Apple recently released new iPad models in its September event: iPad 8th gen, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. Samsung released its Galaxy tab S7, which changed the entire landscape of android tablets.
The question remains, which one is best for your buck.
From the title, you can already tell where I am going with this. But Why?
iPad Air is cheaper and has a more powerful 5nm A-14 processor, whereas iPad Pro has a 7nm 12Z bionic. Galaxy tab S7 comes with the S-pen in the box and it is cheaper than the pro, whereas, for all the iPads, you need to buy Apple Pencil separately.
So, Heres Why iPad Pro is still better
iPad Pro has a LiDAR sensor which -as of now- is not available in any device. This may not be a big deal for you if you only want an iPad for browsing the internet. But if you are a mobile app developer, you have a chance to bag a fortune.
AR is coming, and there is no going back once it becomes mainstream. It will be a transition similar to the keypad to touch screens on phones. If you are a mobile app developer, you can gain a serious advantage by preparing for the future.
Here’s a story by me on AR and a great read by Vedaant Varshney on LiDAR- Why Apple Will Lead the AR Revolution AR revolution creeps closer and Apple will be its face.medium.com LiDAR: The Eyes of an Autonomous Vehicle Have you ever imagined a future where you can open an app, and a driverless car would take you anywhere? With LiDAR…medium.com
I am a developer and I have a few ideas in my notepad waiting to come alive, so iPad Pro is my only choice. If you are not a developer, iPad Pro can still allow you to glimpse at the future of the user interface. You can use some marvelous and beautiful apps and games created by others which cannot be experienced in the same way on other devices.
AR apps can run on most of the IOS devices with the help of the AR kit, but they cannot defeat the precision and accuracy of LiDAR.
Apps and Design
iPad Air and iPad Pro both run IOS, so there is not much difference in terms of availability of apps. But on Android, there was not much you could do with the tablet until Samsung released its new S7 tab.
Tab S7 changed the entire landscape of the android tablet experience. Earlier, a tablet was just an extension of your phone; A bigger screen where you can watch movies better. But now it is getting closer to an iPad, just note there yet.
Galaxy tab S7 allows you to use design apps such as Krita for drawing and Autodesk sketch for rough sketches and design. It comes with the S pencil in the box, which you can charge using the tablet itself.
iPad OS has a wider collection of apps ranging from photoshop to affinity designer, affinity photos, procreate, and a plethora of other design and editing apps. It can also do 3D modeling, run more graphic intensive games than most of the tablets. iPad can easily replace laptop or drawing tablet for most people.
The new Apple magic keyboard provides a more ‘laptoppy’ experience with a dedicated trackpad and redesigned cursor and can replace your main machine for many people.
Best for your buck
At this point, iPad Air might seem like the best choice; It has a better processor, the same OS, and it is less expensive. But there is a catch.
iPad Air comes in 2 storage variants: 64gb and 256gb. I was clear, I will not buy the 64GB one, so I looked at 256 GB one and it is $749, just $50 cheaper than the 128 GB iPad Pro, and 128 GB is the sweet spot for me.
I can use an external SSD if I need more storage, or use the cloud. Moreover, my laptop is my primary machine, so I don’t need more storage on the iPad.
iPad Pro also has a dual camera and Face ID. This will not make a big difference to most people. I mean, who would use their giant iPad to take a shot when they can use their phone; and touch ID on iPad Air is good, plus you need not worry about the mask.
The only reason anyone should buy the pro over the air is if they want to do graphic-intensive tasks, which are still better on the pro. If you only want to browse the internet or watch movies, the best option would be the Galaxy Tab S7.
There are rumors around for a refreshed version of the iPad Pro. Some say Apple will reveal it in October or the November event with the new MacBook. But I don’t think it will happen, Apple already refreshed the iPad Pro in march and just released 3 new iPad.
But hey, it’s Apple, you never know what is going to happen.
Another rumor suggests that Apple will release a new iPad Pro in March next year, and I think this is more likely the case. March 2021 iPad Pro is rumored to have a better mini-LED display which is not available in any Apple product yet.