iPad Pro with A12z chip vs. MacBook Air with M1 chip – performance, battery, display comparison

In March, Apple improved the MacBook Air and iPad Pro. With the iPad Pro, the company frequently placed it as a computer replacement. Here is a comparison for both the new machines to see which one might be a preferable option depending on the user’s needs and if they measure up.

The rise of the iPad has certainly created an interesting question, iPad Pro, or MacBook Air? The iPad Pro carries the A12Z chip which is pretty fast, whereas the MacBook Air carries Apple’s latest M1 chip. Let us see which device comes on top.

ipad pro 2020 vs macbook air

iPad Pro 2020 vs. MacBook Air

Below is a chart compiled of general data to give you a quick look at both devices.

Starting price $999 ($899 educational) $999 ($1,348 with Magic Keyboard)
Screen 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600) 12.9 inches (2732 x 2048)
Battery life 14:41 10:16
Processor M1 chip (8-core, 7/8-core GPU) A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine
Storage 256GB to 2TB 128GB to 1TB
Cameras 0.7 MP webcam 12MP Wide + 10MP Ultra Wide (rear), 7MP TrueDepth (front)
Video recording 1080 x 720 pixels Up to 4K at 60 fps
Security Touch ID Face ID
Apple Keyboard support Magic Keyboard Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
Pencil support Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
Dimensions 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches 11 x 8.4 x 0.2 inches | 11 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches with Magic Keyboard
Weight 2.8 pounds 1.4 pounds | 3 pounds with Magic Keyboard


The best way to compare the raw performance of iPad Pro’s A12Z Bionic chip and MacBook Air’s M1 chip is to compare via Geekbench 5‘s benchmarks. Single-core scores for the i3 chip in the MacBook Air are approximately around 1070 however, multi-core scores are around 5925.

For iPad Pro scores, single-core performance scores are around 1100 but when it comes to multi-core performance the device came somewhat close by earning a solid score of 4635. Even though, iPad Pro is not incompetent and is still great for video editing in its own applications.
M1 MacBook Air vs Intel MacBook Air


With the additional Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro may have its drawbacks on design but its screen is the preferred display in almost every way. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro produces 122.9% of the sRGB gamut and 559 nits of brightness. Whereas, MacBook Air produces 114.3% of the sRBG gamut and 365.8 nits of brightness.

This makes the iPad Pro slightly more colorful and a lot brighter than the MacBook Air. Moving on, both the devices offer True Tone white balance, but only the iPad has the 120 Hz ProMotion display refresh rate which permits everything on your screen to move smoothly and look extremely nice. The MacBook Air has a 60 Hz refresh rate. The difference might look like much, but it is.

Battery life

According to Tom’s Guide battery test, Mac outlasts iPad by a very wide margin. After surfing at 150 nits of brightness, MacBook Air recorded a marvelous time of 14 hours and 41 minutes however, the iPad Pro lost life at 10 hours and 16 minutes.

iPad Pro Magic Keyboard 2


A notable fact is that the MacBook Air has a slightly better webcam because of image signal processing, even though it is still a 720p, 0.7MP webcam.

The iPad Pro features a 7MP front-facing camera and a pair of rear cameras; 12MP Wide and 10MP Ultra Wide which are quite spectacular.

Value and price

The starting price for both the devices is $999, but it is not a fair comparison, because for iPad you have to buy the Magic Keyboard separately which starts at $349. Additionally, the iPad starts with half the storage.

If you want to make compare the devices well, the Pro’s price goes up to $1099 with 256 GB of storage and $1448 with the Magic Keyboard. If you want an 8-core GPU in your MacBook Air, the price goes up to $1249 and consists of 512 GB of storage.


It all comes down to each individual’s workflow, preferences, work habits, and software requirements. For a job that needs focus on a single app like editing, writing, or coding, iPad Pro is much preferable. However, if the user needs a machine for multi-tasking heavy workload that requires multiple apps to be used all together, they should opt for the MacBook Air.

We hope this post helped you in finding the right option for your use!

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About the Author

Usman has been playing games for as long as he can remember. He is an editor at iThinkDifferent and writes about games, Apple news, hardware, productivity guides, and more. When not writing for iTD, Usman loves to play competitive Team Fortress 2, spends time honing his football skills, and watches superhero movies.

1 comment

  1. What a missinformed article! Check your specifications for the M1 Macbook Air!! All wrong… You even say that it is compatible with Smart Keyboard Folio…

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