However, be ready to shell out since the cost of this large tablet is far beyond average.
The diagonals of the screens are almost identical (10.5 inches vs 11), but choosing the Pro version, you can buy a model with a 12.9-inch display. Also, the screen of the iPad Pro has a large working area due to thin frames on all sides.
The screen resolution of the iPad Pro is slightly higher than that of the iPad Air (2732x2048 versus 2224x1668 pixels), but the DPI value is identical - 264.
Both screens are high-quality, without an air gap, they are protected from glare, and are laminated.
The advantage of the Pro version is the ProMotion technology (a higher refresh rate, which is useful when working with the stylus and playing games). However, Air has a very good display - with support for extended color gamut and TrueTone technology.
Like the iPhone introduced in September 2018, the new iPad Air runs on Apple's latest chip, the A12 Bionic processor with Neural Engine technology. In the coming years, its computing power will be more than enough for augmented reality applications, games and photo editors.
iPad Pro has Apple's latest and greatest A12Z chip, but it demonstrates almost the same performance as the 2019 version and the only difference is in the GPU.
A12Z Bionic is the same A12X Bionic, but with all GPU cores turned on. Additional features come in handy if you plan to work with really “heavy” applications like the ones for 3D modeling.
This is the biggest difference between iPad Pro and iPad Air. iPad Air 3 has an old 8-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.5, capable of shooting 1080p video at a speed of 30 frames per second.
iPad Pro shows serious improvements in this regard. Its rear 12MP f/1.8 camera has a higher resolution, while a 10MP camera excels at capturing ultra-wide scenes. You can record videos in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 fps.
The front cameras on both tablets are 7-megapixel. However, iPad Pro boasts the TrueDepth camera system, which helps to recognize the face and unlock the Portrait mode, access Animoji and Memoji characters.
Considering the brand Apple accessories, the iPad Air 3 has support for the 1st generation iPencil, so you can’t take advantage of a double tap or you attach it to the case for charging.
It is possible to connect the Smart Keyboard.
The Pro version offers more extended functionality – it can be paired with the Smart Keyboard Folio and is compatible with the Apple Pencil of the second generation. Both iPad Pro versions released in 2018 and 2021 have the support for the company’s Magic Keyboard.
Similar to the Pros of a previous generation, the 2021 model comes with the USB-C type, while the Air version has Apple’s Lightning port preserved. Such a difference gives several scores to the iPad Pro in the iPad Air vs Pro battle, because USB-C port is intended not solely for charging, but also for connecting a huge number of accessories.
iPad Air 3
iPad Pro 2021
|$559.00 on Amazon||$849.99 on Amazon|
The choice between iPad Air vs iPad Pro becomes less stressful if you decide what you need the iPad for.
The iPad Air 3 does a great job with everyday tasks, offers a nice display, and costs almost half the price of the Pro version.
The iPad Pro is unmatched for games and AR apps development, editing high-res footage, and can even replace your desktop device if you want to work on the go.