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iPad Air Vs. iPad 4 Tech Spec Shootout

by Sean P. Aune | October 22, 2013October 22, 2013 12:20 pm PDT

iPad Air vs iPad 4

Will the iPad Air be enough of an upgrade over the fourth generation tablet to make you want to update?

When Apple released the fourth generation iPad in late 2012, it was an iterative update at best, and almost felt like an iPad 3s more than anything. Even Apple seemed unsure of how to introduce it with the mention of the device at last year’s press conference almost feeling like an afterthought. The iPad Air has received some major redesigns and upgrades however, and now it’s time for you to judge if you feel its worth you plunking down the money for an upgrade, or diving into the iOS tablet field for the first time. Check out the specs comparing the two devices below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

iPad (Fourth Generation) Gallery

iPad Air

iPad Air iPad 4
Display Specs 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display (264 ppi) 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display (264 ppi)
Operating System iOS 7 (at launch) iOS 6
Processor A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics
RAM 1GB
Storage
  • 16GB
  • 32GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
  • 16GB
  • 32GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
External Storage No No
Main Camera (Back) 5MP iSight Camera 5MP iSight Camera
Secondary Camera (Front) FaceTime HD 1.2MP FaceTime HD Camera
Network
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
  • UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • LTE Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26
  • Model A1459: GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Model A1459: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • Model A1459: LTE (Bands 4 and 17)
  • Model A1460: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • Model A1460: GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Model A1460: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • Model A1460: LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25)
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n; dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n Wi‑Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0
Battery Built-in 32.4-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery Built-in 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
NFC No No
Connectivity
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Lightning
  • Lightning connector
  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Three-axis gyro
  • Three-axis gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
GPS
  • Assisted GPS (Cellular models only)
  • Digital compass
  • Digital compass
  • Assisted GPS and GLONASS (Cellular models)
  • Cellular (Cellular models)
Height 9.45 inches (24 cm) 9.5 inches (24.13 cm)
Width 6.67 inches (16.95 mm) 7.31 inches (18.57 cm)
Depth 0.30 inches (7.5 mm) 0.37 inches (9.4 mm)
Weight 16 oz (454 g) 1.44 lb (41 g)
Colors Silver, Space Gray Black, White
Supported Audio Formats AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
Supported Video Formats H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High Profile level 4.2 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG‑4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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