iPad Air 5 vs iPad 9 Which one is more worth it? — 2022

The iPad Air 5 and the 9th generation iPad are two really different devices in many of the points that a user has to assess when choosing which iPad is going to accompany them in their daily tasks. For this reason, in this post we are going to talk about all of them, so that you can make the best possible choice.

Most important features

As we mentioned, the differences between these two iPad models are clear and, depending on the needs that each user has, one device or another would be more appropriate. However, before we dive into talking about it and also about the similarities, we want you to know the features that both the iPad Air 5 and the 9th generation iPad have. All of them can be found in the following table.

iPad Air 5 vs iPad 9

CharacteristiciPad Air 5iPad 2021 (9th gen)
Colors-Space Gray
-star white
-Space Gray
Dimensions-Height: 24.76 cm
- Width: 17.85cm
-Thickness: 0.61cm
-Height: 25.06 cm
- Width: 17.41cm
-Thickness: 0.75cm
Weight-WiFi version: 461 grams
-WiFi + Cellular version: 462 grams
-WiFi version: 487 grams
-WiFi + Cellular version: 498 grams
Screen10.9-inch Liquid Retina (IPS)10.2-inch IPS Retina display with anti-fingerprint coating and True Tone technology
Resolution2,360 x 1,640 at 264 pixels per inch2,160 x 1,620 at 264 pixels per inch and 500 nits brightness
BrightnessUp to 500 nits (typical)Up to 500 nits (typical)
refresh rate60 Hz60 Hz
Speakers2 stereo speakerstwo
ProcessorM1A13 Bionic with 2nd gen Neural Engine.
Storage capacity-64 GB
-256 GB
-64 GB
-256 GB
Frontal camera12 Mpx lens with ultra wide angle and f / 2.4 aperture12 MP ultra wide angle lens with f / 2.4 aperture
rear cameras-Wide angle of 12 Mpx with aperture of f / 1.88 Mpx wide angle with f / 2.4 aperture
-Smart Connector
biometric systemsTouch IDTouch ID
SIM cardIn WiFi + Cellular version: Nano SIM and eSIMIn WiFi + Cellular version:
-Nano SIM
Connectivity in all versions-Wifi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax); 2.4 and 5GHz; simultaneous dual band; speeds up to 1.2Gb/s
-Bluetooth 5.0
-5G (sub-6 GHz)
-Gigabit LTE (up to 32 bands)
-Integrated GPS/GNSS
-Calls via Wi-Fi
-Bluetooth 4.2
-WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 and 5 GHz with speeds up to 866 Mb/s
-WiFi + Cellular versions with Gigabit class LTE of up to 27 bands.
Official Accessory Compatibility-Smart Keyboard Folio
-Magic Keyboard
-Apple Pencil (2ª gen.)
-Apple Pencil (1ª gen.)
-Smart Keyboard

In addition, in an introductory way we also want to tell you what are, from our point of view, the most differential aspects and in which a user has to pay attention when comparing these two models, since they are the ones that will clearly mark the experience that each person will have with these teams.

    DesignIt is clearly the most differentiating factor at first, since the iPad Air 5 is an all-screen while the 9th generation iPad maintains the classic iPad design. This not only affects the aesthetic section, but also at a functional level. The screenIt is essential in an iPad, and in this case the iPad Air is the one that takes the prize, both for its size and for the technology and features it integrates.
  • Depending on the use you are going to make of this equipment, the power may have a greater or lesser degree of importance, since the difference between the chips that mount both models really is not entirely usable in a device like the iPad, at least for now.
  • Compatible Accessoriesthey definitely mark both the experience and the potential of the iPad, and here again, there is a very big difference between the iPad Air and the iPad.

Differences between both models

Now yes, once you know what are the technical specifications that both iPad models have and also the points in which you have to pay more attention when opting for one or the other, it is time to get fully into talking about the most important differences that exist between two teams that are really good, very usable, but that are clearly focused on different audiences.

Design and display

First of all, design is something that unconscious affects all users and the reality is that in these two iPad models it is more evident than ever. The iPad Air 5 features the design all screen which already introduced the iPad Pro in 2018 while the 9th generation iPad is the only one that still maintains the traditional iPad design . Aesthetically, I think we will all agree that the full screen is really beautiful, not to mention all the advantages that it implies at a functional level.

iPad Air + Apple Pencil

The main one is that in a body of practically traced dimensions, the size of the screen is larger in one model than in another, since the use of the front is considerably greater. As a result, a screen appears. 10.9 inches on the iPad Air and of 10.2 inches on the iPad . Obviously it is a point that all users have to take into account when choosing between one model and another, but be careful, that is not the only difference between these two screens.

iPad 9

The resolution of both screens is also slightly different, plus the iPad Air has integral lamination, an anti-reflective film and the color gamut P3 , on the iPad it stays at sRGB. For all those users who want to use their iPad for photo editing or tasks in which color is important, the iPad Air is undoubtedly the choice between these two models. Even so, it must be said that both teams, in this sense, offer a great user experience, since both the brightness and the color balance are quite good.


The inclusion of chip M1 in the 5th generation iPad Air is one of the most outstanding points of this equipment, since with it it becomes a device with which you can do practically what you want in terms of power and performance. Now, you have to take into account the limitations of the iPad, or rather, iPadOS. On the other hand, the 9th generation iPad enjoys the chip A13 Bionic , a processor that gives this device all the power needed by the users for whom this model is intended.

iPad Air + monitor

The reflection that is usually made regarding the power that iPads have, without a doubt is emphasized even more with the iPad Air 5, since it is a real completely limited beast . Now, it is true that between these two models you will notice a big difference in those tasks that require more power, since the speed and fluidity when doing them will be much greater on the iPad Air than on the iPad. However, we again place special emphasis on taking into account the use that is going to be made of the equipment.

Compatible Accessories

Surely, one of the most important points and where we find a major difference between the iPad Air and the iPad is in the accessories that you will be able to use and enjoy with each of these models. First of all we have to look at the port that each of them has. El Lightning It is still present in the 9th generation iPad, something that really limits it when it comes to being able to connect other accessories through a Hub, which can be done with the iPad Air since its port is USB-C.


The inclusion of USB-C in the iPad it has been vital to be able to provide these devices with greater versatility, since with it you can connect practically any device through an adapter that you can easily find in many stores. However, the Lightning of the iPad is infinitely more limited, in fact there are not many adapters available and therefore, it is not capable of giving the users of this iPad that possibility of maximizing the possibilities of a team that shines just for this, due to the versatility it offers its users.

iPad + smart keyboard

In addition, you also have to keep in mind Apple's own accessories. The two stars in this area such as the Magic Keyboard and the 2nd generation Apple Pencil they are only compatible, in this case, with the iPad Air. Unfortunately, all users of the 9th generation iPad are left without being able to use these two products that offer such good performance. In your case you will have to use the 1st generation Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard , two well-known products that also offer a fantastic user experience, but not at the level of their older brothers.

In this they do look alike

Obviously, not everything is the difference between these iPad models, after all, they are two devices that are within the same type, therefore there are aspects in which they are quite similar and that, of course, is also It is important that you keep in mind when finding the equipment that can best meet your needs.


We are all very clear that the iPad cameras are really one of the least relevant points when choosing between one model or another. But at the end of the day, it is something that must also be kept in mind for those occasions when you need to use them. In the case of rear cameras yes there is a small difference, since the iPad Air has a 12 Mpx lens and f / 1.8 aperture, while the iPad stays at 8 Mpx with f / 2.4 aperture. Obviously the iPad Air in this case is capable of taking better photos, as well as recording 4K video, something the iPad can't do.

iPad Air

However, the most important lens in this case is not the rear, but the frontal , and in this case yes, both teams offer the same benefits. In fact, it is curious how in the 9th generation iPad the front camera has more megapixels than the rear, reaching up to 12 Mpx , just like on the iPad Air. Also, both lenses are ultra wide angle , allowing users to enjoy the function of centered framing , how good it is for all those video calls that the potential users of these two teams will make with them.

unlock method

Another aspect that these two iPad models share is the way in which users can unlock the device. Despite the fact that Apple has changed the design of the iPad and initially all these all-screen devices enjoyed Face ID, one of the ways to differentiate the Pro model from the Air model was to maintain the technology of the Air in the latter. Touch ID .

touch id ipad

However, having an all-screen front, the fingerprint sensor had no place, so the Cupertino company decided to move it to the iPad frames, specifically insert it into the on and off button. In this way, two completely different devices in design maintain and share the Touch ID, the iPad Air in the unlock button and the 9th generation iPad in the traditional front button.


Undoubtedly one of the most determining points of this comparison is the price it costs to buy an iPad and another. Obviously this point will be more or less relevant depending on the needs that each user has of these devices. Both can be purchased through the Apple website, the 9th generation iPad part, in its 64 GB version, of the €379 , a really competitive price and that makes it a tremendously interesting option for the general public.

Apple Pencil 1ª gen

On the other hand, and at a much higher price, is the iPad Air 5 at a price of €679 , also in its 64 GB version. Obviously, as you can see, both for performance and price, these two teams are focused on completely different audiences. It will be depending on the use that is going to be given to it, the fact that one or the other is more worthwhile, and just talking about this is how we are going to end the post.

Which one is better for you?

We have reached the end of this comparison and, how could it be otherwise, we have to end it by reflecting on which of the two iPads is better for one type of user and another. Obviously, for those people who want to have a device to consume content, perform some type of occasional office task or simply as a digital notebook without caring about having an old design and without compatibility with the best accessories, the 9th generation iPad is the ideal option In fact, the quality/price ratio of this equipment is one of the best you can find in the Apple catalog.

iPad Air + iPhone

However, for all those who want to go a step further with the iPad, that is, who really want to use their computer to be more productive and carry out heavier and more demanding tasks with it, both in terms of power and screen specifications , the iPad Air is fantastic . Its compatibility thanks to USB-C and with the best Apple accessories makes it one of the best iPads that currently exist.