M2 iPad Air vs. the M4 iPad Pro: Which one to buy?

Apple’s latest iPad lineup offers two compelling options: the M2 iPad Air and the M4 iPad Pro. Both tablets boast impressive power and stunning displays, making the choice a little tricky.

This comprehensive guide will break down the key differences between these devices, helping you pick the perfect iPad for your needs.

M2 iPad Air vs M4 iPad Pro

M2 iPad Air vs. M4 iPad Pro: Specification

Feature iPad Air iPad Pro
Processor M2 chip M4 chip (faster)
CPU Performance Moderate Up to 50% faster
GPU Performance Moderate Up to 4x faster
Neural Engine Moderate 38 trillion ops/second (faster)
Display Technology Liquid Retina (LCD) Liquid Retina XDR (mini-LED)
Display Size 11-inch, 13-inch 11-inch, 12.9-inch
Refresh Rate 60Hz 120Hz (ProMotion)
Storage Up to 1TB Up to 1TB (higher base option?)
Rear Camera 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultrawide 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultrawide
Front Camera Moderate resolution Potentially higher resolution
Security Touch ID Face ID
Ports USB-C (Thunderbolt possible) USB-C, Thunderbolt (likely)
Battery Excellent (expected) Excellent (expected)
Apple Pencil Compatible (2nd gen) Compatible (2nd gen)
Magic Keyboard Standard Magic Keyboard New Magic Keyboard (function row, larger trackpad)
Price More affordable Higher price

Performance powerhouse: M4 iPad Pro

The iPad Pro reigns supreme in performance with its next-generation M4 chip. This powerhouse chip boasts a significant leap over the M2 chip found in the iPad Air.

Expect up to 50% faster CPU performance and a staggering 4x improvement in GPU performance. The M4 also features a vastly more powerful Neural Engine, crucial for AI and machine learning tasks.

Apple's M4 chip

This raw power makes the M4 iPad Pro ideal for professionals who demand the absolute best. Whether you’re a video editor juggling complex timelines, a 3D modeler building intricate designs, or a creative force pushing the boundaries of augmented reality, the M4 iPad Pro won’t break a sweat.

Display: LCD vs. mini-LED:

The display is another key differentiator. The M2 iPad Air features a Liquid Retina display (LCD) known for its excellent color accuracy and resolution. However, the M4 iPad Pro takes things a step further with its Liquid Retina XDR display (mini-LED). This technology delivers superior contrast, HDR (High Dynamic Range), and brightness, resulting in a truly immersive viewing experience.

2024 iPad Pro

The M4 iPad Pro also boasts a 120Hz refresh rate (ProMotion technology) for smoother scrolling and motion graphics. This feature is especially noticeable when gaming or using Apple Pencil for creative tasks.

Size matters: Finding your perfect fit:

Both iPads come in multiple sizes to suit your preference. The M2 iPad Air offers two options: 11-inch and 13-inch. The M4 iPad Pro also comes in 11-inch and a larger 12.9-inch size, perfect for those who demand maximum screen real estate.

Additional features: Security, accessories, and more:

The M4 iPad Pro prioritizes security with Face ID facial recognition, while the M2 iPad Air relies on a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Both options offer excellent battery life, although specific details haven’t been officially revealed yet.

When it comes to accessories, both iPads are compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil with its hover and gesture features. However, the M4 iPad Pro unlocks the potential of the new Magic Keyboard with a function row and a larger trackpad, ideal for extended typing sessions.

Price point:

The M2 iPad Air is expected to be significantly more affordable than the M4 iPad Pro. This makes the M2 Air a fantastic choice for users who prioritize value without sacrificing a lot of performance.

Who should get which?

Buy M2 iPad Air if: This iPad is ideal for everyday tasks, browsing, photo editing, and gaming. It offers a great balance of performance and affordability, making it perfect for students, casual users, and content creators on a budget.

Buy M4 iPad Pro if: This powerhouse caters to professionals who demand the absolute best. The superior performance, stunning mini-LED display, advanced security features, and Thunderbolt port make it a productivity powerhouse for video editors, 3D modelers, and creative professionals.

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