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The M1 iPad Pro 2021 Vs The M1 MacBook Air

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With Apple announcing its latest iPad Pro 2021, many of us are picturing a face-off between iPad Pro 2021 and the 2020 edition M1 MacBook Air already. The question “iPad Pro 2021 or MacBook Air 2020” becomes even more interesting with both devices powering themselves up with the same CPU.

Now, if you are wondering if the M1 iPad Pro 2021 or the M1 MacBook Air would be the better option to go with this year, let me tell you that there is more than just the CPU to look at. However, considering various factors might get a bit complicated on your side, so to ease things up a bit, I have prepared a detailed comparison between the devices.

This comparison will make you aware of the primary differences that prevail within the devices and further help you choose the one that fits your need appropriately.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 Or the M1 MacBook Air?

Before jumping right into the comparison lets us have a look at two of the most important and in general factors that play a crucial role in choosing the best one from iPad and MacBook.

Usage purpose

The purpose of using any device varies from one individual to the other. The same goes for computers and laptops as well. Some may find themselves using a computer to carry out basic tasks like watching videos, playing movies and tasks of similar loads, others use these devices to carry out heavy tasks like playing high-end games, editing videos, and more, while you may also find users that tend to do both.

Talking about iPads and Macbooks, both are equally capable of serving performance thanks to the next-gen engines. However to get a bit specific, the former can be a great option for you if you are someone who seeks to deal with content creation conveniently, while the latter can come in handy if most of your tasks include typing documents and inputting data.

User history

The second important aspect that might play a key role in selecting either iPad or MacBook is how well he/she has been acquainted with either of the devices. Like if you are MacBook users who have been using these devices for a long time, you may not find switching as a suitable option. However, considering the compatibility that iPads bring with them, having one as a secondary device won’t be a bad deal.

Besides, the next-generation iPads are coming with a more enhanced set of performance chips that will aid seamless processing even upholding the compatibility factor. Thus no matter, if you have had an iPad in the past or have been an honest MacBook user throughout, owning an iPad in 2021, will be a good idea for sure.

Whatever may be the point you are standing at right now. looking at a detailed comparison for sure will put you in a more comfortable place.

Detailed Comparison

M1 iPad Pro vs M1 MacBook Air: a quick look at the specifications

Display: The M1 iPad Pro 2021 will feature a 12.9-inch screen with 2048 x 2732 resolution, while the M1 MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 resolution display.

Processor: The latest Apple Silicon M1 Chipset powers both the iPad Pro 2021 and M1 MacBook

RAM: The base variant of the M1 iPad Pro 2021 comes with * GB of RAM, which is configurable up to 16 GB, and with MacBook Air 2020, the scenario is just the same.

Camera: The iPad Pro 2021 comes with a triple camera set at the back and a 12MP selfie camera at the front side. The MacBook Air, on the other hand, features a 0.7MP Facetime HD Camera.

Weight: The latest iPad Pro will weigh somewhere around 1.5 pounds, nearly half of the MacBook Air, which weighs 2.8 pounds.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: all about design and port availability

Although the 2020 version MacBook Air features the next generation M1 chip, its overall design looks like the same old MacBook machines. Yes, that might not be an issue for many, but to be honest, a portable device with 0.5-inch to 0.3-inch bezel looks a bit obsolete in 2021.

While the recently announced iPad Pro bears a different story altogether. Pretty similar to the 2020 version of iPad Pro, the 2021 version comes with a bezel of symmetric dimension on each side. It is also a bit outdated, but still looks better and something more like the next generation as compared to the MacBook Air. 

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro might look a bit on the smaller side compared to the 13.3 inches MacBook Air, but the sleekness and overall look that the M1 iPad Pro brings with it is pretty sure to gather more attention and that too on the positive side.

Talking about the available ports, the only thing that made MacBook Air stand ahead of the 2020 iPad Pro in this section was the availability of Thunderbolt 3 ports. But with the M1 iPad Pro 2021 hitting the scene with the latest Thunderbolt 4 ports, the former might have a tough time competing with the upcoming 2021 M1 iPad Pro. 

Winner: The M1 iPad Pro 2021

Verdict: So, if you seek a device that features design with next-generation ports, the M1 iPad Pro for sure deserves the first priority.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: display performance

 With its recently announced M1 iPad Pro 2021, Apple is set to feature even a better display compared to the predecessor. The liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD with 120Hz refresh is sure to take your viewing experience to a whole new level. In addition to that, the 1000 nits and 1600 nits of brightness at typical and peak level respectively, are well on their way to becoming a game-changer in the near future.

On the other side, we have the 2020 MacBook Air with fair good configuration, but still lacks a bit in providing the display performance as compared to the M1 iPad Pro 2021. Whether it be its 60 Hz refresh rate or 365.8 nits of brightness, no matter which display feature you decide to look at, the iPad Pro 2021 seems to outrun the MacBook Air in each case.

Besides all of these, the touch input features of iPad have been one of the features that added to the convenience, when compared to that of a MacBook. With iPad Pro 2021, the scenes are quite the same this year.

Winner: The M1 iPad Pro 2021

Verdict: Although both the devices can perform pretty well at serving a better viewing experience, the M1 iPad Pro 2021 seems to be a bit better.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: system performance

Unlike the iPad Pro 2020, which featured A12Z Bionic Chip, the iPad Pro 2021 is set to feature the latest chipset called the Apple Silicon M1. Now, in this case, we have quite an even competition as the 2020 MacBook Air features the same chipset. Not just that, both the devices are powered with octa-core CPUs, with 4 of them corresponding to performance while the rest are there to look after the efficiency.

Talking about Memory and GPU, the scenes are similar here as well. Both the devices come with a base variant of 8 GB of RAM that is configurable up to 16 Gigabytes. For the GPU, an octa-core Apple GPU powers up both the M1 iPad Pro 2021 and M1 MacBook Air.

Winner: Both

Verdict: If you seek a device serving top-notch performance, both the M1 iPad Pro 2021 and M1 MacBook Air are equally capable of effectively processing high-end tasks.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: storage

With the iPad Pro 2021, you have the option to choose from varied storage capacity which sets minimum at 128 GB to as high as 2 Terabytes (TB). The story is similar when we talk about the M1 MacBook Air. The base variant of MacBook Air 2020 comes with 256GB of SSD storage which is expandable to up to 2 TB.

Winner: Both

Verdict: As both the devices offer varied selection options for storage, it is recommended that you go for the one that suits your requirement.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: battery life

This is one section where M1 MacBook Air outruns iPad 2021 to a certain level. Built with a 49.9 watt-hour lithium polymer battery, MacBook Pro has a whopping battery run time of more than 14 hours. While on the other hand, iPad Pro 2021 is set to feature the same battery as its predecessor. However, just being announced, iPad Pro’s battery is yet to put under test. But if everything remains just the same as the 2020 version, then you can expect a battery run time of around 9 to 10 hours which is fairly less than the M1 MacBook Air.

The good thing, though, the 2021 M1 iPad Procomes with 18W fast charging. That means, if you run out of your battery quickly, you have the option to charge your device really quick as well.

Winner: The M1 MacBook Air

Verdict: For prolonged battery life, the M1 MacBook Air can be a better option. However, with the fast-charging feature, the iPad Pro 2021 is not holding back either.

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: cameras

The 2021 M1 iPad Pro is set to feature a triple rear camera setup. But as it is a comparison with MacBook Air’s webcam, focusing on the iPad’s selfie camera would be more appropriate. Talking about the selfie camera, iPad Pro 2021 will have a 12 MP selfie camera with an aperture of f/2.4. Besides that, the iPad’s camera will feature other utilities as well that include HDR, Paronoma, and Face Detection. On the other hand, the M1 MacBook Air has its inbuilt 720p, 0.7MP Facetime webcam, making the 2021 M1 iPad Pro a superior option for camera-related features.

But that is not it; with 2021 iPad Pro’s rear camera, you can shoot 4K videos while the selfie camera allows you to shoot 1080p videos at 25, 30, and even 60 frame per seconds, which I guess is out of the question with MacBook Air’s 720p camera.

Winner: The M1 iPad Pro 2021

Verdict: Keeping the usage of the rear camera aside, if you are willing to have a portable device that can serve various camera aided purposes like video conferencing effectively, then going for the M1 iPad Pro might be a better option. 

M1 iPad Pro 2021 vs M1 MacBook Air: pricing

After walking through various essential factors, we are down to one of the most crucial parameters to consider, “Pricing”. Talking about the M1 MacBook Air, the base variant with 256GB of RAM starts from $999, which goes to $1,448 with the Magic Keyboard. While if we talk about the base variant of the M1 iPad Pro 2021, it is expected to be somewhere around $1200, but remember you are settling with half a storage as compared to that of the MacBook Air.

Winner: The M1 MacBook Air 

Verdict: If you decide to go for a budget option that can bring effective performance, the MacBook Air will be a good choice. However, if you have the option to add up a few hundreds of dollars, owning the M1 iPad Pro 2021 might end up being a beneficial deal.

Final Words

There you have a detailed comparison between the 2020 edition M1 MacBook Air and the recently announced portable powerhouse M1 iPad Pro 2021. Although the device is yet to reach users physically, considering the feature discussed during the announcement event seems that the 2021 M1 iPad Pro is outrunning the M1 MacBook Air already mostly in the design, display, and camera sections.

So, if you are looking to get a portable device for yourself in 2021 that brings design compatibility and performance under one frame, the M1 iPad Pro needs to get your attention. While if you hold a special affinity for MacBooks, having the iPad Pro 2021 as a secondary option won’t hurt a deal.

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