In the fall of 2020, Apple unveiled a whole slew of new products. The tablets also did not stand aside. Despite the decline in interest in this segment, it is the iPad that is tacitly considered the standard in it. Apple offers several lines of tablets, allowing users to choose the best option for themselves. And if the differences between the budget series and the flagships are many, and they are obvious, then the Air line gradually ceases to be a middle peasant, pulling up to the tops.
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The iPad Air 4 presented in 2020 (review) was a noticeable evolutionary step forward relative to its brothers. This model attracts the attention of fans of the most powerful solutions. It is no coincidence that there is a desire to compare the iPad Air 4 with the iPad Pro 11 presented in spring 2020. In this article, we will try to find out what are the fundamental differences between them and what is the difference in the cost of products.
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Design iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
The iPad Air 4 immediately catches your eye because it is so easy to confuse it with the professional series. For the first time, a representative of a non-TOP line received a design without a Home button with thin uniform frames around the screen. The body is still made of high quality aluminum. One can only hope that sooner or later both iPad mini and regular iPad will acquire a similar look.
Externally, the front side of the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 looks like equally…
The main design differences lie on the back. The 2020 iPad Pro gets a fairly large array of two cameras and a LiDAR sensor, while the iPad Air has one camera left. On the other hand, the flagship model looked similarly until recently, in 2018.
iPad Air 4 (2020)
iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
The compared models received a similar design, in which there was simply no place for the Home button at the bottom of the screen. This is the most relevant style today, which other manufacturers also adhere to. The evolution of the iPad Air 4 (2020) appearance could force many Apple tablet fans to upgrade their already obsolete devices.
There are slight differences in the arrangement of elements on the edges. If the iPad Air (2020) has nothing on the left, then the iPad Pro has a microphone. From the bottom, everything is the same – two speaker grids each and USB-C port…
The upper edge is also given to two speaker grids, a microphone and a power key (iPad Pro) / Touch ID sensor (in iPad Air 4). On the right, there is a place for the volume keys and the magnetic attachment area of the Apple Pencil 2 stylus.
Apple Pencil 2 magnetic charging process on iPad Pro 11 (2020) and iPad Air 4 (2020)
Differences in screen diagonal and overall design are minimal, and the dimensions of the devices are almost identical:
iPad Pro 11 (2020): 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm. Weight 471 g.
iPad Pro 11 (2020)
iPad Air 4 (2020): 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm. Weight 458 g.
iPad Air 4 (2020)
The length and width of the tablets are the same, but the “proshka” is a little thinner. But it weighs a little more. But the difference in fractions of a millimeter will not be particularly noticeable, from a practical point of view, the iPad Air 4 should lie even better in the hand – the edges will not cut so well, and the chances of bending the tablet as a result of careless handling will decrease.
There is an advantage on the side of the iPad Air 4 in terms of the number of colors. The top model traditionally does not indulge in options, there are only two of them: silver and gray space.
IPad Pro 11 Colors (2020)
But the iPad Air 4 received five colors at once: silver, space gray, rose gold, green and blue sky.
IPad Air 4 Colors (2020)
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IPad Air 4 (2020) and 11-inch iPad Pro (2020)
The diagonal size of the tablet screens is almost the same. If iPad Air 4 (2020) got 10.9 inch Liquid Retina IPS screen with LED backlighting and True Tone technology, while iPad Pro 11 (2020) has a diagonal of Liquid Retina IPS screen with similar LED backlighting is 11 inch, but in addition to True Tone, ProMotion technology is also implemented. It increases the screen frequency to 120 Hz, which makes the display of the picture smoother. The older model’s resolution is also slightly higher – 2388 × 1668 pixels versus 2360 × 1640, but the pixel density as a result of the tablets is the same – 264 pixels per inch.
Display iPad Air 4 (2020)
The standard screen brightness of the iPad Air 4 is 500 cd / m2, while the iPad Pro 11 is slightly higher – up to 600 cd / m2. Both models received oleophobic screen protection, laminated display and anti-reflective coating, wide P3 color gamut.
In general, the screens are very similar in their characteristics – it will be difficult to notice the difference in brightness, size and resolution. But the older model has a rather tangible bonus in the form of support for 120 Hz refresh. If users are upgrading to an iPad Air 4 and have not previously dealt with ProMotion, they will only see the benefits in the new screen. But it will be more difficult to switch to this model from the iPad Pro with a 120 Hz screen – the difference will show itself.
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Performance iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
When evaluating device performance, be careful – the numerical indexes of processors can be confusing. iPad Air 4 received a 64-bit processor A14 Bionicwith 6 cores (4 of which are energy efficient) and equipped with a Neural Engine system. The base frequency of 1.8 GHz can be increased to 3 GHz if necessary. The processor is made according to the most advanced 5-nanometer process technology. The tablet has 4GB of RAM and a 4-core GPU.
But the iPad Pro runs on 64-bit A12Z Bionic, also with the Neural Engine system. But there are more cores here – as many as 8, 4 of them are productive, and the rest are energy efficient. The base frequency of 1.6 GHz can be increased to 2.4 GHz if necessary. True, the powerful processor is made using 7-nanometer technology, which leads to increased heat dissipation from a relatively young competitor. The iPad Pro has more RAM – as much as 6 GB of LPDDR4X standard. The GPU is also more powerful and has 8 cores.
The older model is also supported by the choice of the built-in storage. IPad Pro 11 (2020) has 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options. The iPad Air 4 is limited to 64GB and 256GB.
Synthetic tests look ambiguous. When evaluating single-core performance, the iPad Air 4, due to the more recent A14 Bionic, takes the lead – almost 30%. But this does not take into account the amount of RAM and multithreading. But in a more realistic multi-core test, the iPad Pro takes revenge, albeit not so convincing – the advantage is 20%.
In browser tests, the advantage of the iPad Air over its older brother is clear, accounting for the same 20-30%, but in the iGPU – FP32 test, which evaluates the processing power of the processor, the superiority is again on the side of the iPad Pro 11. In fact, such a comparison is not particularly necessary. There is a difference in comparison with the younger models of previous years, and it is significant, and it will be very difficult to see in real scenarios the difference in the speed of the iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11 (2020)… Both devices have powerful hardware, and really hard tasks, allowing the device to reach its potential, are rare. The base laid down in A12Z will help when working with LiDAR and image processing at 120 Hz.
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Cameras in iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
The iPad Air 4 has only one main camera module, wide angle. It has a resolution of 12 megapixels and an aperture of f / 1.8. There is image stabilization, support for Live Photos technology, wide color range, autofocus and Focus Pixels, Smart HDR, continuous and panoramic shooting up to 63 megapixels.
The iPad Pro 11 has a similar wide-angle camera with the same capabilities, but in addition it has an ultra-wide-angle 10-megapixel camera with f / 2.4 aperture. This allows you to capture a picture from a wide angle. Proshka also received a brighter True Tone flash.
In addition, the main module of the iPad Pro 11 also has a LiDAR laser rangefinder (details about its purpose).
Video iPad Air 4 can shoot 4K resolution at 24, 30, or 60 frames per second. Slow motion 1080p is conducted at 120 or 240 frames per second. The iPad Pro has a similar capability, but ultra-wide shoots 4K at 60 frames per second, and 1080p – 240 frames per second. Both tablets received a “Timelapse” mode with stabilization, tracking autofocus and 3x zoom.
The front camera of both tablets has resolution 7 Mp… The iPad Air 4 has it called FaceTime HD and has the ability to shoot Live Photos, Retina Flash, 1080p video, and uses Smart HDR for photos and videos. IPad Pro 11 features a True Depth camera system that includes a Face ID sensor. She can additionally work with Portrait mode and use portrait lighting, and also supports Animoji and Memoji.
For most users, working with the camera on iPad and its capabilities is far from the main issue. And the capabilities of the main wide-angle module of the tablets are the same. The difference lies in the extra super-width of the iPad Pro and a slightly better front-facing camera. This advantage, even backed by the LiDAR module, will be claimed by a small number of users.
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Battery and autonomy in iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
According to Apple, the battery life of the iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11 (2020) are the same – up to 10 hours of Internet use over Wi-Fi or in video mode and up to 9 hours of use when connected to cellular networks. The iPad Pro battery supports 18W fast charging (included), while the iPad Air 4 supports 20W fast charging (included). There is a slight difference in consumption scenarios – the iPad Pro is more energy efficient when playing videos and browsing the sites, and the iPad Air 4 will last longer under load and with 100% screen brightness. But on average, the operating time of the devices is comparable.
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Audio in iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
A classic feature of the Pro line is the presence of four speakers. The speaker system is excellent – high volume, distinct bass. But in the iPad Air (2020), the audio system has received an improvement over its predecessors. Although there are only two speakers, they are located on both sides of the tablet. This makes it possible to output sound even if one of the grilles is closed. Both tablets lack 3.5 mm audio outputs; to connect headphones or external acoustics, you will have to use wireless technologies or an adapter from the USB Type-C port.
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Don’t think of the iPad Air as a simplified version of the iPad Pro. The “air” model also received its own innovative feature. With the abandonment of the Home button, the Touch ID sensor (fingerprint scan) has moved to the Inclusions on the upper end of the device. This should be taken into account when choosing a case, as some cases cover this button.
Touch ID in the Power button on iPad Air 4 (2020)
In turn, the iPad Pro 11 (2020) uses Face ID biometric security (face scanning). And it works in both portrait orientation and landscape orientation. There will be no problems with user authorization and confirmation of actions.
An important feature for iPad Air 4 is support for the second-generation Apple Pencil (sold separately). Once upon a time, only projectors could work with a stylus.
Both models have Smart Connectors for Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio (sold separately).
The characteristics of work in cellular and wireless networks are the same. Support for modern Wi-Fi 6 (802.1 a / b / g / n / a / ax) is declared with the ability to work in two 2.4 and 5 GHz bands at speeds up to 1.2 Gb / s. Declared support for Bluetooth 5.0 MIMO and eSIM. Both models received gigabit LTE and a GPPS / GLONASS module, an accelerometer, a barometer, a light sensor and a three-axis gyroscope.
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Price iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
Buy iPad Pro Air 4 (2020):
Buy iPad Pro 11 (2020):
Models with LTE support will cost more:
The positioning of the iPad Air is obvious – this tablet occupies a slightly cheaper segment than the iPad Pro. There is an overlap between the price ranges, which gives the user a choice – to buy a slightly less functional iPad Air for the same money, but with a large storage capacity.
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The main differences, in a nutshell
- Design. Both models received a similar design, relevant to the Pro line. The dimensions of the tablets are very close, the main visual difference is the number of cameras on the rear panel.
- Display. The screen of the two models is practically the same, both in size and resolution. But iPad Pro can run at 120Hz and is brighter.
- Performance. We can safely talk about the top performance of both models. The improved process technology and increased processor frequency speak in favor of the iPad Air, while the iPad Pro has more cores and more RAM. No one has a clear advantage, it all depends on the scripts and tests.
- Camera… Here the clear winner is the iPad Pro. This model has an ultra wide-angle lens, although it is rarely used. The LiDAR module of the iPad Pro is also worth noting.
- Additional functions. The iPad Pro wins in sound quality with its four speakers, and the Face ID visual scanner is easier to use than the iPad Air 4’s top-mounted Touch ID sensor.
- Price. Here the advantage is clearly on the side of the iPad Air 4. The most affordable model is 15 thousand rubles cheaper than the base model iPad Pro. And the 256GB Air model has the same price as the initial iPad Pro, but with 128GB.
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Detailed technical comparison of iPad Air 4 (2020) vs iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
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Both the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 are great models – stylish, fast, with great battery life. Apple continues to provide the standard for this class of devices. The models are well placed in different segments – the Air is deprived of several uncompromising features, but due to this it is cheaper. This gives users an interesting choice as the iPad Air is now even closer to flagship devices.