Apple will release its fourth generation of the iPad Air line this October. There is much anticipation for this roll out because of the A14 Bionic System. The device was unveiled in September, along with Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE. Unlike its predecessor, the latest iPad Air has more features and affordable pricing. Its versatility is incomparable to the iPad Air 3. It is best compared to the iPad Pro 12.9. This fourth-generation Air iPad offers so much more considering how the iPad 3 Air was similar to the basic entry-level iPad. Apple has redeemed the Air line of product with this latest release. iPad Air 4 operates at the same level as the iPad Pro 2020.
The specs for the iPad Pro 2020 include a 12-inch or 11-inch display and the A12Z bionic processor. It also does not come with the home button; users get to enjoy the edge-to-edge display.
iPad Pro 2020 also comes with a LiDAR depth scanner for AR and the TrueDepth scanner for face identification. Users can also purchase accessories for use, including the Apple Pencil 2, the trackpad-fitted Magic Keyboard, and a Smart Keyboard Folio. The iPad Pro 2020 retails for $799 for the 128GB and $1,649 for the 1TB model.
iPad Air 4 has a lower price compared to the iPad Pro 2020. It will cost $599 or $729, making it affordable considering the upgrades included. The third model of the Air series cost ranges between $499 to $649. Therefore, in regards to pricing alone, this latest release is reasonably priced.
iPad Air Specs
● It comes with a 10. 9-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD; the most advanced display technology in an Apple device
● It has a P3 wide color gamut and TrueTone.
● Has a display resolution of 1640 * 2360 pixels
● It has a scratch-resistant glass protecting the iPad from minor scratches and oleophobic coating, providing oily substances resistance.
● The primary camera is 12MP, similar to the iPad Pro, and has the HDR feature. It shoots videos at 4K, capturing images at 24 or 30 or 60 frames per second. It also captures images at 1080p at 30 or 60 or 120 frames per second.
● It has a Gyro-EIS feature, which improves low light photography. EIS provides a consistent frame compensating for handshaking.
● The FaceTime camera is 7MP with HDR and has a video quality of 1080p and captures 30 and 60 frames per second.
● It has a touch ID system that is mounted at the top, providing a larger display.
● It is fitted with an accelerometer, gyrocompass and barometer.
● It comes in silver, space gray, rose gold, green and sky blue.
● It has a USB-C port, Wi-Fi 6, stereo speakers and LTE
● It uses the second generation Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio supported
● It possesses Apple’s latest A14 Bionic Processor.
● You get a free year of Apple TV when you purchase this device
iPad Air Features: A Comparison
The new iPad Air comes with Apple’s latest A14 Bionic Chip. None of Apple products currently has the A14 Bionic chip. There are speculations that the chip will be available on iPhone 12.
The A14 Bionic system will be the first 5-nanometer chip in the market. The size reduction allows Apple to pack in more transistors. It is now common knowledge that the A14 Bionic chip has 8 billion transistors compared to 8.5 billion transistors in the A13 Bionic system and 10 billion in the A12 Z series bionic system.
The more the transistors, the better the chip is at multi-tasking and speeds. The chip makes iPad Air 4 excellent for gaming and AR.
Additionally, this latest bionic chip has a 6 CPU core with the perfect balance between energy-efficiency and performance. Two of the cores are high-performing Firestorm cores enabling the gadget to handle demanding tasks at impressive speeds. The remaining four are high-efficiency Icestorm cores which maximize the performance in different power budgets.
What this means for the A14 Bionic chip provides faster performance and better power utilization. The A12 chip is 40% faster than A12 and 16% faster than the A13 chip. Therefore, this new iPad Air is expected to possess unprecedented speeds than any of Apple’s devices presently in the market.
Aside from the CPU, Apple has developed a GPU for the A14 Bionic chip. The purpose of this GPU is to maintain efficiency while saving energy. The GPU is a four-core graphics engine performs better than the A12 Bionic system by 30%. It works 8% better than the A13 chip.
With this chip, users will get good performances while preserving battery life. The new chip enables tasks to be performed at a lower voltage frequency while the device maintenance peak performance.
A14’s Neutral Engine
Apple has included a silicon block in its SoCs called the Neural Engine. The hardware is an accelerator with machine learning and AI calculations functions. The Neural Engine is a product of continued innovation first introduced in the A11 Bionic Chip. Therefore, this next-generation chip is possibly more impressive than the original A11. While the A11 ANE performs approximately 600 billion operations per second and has the impeccable Face ID feature, the A14 chip does even better. A14 boasts of 16 cores, eight more cores than A12 and A11. It can perform 11 trillion operations per second.
Apple is a master at integrating hardware and software on all its devices. Its inclusion of custom accelerators like the AMX and ANE is an ingenious way of improving learning. The AMX contains large-scale mathematical computations libraries for Apple’s developers to use without the need for low-level programming. Accelerate provides high-performance, energy-efficient computations on the CPU by leveraging its vector-processing capability.
The Accelerates minimize room for errors and provides support for Apple’s novel hardware. The Neural Engine in the A14 chip is expected to perform ten times faster than the A13 chip and 20 faster than the A12 chip.
Another big difference between the iPad Pro and previous releases from Apple is that the iPad Air 4 does not have Intel. It uses machine learning in the pace of Intel. In the current error of data analytics, machine learning applications are becoming increasingly important. However, the efficacy of Apple’s innovation remains to be evaluated.
iPad Air Body -Comparison
The new iPad Air is 9.57 inches long, 7.03 wide, and 0.24 thick. It maintains the same thickness as 2019’s iPad Air. However, iPad Air 2019 was longer by 0.03 inches and narrow by 0.18 inches. Both the previous and incoming iPad Air weigh 1.01lb. Both models iPad Air have a glass front and Aluminum back and frame. Compared with the iPad Pro, the latest iPad Air is small and 0.01 inches thicker. The iPad Pro is 11.05 inches long, 8.46 inches wide, and 0.23 inches thick.
Display Features Comparison
The iPad Air 2020 and 2019, and the iPad Pro have the same type of display features. They both use IPS LCD enabled touch screens with 16 million colors. However, iPad Air 2020 and iPad Pro have screens with an 85% screen-to-body ratio, while the iPad Pro has a 73.3% screen to body ratio. The iPad Air resolution is slightly inferior with 264 ppi density than iPad Pro’s and iPad Air 2019’s 265 ppi.
All three iPad’s have a wide color gamut and TrueTone, but iPad Pro has a 120Hz refresh rate. While the lack of 120Hz ProMotion is a downer, it is a feature that can be done without unless you are using your iPad for drawing or video production.
TrueTone adjusts your display lighting to accommodate your environment. The P3 wide color range makes your display, picture and video vibrant. Furthermore, the quality of the display is intensified with the 500 nits brightness for the iPad Air. iPad Pro has a 600 nits brightness while the iPad Air 2019 does not have this display feature.
Nevertheless, the display features are standard with minor additions and subtractions. All in all, the three devices display high-quality images across the board.
Camera, Photograph and Video Quality Comparison
As for the Camera, both the iPad Pro and iPad Air 4 have a 12MP camera with dual-pixel PDAF. The feature uses all the camera pixels to autofocus; thus, it refines the focusing system’s speed and accuracy. However, the iPad Pro also has a dual-pixel and ultra-wide 10MP camera. Its camera features include a Quad-LED dual-tone flash and HDR, which provides light consistency resulting in a uniformly lit background and foreground. The Quad-LED feature enables you to shoot videos in low light.
The iPad Pro also has Time-of-Flight sensors (ToF) and 3D Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanner for depth. LiDAR uses lasers to determine distances and depth. Although LiDAR is similar to ToF, used by Android devices, in function, ToF uses single pulse infra-red light to generate maps. On the other hand, LiDAR fires a train of laser pulses at different scenes over short time intervals giving an improved length of cover five meters and better object occlusion.
The technology is currently in use by cars to determine how close they are to objects. Apple introduced the LiDAR scanner in iPad Pro and is expected to use the same technology in the iPhone 12. The feature is currently lacking in the iPad Air set to be released on 15th September.
The iPad Air only has HDR, enabling you to get good photos and videos in high contrast situations. The iPad takes three pictures in succession and blends them, giving it better details in brightness and undertones.
Nevertheless, the incoming camera iPad Air is an upgrade compared to the iPad Air 2019 camera. The iPad Air 2019 has an 8MP rear camera with an f/2.4 aperture. Pictures can only be shot in HDR. Both iPads have a 1.2MP shooter to a 7MP with an f/2.2 aperture that shoots in 1080p at 30frames per second. However, iPad Air 4 can also shoot 1080p at 60fps. The cameras on both devices can also shoot wide color capture in Photo and Live Photos.
Apple Pencil and Keyboard Support
All of Apple’s lineups support its pencil. In general, The Pro lineup released from 2018 uses Apple Pencils 2. The Air and mini lineups use Apple Pencil 1. However, the iPad Air uses Apple’s second-generation pencils. While the first generation of pencils supports abroad range of apple products, the second generation is the best of the styluses.
Apple pencil 2 has a flat edge compared to the round-edged predecessor. The edges help prevent the pencil from rolling off. It also has a matte finish for better grip, an upgrade from Apple pencil 1, which has a glossy finish leading to slippage. Apple’s first-generation pencil picks up grease and leaves fingerprints.
Both pencils have an 8.9 mm size, suitable for ergonomics compared to similar products in the market. Both pencils have good drawing performance.
The iPad Pro and IPad Air fourth generation use the Magic Keyboard. The keyboard uses a Smart Connector. Additionally, it is a scissor-switch keyboard and a glass trackpad. The top layer of the keyboard looks like a piece of fabric that is water-resistant. The keys are printed with white paint.
Smart Keyboard Folio only supports the fist and second-generation iPad Pro 11-inch and the third and fourth generation of the iPad Pro 12.9 inch. The iPad Air lineup does use the Smart Keyboard Folio except for its fourth generation. Additionally, the smart keyboard does not require Bluetooth to connect to the iPad. It uses a smart connector found on the iPad.
iPad Pro Vs. iPad Air 4
From the comparison, it is quite evident that the iPad Pro excels in many of the iPad features. However, the iPad Air offers the novel A14 Bionic chip with better performance and efficiencies. While we have to wait for the rollout to ascertain the A14 Bionic chip’s efficacy, it presently remains unmatched.
Additionally, the iPad Air is much more affordable compared to iPad Pro. Therefore, if you are into staying ahead with technology, then the iPad Air is an excellent option. Similarly, if you are looking for a fast and energy-efficient device, the iPad Air 4 will serve you well. On the other hand, if you are into videography, gaming, or photography, the iPad Pro has better features.