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iPad Air 6 vs Google Pixel Tablet: Apple or Android?

The newly launched iPad Air 6 promises to be “more powerful and versatile than ever” with a range of features and upgrades over its predecessor. So how does it compare with Google’s only offering in this category, the Pixel Tablet?

Although the Pixel Tablet launched back in 2023 to mixed reviews and criticism, it’s still a capable Android tablet for communal home use.

We’ve compared the specs of the new iPad Air 6 to the Google Pixel Tablet and highlighted their key differences below.

The iPad Air 6 runs on iPadOS 17

The biggest difference between the iPad and Pixel Tablet comes from their operating system. The iPad Air 6 is part of the Apple ecosystem and runs on iPadOS 17 with access to the App Store. The Pixel tablet, unsurprisingly, has access to the Google Play Store and runs on Android 14.

If you’re already fully-submerged in either the Apple or Android ecosystem, then this alone could sway your decision over which one to get.

The iPad Air 6 runs on Apple’s M2 chip

Similar to the above, the iPad Air 6 and Pixel Tablet run on totally different chips. While the iPad Air 6 runs on the desktop-level M2 which, until somewhat recently, was Apple’s most up to date chip offering and found in certain Macs. 

Running on M2, the new iPad Air promises to be 50% faster than its predecessor which ran on Apple’s M1 chip. It also promises to be 3x faster than the A14 Bionic Chip, which can be found in both the iPad (10th Generation) and the iPhone 12.

In comparison, the Google Pixel Tablet doesn’t run on a desktop-level chip and instead runs on Google’s Tensor G2, which is also found in the Google Pixel 7 smartphone range and the Google Pixel Fold.

home screen on pixel tablet
home screen on pixel tablet

The Pixel Tablet has a compatible speaker dock

Until recently every Pixel Tablet included the speaker dock but you can now opt to buy the tablet on its own. Even so, the speaker dock is a good addition to the Pixel Tablet as it not only keeps the tablet powered 24/7 but it also works as a smart home hub and, as the name suggests, a speaker. 

While the iPad Air 6 doesn’t include any accessories of the sort in the box, there are dedicated add-ons. There’s Apple’s own Magic Keyboard which features a built-in trackpad, a backlit keyboard and a floating design, or the Apple Pencil Pro for precise hand-written notes and drawings.

The iPad Air 6 is available in two sizes

While the Pixel Tablet is only available in an 11-inch model, the iPad Air 6 is available in two sizes. Matching the Google Pixel Tablet, the smallest iPad Air 6 is 11-inches with the larger model being 13-inches, offering 30% more screen real estate.

The Google Pixel tablet is cheaper

When we first reviewed the Google Pixel Tablet, our tester concluded that it was perhaps too expensive in the UK, with an RRP of £599 (which did include the speaker dock.) Almost a year on from its initial launch, it’s now cheaper with prices starting from £399 for the tablet only and £499 for the tablet and docking station bundle. 

The iPad Air has a starting price of £599 for the 11-inch model and £799 for the 13-inch version. This does include a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box but no extra accessories, such as the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

The iPad Air 6 also has more storage options than the Google Pixel Tablet, offering a choice of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or even a massive 1TB, whereas the Pixel Tablet only offers 128GB or 256GB. 

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