Apple has just launched the iPad Air 4 and it looks, on paper, to be the most accomplished iPad I have ever seen.
Yes, it doesn’t have some of the flashier features as the iPad Pro 2020, but for £190 ($200) less I struggle to see who is really going to go for the pricier option – especially as the new Air seems to cover all the bases, and even improve on the Pro in a number of meaningful ways.
The iPad Pro always stood out for a number of reasons, notably the far sleeker design, support for better accessories and USB-C. You now get all these features with the Air 4.
For me, the iPad Air 4 goes above the Pro too. Not only does it have the 5nm A14 chip that’ll power the iPhone 12 at its heart, but it replaces FaceID with a fingerprint sensor built into the lock button. In a time where mask-wearing is common, not having to use your face to unl0ck a device is always welcome.
I’m also a huge fan of the colour options Apple is offering with the Air. The blue (a hint at a blue iPhone 12?) pops and the green is a hue rarely used, while a rich rose gold makes a welcome return. They might not be as ‘professional’ as the grey and silver options on the Pro, but they’re more fun and far more unique.
it seems that for the extra £190 the Pro will set you back you’re getting a marginally larger 11-inch panel. a LiDAR sensor, a wider camera and a faster ProMotion display. Personally, I can live without all of those features.
Even the 120Hz ProMotion panel, which I do adore, is probably a sacrifice I would be willing to make to get an A14 chipset and all the other Air benefits.
Related: Apple Watch 6
The only real thing that stands in the way of the Air 4 is that, by default, you’re only getting a paltry 64GB storage. The base iPad Pro, on the other hand, starts at 128GB. For a device you’ll want to load with games, shows and apps a non-expandable 64GB of storage feels limiting. There is a 256GB model, but that raises the price drastically to £729. Not having a 128GB option here feels like a missing feature, for me.
Of course, much of my opinion may change once I use the iPad Air 4 and compare it to the iPad Pro 2020 I use as my main computer every day. But at first glance, it certainly feels like we should be seeing a next-gen iPad Pro sooner rather than later.