From time to time, Apple is surprising its fans with unexpected changes of strategies in terms of designs, body dimensions and other revolutionary technologies. The iPhone 6S isn’t different on the outside, but compared to its predecessor, it features a new screen technology called 3D Touch (with gestures such as Peek and Pop gestures for previewing content), a new processor and upgraded cameras. Regarding the tablets, this year, Apple has decided to bring a larger iPad which has the best specifications so far. The iPad Pro is the best device created by Apple until now, but it’s a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, because it allows the users to attach a physical keyboard (Smart Keyboard) and transform it into a laptop. Below, we’ll compare the iPad Pro and iPad Air 2.
Dimensions and Displays
While their designs are almost identical, featuring a simple aluminum back with the rear camera positioned in the upper left corner and on the front side they have a circular home button supporting a fingerprint scanner (Touch ID), their screens have different sizes. The iPad Air 2 has a body that measures 238.8 x 167.6 x 6.1 mm and the weight is 437grams/Wi-Fi model or 444 grams/LTE model. The screen has a diagonal of 9.7-inch and it supports a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels at 264 ppi.
The iPad Pro is much bigger, measuring 305 x 220 x 7 mm and its two versions weight 713 grams and 723 grams respectively, while the screen has a size of 12.9-inch and supports a higher resolution of 2732×2048 pixels, but which gives a similar pixel density. The advantage of using an iPad Pro is the possibility to add a physical keyboard with which you can easily write your documents or create presentations for work. And, thanks to iOS 9’s new feature, split screen mode, you can run two applications at the same time, one on the right side of the screen and the other one on the other side.
While the iPad Air 2 has three variants of internal memories with capacities of 16, 64, and 128GB, the iPad Pro is available in two versions of 32GB and 128GB. The iPad Air 2 was released last year and it received a 64-bit A8X Triple-core 1.5 GHz Typhoon processor with a M8 coprocessor and 2GB of RAM, so it’s defeated by the iPad Pro in terms of performance, as the latter is powered by a 64-bit A9X Dual-core 2.26 GHz (Twister) processor and a M9 coprocessor, being backed by 4GB of RAM. The processor from the A9X chip is 1.8 times faster and the GPU is 2 times more efficient than those from the A8X chip used in the Air.
However, according to Ars Technica, “The A9X can’t quite get up to the level of a modern U-series Core i5 based on Broadwell or Skylake (see the 2015 MacBook Air and Surface Pro 4 results), but it’s roughly on the same level as a Core i5 from 2013 or so and it’s well ahead of Core M. And despite the fact that it lacks a fan, the A9X shows little sign of throttling in the Geekbench thermal test, which bodes well for the iPad Pro’s ability to run professional-caliber apps for extended periods of time.”
Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t used the same pair of cameras from the new iPhone 6S, so both the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro have an 8MP back shooter without LED flash, but with a 1.12µm pixel size and Full HD video capture, while the front camera is 1.2MP.
iPad Pro: the 32GB version with Wi-Fi costs $799, while the 128GB version is $949 and the Wi-Fi + Cellular model with 128GB of storage costs $1079.
iPad Air 2: the 16GB version with Wi-Fi is priced at $499, the 64GB model is $599 and the 128GB model costs $699; The Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB model costs $629, the 64GB variant is $729, and finally, the 128GB model costs $829.