News Article

Apple iPad Air 2 vs iPad Pro 9.7 inch: Which is better value?

Published 10 November 2016 by

It's hard to think back to a time before we started to use tablets in the same way as laptops or desktops. For most of us, it was before 2010, as this was when Apple released its first iPad.

Since then, the tech giant has launched a number of different tablet generations: iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Pro. The latest iPad Pro 9.7 inch was released in March 2016 and at a glance, it looks very similar to the iPad Air 2 released two years prior.

To help you understand the difference between these two tablets and which one is better value, we're taking you through the features.

Display

It's hard to tell the difference between the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro 9.7 inch just by looking at them. In comparison to other Apple tablets, they fall into the mid-sized category and feature a 9.7-inch display.

Each tablet measures 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm and weighs 437g, making them identical in size and weight. The main difference between the two is the quality of the display. The iPad Pro has an enhanced display with features such as True Tone built in.

While this feature is optional, True Tone is designed to automatically adjust the screen's colour to the room or conditions you're in. So if you're in a yellow room you'll notice the screen changing to a warmer tone. This makes the tablet look more natural, like paper does when you're working on it. 

Camera

The iPad Pro 9.7 offers a better camera than the Air 2, with excellent quality front and back cameras. The iPad Pro features a 12MP back camera and a 5MP front camera, in comparison with the iPad Air 2's 8MP and 1.2MP. 

The newer iPad features a flash on the back camera and a Retina flash feature on the front. If you rely on the iPad for taking professional pictures, the iPad Pro 9.7 is probably the way to go.

Performance

The performance of the iPad Pro 9.7 is quicker than the Air 2 as a result of the new processor (A9X) – an update of the A8X chip used in the Air 2.

With that said, if you're only going to be using the tablet to respond to emails, browse the internet and for a few apps or games, it's probably not essential that you update to the newest iPad Pro. You still get other features of performance with the iPad Air 2, such as the ability to split screen and it's supported by 2GB of RAM (the same as Pro 9.7) so that you can store work onto the tablet. 

Function

Unlike the iPad Air 2, Apple has made the iPad Pro 9.7 compatible with accessories like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. So if you were looking to replace your laptop with something more lightweight, this could be an option.

The Apple Pencil (£99) is described as feeling good and natural in the hand – making it ideal for designers or creatives. As is the Smart Keyboard (£149 for 9.7 inch) which allows you to stand the tablet up at around a 45 degree angle and type as you would do on a laptop or computer.

Just keep in mind that these two accessories will set you back a total of £248 – which in most cases is the cost of a basic laptop.

Price

For most people, the most important factor in deciding between the two devices is price. You can see the breakdown of costs for the iPad Pro 9.7 below.

iPad Pro 9.7

32GB

128GB

256GB

Wi-Fi

£549

£639

£729

Wi-Fi and Cellular

£669

£759

£849

 

The iPad Air 2 only offers two storage options – the 32GB and the 128GB. These start from £379 and £469 respectively, and Wi-Fi and Cellular connectivity starts from £499.

You can buy either of the tablets from Apple or other retailers such as Argos or John Lewis. It's best to shop around to see where you can get the best deal, especially as we head towards Black Friday and Christmas.

 

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