Arguably, Apple’s ‘biggest’ announcement (pun intended) during the ‘Hey Siri’ event was the iPad Pro. This gigantic tablet is unquestionably aimed at the pro market, but its gorgeous screen and enviable accessories is luring many iPad Air users as well. I don’t blame you guys! This one is tough to resist.
So should you give into the temptation and empty your wallet for the iPad Pro? Or should you reason with yourself and go with the more logical iPad Air 2? Read on to find out.
A Quick Recap
A month ago, we had reported about the 3 upcoming iPad models. While we got the iPad Pro details spot on, our prediction of a new iPad Air 3 fell flat. To be honest, we had heard stories about Apple skipping the Air upgrade but we couldn’t see the ‘main’ model being snubbed. We we so wrong!
What this means is that the choice is now between the shinning new iPad Pro and an year old iPad Air 2. This twist surely gives some brownie points to the big brother.
iPad Pro – The BIG Beauty
- The best and biggest screen: The sharpest screen on an iOS device. It’s even better than what you’d find in some Macbooks!
- Powerhouse: 80% better processing and 90% better graphics than most PCs sold last year.
- Speakers: First iOS device to get stereo sound with 4 speakers.
- Accessories: The Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard are exclusive to the Pro.
- (Very) Expensive: Will cost Rs. 50,000+ plus for the base model. Cellular model with Smart Keyboard and Pencil will be as pricey as the Retina Macbooks.
- Cumbersome: Big screen comes with the hassle of extra weight. Carrying around the accessories is extra work.
- Too powerful: Unless you are a heavy-duty user, you won’t be using half the superpowers the iPad Pro is born with.
iPad Air 2 – The Aging Hero
- The proven size: iPad Air 2’s 9.7 inches is the size that Apple has stuck with since the first model. That says volumes about its utility.
- Best value for money: Remember that Air 2 is the updated version of Air, just like the S upgrades of iPhone. These always offer the best bang for the buck.
- Full featured: All the new cool iPad exclusive features (like the split screen) that iOS 9 promises are supported by iPad Air 2 too. So, you don’t have to buy Pro for those special effects.
- New but old: In technology terms, a year old can be too old. Although tablets generally hold their ground, iPad Air 2 could have done with a spec bump.
- Lost the sex appeal: Thanks to the new Pro, iPad Air 2 is no longer the show stopper. It’s still a great looking tablet, but it’s not going to turn heads anymore.
- No cool accessories: Not a Pro, so no pro toys! Pencil needs the new screen technology to work and Smart Keyboard needs the new connector. Air 2 doesn’t have either.
Comparisons That Matter The Most
|iPad Pro||iPad Air 2||Verdict|
|Screen||12.9 inches||9.7 inches||Pro is 78% larger & sharper|
|Weight||0.71 kgs||0.44 kgs||Pro is 66% heavier|
|Speed||A9X processor, 4GB RAM||A8X processor, 2GB RAM||Pro is almost twice as fast|
|Price||Will start at Rs. 50,000+||Starts at Rs. 33,000||With accessories, Pro will twice as expensive|
After all the details and comparisons, we come down to the critical question – which one to buy? If you’re a professional your decision is already made (go Pro!). The dilemma is for the rest of us.
Let’s crack the code in a fun way, shall we? Here’s a simple Yes or No quiz, just answer and your decision will be made.
- Are you really, really, REALLY in love with the big screen (think again)? Yes / No
- Is your tablet mainly a ‘stay at home’ device? Yes / No
- Do you have extra 30 to 40k to spend on a tablet? (If yes, also consider the alternative of using this money for iPhone 6S, Apple TV or Apple Watch) Yes / No
- Think (honestly) whether you create or edit content (art, office documents etc) on your tablet? Yes / No
- Do you regularly watch (HD) videos on the iPad? Yes / No
- Is your tablet your main gaming device (instead of PC, Playstation or Xbox)? Yes / No
- Do you have a Kindle or prefer ‘real’ books? Yes / No
If you answered YES to more than 5 questions, then you may indulge in your Pro love. Otherwise, Air 2 will be more than enough for you. Be strong!
Still want the Pro? There might be a backdoor
So the test asked you not to go for the bigger iPad but your heart is still calling out for it. There is one more way to make it a practical choice – You can replace your laptop/desktop with the Pro. I know it sounds outlandish but it’s workable, especially if your computer usage is limited to surfing and working on Microsoft office documents.
As we discussed earlier, there is no comparative shortage of processing power on the iPad Pro. Even the 128GB storage matches the entry level Macbooks. All you need to do is train yourself to the new work style. Worth the effort? you decide.
Oh, you want to know which one I am going for? It’s …. drum rolls …. NEITHER. I was eagerly waiting for the iPad Air 3 but Apple just rained on my parade. For me, the Air 2 wasn’t a worthwhile upgrade from Air last year and it’s even less appealing now. Regarding the iPad Pro, I failed my test miserably (I replied ‘No’ to 6 questions). So, in the spirit of practicing what I preach, I will save my money for the iPad Air 3 next year. Hopefully, it will support the awesome Apple Pencil too. Please Apple, please!!
PS: This post is in response to an email by Khushal Mandavia, a fellow Apple lover, who requested our help in choosing between the iPad Pro and iPad Air 2. Hope we cleared your confusion Khushal.