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All iPads Still debating between the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Pro. Coming from the iPad Air 2 (with usage explained)

Which one should I choose?


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    144

happyhippo1337

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2013
244
127
Aside from all the differences, the new iPad Air seems to have a backlight bleed problem that the 2020 Pro doesn't have. I went to the Apple Store to get a replacement and the replacement device had a backlight issue that was worse than my current one. So I swapped it out for a 11" Pro and they let me keep the 20W charger with the Air. :)

yes, my new Air is the first in a long time with backlight bleed. None of the several Pros before had it.
 
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etkuo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2014
20
13
Hello everyone,

I am still debating between the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Pro (either 2020 or waiting till 2021).

I currently own an iPad Air 2, so it's been awhile since I have upgraded my iPad.

My primary usage for the iPad is only browsing, streaming, reading and some light gaming (non-action based games). I don't intend to use the iPad with the Apple Pencil or the Magic Keyboard. I use my Macbook Pro as my primary work device so the iPad is only used when I am out or when I am in bed.

My pretty light usage tells me that the iPad Air 4 is way more than sufficient for me. The big difference between the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Pro for me would only be:
4 speakers, 120Hz ProMotion (I wonder whether these two are really that noticeable during my day to day use);
and FaceID. (Seems to be a lot easier to just swipe and unlock the iPad than having to use TouchID on the button)

However, I tend to like getting the latest and greatest with my tech toys. Seeing how I don't often upgrade my iPad, should I just go big and go straight for the iPad Pro? I am looking at a price difference of about $180CAD (iPad Air 4 Wifi+Cellar 256GB w/AppleCare+ vs iPad Pro Wifi+Cellar 128GB w/AppleCare+).

So I guess long story short, my question is does the 4 speakers, 120Hz display and FaceID worth $180 extra for just browsing, streaming, reading and light non-action based gaming...

Thanks.
OP here. Thanks for everyone's input again.

I have been reading review, forums and watching some reviews since the Air came out. I think I won't be going with the Air.

The speaker seems to have a good difference in at least 2 YouTube comparisons that I saw.
The Pro screen with ProMotion, slightly higher brightness (and some say better contrast and view quality especially at an angle) seems to be better than the Air 4.
Looking at the TouchID reviews, it works but I would definitely prefer the FaceID on an iPad.

So all in all, I think I can justify the $180 difference to go with the Pro, even though I won't be using a lot of the other Pro features.

Now my only debate is whether to wait for the next iPad Pro update. If there is an update next March I will probably wait for it to get the A14 on it plus to see whether they will put in the MiniLED on the 11' Pro. However, looking at past records it looks like the iPad Pro is on ~1.5yr upgrade cycle. I will probably wait till Black Friday to see whether there are any new rumors and if there are good deals during Black Friday I will probably buy my Pro then.
 
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Sinochick

macrumors member
Sep 4, 2010
45
19
Vancouver, BC
You won’t regret going for the IPP 11. However something to think about - if you wait til next March for a possible new upgrade of IPP it might cost more than the current $180 price difference between the IPP 11 and the Air 4. I could see the prices for IPAD Pros going up next year, just a hunch.
OP here. Thanks for everyone's input again.

I have been reading review, forums and watching some reviews since the Air came out. I think I won't be going with the Air.

The speaker seems to have a good difference in at least 2 YouTube comparisons that I saw.
The Pro screen with ProMotion, slightly higher brightness (and some say better contrast and view quality especially at an angle) seems to be better than the Air 4.
Looking at the TouchID reviews, it works but I would definitely prefer the FaceID on an iPad.

So all in all, I think I can justify the $180 difference to go with the Pro, even though I won't be using a lot of the other Pro features.

Now my only debate is whether to wait for the next iPad Pro update. If there is an update next March I will probably wait for it to get the A14 on it plus to see whether they will put in the MiniLED on the 11' Pro. However, looking at past records it looks like the iPad Pro is on ~1.5yr upgrade cycle. I will probably wait till Black Friday to see whether there are any new rumors and if there are good deals during Black Friday I will probably buy my Pro then.
 
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AppliedMicro

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2008
685
200
My primary usage for the iPad is only browsing, streaming, reading and some light gaming (non-action based games).
Let‘s be real: you’re not going to be streaming 120Hz content. 120Hz won’t make much of a noticeable difference for browsing, let alone reading - unless you‘re going to bother yourself searching for one. As many people do. You’re going to get accustomed to either display anyway.

The speaker seems to have a good difference in at least 2 YouTube comparisons that I saw.
The Pro screen with ProMotion, slightly higher brightness (and some say better contrast and view quality especially at an angle) seems to be better than the Air 4.
Looking at the TouchID reviews, it works but I would definitely prefer the FaceID on an iPad.
...neither are you going to be noticing the higher brightness and contrast.

Face ID (if you prefer it) and the speakers (if you use them, instead of earphones) will make a noticeable difference in everyday use. So I believe you’re not going to go wrong with the Pro.
 
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Omega Mac

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2013
452
300
So all in all, I think I can justify the $180 difference to go with the Pro, even though I won't be using a lot of the other Pro features.

This is why I made my quick list of comparative euro prices in dollar amounts - so enjoy your dilemma, as it's approx $226, or an extra $46 bucks for your european consumer cousins to jump form the Air to iPP 11! :(

I have often thought beyond mere XE variations, that the higher prices in various EU states, may also cover the greater warranty provisions and customer laws and protections, someone has to pay for it right (Apple care makes more sense in the US that the EU... but i think it's good for screen repair cover and faster swap out replacement if there are issues with hardware) and Apple sure ain't going to hold the can here right?
 
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nrvna76

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2010
1,151
1,163
If you need 128gb they are essentially the same price.. makes it tough to choose the air, for me anyways..
 
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RealPhone

macrumors member
Dec 10, 2012
99
97
Norway
I received my iPad Pro 11 2020, 128 GB yesterday. Upgraded from iPad Air 2. Of course a big step, but I'm surprised and very pleased!

The display is neutral, sharp white! No yellow tint! Black is truly black.

120Hz/Promotion is a great and welcome bonus.
Sound from 4 speakers is excellent. Stellar camera as well.

"Sealed" it with amFilm Glass Screen Protector and placed it in the KAVAJ Case Leather Cover Berlin immediately!
 
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Hoff

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2018
122
23
I have a funny train of though on upgrading which is... wait as long as you can (ie till the 2021 model you mentioned comes out).

Why? Buying fewer devices over our life time.

Over the course of 20 years even, if we wait even say 6 months longer on each upgrade we consider making, and lets say we think about upgrading every 2 years, then we will have boughten only 8 devices instead of 10.

That's a couple grand more in our retirement fund (or wherever) and a couple less devices mined, manufactured, and disposed of. Multiply that by how many users are out there and it would really add up.

If you can, and it's not driving you nuts, I'd vote to wait : )
 
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Hoff

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2018
122
23
Also by waiting and getting the next year's Pro model, that's one year longer you could wait to updgrade that device.
 
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etkuo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2014
20
13
So OP here reporting back. With the Black Friday $140CAD gift card promotion (sadly in Canada we don't see other discounts from the other retailers) it was a no brainer to go with the iPad Pro over the iPad Air.

Been using it for maybe an hour after the setup. What can I say... No regrets at all. The FaceID alone makes the usage so seamless, can't imagine having to move my finger up to the power button for every unlock and login. The 120Hz ProMotion display for me is very noticeable. I notice a big difference when I switch between the iPad and my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Never got to compare the speakers in person but from several YouTube reviews it seems like the iPad Pro speakers also had a noticeable difference in sound quality over the iPad Air 4. These 3 reasons alone were enough for me to pick the iPad Pro over the iPad Air, especially after the gift card "discount".
 
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Hadron

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
283
212
In the end I surprised myself by ordering the Pro.

But I'd hesitated on whether 64GB was enoughm while 256GB was a fairly expensive overkill. And meanwhile the Apple Black Friday promotion eliminated any price difference between the Pro + Pencil and the 256GB Air + Pencil even though I have access to UK education prices. So while most of the Pro's extras aren't a big deal for me, with no price difference they didn't have to be, and it made more sense to spend the money on them than on additional storage that I wasn't going to use.

So I guess their decision to low-ball the base storage of the Air 4 worked on me in the end ;).
 
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Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
506
304
Eastern Washington State
So OP here reporting back. With the Black Friday $140CAD gift card promotion (sadly in Canada we don't see other discounts from the other retailers) it was a no brainer to go with the iPad Pro over the iPad Air.

Been using it for maybe an hour after the setup. What can I say... No regrets at all. The FaceID alone makes the usage so seamless, can't imagine having to move my finger up to the power button for every unlock and login. The 120Hz ProMotion display for me is very noticeable. I notice a big difference when I switch between the iPad and my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Never got to compare the speakers in person but from several YouTube reviews it seems like the iPad Pro speakers also had a noticeable difference in sound quality over the iPad Air 4. These 3 reasons alone were enough for me to pick the iPad Pro over the iPad Air, especially after the gift card "discount".
Good decision. I went through a very similar decision process just a week ago, no regrets here either. Agree completely with the advantages as you see them.
 
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h00ligan

macrumors 68030
Apr 10, 2003
2,936
93
A hot desert
I just grabbed the new air off vodaphone. For me the pro maybe made more sense as I will do some photography work hopefully but here’s the reality. I came from an iPad Air 2. This thing is so fast I just can’t see there would be much of a difference. Does 120 refresh matter to me, I haven’t used one so no. Does the ram? I guess maybe in a few years.
In the end it was £10 more a month and £10 more up front for me to go with the pro of the same storage. That’s £250 more over two years. Frankly I’d rather put that towards a new model in a couple years or an Apple Watch now. I don’t want horrendous monthly payments.

With the air (unlimited data at the fastest speed) and iPhone 11 (60 gig fastest speed) I am paying £90 a month. Would it have mattered to go to £100? Maybe, there are other things I want and I can’t see any fault with the air now. The four speakers are meaningless to me - the new air is way more in the speaker department already than I’ll probably ever need - I use AirPods Pro most of the time anyway

there is always a reason to spend more money on the next model up. It’s designed that way. This is my first cellular iPad - and my first new computer or tablet in 5-6 years. My other main machine is a surface pro 4.
I would be shocked if I couldn’t do 90% or more of what I do on the surface on the new iPad Air. The money I save pays for camera gear or a watch or a faster upgrade or towards a new computer. Or or or.

for me it’s about getting what I need. Not the best ever. I didn’t buy an iPhone 11 Pro and I’m a photographer and a technologist both professionally . Why not when the camera is so much better? Because I have real cameras.

anyway just another view.

For the record I just checked my air and there isn’t even a hint of bleed. It’s the most bleed free iPad I’ve ever had from 1-air 2 I had every model

I’m sure for someone who keeps up
With new yearly releases getting the pro may see some benefit. For me there’s a line to draw on cost. I have other stuff to buy.

edit - I just ran through some Lightroom and photoshop - clipping masks etc. The air flies on my 24mp photos.
 
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satchmo

macrumors 68040
Aug 6, 2008
3,057
3,004
Canada
there is always a reason to spend more money on the next model up. It’s designed that way. This is my first cellular iPad - and my first new computer or tablet in 5-6 years. My other main machine is a surface pro 4.
I would be shocked if I couldn’t do 90% or more of what I do on the surface on the new iPad Air. The money I save pays for camera gear or a watch or a faster upgrade or towards a new computer. Or or or.

for me it’s about getting what I need. Not the best ever.
I didn’t buy an iPhone 11 Pro and I’m a photographer and a technologist both professionally . Why not when the camera is so much better? Because I have real cameras.

Thanks for sharing.

I was going back and forth with the iPad Air and iPad Pro 11. I eventually settled on the Air and saved $300. Would I have benefitted from greater storage and ProMotion? Maybe down the road, but one can only future proof so far. I figure I can the most out of it until I need (not want), something more powerful.

I often agonize on what to buy, but need to remind myself how quickly technology changes. Imagine how someone who just bought a 16" MacBook Pro only to have a M1 MacBook Air demolish it. Yet, the MacBook Pro still works and serves the purpose it was originally purchased to do. And when it doesn't the M2 will be there to fill the need.
 
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Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
506
304
Eastern Washington State
. . . for me it’s about getting what I need. Not the best ever. . .
Good decision - I don't think anyone here is trying to do anything other than give their own point of view, and explain why they make the decisions they make for themselves.

These are all good devices. I consider myself fortunate in being able to get the Pro and afford it comfortably. I'm sure you'll be completely satisfied with the Air!
 
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h00ligan

macrumors 68030
Apr 10, 2003
2,936
93
A hot desert
Good decision - I don't think anyone here is trying to do anything other than give their own point of view, and explain why they make the decisions they make for themselves.

These are all good devices. I consider myself fortunate in being able to get the Pro and afford it comfortably. I'm sure you'll be completely satisfied with the Air!
Fully agree. Sorry if there seemed to be tone. It wasn’t intended. I just thought I’d share as a relative power user (though I don’t draw) with the air 2. After reading this thread I begrudgingly decided to curse myself and check for backlight bleed. I couldn’t believe how perfect it is. Relief!!
 
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Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
506
304
Eastern Washington State
Fully agree. Sorry if there seemed to be tone. It wasn’t intended. I just thought I’d share as a relative power user (though I don’t draw) with the air 2. After reading this thread I begrudgingly decided to curse myself and check for backlight bleed. I couldn’t believe how perfect it is. Relief!!
It's all good. Lots of interesting comments in this thread. I also notice that the OP ended up purchasing an iPad Pro, however the survey shows that most voted for the Air!
 
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