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iPad Air M1 or iPad Pro M1?

  • iPad Air M1

    Votes: 19 24.1%
  • iPad Pro M1

    Votes: 31 39.2%
  • Wait for the iPad Pro M2

    Votes: 27 34.2%
  • Wait for the iPad X

    Votes: 2 2.5%

  • Total voters
    79

ian87w

macrumors 604
Original poster
Feb 22, 2020
7,488
10,521
Indonesia
A family member asked me to help her decide in purchasing an iPad. Based on her usage, a basic iPad would've suffice, but Apple's marketing managed to get her that she actually stated that she wants the M1 (whether she knows what an M1 is, that's a different story). So that's a hard requirement, meaning the choice is Air or Pro. Storage will at least be 256GB as she wants it to hold a lot of her digitized notes, documents, PDFs, eBooks, etc.

I don't really know many people with iPads, so I cannot really get much crowdsourced opinions about it. I know the spec, Pro has Pro-motion and FaceID. But other than that, anything else that is significant to daily use?

Curious to hear anyone that have the M1 Air, or those who have both the Air and the iPad Pro. I mean realistically, I doubt there would be anything different, right? They all run the same iPad OS, support the same pencil and keyboard, and since both the Air and Pro now have the same M1 chip, many features would be the same (eg. stage manager), and as such they will probably have the same duration of software support. Is it worth it to spend a bit more and just get the Pro? I hate being baited by Apple's upselling tactic... 😂

Currently, I'm leaning on the iPad Air as it's simply cheaper for her, and it comes in colors (she would love the purple or pink one). That can sway her over the more expensive iPad Pro. Since this is a family member, I don't want her to spend more money than needed, and I know the iPad Pro would be overkill for her (the Air technically is overkill as well). Problem is, there's an October event coming. I assume it's just for the iPad Pro being refreshed? The Air just got M1 earlier this year. But then there's the basic iPad that might get a face lift, but might get a price increase as well (negating any advantage in value over the Air). And if the iPad Pro got the M2 without any price hike, that might be a better buy for just a bit more vs the Air.

Hope to hear some opinions.
 

v1ctorS

macrumors newbie
Jul 7, 2022
22
14
This year's 11' iPad Pro might get a mini LED screen. If that is important to her, I would wait for the official announcement and make a purchasing decision based on the price difference of the new 11' Pro compared to the 128GB Air (Keep in mind that the base M1 iPad Air will not support the new memory swap feature).

If she doesn't intend to use the iPad for productivity, I'd wait for the new standard iPad. If you believe the current leaks, it's going to be the perfect device for most people.
 
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Username-already-in-use

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2021
413
774
Picking for me I would choose the Pro - but when picking for her - it would be the Air.

From your description she just wants an iPad to do iPad stuff and has convinced herself that it has to have the M1 chip. Unless she’s hyping up any specific Pro-only features then a colourful iPad Air 5 256GB is likely the one for her.
 

leifp

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2008
65
69
Canada
I have the M1 Pro and keep fighting with myself over just getting an Air. Mainly because I prefer TouchID on my iPads: my wife uses it occasionally and with TouchID I just add her fingerprints… but the better screen on the Pro impacts me every time I use it, so I suppose convenience loses out for me.

For someone not downgrading, I’d recommend the Air…

(the 11” Pro screen is only a bit nicer than the one on the Air, as opposed to their laptops where you’d have to pry the 16” MBPro from my cold, dead hands…)
 

ian87w

macrumors 604
Original poster
Feb 22, 2020
7,488
10,521
Indonesia
Picking for me I would choose the Pro - but when picking for her - it would be the Air.

From your description she just wants an iPad to do iPad stuff and has convinced herself that it has to have the M1 chip. Unless she’s hyping up any specific Pro-only features then a colourful iPad Air 5 256GB is likely the one for her.
Yeah, I was surprised she even knew about the M1. 😅 Apple marketing at its best.
 

RogerKmilw

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2014
116
193
Milwaukee, WI
A family member asked me to help her decide in purchasing an iPad. Based on her usage, a basic iPad would've suffice, but Apple's marketing managed to get her that she actually stated that she wants the M1 (whether she knows what an M1 is, that's a different story). So that's a hard requirement, meaning the choice is Air or Pro. Storage will at least be 256GB as she wants it to hold a lot of her digitized notes, documents, PDFs, eBooks, etc.

I don't really know many people with iPads, so I cannot really get much crowdsourced opinions about it. I know the spec, Pro has Pro-motion and FaceID. But other than that, anything else that is significant to daily use?

Curious to hear anyone that have the M1 Air, or those who have both the Air and the iPad Pro. I mean realistically, I doubt there would be anything different, right? They all run the same iPad OS, support the same pencil and keyboard, and since both the Air and Pro now have the same M1 chip, many features would be the same (eg. stage manager), and as such they will probably have the same duration of software support. Is it worth it to spend a bit more and just get the Pro? I hate being baited by Apple's upselling tactic... 😂

Currently, I'm leaning on the iPad Air as it's simply cheaper for her, and it comes in colors (she would love the purple or pink one). That can sway her over the more expensive iPad Pro. Since this is a family member, I don't want her to spend more money than needed, and I know the iPad Pro would be overkill for her (the Air technically is overkill as well). Problem is, there's an October event coming. I assume it's just for the iPad Pro being refreshed? The Air just got M1 earlier this year. But then there's the basic iPad that might get a face lift, but might get a price increase as well (negating any advantage in value over the Air). And if the iPad Pro got the M2 without any price hike, that might be a better buy for just a bit more vs the Air.

Hope to hear some opinions.
I would try to wait until after the Oct event. Mostly because the M1 Pro will def be discounted after and prob the Air as well. I know she wants M1 but maybe if the changes to the base model are substantial enough you could sway her in that direction to save some $$.
 
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ian87w

macrumors 604
Original poster
Feb 22, 2020
7,488
10,521
Indonesia
Thanks for the responses so far. After chatting with her a bit further, she's not particularly in a hurry, so waiting for the October event might be the best course of action at this point to see what Apple would offer. Thanks guys. 😁
 

LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
1,037
1,336
PA, USA
I’d recommend the Air.

I think the iPad Pro is overpriced for what it offers and is generally a poor buy. I’d only recommend stepping up to the Pro if they have very specific needs that would be met by it.

Generally speaking, a MacBook is a better buy compared to the iPad Pro.

I say that owning the 2021 iPad Pro.
 

vbctv

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2013
800
601
Cleveland, OH
I would try to wait until after the Oct event. Mostly because the M1 Pro will def be discounted after and prob the Air as well. I know she wants M1 but maybe if the changes to the base model are substantial enough you could sway her in that direction to save some $$.
M1 iPad Pro is already discounted most places. I just picked up a 128GB Wifi model for $699 (had Best Buy price match and lucky I went when I did because Amazon went out of stock an hour later and hasn't been back in stock yet. They still have the silver for $739.). Main reason I didn't wait is because I have a huge feeling the M2 iPad Pro will be plagued by the same slower storage issues as the MacBook Air & Pro M2. So the M1 still may come out as the better iPad Pro for now and there is not much difference for most people unless you do gaming to wait for the M2. If you can find a deal that is $100 off or more or even close to that, then I wouldn't wait because stock is already down everywhere, only one Best Buy in my area had them in stock and it was very few. None of the Apple stores around me have them either and delivery is showing Oct. 10. on Apple's site. Even microcenter by me is down to very little. So a new model is coming next month for sure, but you may not find the M1 around by then or cheap like normal years...
 
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loungefly2022

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2022
19
42
I had a Gen 4 Air, but ended up giving it to my grandparents and bought myself a 2020 12.9 Pro.

Every time I go and visit with them I play around on my old Air for a few minutes and realize I really miss the size, weight, and touch ID of the Air compared to the Pro. However, after being spoiled by the ProMotion of the Pro's screen, it's jarring to not have it.

As an aside, the Sky Blue of that generation Air is the prettiest color Apple has ever had on a device, IMO.
 
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Pezimak

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2021
1,508
1,093
I frigging love my Pro, but, for your friend I also would advise the Air. Get her to try out the Air and Pro in store to check she is happy with the screens, 60hz vs 120hz etc.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,344
528
I got the brand new iPad Pro m1 128gb for $599 no sales taxes on sale back in May. Made it a no brainer for me over iPad Air 64gb m1 (was on sale $499 I think)

They are essentially the same iPad for 98% of the general population. iPad Pro has 4 speakers, better rear camera and pro motion. But the general public wouldn’t care.

I’d wait for the October event. M1 is so powerful already. iPad problem isn’t the processor as we know. It’s the iPad os that limits it. I have toyed around with using Magic Keyboard. Too heavy cramped up. Returned it. My current apple keyboard plus Magic Mouse and speck iPad cover propped up to transform it into computer.

Plus usb c powered dell 34 inch ultra sharp ultra wide monitor attached to iPad Pro m1 almost replicated laptop setup.

I just hate iPad os. Wish apple would just combined mac os and iPad os and be done with it
 
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Isamilis

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2012
1,398
490
Thanks for the responses so far. After chatting with her a bit further, she's not particularly in a hurry, so waiting for the October event might be the best course of action at this point to see what Apple would offer. Thanks guys. 😁
If you can, wait until Dec. I suspect, there will be big discount on existing M1 iPad due to new iPad Pro release and new year’s sale.
 
Last edited:

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,302
1,290
M1 Pro has no appeal, to me, or for what you've described.
I'm waiting to see if next month's M2 Pro gets a display with true blacks. If not, M1 Air, or keep waiting until Apple decides they want to offer quality.
 

giffut

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2003
417
113
Germany
Make it dependent on their budget.

At the moment I see no reason at all for any M1 iPad, as they still have slow and unreliable data transfer speeds, wacky file managment and are severly hampered by iOS lack of using said power of the M1.
 
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ian87w

macrumors 604
Original poster
Feb 22, 2020
7,488
10,521
Indonesia
Make it dependent on their budget.

At the moment I see no reason at all for any M1 iPad, as they still have slow and unreliable data transfer speeds, wacky file managment and are severly hampered by iOS lack of using said power of the M1.
I agree, and if I were to get an iPad for myself, I would just buy the basic iPad model. To me they're all the same as they run the same iPadOS, so the uber fancy M1 in an iPad means nothing to me. :D

But in this case, for her, Apple marketing managed to convince her that she must have an M1. So the option is either the Air or the Pro. I'll wait until the October event to see what Apple offers.
 

shook187

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2014
57
46
October 3rd Staples is gonna have the iPad Pro for $599 for in-store purchase….it made it a no-brainer to choose it over the Air.

I was checking inventory at my local Staples and only a couple stores showed one in stock I went ahead and purchased it for 699 and will be getting a price match on Sunday.

Ultimately price is going to dictate what tablet im going to get …I’m not gonna wait for an October event
 
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ian87w

macrumors 604
Original poster
Feb 22, 2020
7,488
10,521
Indonesia
October 3rd Staples is gonna have the iPad Pro for $599 for in-store purchase….it made it a no-brainer to choose it over the Air.

I was checking inventory at my local Staples and only a couple stores showed one in stock I went ahead and purchased it for 699 and will be getting a price match on Sunday.

Ultimately price is going to dictate what tablet im going to get …I’m not gonna wait for an October event
Lucky for you.
In my country, Apple prices are pretty much tightly controlled by the official distributors.
 

CC88

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2010
417
85
I'm in the same boat. Sold my iPad Pro 2nd generation and waiting... Maybe I can get an iPad Pro 3rd generation for a good price when the M2 will be available. Or if the M2 has some interesting feature I can get it.

I will not go for the Air 2022 because no pro motion display, lack of good audio and no 512gb model.
 
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danb1979

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2015
346
347
Preston, Lancs - UK
FWIW I've just bought a 9th Gen iPad today and it's bang on for my needs (standard iPad usage, emails/Chrome, iTunes, reading magazines etc)

The iPad Pro is overkill for that and got mine for £290 UK Sterling rather than c£500 upwards!

Unless you need the power of the M1 (or simply want it, which was me but couldn't justify that expense) then deffo try and steer her for the standard iPad!
 

azentropy

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2002
3,460
3,785
Surprise
Both are great. Personally I go for the Pro because Promotion and the better audio is worth it to me. Also 64GB isn't quite enough for me but 128GB is. So I have to also compare the step up Air to the the base Pro so it really is only a $50 difference.
 
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