The AE1-P had a single meter needle, where as the A1 only has a digital aperture readout. It reads the f number i.e. 5.6 or 6.7 etc
The A1 was my first foray back into film a couple of years back. I found the digital readout counter intuitive, especially for calculating compensation. I like a needle a lot more - such as in an AE1. I now use a Nikon FM3a.