iPad Air 3 vs iPad Air 4: Differences You Should Know About

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 20, 2020
  • Are you debating whether to upgrade to the iPad Air 4? Here is an overview of the iPad Air 3 vs. iPad Air 4 to help you decide.

Apple recently announced the fourth-generation iPad Air (iPad Air 4). The design of the iPad Air 4 is actually very similar to the third-generation iPad Pro (iPad Pro 3). But for this article, we will be comparing the differences between the iPad Air 3 and the iPad Air 4.

Design

The iPad Air 4 features the Touch ID fingerprint reader built into the top button in order to accomodate the edge-to-edge display. However, the iPad Air 3 has the second-generation Touch ID fingerprint reader built into the Home button.

In terms of sound, there are two speakers placed at the bottom of the iPad Air 3. The iPad Air 4 has a better sound as each speaker is placed on the different sides of the tablet. And while in landscape mode, iPad 4 Air users can appreciate the true stereo sound.

The iPad Air 4 has more color options as it is available in Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue. But the iPad Air 3 is only available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold.

For charging and syncing, the iPad Air 4 has a USB-C connector and the iPad Air 3 has a Lightning connector.

Camera

The iPad Air 4 has a 12-megapixel wide rear camera (ƒ/1.8 aperture) and the iPad Air 3 has an 8-megapixel wide rear camera (ƒ/2.4 aperture). The camera in the iPad Air 4 supports Live Photos with stabilization, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, and Smart HDR for photos whereas the iPad Air 3 has regular Autofocus and Auto HDR for photos. For Panorama mode, the iPad Air 4 supports up to 63-megapixels compared to 43-megapixels for the iPad Air 3.

There’s a noticeable difference with video between the two iPads. The iPad Air 4 is able to do 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps. But the iPad Air 3 maxes out at 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps. Plus the iPad Air 4 features cinematic video stabilization and continuous autofocus video, but the iPad Air 3 has regular video stabilization and tap to focus while recording.

For the front camera, both iPads have the same specifications. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera on both can take 7-megapixel photos.

Display

The display of the iPad Air 3 is slightly smaller at a 10.5-inch (2224 × 1668 resolution) Retina display. The iPad Air 4 has a 10.5-inch (2360 x 1640 resolution) Liquid Retina display.

Processor

The iPad Air 4 features an A14 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine. And the iPad Air 3 features an A12 Bionic chip with a Neural Engine. With the new A14 Bionic chip, the iPad Air 4 is about 40% faster than the iPad Air 3.

Size / Weight

The dimension of the Apple iPad Air 3 is 9.8 inches height × 6.8 inches width × 0.24-inch depth. And the Apple iPad Air 4 is at 9.74 inches height × 7 inches width × 0.24-inch depth.

In terms of weight, the Wi-Fi models of both are exactly 1 pound. The difference in the Wi-Fi + Cellular model of both are barely noticeable with the iPad Air 4 being 1.01 pounds and the iPad Air 3 being 1.02 pounds.

Storage

Both the iPad Air 3 and iPad Air 4 have storage options of up to 256GB. These are the capacity options for each model:

iPad Air 4 — Wi-Fi (64GB and 256GB) / Wi-Fi + Cellular (64GB and 256GB)
iPad Air 3 — Wi-Fi (64GB and 256GB) / Wi-Fi + Cellular (64GB and 256GB)

Battery

Both the iPad Air 3 and the iPad Air 4 feature the same battery life. Both support up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi. And both support up to 9 hours of surfing the web using a cellular data network.

Compatibility

Apple Pencil — The Apple iPad Air 4 is compatible with the Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Apple Pencil (2nd generation), but the iPad Air 3 is only compatible with the Apple Pencil (1st generation).

iPad Air 4 — Compatible with Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
iPad Air 3 — Compatible with Smart Keyboard

Wireless / Cellular

There is a slight difference when it comes to the wireless specification. The iPad Air 4 has the following Wi-Fi specification: Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11a/b/g/n/​​ac/ax); 2.4GHz and 5GHz; simultaneous dual band; speeds up to 1.2 Gbps. And the iPad Air 3 has this as the specification: Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/​​ac); 2.4GHz and 5GHz; simultaneous dual band; speeds up to 866 Mbps. For cellular data, the iPad Air 4 supports up to 30 bands for Gigabit-class LTE and the iPad Air 3 supports up to 28 bands for Gigabit-class LTE.

Want To Buy The iPad Air 3 Or iPad Air 4? Here Are Some Options:

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