Apple iPad Air (2022) Assessment

Apple’s 2022 iPad Air ($599) is the epitome of a cellular pill, with an almost excellent stability of options and efficiency. The corporate’s M1 chip is impressively highly effective, and assist for the second-generation Apple Pencil makes the brand new Air a greater artistic device than its predecessor. Whereas battery life could possibly be higher, it isn’t unhealthy, in order that’s a comparatively minor grievance. For those who’re in search of 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 pill—incomes it our Editors’ Selection award.

The Excellent Type

Apple presently sells 5 completely 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 Professional. The three to concentrate to are the $329 mannequin (which is finest for a common viewers), this one (the best iPad for creators), and the 12.9-inch Professional (the best choice for professionals).

With keyboard

The iPad Air pairs effectively 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 dimension 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 circumstances designed for these fashions. The pill’s matte aluminum again is available in 5 colours, together with darkish or mild grey, pink, purple, or blue.

The Air presents numerous benefits over the bottom $329 iPad, and one distinction is straight away obvious on the entrance of the machine. 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 ability button on the facet. With 500 nits of brightness, Apple’s True Tone colour administration, and an anti-reflective coating, the two,360-by-1,640-pixel display screen has much less glare and appears richer than the one on the entry-level iPad.

Comparable Merchandise

editors choice horizontal



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 screen 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. For those who want a 120Hz display screen and do not need to spring for an iPad Professional, Samsung’s $699.99 Galaxy Tab S8 is a extra reasonably priced different.

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, in fact, have by no means supplied detachable storage—Apple actually needs you to retailer as a lot as attainable 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 mannequin. The second-gen Pencil has a couple of benefits over its predecessor, together with automated charging whenever you magnetically clip it to the highest of the iPad, a extra pleasant-feeling matte materials, and a flat facet that stops it from rolling away.

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

M1 Magic

The M1 processor is one other huge purpose 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 total 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 screen leads to spectacular internet looking 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 needs creators and app builders to standardize on the M1 chip. There’s energy in numbers, and Apple now sells M1-based iPad Execs, iPad Airs, and Macs; even the iPhone 13’s A15 chip is analogous in structure. Count on extra artistic apps to make the most of its energy via assist 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 provides 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 assist the entire US 4G networks, in addition to T-Cellular’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 different Apple product helps 3.45GHz but. You additionally do not get millimeter-wave high-band assist, however the carriers are actually rather more centered on mid-band protection anyway.

iPads usually do not carry out effectively on our battery checks. This mannequin ran down in 5 hours and 11 minutes of steady video playback with the display screen set to most brightness. That is successfully the identical battery life that we acquired 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 dimension vary for years. In fact, you may make the battery last more if you happen to flip the display screen brightness down. The iPad Air costs comparatively slowly (at a mere 18W via its USB-C port)—it reached 15% in quarter-hour, and acquired to a full cost in about two-and-a-half hours.

Like all the present iPads (and plenty 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 totally windowed system. For instance, now you can add informational widgets on the house display screen, cut up the display screen into panes, and jot down notes on a pop-up notepad at any time.

The iPad Air additionally helps Apple’s Common Management function, 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 in your Mac. Combining an iPad and a Mac pc provides 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 prepare. 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 remains to be a superior alternative.

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

iPad Air Digicam and Audio

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

Single camera

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

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

In video chat apps, Apple’s Middle Stage function simulates a standard area of view, however mechanically pans across the wider area of view to trace you. We have seen it in motion on the most recent spherical of iPad Execs and Macs as effectively. In video calls, Middle Stage labored superb if I bobbed and weaved a bit, however it’s not magic—you continue to have to remain principally in entrance of the digicam.

Camera interface

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

The twin audio system supply 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 faculty pc. When you have a centered workflow—like taking notes, filling out types, and/or sketching—the iPad is a greater choice than a standard laptop computer as a result of it retains you centered. iPadOS unlocks entry to the tablet-optimized creativity apps you may’t get on Android units, together with these inside the Adobe Inventive Suite. It is the perfect platform for single-task computing.

For those who 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 choice—except it is the first device with which you make critical cash, it isn’t essential. The 2022 iPad Air provides you most of the similar options of the iPad Professional, together with an M1 processor and second-gen Apple Pencil assist, 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’ Selection winner.

The Backside Line

The 2022 iPad Air presents most of the advantages of the iPad Professional for a whole bunch of {dollars} much less, making it the best pill for creators.

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