The Better Purchase: Apple iPad Air M2 or OLED iPad Pro?


Earlier this week, Apple fully unveiled the new OLED iPad Pro and iPad Air M2. Both come with many improvements over their predecessors. However, the Air M2 might just be a better purchase for you. Before you ask, yes, OLED is definitely a better choice for viewing.

But, given the price difference, the OLED panel found in the new Apple iPad Pro doesn’t look that appealing. For context, the new iPad Air 11 comes in at $599, while the 13-inch model starts at $799. On the other hand, the new OLED iPad Pro will cost you $999 for the base 11-inch model, while the 13-inch starts at $1,299.

What Makes the New Apple iPad Air M2 a Better Purchase than the OLED iPad Pro

The M2 iPad Air might surprise you. Despite missing a few features found on the OLED iPad Pro, it can still be an excellent choice. Apple’s decision to release a new 13-inch iPad Air simplifies things even further. Let’s give you a proper rundown by comparing the two:

The Display Difference Wouldn’t Be Noticeable For Many

The Apple iPad Pro’s new OLED display boasts stunning visuals, sharp resolution, and exceptional color accuracy. It even sips less battery power. However, the M2 iPad Air’s Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 wide color support delivers impressive results too.

For most users, the everyday difference between these displays might be negligible. However, professional artists, editors, and anyone working with color-critical tasks might benefit from the extra precision the OLED display offers.

The new 13-inch iPad Air throws another interesting wrinkle into the mix. Reports suggest it boasts a 20% brightness increase compared to the 11-inch models, making it an even more compelling option for users who prioritize a vibrant display.

Apple M2 Is More Than Enough for Most

M4 SoC

Here’s where things get interesting. The M2 iPad Air packs the same M2 chip that previously powered the “Pro” models. This translates to blazing-fast performance for everything you throw at it.

Whether you’re editing videos, creating intricate 3D models, or conquering demanding games, the M2 Air handles it all with ease. In fact, its performance rivals the new iPad Pro models in most tasks.

The truth is, the Apple M4 chip powering the OLED iPad Pro might be overkill for most users. Apple hasn’t yet introduced iPadOS features that truly tap into this extra power. So, for many, the M2 iPad Air offers all the processing muscle they’ll ever need.

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iPadOS Brings Near Identical Features on Both the Apple iPad Models

Apple iPadOS

The good news is, with iPadOS 18 on board, you get a near-identical feature set on both the Air and Pro models. While Apple might introduce a few exclusive features for the Pro, like the new Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro apps, these are likely targeted towards a niche audience.

For most users, the core iPadOS experience remains the same across both models. So, with the Apple iPad Pro OLED, you’re essentially paying extra for a slight performance bump that, in everyday use, might be difficult to perceive.

You Get Full Accessory Compatibility With the Affordable iPad Air M2


Here’s another area where the M2 Apple iPad Air shines. It offers compatibility with the same accessories as the Pro models, including the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil. This transforms the Air into a capable productivity machine.

Plus, you get Touch ID integrated into the power button and a front camera positioned in landscape mode, mirroring the Pro’s features. Battery life is another tie. Both the Air and OLED Pro models boast a claimed 10 hours of web browsing and video playback, making this a non-factor in your decision. In essence, these factors deliver a nearly identical user experience, regardless of which model you choose.

Finally, Let’s Talk About the Pricing

Now we come to a critical factor: price. The 11-inch OLED iPad Pro starts at a hefty $999, while the M2 iPad Air lands at a much more manageable $599. That’s a significant difference! The price gap widens even further with the larger models. The 13-inch OLED iPad Pro starts at a whopping $1,299, while the 13-inch M2 iPad Air comes in at $799.

iPad Air M2

Remember, the core functionality of both models is remarkably similar. You’re essentially paying a premium for the OLED display and a slight performance bump on the Pro models. For many users, this simply won’t justify the extra cost. The M2 iPad Air offers exceptional value, delivering outstanding performance and a feature set that rivals the Pro at a fraction of the price.

Get the New Apple iPad Pro OLED If You Want the Extras

When it comes down to it, the best Apple iPad for you depends on your specific needs and budget. If features like a buttery-smooth 120Hz ProMotion display, Face ID for secure logins, a powerful LiDAR scanner for AR experiences, or a top-tier camera are on your must-have list, then the OLED iPad Pro might be the way to go.

New iPad Pro

However, for most users, the affordable Apple iPad Air M2 is perfect. It delivers exceptional performance, a beautiful display, and a feature set that rivals the Pro in most ways. So, if you can live without the bells and whistles of the Pro models, the M2 iPad Air offers incredible value.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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