2022 iPad Air overview: The iPad truest to Apple’s authentic imaginative and prescient

2022 iPad Air overview: The iPad truest to Apple's authentic imaginative and prescient

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The brand new 2022 iPad Air 5 is peak Apple. It is extremely quick, is available in enjoyable new colours, and has nice cameras. However its woeful storage choices have a lot to be desired.

Apple launched the 2022 iPad Air a few yr and a half over the fourth-generation mannequin. With the fourth-generation Air, Apple launched a brand new design that combined enjoyable colours with an iPad Professional-inspired aesthetic.

This mannequin did not get a redesign, however its new coloration selections are paired with the incredibly-capable M1 processor. It is received velocity to spare for nearly everybody and is one purpose why we’re all the time fast to advocate this mannequin to customers.

Beginning with specs

The fifth-generation iPad Air retains the identical dimensions as its predecessor. It is 9.7 inches tall, .24 inches thick, and seven.02 inches broad. That permits the iPad Air to as soon as once more occupy practically the identical footprint because the 11-inch iPad Professional.

And for those who’re questioning, you need to use 11-inch iPad Professional circumstances with the 2022 iPad Air.

The A14 Bionic processor has been upgraded for a brand new M1 processor, the identical one present in a number of Macs and the iPad Professional line.

Smart connector on the Blue iPad Air
Sensible connector on the Blue iPad Air

It is available in 5 colours, some as holdovers whereas others are new.

There may be Area Gray, a standard alternative. There is a new blue supplanting the previous one, Pink replaces Rose Gold, silver has been deserted in favor of Starlight, and inexperienced is gone in favor of purple.

Our absolute favourite is that this new blue. This beautiful colorway is arguably one of the best coloration Apple has launched on an anodized aluminum product. It’s a wealthy, vibrant, metallic blue that we’ve not seen earlier than.

Apple has this tendency to embrace pastels or less-saturated hues in a lot of its merchandise. Even the blue it’s changing was a lightweight sky blue. It may possibly generally be onerous to seize, and varied lighting can influence its look, from mild gunmetal to a heat ocean blue.

2022 Apple iPad Air 5 in Blue

iPad Air 5

The 2022 iPad Air options Apple’s M1 chip, a 12MP Extremely Huge entrance digicam with Heart Stage, and 5G functionality (Wi-Fi + Mobile fashions solely).

Purchase at Adorama
Purchase at B&H
Purchase at Amazon

The opposite colours look good for those who aren’t a fan of blue, although they are not as vibrant. The Starlight coloration is sweet, although presumably a bit divisive. Silver has been retired in favor of Starlight, which has a little bit of a gold tint.

This technology of the iPad Air sports activities the identical 10.9-inch LCD, which measures 2360 by 1640 in decision, only a minutia smaller than that of the 11-inch iPad Professional’s show.

Touch ID sensor
Embedded Contact ID sensor

Apple has Contact ID constructed into the facility toggle button, it is received a set of stereo audio system, and is outfitted with a USB-C port on the underside. On the aspect is the amount rocker, which now borrows performance from the iPad mini by default. As you rotate the pill, the uppermost button will routinely be related to “quantity up.”

The rear-facing digicam is a 12MP digicam, the identical as last-gen, whereas the front-facing digicam is now a 12MP module, up from 7MP.

The brand new iPad Air brings alongside Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, plus has newfound help for sub-6Ghz 5G alongside gigabit-class 4G LTE.

The everybody iPad

Here is the factor with the 2022 iPad Air. It’s concurrently a boring improve whereas additionally being our most oft-recommended. Chief upgrades embody that M1 processor, a sooner USB-C port, 5G, and a few new colours.

Sometimes sorts of upgrades aren’t significantly headline-grabbing, they usually do not sound like a lot written out. We find yourself devoting a number of paragraphs to modifications in coloration — did we point out how cool the blue appears — as we’re devoid of different monumental modifications.

The M1 is essentially the most profound improve, bringing this widely-appealing pill into the identical efficiency bracket as Apple’s most costly tablets. No less than in the interim.

However even then, this is not one thing you may discover with day-to-day use. Apple’s fourth-generation iPad Air was already a quick gadget. It by no means felt sluggish and will crunch by means of nearly all duties it was handed.

Geekbench 5 results on the 2022 iPad Air
Geekbench 5 outcomes on the 2022 iPad Air

That A14 Bionic fell brief with heavy-duty duties — like encoding a 4K or 8K video. Right here, the M1 is guaranteeing that new iPad Air homeowners could have a quick pill for a few years to return, in addition to serving to with processor-laden duties.

There may be hope that Apple has grand plans for iPadOS to extra absolutely make the most of the immense processing energy it has bestowed on its tablets, however we’ll by no means inform you to select up one thing with the hopes of future updates.

Since it’s the similar chip because the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Execs, its Geekbench scores are practically an identical. They oscillate throughout the anticipated margin of error, with the iPad Air getting round a single-core of 1715 and a multi-core rating of 7229.

The last-generation iPad Air had a USB-C port, although its velocity was much less spectacular. It was capped at 5Gb/s and could not help an exterior 5K show.

USB-C port on the iPad Air
USB-C port on the iPad Air

Apple up to date the 2022 iPad Air with a USB-C 3.1 gen 2 port that may now deal with as much as 10Gb/s of information and drive as much as a 6K show. That features Apple’s new Studio Show, by the best way.

The improved USB-C velocity makes an enormous distinction in transferring knowledge when you’ve got a quick sufficient drive to help it. Many NVMe-based SSDs will see faster transfers when you’ve got a number of drives linked to a hub.

Since launch, we have toiled away consuming and creating with the 2022 iPad Air. We have caught up on our Apple TV watch checklist utilizing picture-in-picture whereas writing within Bear. We did what you do with an Apple Pencil — sketching, doc completion, and note-taking.

Opening apps was easy, as was leaping between tabs in Safari. Every little thing concerning the expertise felt fluid and speedy. The one factor holding it again was iPadOS itself.

Using our iPad Air
Utilizing the brand new iPad Air

Whereas a succesful working system, it nonetheless lacks the wealth of performance of the more-mature macOS.

Heart Stage is a neat impact on the brand new 12MP front-facing shooter, however zooming in an excessive amount of hurts the ultimate decision of the picture. It is nice for video calls, and nonetheless pics have good readability, pores and skin tones, and steadiness.

Utilizing split-screen apps on the iPad Air can be solely so-so. It’s functionally acceptable, however the apps haven’t got a lot house to stretch out. You should utilize two apps directly, however we felt extra comfy with sure apps in Slide-Over as a substitute.

For those who intend on multitasking by watching movies in PiP and apps side-by-side, we might advocate you spend money on the 12.9-inch iPad Professional.

Which is finest: iPad Air or iPad Professional

When Apple launched the 2021 iPad Professional, we really helpful nearly no person purchase the 11-inch model. We expect that almost all customers can be higher off shopping for the iPad Air or leaping as much as the 12.9-inch iPad Professional.

The 12.9-inch iPad Professional is healthier outfitted, not simply with a bigger show, however a better high quality show with mini-LED. The soar to the similarly-sized 11-inch iPad Professional is not as a lot of an improve over the Air.

Now that Apple has upped the USB-C velocity, dropped in 5G, and included the identical M1 processor, it is even tougher for us to advocate the 11-inch iPad Professional.

The 11-inch iPad Professional nonetheless has some advantages, together with ProMotion with refresh charges as much as 120Hz, Thunderbolt help, further storage choices, Face ID, and mmWave 5G.

Split screen apps get cramped —  especially with the keyboard open —  on iPad Air
Break up display screen apps get cramped — particularly with the keyboard open — on iPad Air

If a few of these are imminently essential to you, go for that 11-inch iPad Professional, or take into account the 12.9-inch measurement. For everybody else, really feel comfy with the iPad Air.

With the brand new iPad Air, Apple solely presents two choices to consumers. Select the bottom mannequin and get 64GB, or spend one other $150 and get 256GB.

There is no such thing as a 128GB alternative. To place this in perspective, you may get a 256GB iPad Air for $200 lower than the 256GB 11-inch iPad Professional. Or, you’ll be able to decide up a 128GB 11-inch iPad Professional for less than $50 than the 256GB iPad Air.

Your use-cases will dictate which makes essentially the most sense, however it will probably complicate evaluating varied storage configurations throughout a number of product strains.

Must you purchase the 2022 iPad Air?

Based mostly on what we find out about our readers within the mixture, for those who’re out there for an iPad of some type, your best option might be the iPad Air. The iPad Professional is pricey, with options that probably will not matter to the common person. On the similar time, the ninth-generation iPad lacks lots of the trendy options of the iPad Air.

We really feel that the brand new iPad Air is simply the correct quantity of iPad, sitting proper in the course of Apple’s lineup. There are nonetheless some issues Apple may enhance upon right here, however not by a lot. ProMotion is a nice-to-have, and mmWave 5G is not an enormous deal but.

Thunderbolt is simply advantageous for area of interest customers, and whereas Face ID is way sooner and extra handy, it alone is not a purpose to improve.

Using the fifth-generation iPad Air
Utilizing the fifth-generation iPad Air

We love the brand new iPad Air. Apple took its most wide-appeal pill, upped the front-facing digicam, supplied optionally available 5G help, and made it even sooner. All on the similar value.

The iPad Air is the candy spot in your entire iPad lineup for most individuals, from $329 to $2000 or extra. For those who’re on the lookout for our coloration desire, would possibly we advocate the blue mannequin?


  • Sensible coloration selections, particularly blue
  • As quick as Apple’s most costly pill
  • USB-C is twice as quick and helps 6K shows
  • 5G help
  • Identical staring value
  • Improved front-facing digicam with Heart Stage


  • Silver is now not an choice
  • Solely helps sub-6GHz 5G
  • No 128GB choice and low base mannequin storage capability
  • Extra velocity than iPadOS can make the most of

Ranking: 4.5 out of 5

The place to purchase

Retailers are already discounting the 2022 Air, with one of the best iPad offers and costs at your fingertips in our iPad Air 5 Worth Information.

At press time, B&H Photograph Video and Amazon are main the pack with double-digit reductions on choose fashions.

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