iPad Air Vs. iPad Pro: Which One Is Your Best Option In 2023?

Is the 64GB iPad Air enough?

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iPad Air vs iPad Pro featured
Image by Manik Berry/Fossbytes

Apple sold 17.5 million iPads in Q1 2022 alone. I also recently purchased an iPad, and the toughest decision was choosing between the iPad Air and iPad Pro. Both have recently received a design refresh and feature the latest M series Apple Silicon that comes directly from the Mac lineup.

That said, it is safe to say that you can’t go wrong with either iPad Air or iPad Pro. However, the Pro costs $200 more than the Air, and the iPad Air is a great value proposition that makes one wonder if they need the Pro at all. But here’s a comprehensive iPad Air vs. iPad Pro comparison to help you make an informed decision.

iPad Air vs. iPad Pro specifications

SpecificationsiPad AiriPad Pro
Display10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display
P3 Wide Color, True Tone display with antireflective coating
11-inch Liquid Retina Display with ProMotion
P3 Wide Color, True Tone display with antireflective coating
CamerasRear: 12MP wide camera with 4K video recording
Front: 12MP Ultrawide with Center Stage
Rear: 12MP Wide, 10MP Ultrawide cameras
Front: 12MP Ultrawide with Center Stage and TrueDepth for Face ID
ChipApple M1 chipApple M2 chip
Storage64GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Apple PencilSecond-gen Apple Pencil with magnetic chargingSecond-gen Apple Pencil with magnetic charging
KeyboardMagic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard FolioMagic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio
ConnectivityUSB-C, WiFi 6 (Up to 1.2Gbps speed)
Bluetooth
5G Cellular (optional)
USB-C, WiFi 6E (Up to 2.4Gbps speed)
Bluetooth
5G Cellular (optional)
SecurityTouch ID integrated in the power buttonFace ID
ColorsSpace Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple, BlueSpace Gray, Silver
PriceStarts at $599Starts at $799
AvailabilityAvailable online and offlineAvailable online and offline

The iPad Air and iPad Pro are broadly separated by the chip and the camera. While the M1 chip is already overkill for a tablet, the M2 chip on the iPad Pro takes it a notch up. Coming to the cameras, both tablets have good cameras, but the Pro leaps ahead with the ultrawide angle camera and Face ID.

However, all of the Pro’s bells and whistles also command a premium. The M1 iPad Air, on the other hand, gets most of the goodies at a surprisingly good price. So the big question on the iPad Air vs. iPad Pro is who is supposed to buy these? And here’s the clear answer

Who should buy the iPad Air?

1. iPad Air review featured image
Image by Manik Berry/Fossbytes

The iPad Air is for someone looking for a great value-for-money tablet. It has a good display, loud and clear speakers, good cameras for video calling (despite the odd positioning of the front camera), and a ton of color options.

In terms of usage too, the iPad Air gets all the latest iPadOS 16 features like Stage Manager and full external display support. Power users on a budget will find the iPad Air keeping up with them in most use cases. In short, the iPad Air is a no-nonsense tablet powered by a laptop-grade chip. So if you’re after performance and value for money, the iPad Air is for you.

If you want to find out more about the iPad Air, read our comprehensive M1 iPad Air review to see if it meets your needs.

Who should buy the iPad Pro?

iPad Pro image- M1 iPad Pro vs MacBook Air comparison
Image: Apple

Apple calls it the ‘Pro’ for a reason. The iPad Pro gets a 120Hz display with ProMotion, four speakers compared to the two on the iPad Air, faster WiFi 6E, Face ID, and a Thunderbolt-4 USB-C port. These add-ons make it a better long-term proposition.

The Pro also gets the M2 chip, the latest Apple silicon. The M1 iPad Pro 11 base model is also a better option compared to the M1 iPad Air base model. This is so because the Pro model gets 128GB storage compared to the measly 64GB on the iPad Air base variant.

Summing up, the M2 iPad Pro is for the buyer looking for something to last them 7-8 years without any hiccups. It does cost a premium, but Apple has loaded it up with enough features to make the Pro worth it for anyone willing to shell out $799.

M1 iPad Air vs M2 iPad Pro: Verdict

Apple has carefully priced the M1 iPad Air to be a good tablet for casual to moderate users. Beyond that, the iPad Pro is a no-brainer. If you’re going to use the iPad for reading, writing, and even creating video content, the iPad Air will be enough for you. However, the money you save on buying the base model iPad Air will have to be spent on an external SSD because of the iPad’s measly 64GB storage.

If you don’t mind the storage, then the iPad Air base model + Magic keyboard will cost you only $80 more than the iPad Pro base model. On the other hand, an iPad is most likely to last 7-8 years, so higher onboard storage will come in handy. In our opinion, you should go with the base M2 iPad Pro 11 if your budget allows it. And if you can live with less storage but get a blazing-fast iPad that’s good for reading, writing, and pretty much everything else, the base model iPad Air is a great option.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]
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