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  • Cheryl Tan

iPad Air Vs iPad Pro: Which One To Get in 2021?

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

We’ve been testing the iPad Pro and iPad Air for a pretty long period now, and here’s our review after using it as a daily driver for months, as well as our thoughts on which one would be right for you.

Let’s start off with the iPad Pro. It’s the 12.9-inch variant, and it’s been the workhorse for Bobby. A lot of photos, and even videos, have been edited using the iPad Pro. There’s no issue using Lightroom CC, Affinity Photo, the in-built Camera app and even VSCO. In fact, Bobby learnt how to edit videos on the iPad Pro before moving on to using the new MacBook Pro with M1 chip.

Is it a laptop replacement? Absolutely. It’s a very powerful device, and before the M1 chip laptops came out, we would have suggested getting the iPad Pro over the MacBook Pro with Intel chips unless you need certain applications. For day to day usage though, the iPad Pro does the job just fine.

The iPad Pro might be very expensive, but you’re getting a beautiful display, touchscreen, the Apple Pencil, and even a USB-C port so you can plug in SSD drives in case you need to transfer files around. Unfortunately, it’s not Thunderbolt 3 compatible, but here’s to hoping we see that in a future iteration of the iPad Pro.

Overall, the iPad Pro is a phenomenal device, especially with the new software update where you get file management. There’s nothing bad about this tablet at all, and if you’re a content creator that pushes your devices to the limit, you really should go for the Pro.

Even after a year, the iPad Pro is still more powerful than the iPad Air in some ways. So let’s talk about the Air and how it compares.

Some people were saying the new iPad Air that came out a few months ago is an iPad Pro killer, and in some ways, it’s really quite equal to the iPad Pro, and even surpasses it.

The A14 Bionic chip inside is faster when it comes to single-core processing, but the iPad Pro still wins when it comes to multi-core tasks. Graphics is slightly faster, and the Air handles photo editing and 4K video editing with no issues at all. It’s a great device to take along, and for a lot of people out there, it will be the iPad for them.

The downside is that it’s a 10.9-inch display, and while it’s beautiful, it can be a bit too small for some. If you’re just using it for content consumption, jotting down notes in the classroom or in meetings, the 10.9-inch display might be fine. If you need a bigger display though, you’ll definitely want to size up to the iPad Pro.

A lot of design features from the iPad Pro are now in the iPad Air. You’ve got thinner bezels, Touch ID on the power button and more. Honestly, it can do most of what people will need out of it. Compared to the iPad Pro, it can probably do around 90% of the tasks the Pro can. There are differences that a professional user might notice though, like the lack of high refresh rate, and that’s where the iPad Pro comes in with its 120Hz screen.

If you need that extra processing power, LiDAR sensor or larger display, the Pro is the one for you. But if you already have a laptop or desktop and you just want something to watch content on or something thin and light to bring around, go with the iPad Air and save some money.


Content by Bobby Tonelli

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