iPad Air 2023 vs iPad Pro 2021, Which option is better?

iPad Air 2023 vs iPad Pro 2021: If you are thinking of buying a new iPad, you are likely to have doubts about which models to choose the new iPad Air 2023 or the iPad Pro which Apple announced in 2021.

iPad Air 2023 vs iPad Pro 2021

The two tablets share many features, such as a flat-edged design with an aluminum back, up to 10 hours of battery life, support for Apple Pencil and the Second-generation Magic Keyboard, and most importantly; the M1 chip.

However, the company’s two most powerful iPads also have key differences that can be crucial when choosing one device or another. Among them, are the technology of the screen or the price. But, Which model is the most worth it? We compare them.

One of the main reasons you can last between choosing an iPad Air or an iPad Pro is that they both have the same processor. Both include the M1 chip, an Apple-designed SoC originally intended for Macs, but proven to perform extremely well on both tablets.

The chip configuration is exactly the same in both cases, so the performance is identical. Except, yes, for the iPad Pro 2021 variant with more storage, since its RAM memory increases to 16 GB, instead of 8 like the other versions.

The battery, in fact, is also the same. This is partly due to CPU optimization. The iPad Air 5 and the iPad Pro, so They have up to 10 hours of internet browsing with WiFi and 9 hours with mobile data.

Now we are starting to see the differences between the different memory settings. The iPad Air is available in 64 and 128 GB, while the iPad Pro has both versions and additional options of 256, 512 GB and 1 or 2 TB.

 iPad Air 2023iPad Pro 2021
Dimensions24.76 (height) x 17.85 (width) x 0.61 (thickness) cm24.76 (H) x 17.85 (W) x 0.59cm
Filter10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS, 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution, 264 ppi and 500 nits brightness11-inch Liquid Retina IPS with 2388 by 1668 pixel resolution and 264 pp, 600 nits brightness and 120Hz ProMotion technology
ProcessorM1 chip with 8-core CPU and GPUM1 chip with 8-core CPU and GPU
RAM8 GB8 GB (16 GB in versions with 1 or 2 TB of memory)
Storage64 or 256 GB128, 256, 512 GB, 1 or 2 TB
connectivityWi-FI 6, model compatible with 5G networks, USB C, Bluetooth 5.0, MIMO, integrated GPS/GNSSWi-FI 6, model compatible with 5G networks, USB C, Bluetooth 5.0, MIMO, integrated GPS/GNSS
Camera frontal12-megapixel f/2.4 ultra-wide angle with Centered FramingTrueDeph 12-megapixel f/2.4 center frame camera
Camera Major12-megapixel wide-angle with f/1.8 aperture– 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with f/1.8 aperture
– 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.4 aperture
– LiDAR sensor
BatteryUp to 10 hours of browsing on Wi-Fi and 9 hours on mobile networksUp to 10 hours of browsing on WiFi and up to 9 hours of browsing on mobile networks
AccessoriesCompatible with second-generation Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard (sold separately)Compatible with second-generation Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard (sold separately)
OthersTouch ID on the side, iPadOS 15, stereo soundFace ID, iPadoS 15, quad-speaker system, USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port
PriceFrom 679 euroFrom 879 euros

On-screen differences

iPad Pro 2021 screen.

Where there are significant differences is on screen. To begin with, and iPad Pro is available in two screen sizes: 11 and 12.9 inches. The two panels are a little different since the more compact model has an LCD backlight and the 12.9-inch version has a mini-LED.

The resolution, yes, is the same, despite being adapted so that both have a density of 264 pixels per inch. The 5th generation iPad Air is only available in a 10.9-inch version, a size slightly smaller than iPad Pro despite having the same dimensions, but caused by a slight thickness in the borders of the front screen. The 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution also offers a density of 264 pixels per inch.

However, in this area, there are two important differences that go beyond the size of the screen and the mini-LED technology of the 12.9-inch model. One of them is the refresh rate. The iPad Pro 2021 has ProMotion technology, which allows for a screen refresh rate of up to 120Hz.

The fifth-generation iPad Air does not include ProMotion. Your screen, therefore, moves at 60 Hz. The other difference is in terms of brightness. The iPad Pro has a maximum brightness of 600 nits; the iPad Air has 500 nits.

Regarding the screen —and more so the multimedia content— it should be noted that the iPad Pro in its two-screen versions has a four-speaker system while the iPad Air 2023 has dual speakers.

Biometrics and Cameras: more differences

The iPad Air has Touch ID, instead of Face ID.

Another difference between the two tablets is in the unlocking system. The iPad Pro 2021 has a TrueDeph camera that allows you to unlock the system using Face ID. The iPad Air, on the other hand, has Touch ID on the side. Both methods work extremely well, so it shouldn’t be a major point to choose between one device or the other.

The cameras, on the other hand, can be an important area to choose between one of the two models. Partly because there are so many differences. The iPad Air has a single 12-megapixel main camera. Same resolution as the 2021 iPad Pro, except that includes additional ultra-wide-angle sensors 12 megapixels, as well as a lidar sensor.

This scanner allows you to measure the depth of field and can be a very good ally for certain professional tasks. It also improves the accuracy of augmented reality, as well as photographs.

Another important detail is that the camera of the iPad Pro 2021 can take photos with 2x optical zoom, while the iPad Air is digital. The front lens, although it is the same, as that of the iPad Pro allows you to capture selfies in portrait mode thanks to the TrueDeph system.

iPad Air 2023 vs iPad Pro 2021, which one to buy?

Before opting for one option or another, it is important to know the prices of each version. The 5th generation iPad Air is the less expensive model of the two and can be purchased for 679 in its 64 GB version with only Wi-Fi. The price of the iPad Pro 2021 in its 128 GB variant with Wi-Fi is 879 euros.

That is to say, there is a difference of 200 euros between the two, although we must take into account that the Pro variant has twice the storage in its basic version. Which model is the most worth it?

The iPad Air is, without a doubt, the most balanced model in terms of price and features. It has the same power as the iPad Pro, a very similar design, an identical battery, and is compatible with both the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard.

If you are looking for a tablet to work with, this is the best option. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a device to enjoy multimedia content, the iPad Air is also ideal.

The iPad Pro, on the other hand, maybe a better option for business users who need a team with more capacity —remember there are variants up to 2TB—. Also for designers or users who need a more advanced photography section.

The rest of the differences, such as the 120 Hz screen, the 600 nit brightness or the TrueDeph system for Face ID, are not such decisive points. However, if you prefer to enjoy a smoother interface when navigating, as well as extra brightness for using the iPad outdoors, and don’t mind paying what you get costs, go for the iPad Pro.

the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, available for 1,1999 euros, plays in another category, both for its price, but also for its screen size. It is a much more expensive model with dimensions that are not comparable with the rest of Apple tablets.

And it is that it is aimed at users who are looking for a touchscreen laptop with a large screen to work on. If you think the 12.9-inch iPad Pro suits your needs and, like the 11-inch model, you don’t mind paying more than $1,000, this is also a good alternative.