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THE TRUTH! iPad Air 5 vs 11” iPad Pro


ever since apple added the m1 chip to the ipad air 5 i’ve been thinking about a very interesting question will more people get the less expensive ipad air 5 instead of the 11 inch ipad pro or are these two ipads close enough in price where you’re better off in the long run spending some extra cash for the improved features of the ipad pro on the surface these two ipads are very similar they actually have the exact same height and width the ipad air 5 is .01 inches or 0.2 millimeters thicker so when i look at them from the front or in a case they’re virtually identical but there are some important differences both have squared off edges rounded corners and small bezels all the way around but they use two different forms of biometric authentication the ipad air 5 uses apple’s newer touch id which is incorporated into the power button and the ipad pro has face id with a front-facing true depth camera in terms of accuracy both have worked really well for me but for how i use the ipad i prefer face id because i don’t really have to think about it just like with my iphone at the same time each use case is different i’m curious to know which one you prefer and hopefully with the next iteration of the ipad pro we get both in the same ipad when we continue to look around the edges we

see four speaker grilles on both ipads but the ipad air 5 only has two speakers one on each side the ipad air 4 has a quad speaker system and it’s able to adjust the sound when you switch orientation from portrait to landscape mode overall the sound coming from the ipad pro is better it’s fuller it’s warmer and it provides a wider sound stage which is something that we’ll revisit in the gaming section finally both ipads have a usbc port for charging and for connecting accessories and the one on the ipad air 5 has a maximum transfer speed of 10 gigabits per second and the thunderbolt slash usb 4 port on the ipad pro caps out at 40 gigabits per second for the overwhelming majority of users this difference isn’t likely to matter because 10 gigabits per second is already extremely fast and if you need more than that you’re probably using your ipad in a very demanding professional environment and in that case you’re better off

going with the ipad pro now the size of the displays isn’t exactly identical we’re getting 11 inches on the ipad pro versus 10.9 inches on the ipad air 5 but that’s not the most important difference both are liquid retina displays we’ve got very similar resolutions 23.88 by 1668 on the ipad pro versus 2360 by 1640 on the air 5 and both have a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch the ipad pro does have a brighter display with 600 in its max brightness versus 500 on the ipad air but the most important difference is pro motion this is the name that apple gave their adaptive refresh rate with a maximum of 120 hertz this feature is still only available on the ipad pro and it means that the system can vary the refresh rate based on what you’re doing so if you’re reading looking at static content or if you’re watching lower fps video it can reduce the refresh rate and then save on battery life then if you’re scrolling opening or closing apps or doing anything else where a higher refresh rate provides smoother animations and a more responsive user experience then it will go ahead and bump it up to 120 hertz and you’re essentially getting the best of both worlds i was really hoping that we would get promotion on the ipad air 5 and i get a lot of questions about whether this makes a big difference so the answer is yes and sort of because of what i do i use tablets every day and i get to use a lot of different types of tablets so if you give me the choice i’m always going to want 120 hertz at the same time it’s not something that ruins my experience with tablets like the ipad 9 the ipad mini 6 or the ipad air 5.

I like using those displays because they’re good 60hz displays and at the same time the ipad pro is better so this is one of those features where i want you to think long term like assuming that this device is going to be as powerful as you need it to be for the next five or seven years is this the type of feature that you’ll regret not getting is it something that will make you upgrade before you actually need to and you’ll see that we’re going to come back to that in just a minute apple’s biggest update with the ipad air 5 is that it got the same incredible m1 chip that we have on the 11 and 12.9 inch ipad pro the ipad air also comes with 8 gigabytes of ram which is exactly what you get on the ipad pro unless you get the models with the one or two terabytes of internal storage at which point you’re getting 16 gigs of ram what that means is that you’re going to get the same level of performance from both devices for anything from the most basic tasks to the most demanding ones so if the only reason why you are thinking of upgrading from your current tablet to the ipad pro is the m1 chip now you can get that with the 599 ipad air 5 which is pretty incredible personally i never really looked at my ipad air 4 and thought that it didn’t have enough power so the m1 chip wouldn’t be why i would upgrade to the ipad pro but that’s not to say that there aren’t reasons to do it when we look at the camera systems both ipads have a 12 megapixel ultra wide camera with center stage it’s a feature that uses the ultra wide camera to track a subject as it moves through the frame and then zoom in and out to make sure that it’s properly framed i’ve admitted this before but when i first saw it at the apple event i thought it was kind of a gimmick but now after i’ve used it for a few months i gotta tell you

that i really like it and it makes video calls more engaging because you sort of feel the other person’s movements and it’s more like being in the same room most of the front-facing camera features are the same but because the ipad pro has a true depth camera we’re getting things like portrait mode and portrait lighting now the rear-facing camera modules are very different but at the same time this may or may not matter to you so let’s quickly break it down the ipad air 5 only has a 12 megapixel camera the ipad pro has a 12 megapixel wide a 10 megapixel ultra wide a flash and a lidar scanner now personally i primarily use the cameras on the ipads to scan documents so for anything else like taking photos or shooting video i’m going to use my phone because it’s always with me and it’s a lot more convenient to use if on the other hand you use your ipad camera differently or if you have a use case for the lidar scanner and you want the best camera system that apple offers in an ipad that’s the ipad pro and when we look at accessories both ipads have a smart connector on the back so they’re compatible with the same size magic keyboard there are also some other great options from third party

manufacturers like logitech and esr if you’re looking for a different design or different features when it comes to stylus both are compatible with the second generation apple pencil which is stored and charges on the side of the ipad now the actual feel of using the pencil is exactly the same but the ipad pro does have a faster refresh rate so it may feel more responsive now personally in my day-to-day use for how i use it i don’t really notice a meaningful difference both ipads support the latest ipad os so in terms of multitasking we have the exact same set of features like split view where we can use two apps side by side and slide over windows for additional apps both ipads also work with sidecar which is an apple feature that allows you to use your ipad as an additional display for your mac your imac or your macbook and it’s a feature that i use all the time both at home and when i travel now ultimately since both ipads have the same processor and the same size display i’m going to call this section a tie with maybe a very very slight edge to the ipad pro because of promotion and because it has a brighter display with all this additional workload it’s important that we look at battery life so both devices are rated for 10 hours of surfing the web on wi-fi or watching video and then 9 hours of using cellular data if you watched my ipad battery test with the previous model the ipad air 4 you may have been just as surprised as i was at the result the 11 inch ipad pro has been one of the best ipads that i’ve used so far in terms of battery life and for the most part my

experience with the ipad air 5 has been similar if i’m using either of these to browse the web to work on a channel to read and respond to your comments watch some youtube things like that then i can get through a full day with no problems but if i sit down i’m playing genchin or a couple of hours of pub g then i’ll definitely need to charge it and i’m finishing up my edit of an updated battery drain test so i’m super excited to show you the results now the gameplay experience on both devices has been virtually identical because we’re getting the same processor and the same amount of ram both of these easily run every game that i tried so whether i’m playing cod mobile or pubg or genshin or asphalt every single game i try to play plays smoothly when playing pub g both ipads can go up to balanced for graphics if i want extreme for frame rate and i can move up to ultra hd graphics and ultra frame rate because we have an extremely similar form factor the ergonomics are the same but the one meaningful advantage that i’m going to give the ipad pro is the sound again we’re getting four speakers instead of two the audio quality is better and there’s more directionality to it so if you’re playing games where it’s important to detect where footsteps or other sounds are coming from the ipad pro has the edge when connecting an xbox controller and streaming games with the xbox game pass app the actual gameplay was very similar and again the only noticeable difference was

the audio neither of them comes with a headphone jack so you’ll either need to use a usbc headset an adapter or use something wireless before i get to my recommendation let’s talk about the price because it’s a little tricky here i’m going to use the official prices from the apple store but you can usually find better prices by using the links in the description and also let me know in the comments section if the prices that i show you are different from where you live the ipad air 5 is available with 64 gigabytes for 599 dollars and 256 gigs for 7.49 the 11 inch ipad pro is available with 128 gigabytes for 7.99 and goes all the way up to 2 terabytes for 18.99 ultimately the choice comes down to a few factors if you only need 64 gigabytes of storage and you want this form factor the

amazing processing power of the m1 chip with some great keyboard cases in the second generation apple pencil compatibility the 599 dollar base model of the ipad air 5 is hard to beat if you need more than 64 gigabytes then the question is how much more if you only need 128 then

the 128 gigabyte 11 inch ipad pro is a better value than the 256 air 5 because you’re getting pro motion a better audio system an improved camera system with a lidar scanner and a more powerful port all for an extra 50 bucks now if we’re comparing the 256 gig models of both then it’s 749 versus 8.99 and the price difference now jumps to 150 bucks so you need to decide whether the features that i just mentioned are going to provide you with enough of a benefit to offset the cost over the lifetime of the device and remember that apple has outstanding long-term support and the m1 chip has enough processing power to last you for years now you should see how the ipad air 5 compares with the samsung tab s8 click on my face to subscribe you know what i always say buy it nice or buy it twice good luck and see you soon

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