Battle Royale (with Cheese): The 2020 iPad Air Vs. the 2020 iPad Pro

Is this review full of hot air?

Joshua Beck

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about replacing my computer with an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard. And for the most part… it worked. Even though Apple says the iPad is not a computer, it does a good enough job at replacing one in my book.

But to get this functionality, do you need to go for the iPad Pro? Until a few weeks ago, the answer was yes- if you wanted to use the Magic Keyboard (which I personally think is a requirement if you want to have the full laptop experience). But as I was gearing up to check out the iPad Pro, Apple was gearing up to release a new version of the iPad Air.

Traditionally, the iPad Air has been the mid-tier of the iPad line up; more expensive and with better internals than the cheapest iPad, but a step away from the Pro line. And that much is still true, for the most part. The biggest separation in the last couple of years has been the design- the iPad Air has always looked like the cheaper iPad, while the Pro series got a nice, minimal-bezel look.

Today, that is no longer true; the new iPad Air looks nearly identical to the 11-inch iPad Pro, enough so that it can use the same Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and cases as the Pro iPad. And that, dear reader, is why I needed to check it out. I needed to know how well the iPad Air compared to the iPad Pro. So……

FIGHT!

Price

If you are buying an iPad Pro, you are going to spend a “pro” price as well. Starting at $799 ($949 for Wi-Fi + cellular), the 11-inch iPad Pro gets you 128gb storage, but can be configured up to 1tb storage at $1,299 (or $1,449 if you opt for Wi-Fi + cellular). No, you’re right, that’s not cheap.

And that price continues when you factor in the peripherals you are likely to buy for it- the Apple Pencil 2 at $129, or the Magic Keyboard at $299, or even just Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio for $179.

By comparison, the iPad Air is a good deal; the $599 asking price ($729 with cellular) will get you 64gb…

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