Apple's new iPad v/s iPad Air: Which one to buy?
Alongside the new iPhones and Apple Watch, Apple has also announced the 7th-generation of its entry-level iPad with a slightly larger screen, support for smart keyboard, and other minor updates. Interestingly, the new iPad, with a 10.2-inch display and similar design, comes close to being a more affordable version of the 10.5-inch iPad Air. But which one should you buy? Let's find out.
Right of the bat, both the models look almost exactly the same. Their bodies measure exactly 9.8-inch by 6.8-inch, with the iPad Air being 1.4mm thinner and 0.7 pounds lighter. However, the side bezels on the 7th-generation iPad are slightly thicker than on the iPad Air. Both models also come with Touch ID, Lightning connector, Smart Connector (for keyboards), and a headphone jack.
The iPad Air sports a 10.5-inch LED display with a resolution of 2224x1668 pixels and a pixel density of 264ppi. In comparison, the 7th-generation iPad gets a 10.2-inch screen with 2160x1620 resolution at 264ppi. Both models also support 1st-generation Apple Pencil. That said, the entry-level iPad misses out on features like antireflective coating, wide color display (P3), and True Tone display.
Both the models offer a single 8MP (f/2.4) rear camera with support for Live Photos, HDR, 1080p video recording at 30fps, and 720p slo-mo video at 120fps. On the front, the iPad Air has a 7MP camera whereas the entry-level iPad offers a 1.2MP snapper.
The 10.2-inch iPad is powered by the same A10 Fusion chip we saw on last year's 9.7-inch model, while the iPad Air has a much superior A12 Bionic chip that includes Apple's second-generation Neural Engine for optimized machine learning. The 7th-generation iPad only comes in 32GB and 128GB storage options, while the iPad Air starts at 64GB and goes upto 256GB configuration.
As for battery performance, both models are touted to offer up to 10 hours of battery life on Wi-Fi and up to 9 hours on cellular data mode. They also offer stereo speakers, dual-band Wi‑Fia/c, Bluetooth 5.0 (on iPad Air), and dual-SIM support (Physical+eSIM). In India, the iPad Air (Wi-Fi only) starts at Rs. 44,900 while the 7th-generation iPad starts at Rs. 29,900.
With a faster chip, more storage space, and connectivity support, the iPad Air can be a more efficient "laptop alternative" than the 7th-generation iPad. However, if you're looking for a tablet for streaming videos and web browsing, the new entry-level iPad should meet your needs.