Apple iPad Air (2022) Review


Apple’s 2022 iPad Air ($599) is the epitome of a cellular tablet, with an almost excellent stability of options and efficiency. The corporate’s M1 chip is impressively highly effective, and help for the second-generation Apple Pencil makes the brand new Air a greater artistic instrument than its predecessor. Whereas battery life may very well be higher, it is not dangerous, in order that’s a comparatively minor grievance. Should you’re on the lookout for a do-it-all pill with top-notch equipment, the 2022 iPad Air is the only option in Apple’s pill lineup—and a greater guess than any Android tablet—incomes it our Editors’ Alternative award.


The Good Kind

Apple presently sells 5 totally different iPads, together with the $329 iPad, the $499 iPad mini, the $599 iPad Air we’re reviewing right here, the $799 11-inch iPad Professional, and the $1,099 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The three to concentrate to are the $329 mannequin (which is greatest for a basic viewers), this one (the perfect iPad for creators), and the 12.9-inch Professional (the best choice for professionals).

Our Specialists Have Examined 26 Merchandise within the Tablets Class within the Previous Yr

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With keyboard


The iPad Air pairs properly with Apple’s keyboard circumstances
(Photograph: Molly Flores)

At 9.74 by 7.02 by 0.24 inches and 1.02 kilos, the 2022 iPad Air is extraordinarily shut in measurement and weight to each the 4th-generation iPad Air (9.74 by 7.02 by 0.24 inches, 1.01 kilos) and the 11-inch iPad Professional (9.74 by 7.02 by 0.23 inches, 1.03 kilos); it even matches into cases designed for these fashions. The pill’s matte aluminum again is available in 5 colours, together with darkish or gentle grey, pink, purple, or blue.

The Air affords lots of benefits over the bottom $329 iPad, and one distinction is straight away obvious on the entrance of the system. The Air has a ten.9-inch LCD as a substitute of the bottom mannequin’s 10.2-inch panel, and ditches the Contact ID sensor on the entrance in favor of integrating it with the facility button on the facet. With 500 nits of brightness, Apple’s True Tone shade administration, and an anti-reflective coating, the two,360-by-1,640-pixel display has much less glare and appears richer than the one on the entry-level iPad.

Comparable Merchandise

editors choice horizontal





4.0

Glorious

Apple iPad (2021)

Apple iPad Professional (12.9-Inch, 2021)

iPad vs iPad Air


The bottom mannequin iPad (left) has a lot bigger bezels than the iPad Air (proper)
(Photograph: Molly Flores)

The display runs at 60Hz, so scrolling is not as buttery-smooth as it’s on the iPad Professional’s 120Hz panel, however most units on the earth run at 60Hz. Should you want a 120Hz display and do not need to spring for an iPad Professional, Samsung’s $699.99 Galaxy Tab S8 is a extra reasonably priced various.

Storage is a little bit of a priority. The $599 mannequin comes with 64GB of storage, whereas $749 bumps you as much as a 256GB mannequin. iPads, after all, have by no means supplied detachable storage—Apple actually desires you to retailer as a lot as doable within the cloud with an iCloud+ subscription (50GB for $0.99 monthly or 200GB for $2.99 monthly). To do the maths, the distinction between the 64GB and 256GB native storage costs will get you greater than 4 years of the 200GB iCloud plan.

The Air additionally helps the second-generation Pencil, whereas the bottom iPad works solely with the first-generation model. The second-gen Pencil has a couple of benefits over its predecessor, together with computerized charging if you magnetically clip it to the highest of the iPad, a extra pleasant-feeling matte materials, and a flat facet that forestalls it from rolling away.

Different equipment make your iPad Air really feel extra like a standard laptop computer. Our images above reveals the luxurious Magic Keyboard With Trackpad ($299), however you can even use a Sensible Keyboard ($179), a third-party case, and any Bluetooth mouse or keyboard.


M1 Magic

The M1 processor is one other massive cause to decide on this pill over the bottom mannequin iPad. As our benchmarks present, this model of the M1 is core-per-core aggressive with the 2021 iPad Professional and even M1-based Macs. It has decrease general efficiency as a result of it has fewer graphics cores than the iPad Professional, however because the Basemark Internet outcomes present, the mix of the M1 chip and a 60Hz display ends in spectacular internet searching efficiency.

The 2022 iPhone SE, in my thoughts, exists as a result of carriers really need individuals to improve to 5G. The 2022 iPad Air exists as a result of Apple desires creators and app builders to standardize on the M1 chip. There’s energy in numbers, and Apple now sells M1-based iPad Professionals, iPad Airs, and Macs; even the iPhone 13‘s A15 chip is comparable in structure. Anticipate extra artistic apps to make the most of its energy by help for layers, computing-intense filters, and AR.

Games on iPad Air


The iPad Air is a terrific pill for gaming
(Photograph: Molly Flores)


iPad Air Connectivity, Battery, and Software program

You may get a Wi-Fi-only model of the iPad Air, or one that gives 4G and 5G connectivity for $150 extra (plus the price of a mobile subscription).

There are two variants of the mobile mannequin: the A2589 mannequin has an eSIM and the A2591 mannequin doesn’t. Each variations absolutely help all the US 4G networks, in addition to T-Cell’s and Verizon’s mid-band 5G networks. On AT&T, they work on C-band mid-band, however not 3.45GHz mid-band—that stated, no other Apple product supports 3.45GHz but. You additionally do not get millimeter-wave high-band help, however the carriers at the moment are way more centered on mid-band protection anyway.

iPads usually do not carry out properly on our battery checks. This mannequin ran down in 5 hours and 11 minutes of steady video playback with the display set to most brightness. That is successfully the identical battery life that we obtained on the bottom mannequin iPad (5 hours and 18 minutes), and it is just like the outcomes we have been getting for iPads on this measurement vary for years. In fact, you can also make the battery last more for those who flip the display brightness down. The iPad Air fees comparatively slowly (at a mere 18W by its USB-C port)—it reached 15% in quarter-hour, and obtained to a full cost in about two-and-a-half hours.

Like all the present iPads (and lots of earlier ones), this mannequin runs iPadOS 15. Apple continues so as to add conveniences all through the OS that allow simpler multitasking with out turning it into a completely windowed system. For instance, now you can add informational widgets on the house display, break up the display into panes, and jot down notes on a pop-up notepad at any time.

The iPad Air additionally helps Apple’s Universal Control characteristic, which helps you to share a mouse and keyboard between the iPad and a Mac, in addition to Sidecar mode, which turns your iPad right into a secondary show on your Mac. Combining an iPad and a Mac pc offers you energy that is greater than the sum of their components, however you do not want this new Air mannequin to get on board that practice. And in case your workflow calls for a number of home windows and the choice to rapidly change between tabs, a macOS or Home windows pc continues to be a superior selection.

One essential benefit of Apple merchandise to recollect basically is that the corporate retains its units updated with the newest software program variations for a few years. Most Android pill producers do not push updates out as frequently.


iPad Air Digital camera and Audio

The iPad Air has a single 12MP, f/1.8 rear digital camera with 4K video recording and a wide-angle, 122-degree, f/2.4 12MP front-facing digital camera. The rear digital camera is not a lot to speak about, nevertheless it’s effective. Sadly, you do not get the evening mode, portrait mode, or any of the depth-sensing and LIDAR features within the iPad Professional. Nonetheless, the rear digital camera performs decently in AR apps due to the highly effective M1 processor.

Single camera


There is a single 12MP digital camera on the rear
(Photograph: Molly Flores)

The front-facing digital camera is extra spectacular. The digital camera app allows you to file in each common and super-wide-angle modes, ideally suited for getting the entire household right into a FaceTime or getting each dad and mom into the body for a parent-teacher convention.

In video chat apps, Apple’s Heart Stage characteristic simulates a standard discipline of view, however robotically pans across the wider discipline of view to trace you. We have seen it in motion on the newest spherical of iPad Professionals and Macs as properly. In video calls, Heart Stage labored effective if I bobbed and weaved a bit, nevertheless it’s not magic—you continue to have to remain principally in entrance of the digital camera.

Camera interface


The digital camera UI could be very easy
(Photograph: Molly Flores)

The twin audio system provide loads of stereo imaging and are noticeably clearer than the lower-cost iPad’s single speaker. However they lack the bass and richness of the 12.9-inch iPad Professional’s audio system, they usually aren’t fairly as loud.


A Refined Perspective on the iPad

After years of reviewing iPads, my perspective on them modified this yr when my teenager began utilizing one as their main college pc. When you’ve got a centered workflow—like taking notes, filling out kinds, and/or sketching—the iPad is a greater possibility than a standard laptop computer as a result of it retains you centered. iPadOS unlocks entry to the tablet-optimized creativity apps you possibly can’t get on Android units, together with these inside the Adobe Artistic Suite. It is the perfect platform for single-task computing.

Should you primarily desire a pill for consuming content material, the bottom mannequin iPad is your most suitable option. The 12.9-inch iPad Professional stays a luxurious possibility—until it is the first instrument with which you make critical cash, it is not obligatory. The 2022 iPad Air offers you lots of the identical options of the iPad Professional, together with an M1 processor and second-gen Apple Pencil help, for a way more attainable worth. For on a regular basis creators and college students with a tablet-focused workflow, the iPad Air is the best choice, and our Editors’ Alternative winner.

The Backside Line

The 2022 iPad Air affords lots of the advantages of the iPad Professional for lots of of {dollars} much less, making it the perfect pill for creators.

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