iPad Air vs iPad Professional: Which do you have to purchase?

Whereas the 2020 iPad Air already had most of the nice options of the 11-inch iPad Professional, the new 2022 iPad Air narrows the hole even additional with an M1 chip, ultra-wide entrance digital camera with Heart Stage, 5G connectivity, and extra. Nevertheless, the iPad Professional nonetheless provides essentially the most options and greatest efficiency. Beneath we’ll break down all of the similarities and variations between the iPad Air vs iPad Professional that can assist you resolve which to purchase.

In 2021, the 11-inch iPad Professional arrived with the highly effective M1 chip, Thunderbolt connectivity, 5G for mobile fashions, new digital camera options like Heart Stage, and extra. All of that set it other than the 2020 iPad Air, justifying the $200 (and up) worth distinction.

Nevertheless, with the 2022 iPad Air, Apple has actually blurred the road between the Air and Professional fashions, giving nearly all of individuals the motivation to go along with the Air that begins $200 under the $799 11-inch iPad Pro.

There are nonetheless a number of points the place the 11-inch iPad Professional stands out from the brand new iPad Air however the quantity of people that will probably be keen to pay for these variations is smaller than ever.

After all, if you desire a 12.9-inch iPad, the iPad Professional is your solely alternative. However learn on under for an in depth take a look at the 11-inch iPad Air vs the iPad Professional.

iPad Air vs iPad Professional


Very notably, the brand new 2022 iPad Air is powered by the M1 chip identical to the iPad Professional. Which means each have eight-core CPUs, eight-core GPUs, and 16-core Neural engines.

The 2 important benefits the iPad Professional holds over the iPad Air – on this class – are Thunderbolt assist and 16GB RAM on the 1TB and 2TB fashions.

2022 iPad Air2021 iPad Professional2020 iPad Air
CPU cores886
GPU cores884
Storage64 or 256GB128GB – 2TB64 or 256
RAM8GB8 or 16GB4GB

However for the overwhelming majority of customers, the M1 with 8GB RAM will probably be greater than highly effective sufficient for years to return. Thunderbolt and 16GB RAM with the iPad Professional will seemingly solely be tempting for professionals.


iPad Air vs iPad Pro - display

With the iPad Air’s display, you’re getting a ten.9-inch Liquid Retina show with True Tone and P3 broad colour. It’s nearly precisely the identical Liquid Retina show because the 11-inch iPad Professional (okay, technically 0.1″ smaller 😅). Each shows are absolutely laminated and have Apple’s anti-reflective coating.

Nevertheless, the largest distinction is you solely get ProMotion with as much as 120Hz refresh charges with the iPad Professional show.

2022 iPad Air2021 iPad Professional2020 iPad Air
Decision2360 x 16402388 x 16682360 x 1640
PPI (pixels per inch)264264264
Show brightness500 nits600 nits500 nits
True Tone
P3 broad colour
ProMotion (120Hz)
Anti-reflective coating
Liquid Retina Show

In the meantime, HDR brightness as much as 1600 nits is simply out there on the 12.9-inch iPad Professional, not the 11-inch model.

Connectivity and equipment

iPad Air works with all the identical nice Apple equipment because the iPad Professional. That features the second-generation Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Sensible Keyboard Folio.

One notable distinction for connectivity and I/O is that the brand new iPad Air makes use of Contact ID like its predecessor versus the iPad Professional coming with Face ID.

2022 iPad Air2021 iPad Professional2020 iPad Air
Apple Pencil assist
Magic Keyboard assist
5G✅ (however no mmWave)
WiFi 6
USB-C✅ 3.1 Gen 2✅ USB4✅ 3.1 Gen 1
Contact ID
Face ID

As beforehand talked about, iPad Professional is the one iPad to get Thunderbolt assist, however the brand new iPad Air does get a bump in pace for information to 10 Gbps with USB 3.1 Gen 2 (vs 5 Gbps with 3.1 Gen 1 on the 2020 iPad Air).

That’s really the explanation the brand new iPad Air works with Apple’s new Studio Display, however the 2020 iPad Air doesn’t.

Just like the iPhone SE 3, the brand new iPad Air doesn’t get mmWave 5G assist with its mobile fashions. However as mmWave is the rarest model of 5G protection to seek out, that’s most likely not a difficulty for most individuals.

Splash of colour

iPad Air vs iPad Pro - colors

If the colour of your subsequent iPad is a crucial issue, you’ve acquired extra selections with the iPad Air. The brand new mannequin is available in house grey, starlight, pink, purple, and blue.

The iPad Professional solely is available in house grey and silver.

Battery life

The 2022 iPad Air has the identical battery life because the 11-inch iPad Professional and previous-gen iPad Air:

  • 10 hours of internet or video use on WiFi
  • 9 hours of internet use with mobile

Storage and worth

Right here’s a breakdown of the value variations (MSRP) between the iPad Air and 11-inch iPad Professional. It’s not precisely apples to apples for the reason that two iPads have totally different storage choices, however it can save you some vital money with the iPad Air.

The brand new iPad Air with 5G runs $20 greater than the 4G variant of the 2020 iPad Air.

2022 iPad Air2021 iPad Professional2020 iPad Air
64GB WiFi$599$599
64GB + cell$749$729
128GB WiFi$799
128GB + cell$999
256GB WiFi$749$899$749
256GB + cell$899$1,099$879
512GB WiFi$1,099
512GB + cell$1,299
1TB WiFi$1,499
1TB + cell$1,699
2TB WiFi$1,899
2TB + cell$2,099


iPad Air vs iPad Pro - Camera
2021 iPad Professional rear-facing cameras

You get a stable rear single digital camera with the iPad Air that features the identical 12 MP broad lens that’s discovered on the iPad Professional. It shoots 4K video on the similar fps because the Professional too.

Nevertheless, with the iPad Professional, you’ve additionally acquired a ten MP extremely broad lens plus the LiDAR Scanner, and the True Tone flash.

However the brand new 2022 iPad Air comes with an ideal entrance digital camera improve, the identical extremely broad 12 MP lens with Heart Stage assist because the iPad Professional.

2022 iPad Air2021 iPad Professional2020 iPad Air
12 MP broad lens
10 MP extremely broad lens
4K video
Prolonged dynamic vary
Slo-mo video
Rear digital camera flash
TrueDepth digital camera with Face ID
FaceTime 7 MP entrance digital camera
Extremely broad 12 MP entrance digital camera
2x optical zoom out
Heart Stage auto-tracking
Stereo recording

A few variations – the iPad Professional entrance digital camera options assist for Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, and Animoji/Memoji whereas the iPad Air entrance digital camera doesn’t.

And in the case of audio system, you’re getting four-speaker audio with the iPad Professional whereas the iPad Air has a two-speaker system.

iPad Air vs iPad Professional conclusion

Why purchase iPad Air?

When you think about all of the similarities and variations, the iPad Air is probably going going to be the only option for most individuals. It’s acquired a worth of round $200 lower than the iPad Professional whereas together with nearly the entire greatest options of the top-end iPad.

Orders begin for the new iPad Air on March 11 with deliveries arriving from March 18. In the meantime, reductions can be found for the 2020 iPad Air.

Why purchase iPad Professional?

If you’ll be pushing your pill to the restrict recurrently, the iPad Pro nonetheless delivers the top-performing package deal with as much as 16GB RAM, as much as 2TB storage, 120Hz ProMotion show, and Thunderbolt assist.

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