With Apple’s latest iPad releases, buyers who prefer non-Pro models, with screens around 10 inches, now have two major choices: Either the new iPad (technically the iPad 8) or the new iPad Air 4.
These two tablets don't look much alike and there’s a whole lot going on beneath the surface, but it all favors the iPad Air 4. Yes, the iPad Air 4 is significantly more expensive (+$270), but continue reading to learn the top six reasons you really should choose this model over the classic iPad.
A Far Better Display
The iPad Air's edge-to-edge display is larger than the new iPad with 0.7 more inches, but that’s a minor difference and even difficult to see at a glance. The real changes come in big upgrades to screen quality. While the iPad is stuck with a traditional Retina display, the Air 4 has upgraded to Liquid Retina with True Tone, full lamination with anti-reflective coating, and much better visuals. It also has a higher resolution at 2360 x 1640, while the iPad clocks in at 2160 x 1620. That makes the Air 4 superior for color accuracy and entertainment purposes.
A USB-C Connection
The iPad 8th-gen continues to use the aging Lightning connector for charging. The Air 4, at long last, joins the iPad Pro models in upgrading to USB-C. This is a big hardware improvement; not only is the USB-C connection cable of a better charging experience, but it’s also compatible with lot more potential chargers, and can transfer data much, much faster with a variety of devices. It makes the Air 4 much more versatile and ready for the future.
Far Better Accessories
It’s not apparent unless you look into the details, but the two new iPads actually have drastically different accessory compatibilities. The iPad supports the Apple Pencil Generation 1, but won’t work with the Generation 2 Pencil. It can work with the traditional Smart Keyboard that Apple offers, but isn’t compatible with any of the newer Folios.
The iPad Air 4, however, is designed to work with the more advanced Generation 2 Pencil, and won’t work with the Generation 1. It can also work with the Smart Folio Keyboard, which includes a touchpad that’s specifically designed to work with the iPad’s interface as a cursor. This is a great addition if you want your iPad to potentially function as a laptop alternative.
Larger Storage Options
The iPad can hold up to 128GB of storage. The iPad Air 4 easily outdoes this with a max of 256GB of storage. This may not be important to many iPad users if they don’t keep a lot of data directly on their iPads and are happy with lower storage configurations. However, those who want to use the iPad as a laptop alternative, or store lots of movies, TV shows, and other files on it for easy access will appreciate the plentiful storage options provided.
A Better Camera
Do you like using the iPad’s camera to take photos, scan rooms, or even recognize math problems? The iPad comes with an 8-megapixel wide lens. It’s not bad, and it can get the job done for most tasks, but some may find it rudimentary. Those who want to push the limits of their iPad photography will prefer the Air 4’s 12-megapixel camera, which greatly expands possible detail and image quality.
Much More Power
The iPad houses the aging A12 Bionic chip for its processor. The Air 4, however, skips ahead to the all-new A14 chip, and the difference is massive. The A14 now has a 6-core design that leads to a 40% boost in CPU performance, 30% improvement in graphics, and a Neural Engine that’s twice as fast…as the A13. The differences between the A12 and A14 are far more striking. That makes the Air 4 perfect for handling more complex tasks like 4K video editing.