iPad Air (2019) vs iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)

iPad Air (2019) vs iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)

  • iPad Air (2019)

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)

    Votes: 9 81.8%

  • Total voters
    11

maverick786us

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I am looking for a new iPad, keeping the budget in mind, I decided to go for latest generation iPad Air. I read reviews of latest generation iPad Air, I liked everything about it, except for 2 things.

1) 2 Speakers instead of 4
2) Lack of ProMotion Display.

Keeping the budget into the mind i found that iPad Pro of 2017 is still a good, with not the latest generation hardware, but its still good and it has quad speakers and ProMotion display. So which one of these 2 tablets should i go for? The prices are almost identical
 

UnknownSouljer

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sep 24, 2001
Messages
7,061
I would go with the iPad Pro. I'd check benchmarks first, but I'm pretty sure the iPad Pro 2nd Gen will still be faster than the latest iPad Air. The Pro processors are much faster than their lesser counterparts. Heck, the first gen iPad Pro 9.7" might also be faster.
 

maverick786us

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I would go with the iPad Pro. I'd check benchmarks first, but I'm pretty sure the iPad Pro 2nd Gen will still be faster than the latest iPad Air. The Pro processors are much faster than their lesser counterparts. Heck, the first gen iPad Pro 9.7" might also be faster.

Even faster than A12 Bionic used by latest generation iPad Air? I thought the only processor faster than A12 Bionic was A12 Bionic X which blew away any Apple or non apple device in terms of benchmarks.

Was there a Pro version of 9.7 inch? If I remember correctly, the first iPad Pro was was a 12.9 inch beast. Next year Apple Launched a 10.7 inch iPad Pro having PureMotion HD and quad speakers and a successor of 12.9 inch.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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Even faster than A12 Bionic used by latest generation iPad Air? I though the only processor faster than A12 Bionic was A12 Bionic X which blew away any Apple or non apple device in terms of benchmarks.

Was there a Pro version of 9.7 inch? If I remember correctly, the first iPad Pro was was a 12.9 inch beast. Next year Apple Launched a 10.7 inch iPad Pro having PureMotion HD and quad speakers and a successor of 12.9 inch.

EDIT: For the tl;dr, I'd read after the "===" below.

There have been 2 variants of the iPad Pro more or less from the beginning. They launched the 12.9" then the 9.7" roughly half a year later IIRC.
Gen 1 has A9X - 12 Core PowerVR 7 Series GPU and Hex Core CPU:
12.9" & 9.7"

Gen 2 A10X Hex Core, a massive improvement over Gen1. To Better answer your question here, the A10X has a 12 core GPU, which appears to be the same as the one used in Gen 1. The regular A12 GPU only has 4 cores. To say the least is a massive difference. Not to mention the X processors are clocked much higher in terms of both CPU and GPU. As you can do that in a much larger device as compared to an SoC that must work in a phone.
12.9" & 10.5"

Gen 3 A12X Octa Core. The GPU/CPU featured massive upgrades over Gen 2, most specifically in multicore applications. With GPU performance twice as fast as Gen 2 (says Apple). And features "Neural Network Hardware":
12.9" & 11"

The "X" series of processors are always much faster than their non "X" standard counterparts. The non X variations don't have the crazy amounts of cores that the X versions do in terms of GPU and GPU. Which is of course used a lot in iOS. The X variants are also clocked much higher. Something that can be done when the device and battery are much larger than an SOC that has to work in a phone. That's what makes the Pro the Pro, and also why it's so much faster than the standard non-x processors. The iPad Pro 2nd/3rd Gen also has 4 GB of RAM as compared to the Air's 3GB's (if that makes any difference to you).

There are a lot of people that also have the misunderstanding in the power of the X versus the standard chips (I saw people on Slickdeals balking at 2nd gen iPad Pro deals also erroneously believing that current gen non-Pro variants were faster and that it was outdated).

The 2nd Gen is a beast. It's crazy that the third Gen was so much faster, although mostly only in multi-theaded workloads and not as much in single threaded workloads. If you aren't going to do audio production, video editing, or lots of multi-tasking there may be very little benefit of Gen 3 over Gen 2 in terms of processor (however the graphics improvement is significant). I still would say again: look up benchmarks for your particular applications, but I'm still reasonably sure the Gen 2 Pro is much faster than the current Gen Air.


===

EDIT: So I found Geekbenche's iOS benchmarks.
https://browser.geekbench.com/ios-benchmarks

They don't have the iPad Air listed yet, but iPhone XS/XS Max's are available. So you're right. CPU performance in both single and multi core is better on A12 (even non X). I'd say the margins are some-what close. ~800 in single (25% difference) and ~2000 (20% difference) in multi or so compared to the second Gen iPad Pro. You can decide for yourself if that speed difference is signficant.

HOWEVER, the 2nd Gen iPad Pro is significantly faster in Metal performance (GPU). Almost 8,300 points. Meaning that the Air is around 1/3rd slower in terms of graphics performance. It's up to you to decide what is more important there. Geekbench is only one benchmark. I'd still try to see if you can find head to head examples for whatever apps you're going to run to be the defining factor.

Personally, I'd still say the 10.5" Pro is a better buy. With 120Hz, 4 speakers, faster graphics, and all the support for peripherals, it'd be my choice.
 
Last edited:

exlink

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Personally, I'd get the 10.5" iPad Pro for the ProMotion alone. I don't think you'll notice any significant performance differences between the two. The Pro will have a slower CPU, but a faster GPU and 1GB more RAM. So depending on its application one will be faster than the other. Quad speakers are also very nice and definitely noticeable from my experience. But I'd make sure to get AppleCare+ for it because I've seen numerous posts on the internet with "bright spots" developing on 2017 iPad Pro screens after about a year.
 

CookieFactory

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
320
Personally, I'd get the 10.5" iPad Pro for the ProMotion alone. I don't think you'll notice any significant performance differences between the two. The Pro will have a slower CPU, but a faster GPU and 1GB more RAM. So depending on its application one will be faster than the other. Quad speakers are also very nice and definitely noticeable from my experience. But I'd make sure to get AppleCare+ for it because I've seen numerous posts on the internet with "bright spots" developing on 2017 iPad Pro screens after about a year.

How big of a difference does Pro Motion offer?
 

UnknownSouljer

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How big of a difference does Pro Motion offer?

If you're into visuals, quite a bit. There is a big difference between 60Hz and 120Hz. I haven't checked out this other piece either, but I have a feeling that the display quality is better on the Pro vs the Air as it's a different tier of product. Could be wrong, would be good also for someone else to corroborate.
The iPad Pro 10.5 supports HDR10 in its display, so that's one marker not supported on the Air (verified by Apple's Specs).
They both have P3 color space, but percentages aren't disclosed either. I'm uncertain if anyone has bothered to check the full gamut and contrast ratio of both devices.
 

maverick786us

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Thanks everyone, I have enough reasons to go for 10.5 inch Pro. I will be primarily using it for online games, yes i will sometimes watch Netflix and youtube. But for online gaming the GPU of 10.5 Pro and Pro Motion HD will provide superior gaming experience.
 

///AMG

2[H]4U
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Sep 19, 2012
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Thanks everyone, I have enough reasons to go for 10.5 inch Pro. I will be primarily using it for online games, yes i will sometimes watch Netflix and youtube. But for online gaming the GPU of 10.5 Pro and Pro Motion HD will provide superior gaming experience.

The pros also usually have more ram, 4GB vs 3GB in this case. It means a lot less apps refreshing from sleep. I used my first gen 12.9 for a long time then got a free ipad 2018 and swapped, while it was marginally faster the lack of ram sucked. When the 3rd gen iPads came out I snapped one up and I havent regretted the purchase.
 

Grentz

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May 5, 2006
Messages
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You will like it, the 10inch is quite a bit more real estate and all are plenty fast these days.
I regularly use iPad Airs, Pros (10.5, 9.7 and the new gen), and base iPads. The only one that really lags behind IMO is the base iPad.
 

bwbob

Limp Gawd
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Nov 13, 2009
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479
FYI The survey needs to be corrected, there isn't a 10.7" iPad. There was the original 9.7 Pro, replaced by the gen 2 10.5" Pro version which is what I"m thinking you're polling about, and replaced again with the 11" facetime instead of touch ID format last fall along with the Air coming out

I'm going through the same thought process and picked up the 10.5 on a great sale for the Promotion display, I figured it's plenty fast enough.

If you've got a local MC or Fry's they're heavily discounted to clear them out
 

maverick786us

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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FYI The survey needs to be corrected, there isn't a 10.7" iPad. There was the original 9.7 Pro, replaced by the gen 2 10.5" Pro version which is what I"m thinking you're polling about, and replaced again with the 11" facetime instead of touch ID format last fall along with the Air coming out

I'm going through the same thought process and picked up the 10.5 on a great sale for the Promotion display, I figured it's plenty fast enough.

If you've got a local MC or Fry's they're heavily discounted to clear them out

Thanks for correcting. The heading is corrected, but unfortunately poll isn't editable
 
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