Can you save money by buying the iPad 8, and still get everything you need, or will you regret not spending more, and buying the iPad Air 4? In this long-term comparison, I’m gonna focus on real life use, and the things that actually matter when you’re using an iPad. There’s also one thing that you absolutely need to be aware of, and I’ll make sure to point it out when we get there. Throughout this video, I’m gonna ask you a few simple questions, and then when we get to the end, we’ll look at your answers and you’ll be able to choose.
Sagi here and welcome to another Tech Gear Talk. I wanna start out talking about size, and there’re really two things we’re looking at. The size of the device in terms of portability, and then the size of the display. As far as portability, these are virtually identical in size. So when you put them in a bag, or when you’re handling them, you’re not really going to notice a meaningful difference in either size or weight.
I’ve used both of these a lot, and there was never a time when I was picking between them, and my choice came down to the size of the device. With the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, there are times where I just don’t want something this big, or maybe I do want a larger display, but between these two, there just isn’t enough of a difference. Then there’s a size of the display itself. So because the iPad Air 4 has smaller bezels, we’re getting a 10.
9 inch display versus the 10.2 inch display on the iPad 8, even though the footprint isn’t any bigger. Here’s how this plays out in real life. Because I have both of them, I usually grab the iPad Air 4.
I also liked the way it looks better with the same size bezel all the way around versus the larger vessel on the top and the bottom of the iPad 8.
But I don’t think that display size alone would be a reason for me to upgrade because I’m only really getting a little bit more height. Now, there are meaningful differences between the displays and one very important potential downside for the iPad Air 4, but the question for this section is, do you really need a slightly larger display? Now, moving on, as I mentioned, the display size is not the only difference.
We’re actually getting two different types of displays. We’re looking at a retina display on the iPad 8, and a liquid retina on the iPad Air 4.
The iPad 8 also has a non laminated display, and the iPad Air 4 has a fully laminated display. That means that the display panel, the touch panel, and the cover glass are laminated into one piece of display and glass.
From an aesthetic standpoint, it means that the image on the iPad 8 is going to look like it’s under a sheet of glass, and on the iPad Air 4 the image is gonna look like it’s right at the top of the display. Now, you won’t really notice this in the center of the display because there’s no depth perception there, but when you look around the edges, the image on the iPad 8 almost looks like a photo with matting around it. There are definitely upsides to a fully laminated display, but also a downside, which I’ll get to in a moment.
From my real life experience, when I’m watching content, surfing the web, working with productivity apps, or even playing games, I don’t really notice a difference, but when I’m using the Apple Pencil, then it becomes more apparent.
Because there’s an air gap on the iPad 8 whether you’re drawing, or taking notes, the tip of the pencil doesn’t look like it’s touching the actual content that’s being created, you can actually see the space. On the iPad Air 4 the tip of the pencil does look like it’s touching the content, so it’s a better overall drawing and note taking experience. The downside of a fully laminated display has to do with the replacement cost. On a non laminated display, like the iPad Air 4, if you scratch or crack the cover glass, you can have just the glass replaced.
With a fully laminated display, like the iPad Air 4 and the iPad Pro, since all three layers are laminated into one piece, you have to replace all three of them, even if it’s just for a scratch or a crack, and that’s gonna be more expensive. I would definitely recommend using a screen protector, especially if you’re not very careful like this guy right here.
It’s much better to replace an inexpensive screen protector once a year, rather than the entire display. If you like to use the Apple Pencil to draw and take notes, get yourself a paper feel, or paper-like screen protector, you’re going to love how it feels, and you’re going to be protecting your display. Now I’ll put some links in the description to a few of my favorites, so just pick the one that fits your budget.
My question for this section is, are you either an advanced artist, or are you going to be using this device primarily for note taking? In both cases, if you’re prioritizing the Apple Pencil functionality, you’re going to prefer the iPad Air 4.
If you’ve gotten value from this video, give it a thumbs up so that I know to make more of this type of content. And if you’re new here and like iPads, hit that subscribe button. All right, so we were talking about the Apple Pencil, which is a good way to transition into accessories.
The iPad 8 is compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, and the iPad Air 4 is compatible with the second generation. As far as the tip of the pencil and the context point, they’re both the same, but the overall user experience is better with the second generation. So first of all, you can pair it and charge it wirelessly by placing it on the edge of the iPad Air 4, and this is by far more convenient and safer than plugging the first-generation Apple Pencil into the lightning port of the iPad 8.
Second, I like the flat edge because it’s a little more stable in my hand, and it doesn’t roll off the desk. And then third, we’re getting double tab functionality, which I can use to alternate between tools, or switch between the current tool and the eraser, or even show the color palette.
Another important accessory you might choose to get is a keyboard case. Both iPads have good options, but I like the Magic Keyboard, and the Logitech Folio Touch for the iPad Air 4 better. If you’re thinking of getting one of them, I have a comparison video which breaks down the pros and cons of each option, and it should help you choose. So I’ll leave a link to that video at the end of this one.
Now, another important accessories related distinction between the two, has to do with the charging port.
The iPad 8 uses a lightening port, and the iPad Air 4 uses a USBC port. In addition to offering faster transfer speeds, the USBC port also gives us the option to use more capable USBC hubs, and we can connect more powerful SSD drives without needing to use a dongle, and then being forced to provide external power. And of course, if we use the Magic Keyboard, we also get passed through charging, which leaves the port on the iPad Air 4 free for another accessory. My question for this section is, do you need more advanced accessories? Moving on to the camera system, I wanna start out by saying that I almost never use the camera on any of my iPads. I always have my phone with me, and it’s just much easier to use that for photos and video, than holding up a big iPad.
But in case you do plan on using the cameras, stick with me through a few seconds of nerdiness here. The front facing camera on the iPad 8 is 1.2 megapixels versus 7 megapixel on the iPad Air 4, now, we’re going to get high resolution and better image quality. With the rear facing camera it’s a similar story with the iPad 8 having an 8 megapixel F 2.
8 camera versus a 12 megapixel F 1.8 camera on the Air 4. If you’re looking for a more powerful camera system with better low light performance, the iPad Air can record 4K video at 24, 30, and 60 frames per second versus only 1080P, 30 frames per second on the iPad 8.
The Air 4 is also more capable for slow motion with 1080P at 100 and 240 frames per second versus only 720P at 120 frames per second on the iPad 8. For everyone who isn’t a camera nerd like me, that was 30 seconds of me saying that the iPad Air 4 has a better camera system.
My question to you is, do you actually use the camera on your iPad enough to get the better option? Now, I wanna talk about audio where there isn’t exactly a clear winner. So let me give you the details, and then you can choose based on what you plan on doing. If we’re looking at the speaker system, the iPad 8 has speakers on the bottom. So when you use it and horizontal mode or in landscape mode, then the audio goes out to one of the sides.
The iPad Air 4 has higher quality stereo speakers, and there’s one on each side.
So regardless of how you’re holding it, you get a much better audio experience. If we’re looking at using wireless headphones, then there isn’t a real difference. I’ve used my AirPods, AirPods Pro, and every other Bluetooth headphones set that I have, and they all worked great with both iPads. Now, one advantage of the iPad 8 is that it still has a 3.
5 millimeter headphone jack. So you can use wired headphones for music or watching content, and you can use a wired headset for gaming, and that’s something that I always do. And I wanna point out that you could still do that with the iPad Air 4, but you’ll need a USBC to 3.5 millimeter adapter, or a USBC hub with a headphone jack. My question to you is, do you prefer better speakers or a built in headphone jack?
Before I get to storage and pricing options, which are very important, wanna very quickly talk about processing power. I didn’t wanna skip this section, but it’s not usually something that I focus on, and let me explain why.
The iPad Air 4 is a more powerful iPad than the iPad 8, that’s not really even in question. Has a newer processor with the A14 Bionic chip versus A12 on the iPad 8. It also has more RAM with 4 gigabytes versus 3 on the iPad 8. In my experience for the majority of what I do on the iPad, there hasn’t really been a meaningful difference in performance. But if you plan on doing photo and video editing, or you’re working with other resource intensive apps, or maybe you’re playing more demanding games, then the iPad Air 4 would be the better option. So my question for you is, do you really need more processing power, and more RAM for what you plan on doing? Now, let’s look at the storage options and pricing. As usual, I’m going to use the Apple store pricing because it’s more standardized, but you can always get better prices by using the links in the description.
The iPad 8 starts out at 32 gigabytes of internal storage for $329, and 128 gigs for 429. The iPad Air 4 comes with 64 gigs for 599, and 256 gigs for 749. I have a video where I talk about how much storage you actually need on an iPad, and I’ll link to it in just a minute so that this video doesn’t get too long.
My goal is to help you make a smart buying decision. When it comes to storage, you don’t wanna try to save a little money now, but then get to a point where your iPad still does everything that you need, and you end up having to upgrade because you don’t have enough storage.
Now Apple has excellent iPad iOS support, and my 2014 iPad Air 2 still works great. So keep in mind how long you plan on using this device for. My question for this section is, how much storage do you need right now, and for the life of this device? Remember that I have links in the description to all the products I talked about.
Hopefully this video was helpful. Click on my face to subscribe, and then watch this video about iPad storage, or maybe this one. You know what I always say? Buy it nice, or buy it twice. Good luck, and see you soon..