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Home News iPad Air 4 vs. iPad Pro 11: This one might surprise you

iPad Air 4 vs. iPad Pro 11: This one might surprise you

With the release of the iPad Air 4, Apple blurred the line between its midrange tablet offering and the more expensive and feature-rich iPad Pro 11. At one time, the two models of iPad looked quite different. Yet, with the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 (second generation) now sporting nearly identically-sized displays with Apple’s Liquid Retina technology, at first glance, they might appear to be the same product. However, under the surface, the two tablets provide their varied offerings. We take a look at both models in this comprehensive roundup.

Specs

iPad Pro 11 (2020)
iPad Air 4
Size
9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches (247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm)
9.74 x 7 x 0.24 inches (247.4 x 177.8 x 6.09mm)
Weight
471 (1.04 pounds)
453.6 grams (1 pound)
Screen size
11-inch Liquid Retina LCD (ProMotion & TrueTone)
10.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD (TrueTone)
Screen resolution
2388 x 1668-pixels (265 pixels per inch)
2360 x 1640 pixels (264 pixels per inch)
Operating system
iPadOS 14
iPadOS 14
Storage
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
64GB, 256GB
FaceID
Yes
No
Processor
Apple A12Z Bionic
Apple A14 Bionic
RAM
TBC
TBC
Camera
12MP and 10MP rear, 7MP front
12MP rear, 7MP front
Video
4K at 24, 30, 60 fps; 1080p at 30, 60, 120, 240 fps
4K at 24, 30, 60 fps; 1080p at 30, 60, 120, 240 fps
Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5
Bluetooth 5.0
Ports
USB-C
USB-C
Fingerprint sensor
No
Yes
Water resistance
No
No
Battery
10 hours on Wi-Fi, 9 hours on cellular
10 hours on Wi-Fi, 9 hours on cellular
App marketplace
Apple App Store
Apple App Store
Network support
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon (cellular models only)
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon (cellular models only)
Colors
Silver, Space Gray
Silver, Space Gray, rose gold, green, Sky Blue
Price
Starting at $799 (Wi-Fi), $949 (cellular)
Starting at $599 (Wi-Fi), $729 (cellular)
Buy from
Apple
Apple
Review score
4.5 out of 5
News

Design, display, and durability

Both the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 look nearly identical. With housings made from aluminum, sharp flat edges, and Liquid Retina displays, these two devices look more similar than ever before. The iPad Air 4 moves forward with Apple’s new design language — flat edges and bright, vivid displays that do away with physical home buttons. The only external factors that allow you to pick out iPad Air 4 from the iPad Pro 11 are the different camera bumps on the rear.

The iPad Air 4 does gain a few design features that the iPad Pro 11 lacks, namely colorful pastel options for the exterior. While the iPad Pro 11 is only available with either a silver or Space Gray exterior, the iPad Air 4 also adds on rose gold, green, and Sky Blue. We’d like to see more color options available for the Pro models — after all, those going for the more expensive model would like to have some fun, too.

The iPad Air 4 is also the first model in the iPad Air line to ditch the Lightning connector for a USB-C connector, making both devices great for hooking iPad up to external displays, external drives, and other peripherals.

The displays on the two iPads are quite close, but the iPad Pro 11 pulls ahead. The iPad Air 4 features a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone at 2360 x 1640 pixels, resulting in a 264 pixels per inch resolution. The iPad Pro 11, on the other hand, has a minutely larger 11-inch display that features both True Tone and ProMotion technology, the later allowing for smoother animations on screen. The Pro model’s resolution comes in at 2388 x 1668, resulting in a 265 ppi resolution. Both displays offer a wide color gamut (P3), with the iPad Air 4 reaching a brightness of 500 nits and the iPad Pro 11 reaching 600 nits.

With the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 offering nearly identical exteriors, you might think this round a tie. On the other hand, iPad Pro 11 provides a display that offers smooth visuals thanks to its ProMotion technology. But, if you care more about the exterior color of your tablet, the iPad Air 4 offers, by far, more options. So, we will need to call this round a tie.

Winner: Tie

Performance, battery life, and charging

When it comes to performance, we’ve never felt that the processors inside are underpowered, and the same factor applies to iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11. The iPad Air 4 features Apple’s A14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, while the Pro model features the A12Z chip with Neural Engine. This results in an odd situation in which the iPad Air contains the newer processor. However, don’t let this hold you up if you seek out the iPad Pro 11, as both chips are incredibly fast and will handle iMovie editing and hardcore gaming with ease.

Moving past the processor, we find that both iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 offer sufficient amounts of internal storage for various tasks, but the iPad Pro 11 takes it up a notch. The iPad Air 4 is provided with two storage options — either 64GB or 256GB — while the iPad Pro is offered at 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. While 256GB should be sufficient for most tasks, anyone looking to turn their iPad into a mobile video or photo editing workstation should consider the Pro’s more sizable offerings.

When it comes to charging, both iPads use a USB-C connector to get the job done, allowing for faster charging times than that permitted by previous Lightning port devices. Both iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 are rated for up to 10 hours of web surfacing and video watching or, if you have the cellular versions of either tablet, up to nine hours.

When it comes to performance and battery abilities, the iPad Air 4 has caught up quite a bit thanks to the inclusion of a USB-C port and even sports the newer processor. More testing will need to be done between the A12Z and A14, but the more modern A14 seems to pull ahead, as one would expect. That said, the iPad Pro 11 is the only iPad that offers 1TB of storage, which may be a necessity for some users. As a result, we are also calling this round a tie.

Winner: Tie

Cameras

As we mentioned before, one of the physical differentiating features between the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 is the rear camera bumps. The iPad Air 4 features a single 12-megapixel wide-angle camera lens on its rear with an f/1.8 aperture. The iPad Pro goes a step farther by offering the same 12MP camera and also adding on a 10MP ultrawide lens with an f/2.4 aperture. Both cameras perform well, as expected, and offer wide color capture, autofocus with focus pixels, smart HDR, and a panorama mode that enables photos up to 63MP in size.

When it comes down to video capture, both camera systems can record 4K video at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, as well as slo-mo video capture at 1080p with either 120 fps or 240 fps. The front camera systems are the same, featuring a 7MP HD camera. However, the iPad Pro 11 can utilize effects such as Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting, thanks to the built-in TrueDepth camera system — a feature absent on the more affordable iPad Air 4.

When it comes to camera systems, the iPad Pro 11 and iPad Air 4 are nearly matched, but the iPad Pro 11 gains extra points for its ultrawide lens and TrueDepth camera system. If you’re looking for the best camera experience on the iPad, you’ll find it on the Pro model.

Winner: iPad Pro 11

Software and updates

Apple

Both the iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 ship with Apple’s iPadOS 14 mobile OS. With iPad OS 14, devices can take advantage of redesigned home screen widgets, a more compact spotlight-style search window, and the ability to use the Apple Pencil to write into any text field, whether you are on the web or in a document. For more details about iPadOS 14, check out our guide on the best features. If you purchased an iPad Pro 11 before iPadOS 14 was released, as with all upgrades of iPadOS and iOS, you can upgrade at no extra charge.

Winner: Tie

Special Features

Apple

Let’s tackle a question that you might have on your mind. If the iPad Air 4 doesn’t have a home button with TouchID and it doesn’t have a TrueDepth camera system for FaceID, then how do you unlock your device? Apple’s iPad Air 4 is the first device to ship with its new TouchID system built directly into the top button. Want to unlock your iPad Air 4? Merely press the top button with your registered finger, and your device with both wake and unlock. This system is absent on the iPad Pro 11, instead replaced by FaceID, a system that unlocks your iPad when you look at the device.

One feature absent entirely on the iPad Air 4 is the iPad Pro 11’s LiDAR Scanner, which allows for more advanced and accurate augmented reality experiences. This scanner can be found next to the dual camera lenses on the back of the tablet. If a LiDAR Scanner doesn’t sound useful to you, how about an attachable keyboard and trackpad? Both iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro 11 support Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio options. Additionally, you can use an Apple Pencil (second generation) if you prefer to draw, sketch, or take notes.

We have quite a few ties in this battle, but don’t blame us, as each iPad packs features that can be considered personal preferences depending on the user. Do you prefer FaceID or TouchID? That is a question, and the answer isn’t the same for everyone. Otherwise, beyond the built-in LiDAR camera system, these two tablets offer many of the same features and peripheral compatibility.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

Apple’s iPad Air 4 is the more affordable model, starting at $599 for a 64GB model and increasing to $749 for a 256GB model. It is now available for pre-order and will release on October 23.

The iPad Pro 11 begins with a more expensive price tag at $799 for a 128GB model, with options for a 256GB version at $899, 512GB version at $1099, and a 1TB version at $1299. If you wish to add cellular capabilities to any of the above models, it will run you an extra $150 or $130 for the iPad Pro and iPad Air 4, respectively.

Overall Winner: iPad Air 4

Apple

That’s odd — how does the iPad Air 4 win over the more expensive iPad Pro 11 in this battle? While the iPad Pro 11 is positioned as the top tablet in Apple’s lineup, we found the iPad Air 4 to be a clear winner when it comes to value. The iPad Pro 11 adds features such as an ultrawide camera lens, LiDAR scanner, FaceID, and ProMotion display. These are excellent features, but they’re options that we feel many buyers could live without ever utilizing. Additionally, the iPad Air 4 contains the newer processor from Apple and comes in a wider variety of colors.

If you genuinely desire what the iPad Pro 11 has to offer, go ahead and grab it, but if you’re looking for the best iPad at a fantastic value, the iPad Air 4 is your best bet.

Latest

Tronsmart’s latest Q10 wireless headphones are currently on a huge discount

Tronsmart makes some great smartphone accessories and audio devices. The company has gained more and more users as a budget alternative to the big brands over the last few years. Tronsmart’s latest offering is the Q10 wireless headphones.While we have yet to fully review these new active noise-canceling headphones, Tronsmart wants to share with our readers that the Q10 is currently deeply discounted for its big launch. (but stay tuned for more on that review in the next few weeks) Retail partner AliExpress has the Q10 headphones a whopping 53% off if you act quickly.This $52.99 cutback is good for the next two days. From January 25 thru the 27th, you can snag these over-ear headphones for more than half the price. This is a pretty great deal for headphones that pack a pretty decent spec sheet.The Tronsmart Q10 will get you Bluetooth 5.0, touch controls, active noise-cancellation, and an estimated 100 hours of playtime. The headset also has Google Voice support and USB-C charging to round out the bullet points.So, what are you waiting for? Get over to AliExpress using this link: http://bit.ly/TSQ10JANae to enjoy this limited time offer from Tronsmart.

US Mobile Buyer’s Guide (January 2021)

Most consumers are familiar with the big-name wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T, but not nearly as many are as well-versed when it comes Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Consumer Cellular or FreedomPop.These MNVO brand operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.Let’s take a look at one in particular: US MobileAboutUS Mobile is a small MVNO that utilizes T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network and Verizon’s 4G LTE network and is known for letting customers add talk, text and data on the fly, at any time.The carrier is not shy about its usage of T-Mobile, but it does appear to hide its Verizon component a bit. We’re not sure why.What are US Mobile rate plans like?US Mobile touts is affordable packages for subscribers who need wireless coverage but want some flexibility in the talk, text and time used each month.Customers can pick and choose plans, customizing as they see fit, or choose from a selection of “Unlimited” options. Don’t want or need data? That’s fine.The Unlimited Plans are as follows:$15/mo – Unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB data$30/mo – Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB dataThe custom plans come with hotspot capabilities and 250MB of 4G LTE international roaming.A recent change to the plans sees US Mobile offering a $40 option which includes unlimited talk, text, and data. To be clear, it’s 50GB of high speed data with heavier users potentially seeing reduced speeds after hitting the threshold. Data speeds are considered “Fast” which means up to 5Mbps for video streaming.For $5 more per month subscribers can get 10GB of mobile hotspot capabilities. For $10 more per month customers can increase data speeds to “Ludicrous” up to 250Mbps, plus the hotspot feature.Family PlansUS Mobile customers can create multi-line accounts, each of which is basically the $40 plan. Things get cheaper per line as you add them to the mix.US Mobile phone selectionUS Mobile has a small selection of phones to choose from, many of which are a few years old. Moreover, they appear to be fairly expensive, too. We definitely recommend using your existing T-Mobile or Verizon phone if possible.Where can I buy an unlocked phone?Bring your own deviceUS Mobile tends to work better for people who already have a phone that they’d like to use. Whether it’s a T-Mobile or Verizon handset, or something else, you’ll probably have luck using it with US Mobile. According to the carrier, 99% of devices will work with its service.What else should I know about US Mobile?US Mobile operates entirely online and does not have any physical retail locations in the US.For every friend you refer to US Mobile, the carrier will give you both up to $10. They save up to $10 on their first plan and you get up to $10 off your next bill.You can easily add talk, text, and/or data Top Ups to your current plan to always stay connected. They roll over to next month when you use AutoPay, automatic bill payment.A US Mobile starter SIM kit can be purchased for $3.99, letting subscribers keep their existing phone number.

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