Why the iPad Air is the best iPad right now (and not the Pro)

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Which iPad do you buy if you want the very, very, very best iPad? That’s the iPad Pro. Normally. Since yesterday, however, this is no longer a simple one-two punch. The iPad Air 4 that Apple presented yesterday is more powerful than the iPad Pro. So do you still have to buy the iPad Pro?

Best iPad

The iPad Pro 2020 is more than a beautiful tablet, but perhaps the iPad Air 2020 is the best iPad of the moment. This is mainly because the Air is powered by Apple’s latest and most powerful chip: the A14 Bionic.

The chip uses what Apple says “groundbreaking” 5-nanometer technology. Combined with the six-core design, it delivers 40 percent faster performance than the previous-generation iPad Air, which featured an A12 Bionic chip.

The Neural Engine has been upgraded from eight to sixteen cores. It can perform up to 11 trillion calculations per second; on the A13 there were still five trillion. This makes the iPad Air – however salient it may be – for the time being more powerful than its professional brother. The iPad Pro has an A12Z Bionic chip, which is very similar to the A12X from 2018. The iPad Pro got a refresh this spring.

Touch ID

Another advantage of the iPad Air 4 is that you unlock the tablet with the “old-fashioned” Touch ID. Face ID works perfectly on an iPhone, but on an iPad Pro we have to bend over too often to show our face. With the Touch ID sensor in the button above the iPad Air, you can unlock it more easily when it is flat on the table.

There are additional color options too. The iPad Air is available in Sky Blue, Green, Rose Gold, Space Gray and Silver. With the iPad Pro, you only have the choice of the last two shades.


There are also similarities, such as the design. Like the iPad Pro, the Air has a borderless design without a home button. Compared to the 11-inch iPad Pro, the Air has slightly wider edges, making the Retina display a fraction smaller screen diagonal of 10.9 inches.

Other similarities include support for the Magic Keyboard, support for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil and the USB-C connection. The weight is almost the same and the batteries last the same time.

What features are you missing?

Of course, not everything is better or the same with the Air. Unlike the Pro, the Air’s screen does not have ProMotion technology, where the screen refreshes quickly (120HZ). The camera module at the back is also a lot less advanced. The iPad Air has one lens, with the iPad Pro there are two, plus an extra depth sensor. Furthermore, the Air has two speakers, the Pro four.

More than € 200 cheaper

If you put everything next to each other, the iPad Air and iPad Pro do little inferior to each other. However, you do not see that in the price:

  • iPad Air 2020: € 669
  • 11-inch iPad Pro: € 899

So you pay € 230 less for the iPad Air, and you get a more powerful chip in return. With a Cellular version you pay € 809 for the iPad Air. With the Pro model, that is € 1,069. At stores like Coolblue and Bol.com the Pro is also available for slightly lower prices.

Still buy an iPad Pro?

Do you still want to buy an iPad Pro, for example because of the ProMotion screen or the camera module? Then (if you have the patience) you better wait until the spring of 2021, when a new model is expected. The iPad Pro 2021 will undoubtedly get an even more powerful chip and is said to have a renewed mini-LED screen.

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