Comparison: iPad Air 5 vs iPad Pro 2022

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You might decide that choosing between the iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro (2022) isn’t really an issue; after all, the recently announced iPad Pro (2022) will deliver top-notch laptop performance in tablet format. But the iPad Air (2022) is another cool tablet from Apple released earlier this year.

In fact, when the fifth generation iPad Air came out, we were a little concerned that it was encroaching on the 2021 iPad Pro territory when it comes to pricing and features on offer. So how are things when the new and fresh Pro model hits the market?

We’re not ready to give a verdict on the iPad Pro (2022) yet, but here’s how we see things based on official specs and features.

iPad Air 5 vs iPad Pro (2022): Pricing and Availability

iPad Air 5 comparison

The iPad Air 5 was offered on March 18, 2022, and prices currently start at $599 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model. The price immediately skyrockets to $750 for a 256GB memory upgrade. There is also a 5G model, priced at $750 for the 64GB model and $899 for the 256GB model.

It should be noted that since the release, these prices have risen sharply in the markets of European countries, which, according to analysts, is caused by global economic pressure.

Meanwhile, the iPad Pro was released on October 18, 2022 in two sizes. The 11-inch model starts at $799.

It should be noted that these prices are for 128 GB Wi-Fi only models, enabling mobile connectivity and increasing memory (256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB) will significantly increase the cost of tablets. At its peak, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) with 2TB of storage and cellular connectivity will cost you $2399… 

iPad Air 5 vs. iPad Pro 2022: Design

Compare iPad Pro 2021iPad Pro (2021) – in the photo – an exact copy of the 2022 model.

The iPad Pro and iPad Air 5 do have a similar design. Both have flat fins and sharp all-aluminum bodies with the same screen bezels.

The iPad Air 5 is again very similar in size to the 2022 11-inch iPad Pro. The more affordable tablet measures 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm, while the 11-inch Pro measures 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm. With the exception of a difference in thickness of 0· .2 mm in favor of the Pro, they are identical.

The iPad Air 5 is slightly lighter than its Pro sibling, however we’re talking about 416 grams versus 466 grams, so you’re unlikely to notice the difference in your hand.

Of course, there is also the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) with dimensions of 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm and a weight of 682 grams, so it is significantly larger than both of the above.

All three tablets ditch Apple’s old squeaky Lightning connector in favor of a universal USB-C port, although the Pro models use the fast Thunderbolt 4 standard. You won’t immediately notice the difference in biometric authentication systems either. And while the iPad Air 5 hides the Touch ID scanner behind the power button, the 2022 iPad Pro comes with Apple’s brilliant Face ID system, which relies on the front-facing camera and sensors.

One of the ways the iPad Air 5 hits back at its professional counterpart is with its array of colors. The more affordable tablet comes in a variety of colors, including grey, silver, pink, purple and blue. On the other hand, the 2022 iPad Pro offers silver and grey.

iPad Air 5 vs. iPad Pro 2022: Screen

Apple iPad Air 5 Vs

The iPad Air 5 and the smaller 2022 iPad Pro have similar screens, though not identical. You’re looking at a 10.9-inch, 2360 x 1640-pixel panel on the Air, while the Pro tablet has an 11-inch, 2388 x 1668-pixel screen. Meanwhile, the larger iPad Pro enlarges the panel to 12.9 inches with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels.

Both Pro panels feature a 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh rate, while the iPad Air 5 is stuck with a 60Hz refresh rate. The 2022 11-inch iPad Pro is much brighter than its more affordable sibling, 600 nits versus 500 nits.

However, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) outperforms both tablets by switching from a familiar IPS panel to a mini-LED LCD display. This transition promises a number of benefits, including an increase in typical brightness to 1000 nits, while simultaneously improving brightness and color contrast.

We’re only disappointed that the iPad Pro 11 (2022) didn’t share mini-LED technology with its counterpart. Its screen is better than the iPad Air 5, but not by that much.

iPad Air 5 vs iPad Pro 2022: Cameras

Camera iPad Pro 2022

And while the iPad Air 5 has a single 12MP camera, the 2022 iPad Pros come with dual cameras, a 12MP sensor and a 10MP wide sensor. The latter also includes a ToF 3D LiDAR scanner, complementing the full Pro package while also developing AR (augmented reality) capabilities.

Both the Air and Pro offer 12MP front cameras, although as we mentioned the Pro has a TrueDepth camera that supports Face ID authentication. Both tablets support Center Stage, a feature that keeps your face in the center of the frame during video calls.

Together with a more advanced processor (more on that later), we’d prioritize the iPad Pro for a better all-round camera system than the Air 5.

iPad Air 5 vs iPad Pro (2022): Performance

iPad Air 5 Camera

Apple has boosted the performance of two iPad Pro models by offering tablets with Apple M2 processors that are completely identical to those that run on laptops. It’s not that we’re nitpicking the performance of the iPad Air (2022), which runs an Apple M1 in the same class of laptops.

Both the M1 and M2 feature 8-core CPUs, but while the M1 features 8-core graphics, the M2 offers a 10-core graphics chip. Apple claims the M2 is 15% faster than the original M1 in terms of CPU, while the M2’s graphics are 35% faster than the M1’s.

Beyond just a performance boost, the M2 promises a revamped 2022 iPad Pro “media engine” with better image processing than the one found in the iPad Air 5. This time around, the tablet can record ProRes instead of limited transcoding.

A definite downside is the iPad Air 5’s storage capacity issue. On entry-level models, it offers 64GB, which by today’s standards is simply not enough, especially when the only alternative in configurations is 256GB. The iPad Pro simply doesn’t have this problem, offering it in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.

The other difference for the iPad Pro comes down to offering Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. This is better than Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 on the iPad Air 5. However, both options offer 5G connectivity.

And while both tablets are compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, the iPad Pro offers enhanced connectivity and stylus detection when it’s 12mm away from the screen. This means that when you hover your stylus over a text field, it expands for a handwritten note. In this respect, the iPad Pro 2022 is also better at handwriting recognition.

iPad Air 5 vs iPad Pro : Battery

iPad Pro M2 (2022)

The iPad Air 5 has a 28.93 Wh battery, which is 7606 mAh. That’s slightly larger than the 28.65 Wh or 7538 mAh iPad Pro 11 (2022) battery, which is much smaller than the 40.88 Wh or 10758 mAh iPad Pro 12.9 battery.

In addition to the difference in capacity, Apple also claims different endurance: “up to 10 hours of Internet use over Wi-Fi or watching videos” for each model, as well as “up to 9 hours of Internet use using a cellular data network” with each of the 5G options.

Summing up

Apple has completely updated its line of tablets for 2022, with the Air and Pro models offering laptop-level performance, sleek design with flat edges, and 5G connectivity.

The iPad Pro (2022) seems (deservedly) to be the better and more capable tablet of the pair. The new Apple M2 promises a noticeable performance boost, with panels that are brighter, smoother, and (at least in the case of the 12.9-inch Pro) more vibrant.

The Pro also offers a more advanced camera system, Face ID authentication, improved connectivity, and more Apple Pencil interactivity.

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