iPad Air (2022) vs iPad Pro (2021): What’s the Difference?

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iPad Air

Apple’s latest iPad is available with the fifth generation iPad Air. It’s an excellent tablet. In fact it’s making me think of buyer’s remorse after I paid $2,000 for the 2021 iPad Pro.

The majority of users… it is the iPad Air is the best choice.

There are numerous similarities between Both tablets:

iPad Air (2022) vs iPad Pro

  • Run iPadOS 15.4
  • Make use of Apple’s M1 processor
  • Are USB-C ports available for charging and data transfer
  • Similar size display to those with smaller iPad Pro
  • Include FaceTime’s Center Stage feature.

With all the features common, there must be some differences that justify the difference in price between the iPad Air, $599 iPad Air, $799 11-inch iPad Pro and the $1,099 12.9-inch iPad Pro, right? Right! Let’s look closer.

iPad Pro VS. iPad Air

Specifications iPad Pro iPad Air
Processor Apple M1 Apple M1
Display 11-inch/12.9-inch 10.9-inch
Memory Up to 16GB 8GB
Storage Up to 2TB Up to 256GB
Front Camera True Depth 12MP Ultra Wide 12MP Ultra Wide
Rear Cameras 12MP Wide, 10MP Ultra Wide 12MP Wide
Battery 10 hours 10 hours
Biometrics Face ID Touch ID
Connectivity Thunderbolt 4, 5G, Wi-Fi USB-C, 5G, Wi-Fi
Colors Space gray, silver Space gray, starlight, pink, purple, blue
Starting price $799/$1,099 $599


iPad Air iPad Air only has two storage options. The basic model is 64GB and comes with the option to upgrade to 256GB. The 64GB model will not be enough by 2022.

The two iPad Pro models are available with the same amount of storage. You can select between 128GB of storage and 256GB. 512GB is available as well as 1TB , and 2TB.

How much storage you’ll need depends on how you plan to make use of your iPad. With iPad Air iPad Air model, users are required to purchase the 256GB version at $749, which is similar to the $799 initial price for iPad Pro, which is 11 inches. iPad Pro.


Its memory on an iPad will determine when apps are shut down behind, or the frequency you need to refresh an Safari tab after it’s not been in use for a long duration of time.

Apple seldom talks about the memory available in its iPad series however, the only exception being 2021’s iPad Pro. There is a choice of the iPad Pro with 8GB or 16GB of memory, however this choice will also depend on the storage you purchase. If you’re looking for 8GB , you should stick with storage that is less than 500GB. Anything more than that comes with sixteen GB memory.

For Apple’s iPad Air version, it’s left with only one choice 8GB in memory.

Personally, I’ve noticed an obvious difference with the iPad Pro with 16GB of memory as well as other iPads that have lesser memory. The main benefit is that apps remain running in the background for longer. But, I’d guess that 8GB is typically sufficient for the majority of users.


The differences in display technology in those on the Air Pro and Air Pro aren’t small.

Its iPad Pro line has a more rapid refresh rate of up to 120 Hz (called ProMotion), a greater max brightness level and the bigger iPad Pro uses mini-LED technology to provide a more vivid image. If you are concerned about the quality of your display and image quality, then the iPad Pro is the better option for you.

The display of the iPad Air’s Liquid Retina display measures 10.9-inches and is an LED panel. Its resolution is 2360×1640 and True Tone support and 500nits of brightness total.

Smaller iPad Pro 1-inch Display and resolution is 2388×1668. It also has True Tone ProMotion and a maximum luminosity of 600nits.

The bigger iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch mini-LED display that has 2,596 full-array zone dimming, resolution of 2732×2048 ProMotion True Tone, SDR max brightness of 600 nits, and XDR brightness of 1000 nits for the full-screen display, or 1,600 nits peak when using HDR content.

The USB-C port

If you’ve ever heard of USB-C ports, then you’re aware that the rule of thumb is that there are many different USB-C port types. Not all ports are to be the same. There are many different standards for this one port that I’m having difficult time staying on top of it all -and it’s my responsibility to keep up with it all.

In the case of iPad Air, Apple added USB 3.1 Gen 2 to the USB-C port. You’ll get speeds up to 10Gbps when you transfer documents, or join to connect the iPad Air with an external display with the ability to display resolutions of as high as 6K.

It’s also worth noting that the iPad Pro offering has a USB-C port as well as support for Thunderbolt along with USB 4. This means that you can get speeds of up to 40Gbps when it comes to transfer of files (thanks USB 4), and USB 4) and supports the same resolution as 6K in connection with an external display.

If you make lots of transfer of files among the iPad Pro and external storage or a camera it’s a good idea to use the latest USB connectivity. However, in all honesty it’s the iPad Air’s performance isn’t a major issue.

5G connectivity

Another area in which there is a place where iPad Air lineup differs from the iPad Pro is when it is about the kind of 5G connectivity that it offers. The two iPad Pro tablets can be used with 5G’s Sub6 and mmWave technology however, the iPad Air can only support Sub6.

For most people that isn’t a fan of mmWave, the lack for iPad Air iPad Air is a non-issue.

Sub6 5G network is one notch faster than LTE networks, and offer lower latency and a higher capacity for users. mmWave 5G technology gives you speeds that you see advertised in commercials, which can reach 2Gbps. However, these speeds are only achievable in extremely particular conditions.

Do not base your iPad purchase on the version of 5G the iPad can support.

And lastly the cost

The price is among the main differences among all three versions. Its iPad Air costs in the middle of the standard iPad in comparison to it’s a bit more expensive than the iPad Pro, so it makes sense to make it the iPad that people choose who need a tablet to do more than watching Netflix and surfing the internet.

This is the price breakdown of pricing for the iPad Air and both sizes of the iPad Pro. Be aware that the three iPads come with the second-generation $129 Apple Pencil, and have keyboards that range between 299 dollars for iPad Air and the 11-inch iPad Pro up to 329 dollars for the bigger iPad Pro. These accessories increase the overall cost of purchasing iPad Pro, should you require these.

Price comparison

iPad Air (2022) vs iPad Pro

iPad Air 11-inch iPad Pro 12.9-inch iPad Pro
Wi-Fi Only
64GB $599 N/A N/A
128GB N/A $799 $1,099
256GB $749 $899 $1,199
512GB N/A $1,099 $1,399
1TB N/A $1,499 $1,799
2TB N/A $1,899 $2,199
64GB $749 N/A N/A
128GB N/A $999 $1,299
256GB $899 $1,099 $1,399
512GB N/A $1,299 $1,599
1TB N/A $1,699 $1,999
2TB N/A $2,099 $2,399

If you are able to max out the iPad Air and all these accessories price is close to that of the 11-inch model of the base model iPad Pro.

You’re now contemplating whether you’d prefer the iPad with a bigger screen and a speedier USB-C connection, as well as more storage space. In my opinion, although the iPad Air can do everything I want from the Apple tablet, I do not regret purchasing the iPad Pro. One year later it’s still the most powerful tablet I’ve ever owned.

For the vast majority of users the differences in display and USB-C will not be a major factor in the overall experience, which is why iPad Air iPad Air will be the ideal choice.