iPad vs. iPad Air: Which Apple tablet is right for you?

If you’re in the market for a new iPad, Apple has four different versions in their current lineup. This means there’s a couple of things to compare and keep in consideration when you’re shopping for your new tablet. This article will only be comparing the two models that are arguably the most similar, iPad (2019) and iPad Air (2019). We’ll outline what sets them apart from each other to hopefully help you figure out which one will be the best for you.


What’s the difference between iPad and iPad Air?

iPad (2019) and iPad Air (2019) share a lot of similarities. They’re both close to the same size, include a home button with Touch ID, and were upgraded to be compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard. However, their differences are significant and are worth keeping in mind when you’re making your decision.

iPad (2019)

  • 10.2-inch Retina display
  • A10 Fusion chip
  • Up to 128 GB
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 1.2-megapixel front camera

iPad Air (2019)

  • 10.5-inch Retina Display
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Up to 256 GB
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 7-megapixel front camera

What iPad and iPad Air have in common is that they don’t have much storage. Cleaning up your photo library before moving it to a new tablet will help you save precious space. Use Gemini Photos to scan your photos for the duplicates and blurry pics you’ve been meaning to delete.

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iPad Air 2019 vs. iPad 2019: Screen

One area of difference between the two iPads you might not immediately notice is their screens. iPad Air has a 10.5-inch screen, while iPad has a 10.2-inch. Sure — that’s not a massive difference in size, but it’s worth noting that the display on iPad Air also has TrueTone. That means the screen will automatically adjust hue color based on the ambient lighting where you’re using it. So no matter the environment you’re using iPad Air in, the display shows you the most accurate colors possible.


iPad vs. iPad Air: Camera

While the rear cameras are almost identical on iPad Air and iPad, their front cameras are where they have the greatest disparity. iPad Air has a 7-megapixel front camera, but iPad only has a 1.2-megapixel camera. Admittedly, the front camera may not be a deal-breaker for some, but if you’re getting a new iPad so you can telecommute for work, the quality of the front camera will be a bigger issue for you.


iPad Air vs. iPad: Internal specs 

As was mentioned earlier, these two models of iPad are arguably the two that are the most similar. But some seemingly minor differences in their internal specs will impact their performance and how you will be able to use your tablet.

Starting with the processors, iPad Air has the current-gen A12 Bionic chip that helps it operate faster and will give you better graphical performance for things like designing and AR. iPad, meanwhile, only has an A10 Fusion chip, which debuted with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Both models come with interesting, and ultimately limited, storage capacities. iPad Air comes with either 64 GB or 256 GB, while iPad only has 32 GB or 128 GB.


Which should you buy, iPad Air 2019 or iPad 2019?

Throughout the year, as Apple upgraded its iPad lineup, they pitted iPad Air (2019) as the perfect middle ground between iPad (2019) and iPad Pro. Even though iPad Air and iPad are quite similar in many ways, if you’re looking for a tablet that will last you for the next couple of years, iPad Air is the clear winner. With better performance specs, it’s a device that will be able to support a couple of rounds of software updates, especially as Apple continues to roll out its iPad-specific operating system, iPadOS.


Whether you’re seeking to replace an older model or hoping to dip your toe in the world of tablets, iPad and iPad Air are both great devices. And although iPad Air has a faster processor and more internal storage, there’s something attractive about the budget-friendliness of iPad. If you’re in the market for a new personal device and not looking to replace your work computer, iPad can handle all the basics like checking email, surfing the web, and reading books.

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