iPad Pro vs iPad Air (cost vs specs)

My screen shattered on my 2017 iPad Pro. Since I am now retired and do not need pro power. I am consider the iPad Air. It the difference in the machines worth the money. I will be using, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Drafts, Reminders, Apple mail and calendar. No video editing or the such. Also I hear the Air might not be as durable as the Pro. I would appreciate the thoughts and opinion of others.


I’ve been thinking about this myself. I don’t ever come close to using the full power of my 2018 Pro and the Air now has the nice screen with symmetric bezels.

The Air has TouchID and costs less.

The Pro has FaceID (which I like better on an iPad) and ProMotion, which I do appreciate.

I’m likely to consider Air next time, unless the new Pros have the camera on the long side (so that it works correctly in landscape orientation). That would be an instant buy of a Pro for me.

1 Like

I use the 4th Gen iPad Air (A2316). It’s a terrific machine. It sounds like your activities are not overly resource heavy, and I’d think that the Air would suit you fine. It’s hard to say what durability will be like, but my iPads tend to last a long time (3-5 years at least). My use case might be a little different, but like you I only do light production work (much of it text based), and the most important thing I do is annotating PFDs (with the Logi stylus, to save some money on the expensive Apple pen). It’s also good for other content consumption (video, Youtube, reading; and some gaming though I don’t do much of it).

@ACautionaryTale mentions the camera. I’ve never taken a photo with the iPad in my life (I mean, the size of it makes this very unwieldy!), and rely on my iPhone SE for that. So your mileage will vary depending on regular use scenarios.

I guess durability ultimately depends on a number of factors, including storage (how much do you need? how much will you need in 3 years time?).

Good luck!

1 Like

I went from the 2020 iPad Pro 12.9 to the 2022 5th gen iPad Air, because the latter had the M1 processor. I use an app for work that was making the pro feel slow and overall I could see that spotlight was getting sluggish.

Initial downsize was an eye opener but I got the Magic Keyboard with the new purchase, and couldn’t be happier. The portability of the power of the iPad Air really can’t be beat currently. I most wrote and managed tasks, calendars and work app with the iPad Pro so I’m missing nothing.

1 Like

I was actually talking about the front facing camera, for video conferencing. (Until I read your comment I’d actually forgotten that it even has a rear facing camera :laughing:)

1 Like

I’d argue the question should be M1 or not M1 (or M2 and so on)
Most new features now revolve around the presence of an M1 chip, and so the iPadOS update will be most valuable for the M1 iPads. I’ve got an iPad pro myself, and my wife has a “regular” 2021 iPad, and tbh I don’t see any difference between the two in day to day work.

For me the 12.9 inch screen is what I like the most about the pro.