You might think that the iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 dilemma isn’t much of a dilemma; the newly announced iPad Pro (2022) brings high-end laptop performance to tablet format. But iPad Air (2022) – The other big tablet launch Apple launched earlier in the year isn’t bad either.
In fact, when the fifth-generation iPad Air was released, we were a little worried that it was encroaching on the market. iPad Pro 2021When it comes to pricing and feature set. So how does it stack up to have a newer, fresher Pro model on us now?
We’re not ready to make a decision about the iPad Pro 2022 yet, but here’s how we see things, according to official specs and specs.
iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 price and availability
The iPad Air 5 ships on March 18, 2022, and prices currently start at $599 / £669 / AU$999 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model. That goes up to $749 / £849 / AU$1,249 for the 256GB unit. There’s also a 5G cellular option that costs $749 / £669 / AU$1,249 for 64GB and $899 / £1,029 / AU$1,499 for 256GB.
It should be noted that this pricing has taken a major hit for the UK and Australian markets since its launch, which is believed to be driven by global economic pressures.
Meanwhile, the iPad Pro 2022 was launched in two sizes on October 18, 2022. Prices for the 11-inch model start at $799 / £899 / AU$1,399, while prices for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro start at $1,099 / £1,249 / AU$1,899.
These prices are only for models with 128GB Wi-Fi, it’s worth mentioning; Adding cellular connectivity and more storage (256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB) will increase the price significantly. At the top of the scale, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2022 with 2TB of storage and cellular connectivity will cost you $2,399 / £2,679 / AU$4,099. Ah.
iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 design
The iPad Pro 2022 and iPad Air 5 have very similar designs indeed. Both have flat surfaces and sharp, all-aluminum bodies and uniform screen bezels.
In terms of size, the iPad Air 5 is again very similar to the 11-inch iPad Pro 2022. The cheaper tablet measures 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm, while the 11-inch Pro measures 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm. They’re the same, except for the 0.2mm thickness difference in favor of the Pro.
The iPad Air 5 is much lighter than its Pro sibling, but we’re talking 466g versus 461g, so you’re unlikely to notice it in your hand.
There’s also a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2022, of course, and it measures 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm and weighs 682g, meaning it’s significantly larger than both of the above.
All three of these tablets have ditched Apple’s squeaky old Lightning connector in favor of a universal USB-C port, although the Pro models use the faster Thunderbolt 4 standard. Also, the difference in biometric authentication systems is not easily visible. The iPad Air 5 hides a Touch ID sensor behind the power button, while the iPad Pro 2022 features Apple’s excellent Face ID system using its front camera and sensors.
One way the iPad Air 5 is making a comeback is its color choice. The cheaper tablet comes in an impressive selection of Space Grey, Starlight, pink, purple and blue. The iPad Pro 2022, on the other hand, only offers silver and Space Gray.
iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 screen
The iPad Air 5 and the smaller iPad Pro 2022 have similar, if not identical, displays. For the Air you’re looking at 10.9 inches and 1640 x 2360, the Pro gives you 11 inches and 1668 x 2388. Meanwhile, the larger iPro scales things up to 12.9 inches and 2048 x 2732.
Both Pro displays stand out with their 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh rate, while the iPad Air 5 is stuck at 60Hz. The 11-inch iPad Pro 2022 gets a little brighter than its cheaper sibling, up to 600nit instead of 500nits.
However, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2022 overcomes both by switching from standard IPS LCD technology to a mini LED LCD panel. This provides a number of benefits, including much higher typical brightness of 1000 nits and a much more vibrant, contrasting color output.
If anything, we’re disappointed that the 11-inch iPad Pro 2022 doesn’t join its super-sized sibling in the mini LED department. Its screen is better than the iPad Air 5s, but not that much.
iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 camera
The iPad Air 5 is packed with a single 12MP wide camera, while the iPad Pro 2022 tablets feature dual camera setups consisting of 12MP wide and 10MP ultra wide. The latter also includes a ToF 3D LiDAR scanner that completes a much more comprehensive package for the Pro, which complements AR (augmented reality) experiences.
Both the Air and Pro offer you 12MP selfie cameras, but as we mentioned earlier, the Pro is a TrueDepth camera that supports Face ID authentication. Both support Center Stage, which tracks your face in video calls.
Along with the more advanced processor (more on that in a moment), we’ve backed the iPad Pro 2022 to have a better all-round camera system than the Air 5.
iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 features and performance
Apple has stepped up the power of two iPad Pro 2022 models and equipped them with the laptop-grade Apple M2 chip. The iPad Air 2022 isn’t anything to be sniffed at, with its slightly older laptop-grade Apple M1 chip.
Both the M1 and M2 have 8-core CPUs, but the M1 has an 8-core GPU, while the M2 gives you a 10-core GPU. Apple claims that the M2 CPU is 15% faster than the M1 equivalent, while the M2 GPU is 35% faster than the M1 equivalent.
Besides a simple performance boost, the M2 gives the iPad Pro 2022 a better ‘media engine’ and better image processing capabilities than the iPad Air 5.
We have a bit of a problem with the iPad Air 5’s storage supply. As with entry models, 64GB isn’t enough in this day and age, especially when the only other option is the full 256GB. With 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB options on the table, the iPad Pro 2022 has no such problems.
Elsewhere, the iPad Pro 2022 gives you Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. That’s better than the iPad Air 5’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. However, both cellular variants provide 5G connectivity.
While both tablets are compatible with Apple Pencil 2, the iPad Pro 2022 offers enhanced connectivity for the stylus and has the ability to detect its tip when it comes within 12mm of the screen. This means that when you hover the Pen over a text box, it will expand to give an example. On this front, the new iPad Pro 2022 also features improved handwriting recognition.
iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro 2022 battery
iPad Air 5 has a battery of 28.93Wh, which equates to 7,606mAh. That’s much larger than the 28.65Wh or 7,538mAh battery of the 11-inch iPad Pro 2022 and much smaller than the 40.88Wh or 10,758mAh cell of the 12.9-inch Pro.
Different sizes aside, Apple claims exactly the same durability for each model, with “up to 10 hours of surfing or video streaming over Wi-Fi” and “up to 9 hours of surfing using a cellular data network”. in each of the 5G variants.
Apple has completely revamped its tablet lineup for 2022, with both Air and Pro models offering laptop-level performance, sleek straight-edge designs, and 5G connectivity options.
The iPad Pro 2022 (unsurprisingly) looks better, more capable between the two. The new Apple M2 chip means a healthy boost in performance, and its two screens are brighter, smoother and (at least in the case of the 12.9-inch Pro) more vibrant.
Pro also gives you a more advanced camera system, Face ID authentication, improved connectivity and improved Apple Pencil interaction.
But is it worth the $200/£200 premium Apple charges for the 11-inch Pro? For most people, we suspect it won’t be, as they are so functionally similar. That said, we’ll know for sure when we have a chance to step up the iPad Pro 2022.
If you can’t wait that long, check out our roundup of the best iPads available right now, and we’ve got a constantly updated iPad if you’re looking to buy it. best iPad deals feature and – as we approach November 25 – the best Black Friday iPad deals piece for your review.
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