2020 iPad Pro Performance Beats The New MacBook Air But Only Slightly Faster Than 2018 iPad Pro

Mar 21
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The new A12Z processor in the 2020 iPad Pro is essentially the same as the A12X processor in its predecessor, however, it easily beats the new MacBook Air in benchmarks.

As per Geekbench benchmarks, the A12Z processor has the same clock speed and architecture as the A12X processor, with the exception of an additional GPU core. Therefore, the performance improvements can be considered negligible, but the 6GB RAM upgrade might be the differentiating factor. As we are on the verge of the iPadOS 14 announcement in a few months, the additional amount of RAM might be more useful based on the new features that Apple releases in the software update.

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Back to the A-series SOC performance, here are the Geekbench numbers for both iPad Pro models:

2018 iPad Pro

  • Single-core: 1113
  • Multi-core: 4608

2020 iPad Pro

  • Single-core: 1117
  • Multi-core: 4724

The minor performance bump means that people who are using the 2018 iPad Pro don’t have many reasons to upgrade. We have already covered this in extensive detail before on why the new iPad Pro is not a worthy upgrade for previous generation users. However, Apple has doubled the storage and added trackpad support, which means that the iPad Pro becomes all the more attractive to PC users. Even the 2018 iPad Pro, which is selling at discount prices right now, is great value for money. Even after adding cost for a keyboard and Apple Pencil, it is not easy to find a Windows PC that has a comparable display or performance in the same price range. Even Apple’s newly announced 2020 MacBook Air does not compete well against the iPad Pro in terms of performance.

2020 MacBook Air (with Intel Core i5 processor)

  • Single-core: 1047
  • Multi-core: 2658

When we add the 2019 based model MacBook Pro to the comparison, things get even more interesting as it also lags behind both iPad Pro models:

2019 MacBook Pro (with Intel Core i5 processor)

  • Single-core: 933
  • Multi-core: 3851

Keep in mind that both these MacBooks have a fan for active cooling, while the iPad Pro does not have any.

In terms of price, here is how the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iPad Pro line up. Note that all configurations are with 256GB storage, and I’ve also added Apple Pencil to the costs.

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  • MacBook Air with Core i5 (256GB): $1,299
  • MacBook Pro with Core i5 (256GB): $1,499
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi and 256GB) with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil: $1,078 + $129
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi and 256GB) with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil: $1,298 + $129
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (Cellular and 256GB) with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil: $1,228 + $129
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Cellular and 256GB) with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil: $1,448 + $129

From the above, the 11-inch iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil seems to be the best value for money. Not only does it provide an exceptional Retina display with ProMotion technology, it also has great battery life, portability and versatility.

Of course, not everyone would be convinced yet that iPad Pro is a ‘real’ computer, but that’s what people used to say about laptops too when they were first announced. Laptops were criticized in favor of desktop PCs back in the 90s and look where we are now.

Products mentioned in this post

Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil
USD 124.98
iPad Pro
iPad Pro
USD 662.82
MacBook
MacBook
USD 1130.83

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