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Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – what’s the difference, and which one is better?

Will the Pixel tablet have the upper hand over the iPad Air?
Last Updated on February 6, 2024
Pixel Tablet Vs iPad Air: Which is Better? Image shows the text "Pixel Tablet Vs iPad Air: Which is Better?" underneath the Pixel tablet and the iPad Air, on a pink background.
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To help you decide which tablet is good for you, we’ve put two tech giants’ flagship tablets up head-to-head in the Pixel tablet vs iPad Air.

In today’s tech-savvy world, tablets have become an essential gadget for many individuals. They offer a portable and versatile device that allows users to browse the internet, stream media, play games, and perform various tasks on the go. Two popular tablets that often come up in discussions are the Google Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air. While both devices have their own unique features, comparing them can help buyers make an informed decision on either Google or Apple’s ecosystem.

This article will compare the Google Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air 5th Gen, exploring their specifications, software features, user experience, and more.

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air specs

SpecificationsGoogle Pixel TabletiPad Air (5th Gen)
Screen size10.9 inches10.9 inches
Resolution2560 x 1600 pixels, 16:10 ratio, 276 PPI2360 x 1640 pixels, 264 PPI
System ChipGoogle Tensor G2 (5 nm)Apple M1 (5 nm)
ProcessorOcta-coreOcta-core, 3100 MHz
CameraRear – 8MP; Aperture size – F2.0; Sensor size – 1/4″; Pixel size – 1.12 μm 1920×1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
Front: 8MP 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Rear – 12MP; Aperture size – F1.8; Video recording
Front: 12MP
RAM and Storage8GB LPDDR5 RAM with 128GB (UFS 3.1), not expandable internal storage8GB RAM with 64G (not expandable) internal storage
ColorsRose, Porcelain, and HazelSpace Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple, Blue

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – what’s the difference?

Here, we’ll compare the features of both devices to see how the Android tablet goes up against the established iPad Air.

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – Design and display

The design and display are crucial factors to consider when choosing a tablet. The Google Pixel Tablet features a sleek and modern design with slim bezels and a premium build quality. This includes an aluminum frame with a nano-ceramic coating, providing a satisfying porcelain-like finish that encases its 10.9-inch display. As well as a sleek design, the Pixel has a clear purpose alongside simply being a tablet: it doubles as a smart home hub. With Android and smart home capabilities at its core, the Pixel tablet makes an excellent home assistant, especially with ‘hub mode’ on and attached to the charging speaker dock.

On the other hand, the iPad Air boasts Apple’s signature minimalist design with a slim profile and rounded edges. It features a similar 10.9-inch display with excellent color accuracy and True Tone technology, which adjusts the screen’s color temperature based on the surrounding environment. While Apple doesn’t yet have a hybrid smart home device, the iPad Air is still an excellent device for both creativity and productivity, especially when paired with accessories such as the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard Folio. We’ve also compared Google’s tablet to the iPad Air’s relative in the Pixel tablet vs iPad (10th Gen).

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – Performance

When it comes to performance, the Google Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air are powered by top-of-the-line hardware. The Pixel Tablet is equipped with the Tensor G2 chip, offering fast and smooth performance for multitasking, gaming, and heavy-duty applications. In fact, we think it’s one of the best Android tablets available on the market, and it’s reasonably priced too.

On the other hand, the iPad Air is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, known for its exceptional speed and efficiency. While neither are the latest chips from Apple or Google, both devices can handle demanding tasks effortlessly, ensuring a seamless user experience. Much like the Pixel tablet, the iPad Air is reasonably priced, and it’s one of the best budget tablets out there.

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – Operating system and software

One of the key differences between the Google Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air lies in their operating systems. The Pixel Tablet runs on Android, offering users access to a vast range of apps and customization options. It provides a user-friendly interface with Google’s suite of apps and services integrated seamlessly.

The iPad Air, on the other hand, runs on Apple’s iPadOS, which is specifically designed for the iPad lineup. iPadOS provides a smooth and intuitive user experience optimized for the larger screen real estate of the iPad.

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – Camera

The Google Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air both feature capable cameras that can capture high-quality photos and videos. The Pixel Tablet sports a 12-megapixel main camera, which delivers sharp and detailed photos. The camera performs exceptionally well in various lighting conditions, thanks to its wide aperture and advanced image processing algorithms. The tablet offers video recording capabilities in Full HD resolution. But there’s more – the Pixel offers you the addition of the Magic Eraser, photo-unblurring, and other AI post-processing associated with the Tensor G2 and the Pixel 7 smartphone.

The iPad Air, on the other hand, might be seen as still having the edge here. Is equipped with a 12-megapixel rear camera that produces impressive images with accurate colors and ample detail, as well as features such as autofocus. It also supports Full HD video recording, ensuring smooth and high-quality footage. Both devices feature front-facing cameras for video calls and selfies, but the iPad Air has a 12 MP which is higher than the Pixel’s 8 MP.

Pixel Tablet vs iPad Air – Price

Ultimately, price can be the deciding factor when it comes to investing in a tablet. The Google Pixel Tablet is priced at $499, while the Apple iPad Air 5th Gen is priced at $599 for the base 64GB model. This means that the Pixel Tablet is $100 cheaper compared to the iPad Air and comes with both double the storage and a charging speaker stand. While the iPad might be expected to bring better performance overall, the allure of the Pixel tablet’s price and accessories certainly make it a strong competitor.

Google Pixel Tablet with Charging Speaker Dock

Google Pixel tablet

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The Google Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air are both formidable contenders in the tablet market, offering unique features and experiences. The Pixel Tablet shines with its Nest Hub-like dock, expandable storage, and integration with Google’s ecosystem. On the other hand, the iPad Air impresses with its sleek design, powerful hardware, and optimized software experience.

Overall, choosing between the Pixel Tablet and the iPad Air does come down to your personal preferences and needs, and it can’t be said that there’s a clear winner. The Pixel Tablet offers a unique experience with its hybrid smart hub capabilities and matte finish, but it’s hard to go up against the classic look and interface that Apple brings to the table.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.