2019 10.5-Inch iPad Air vs. 2017 10.5-Inch iPad Pro

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air that can be viewed as a lower-priced successor to the second-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which has been discontinued. Below, we compare tech specs and features.


    Pricing is key, with the new iPad Air starting at $499 with Wi-Fi only and $629 with LTE connectivity in the United States. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro started at $649 with Wi-Fi and $779 with LTE connectivity until it was discontinued. Both have 64GB or 256GB of storage, but the new iPad Air lacks a 512GB option.

    Design wise, the iPads have a lot of similarities, including dimensions, thinness, and overall appearance. Both have a Touch ID home button, a headphone jack, and a Lightning connector, but the new iPad Air has only two speakers along the bottom, whereas the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has four speakers.

    The new iPad Air is available in Silver, Space Gray, and a newer Gold finish that essentially merges the previously separate Gold and Rose Gold finishes that were available for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

    Both iPads feature a fully laminated Retina display with a resolution of 2224×1668 pixels and 264 PPI, True Tone, and support for the P3 wide color space, but the new 10.5-inch iPad Air has a 60Hz refresh rate while the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has a so-called ProMotion display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate.

    Processor wise, the new iPad Air sports Apple's A12 Bionic chip compared to a slower A10X Fusion chip in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The new iPad Air also has dedicated hardware called the "Neural Engine" that handles artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks, while the 10.5-inch iPad Pro does not.

    In terms of battery life, both iPads last up to 10 hours per charge, according to Apple's internal testing.

    With its lower price point, the new iPad Air has a lower-end 8-megapixel rear camera, compared to a 12-megapixel sensor on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The rear camera on the new iPad Air also lacks LED flash, optical image stabilization, and Focus Pixels, but one benefit is that there is no camera bump.

    The front FaceTime HD cameras are the same 7-megapixel sensors with Live Photos, Retina Flash, and other identical features on both iPads.

    As for connectivity, both iPads have 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but the new iPad Air has Gigabit-class LTE versus the 10.5-inch iPad Pro's theoretically slower LTE Advanced support. The new iPad Air also gets a bump to Bluetooth 5.0 versus Bluetooth 4.2 out of the box for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

    Both iPads are compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil and the 10.5-inch Smart Keyboard.

    The new iPad Air starts at $150 less than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and thus has some tradeoffs: two speakers versus four, no ProMotion display, and a lower-end 8-megapixel rear camera with no LED flash or optical image stabilization.
    The new iPad Air has the same dimensions, thinness, and overall appearance as 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
    Both iPads have a 10.5-inch Retina display with 264 PPI, headphone jack, Touch ID, Lightning connector, 7-megapixel front camera, up to 10 hours of battery life, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
    The new iPad Air has some advantages: faster A12 Bionic chip vs. A10X Fusion, Gigabit-class LTE vs. LTE Advanced, and Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.2.The new iPad Air can be ordered starting today with in-store availability beginning next week in the United States and many other regions.

    Article Link: 2019 10.5-Inch iPad Air vs. 2017 10.5-Inch iPad Pro
  2. EugW, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    One key factor: Memory. We don't know how much the new Air has.

    If the new Air is limited to 3 GB then I'm going with the Pro which has 4 GB. The 64 GB WiFi 10.5" Pro refurb in Canada costs exactly the same as the 64 GB WiFi 10.5" Air educational pricing, at CAD$619.


    I ended up ordering the 10.5" Pro refurb for the other features mentioned, but then I found out at least one of the new iPads only has 3 GB RAM, so that works out well. :p



    However, I'm not sure if that's the Air or the mini.
  3. BaracksPhallusPalace macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2017
    Considering you can still get a 2017 IPP 10.5" for $525-550 from other retailers, idk why you would spend around the same price for this when it's only got a 60hz display... i tried using a 9.7" IPP recently and the blur switching between apps on a screen that size is terrible. Those ProMotion displays should really be standardized across the entire iPad lineup.
  4. rosegoldoli macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2019
    love the gold finish they are sticking with
  5. smartbot macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2009
    I think I will stick with the 10.5 pro. The quad speakers are amazing!
  6. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    This product has Tim Cook written all over it. It makes sense to reuse the existing supply chain.

    The iPad Air 2 was discontinued because people didn't want to pay $499 for a media consumption iPad. So the $329 iPad was born. There's a similar group of customers who don't want to pay $649 for an iPad Pro. This iPad Air fits the bill perfectly.
  7. Achillias macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2011
    Expensive in Europe and same boring design. Apple is the only company who can do that.
  8. kalafalas macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2008
    No camera bump is sexy....

    No stereo separation in landscape is not sexy....
  9. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    I had a 10.5 Pro and "upgraded" to the 11 Pro. FaceID is driving me crazy as I seem to always be blocking the stinking camera. So glad to see they haven't abandoned the TouchID design altogether.
  10. camomac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    Left Coast
  11. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    How does the performance compare between the two. Anything you like better on the 11"?
  12. deaglecat macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2012
    Could be sweet.... is the chassis sturdy ?
  13. McTool macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2016
    You’re driving yourself crazy. Not Face id. Must be a hassle flipping over an iPad. Imagine the horror of it.
  14. Cosmosent macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2016
    La Jolla, CA
    What NO ONE has yet picked up on, including those who work for Mac Rumors, is that now that AAPL is NO longer providing Unit Sales of iPhones, iPads, & Macs (@ Quarterly Earnings Releases), these types of "incremental lower-end improvements" are (& will continue to be) the Norm.

    Cook & Co is now after "Incremental Revenue" in every way possible.

    They feel they NO longer need to worry about the ASP for any of their products.

    You won't hear this on CNBC, & elsewhere, until AFTER they read about it here.
  15. deebinem macrumors regular

    May 7, 2017
    Looks like the refurbs on Apple's site (at least here in the US) have the 10.5 Pro 64gb $30 less than the new Air.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 18, 2019 ---
    Yeah but that flipping kind of flies in the face of the "it just works" mantra, right?
  16. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Not sure if this is a mini or an Air, but here ya go:


    Note the 3 GB RAM.
  17. jshirk macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2019
    The new iPad Air (and iPad Mini) supports eSim as well on the cellular version, which is really convenient for international travel.
  18. turbineseaplane macrumors 601


    Mar 19, 2008
    To me that's the model to buy...
    (the Pro refurb)
  19. currentinterest macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    This is a nice upgrade for all the iPad Air 1 & 2 users. The A10 iPad was not. I own an iPad Pro 10.5 inch and like the display and form factor (though will be upgrading to Face ID and A13X when the new ones are available). The iPad can be purchased for $279 at many places, so that is its real price and makes a good media consumption machine. My wife has an original 16GB mini that is still going strong, and will be upgrading to the new mini. It is perfect for her. She likes drawing, so the pencil will be a great feature. Apple knows what they are doing.
  20. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Note that the Air is eligible for an edu discount.
  21. otternonsense macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2016
    Good grief, what penny thrifters. Why buy this thing and not a 10.5" refurb? Is the A12 that good of a tradeoff?
  22. Maigrais macrumors member


    Jan 25, 2012
    The writers forgot to mention that diamond cut chamfered edges are now officially done for iPads. iPod touch is now the only Apple product that still has them.
  23. scupking macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2010
    To bad this doesn't have quad speakers. The sound on the pro 10.5 was awesome but the white spot on the screen was not...Hope Apple fixed the white spot issue for this one.
  24. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    If you want quad speakers on an iPad it will now cost you at least $800. Pathetic.
  25. MatthewUT44 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2015

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