Spring for the iPad Air Now, or Fall for a Pro Later?

Apple announced a new iPad Air. But is it worth holding out for the next iPad Pro?

Apple launched an updated iPad Air at its March 8 event that focused on faster performance, enhanced connectivity, and the best camera to date. Notably, however, a new iPad Pro was missing from Apple's lineup. This breaks Apple’s two-year tradition of releasing a new iPad Pro in the spring. That means we are more than likely due for an iPad Pro update in the fall or next spring at the latest. So, here's the question at hand: is it wise to spring for the iPad Air now or wait until the fall for the rumored iPad Pro? I’ll break down everything we know so far to help you decide.

Everything You Need to Know about the Fifth-Generation iPad Air

New Color Lineup Apple iPad Air

With the addition of 5G support and the powerful Apple Silicon M1 chip, the iPad Air has become a fierce competitor to the iPad Pro. The fifth-generation iPad Air is 60 percent faster than the previous generation, with 5G capabilities, a better graphics display, and 2x faster transfer speeds between devices. On a more personal note, I was delighted with the more subdued, pastel color choices for the fifth-generation iPad Air, coming in space gray, starlight, pink, purple, and blue. These colors harken back to the early days of Apple’s crisp, bright designs, diverting away from the bolder jewel tones of the Apple Watch Series 7. And, with the advantage of a $599 starting price point—almost half the price of the current 13-inch iPad Pro—this new iPad Air is hard to pass up.

Apple iPad Air Multitask

Waiting for the iPad Pro

A tech-savvy consumer who is interested in a larger display, increased storage, and the best camera may want to wait until the fall for the next generation of iPad Pro. In addition, the extensive upgrades to the Air could indicate that the Pro will also be receiving a large upgrade in the fall as well, so that Apple can continue to differentiate its premium line. A new Pro could include features like wireless MagSafe charging and an OLED display that enhances the picture quality of the screen. However, many Apple insiders do not believe Apple will enter the market with an OLED tablet until 2023 or even 2024. If you don't want to wait that long, there's a lot to be said for buying the fifth-generation iPad Air now. The M1 chip adds more than enough power to the Air for most users, and for photographers and filmmakers, updates to the camera make the Air an excellent tool. The choice is difficult, and while no one can predict exactly what will happen this fall, the fifth-generation iPad Air is an amazing device that warrants serious consideration.

Apple's iPad Family Lineup

New & Improved Camera for the iPad Air

Apple has long established itself as a go-to for artists, creators, and designers. This emphasis on creativity extends to the latest iPad with Apple’s focus on the new iMovie updates coming to the fifth-generation iPad Air. It appears that Apple intends to market the iPad as a potential video-making device for future filmmakers and TikTok creators alike. The new-and-improved front camera features a 12-megapixel ultra-wide display that is compatible with Center Stage, a feature that allows you to stay in frame even while moving around the room. In a post-pandemic era, the importance of making and sharing videos has become an invaluable way to stay connected. The social shift toward one- to three-minute videos across all social media platforms makes this an apt market for Apple to get a foothold in. However, is an iPad—even one as streamlined, and jam packed with features as the fifth-generation iPad Air—the best tool for recording videos? The Air is not as portable as the iPad Mini, so in terms of travel photography, it may feel too bulky to carry around on vacation. But it is lighter and smaller than an iPad Pro, and the upgrades to the Air’s camera may make the Air a more appealing choice than a large iPad Pro for more local photography.

Tough Decisions

Ultimately, there’s a lot to be excited about with the release of the fifth-generation iPad Air (besides the pretty colors). This latest iPad Air would make an amazing companion for students, artists, designers, and gamers with the processing speed to keep up with heavy duty apps. The new iPad Air will be compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, the Magic Keyboard, and the Apple Pencil 2. Hopefully this article has helped you decide whether to get the new iPad Air now or wait for the iPad Pro in the fall. Also, be sure to check out our in-depth article about the new iPad Air for a bit more information before you make a decision. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life, a published poet, and a longtime Apple fan. In the spring of 2021, she graduated with her Master’s degree in English, specializing in early 20th-century literature. She is interested in all things tech and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her cat Blue.