While we were disappointed not to see the delayed iPhone 12 revealed during Apple's online event last month, the brand new iPad Air went a long way to make up for it. With its all-screen design and brand new A14 chip, in some ways, the Air seems even more powerful than the iPad Pro (weird, we know). And new benchmarks for the 2020 Air won't help the iPad Pro's case.
The Geekbench scores, shared by a regular Apple leaker (below), are the first we've seen for Apple's new A14 chip. Thanks to the delay to the iPhone 12, the iPad Air is the first to carry the new chip – and these results demonstrate a massive performance boost. It seems certain to join our best drawing tablets roundup, but could the Air actually replace the Pro on the list?
A14's first Geekbench 5 results appeared, single-core 1583, multi-core 4198, still the king. pic.twitter.com/HXMgEfjSuWOctober 3, 2020
A pair of numbers might not seem super exciting, but it's how they compare with other device's scores that counts. The iPad Air scores 1,583 for single-core and 4,198 for multi-core. According to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), this is a whopping 41% faster than the iPad Pro's single-core score (1119), and not far off its multi-core score (4,564) despite the iPad Pro's CPU featuring 8 cores to the iPad Air's 6.
All of which translates to: the new iPad Air is very, very powerful. We speculated whether it could make the iPad Pro irrelevant last month, and these results are making it seem even more likely. It seems strange for the iPad Air to feature a newer, faster processor than the iPad Pro released the same year, but hey, this is 2020 – strange things happen.
The 2020 iPad Air sounds a truly tantalising proposition for creatives. Not only is it clearly super-powerful, but it also features the same design language as the iPad Pro, from the edge-to-edge display to Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard support – all for $599/£579. At that price, we have a feeling it's going to be hard not to recommend it over the much pricier iPad Pro unless you really need the latter's ProMotion Display or LiDAR scanner. No wonder Apple is allegedly planning to release a new iPad Pro just 6 months after the last update (there's 2020 again for you).
Apple marketing materials for the new iPad Air are starting to land at retail stores, suggesting a launch sooner rather than later. Apple said October, which is tomorrow — so not a surprise.September 30, 2020
As for when the new iPad Air will arrive, Apple's website simply states October. But according to another prolific Apple leaker (above), marketing materials have already begun arriving at stores, suggesting a very imminent release. If you can't wait, check out today's best iPad deals below – and don't forget to take a look at the best offers available as part of Apple Amazon Prime Day.