iPad Air (4th-Gen) vs. iPad (8th-Gen) – Which One Should You Buy?

By Alex Dulcianu / September 16, 2020

With two brand-new iPad models announced during today's Apple event, it can be a bit overwhelming for many people to choose between the new devices. Both the iPad Air 4th-generation and the iPad 8th-generation feature great specs, but it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish while using them.

At a glance, the iPad Air 4 is clearly the winner in terms of raw power, especially since it features a better CPU. However, the 8th-gen iPad is considerably cheaper if you go for the base model, which means that you can use the leftover cash for some extra accessories.

So, let's take a look at the two tablets from a couple of different angles and see how they compare in terms of their screens, processing power, price, and more.

Screen Size & Specs

iPad Air 4th gen iPad 8th Gen
Screen Size 10.9 inches 10.2 inches
Resolution 2,360 by 1,650 2,160 x 1,620

If your goal is to have as much screen real estate as possible, then the iPad Air 4 is the clear winner in this regard, especially since the bezels are much thinner. Not only that, but the resolution is a bit higher as well, which should make for sharper images.

Processing Power

iPad Air 4th-Gen iPad 8th-Gen
CPU A14 Bionic A12 Bionic

The differences between the two CPUs are pretty significant, especially since the A14 also comes with a 16-core neural engine that offers 10 times faster machine learning calculations.

On the other hand, the A12 in the iPad 8th-gen makes this entry model just as powerful as the 3th-gen iPad Pro, which is very impressive. That's a pretty big leap in terms of speed, and you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get that performance either.


iPad Air 4th-Gen iPad 8th-Gen
Front Camera 7MP 1.2MP
Rear Camera 12MP 8MP

The fourth-generation iPad Air is by far the most well-equipped in terms of taking photos or recording videos, even if the 8th-gen iPad is not too bad either (especially the rear camera). Hence, if you are interested in taking high-quality photos with your tablet or recording 4K60 videos, you should definitely go with the iPad Air.

Battery Life

iPad Air 4th-Gen iPad 8th-Gen
Battery Life 10 hours on Wi-Fi | 9 hours on cellular 10 hours on Wi-Fi | 9 hours on cellular

Both models can last up to 10 hours when used on Wi-Fi, and up to 9 hours when used on cellular. Since there is no practical difference between the two tablets in this regard, battery life should not be a concern when shopping for a new iPad.


iPad Air 4th-Gen iPad 8th-Gen
Base Price $599 $329

It shouldn't be surprising that the 4th-gen iPad Air is far more expensive when compared to the regular iPad 8th-gen models, especially since the specs are much better.

On the other hand, you must be able to justify spending the extra cash, since not everyone is going to make use of that extra power.

So, Which One's Better - iPad Air 4 or iPad (2020)?

So, after it's all said and done, which one should you buy?

Well, the answer depends on what kind of use you have in mind for your next tablet, since both of them are pretty good at their job. If you are a professional looking to do some work on your iPad, then we would obviously recommend an iPad Air 4th-gen, thanks to its much more powerful CPU. That is, of course, if you are not interested in the 2020 version of the iPad Pro.

On the other hand, if all you want is a gadget for browsing the Web, watching videos, or drawing the occasional doodle, the 8th-gen iPad is a good choice as well. In fact, it's a significant upgrade from a 7th-gen iPad, mainly thanks to the A12 Bionic CPU.

More From Apple’s September 2020 Event

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