The new fifth-generation iPad Air will begin reaching customers on Friday, and ahead of time, the first practical reviews of the device have emerged. We’ve rounded up some reviews and unboxing videos below.
Key new features of the iPad Air include the same M1 chip found in the iPad Pro, 5G connectivity on cellular models, an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera with Center Stage support, up to 2x faster USB-C ports for data transfer . And new color options. 64GB of storage is priced starting at $599 in the US.
Overall, the new iPad Air remains a great value, thanks to the M1 chip and other Pro-like features the iPad Pro has with performance now.
The Geekbench 5 benchmark results that surfaced earlier this week confirmed that the M1 chip has not been downclocked in the new iPad Air, resulting in the device’s performance being nearly identical to that of the iPad Pro.
Still, several reviewers pointed out that iPadOS makes it challenging to take advantage of the display capabilities.
If you’re using the iPad for things like browsing the web, reading books, watching movies or TV shows, or even light productivity, you won’t notice the extra performance headroom the M1 chip offers . It shines especially when performing demanding tasks, such as editing and exporting 4K video or managing large file transfers. The Air is capable of performing those tasks, but there are better tools available if you intend to do this that doesn’t have the limitations of iPadOS and a relatively small screen.
The iPad Air now supports 5G networks on Wi-Fi + Cellular models, but doesn’t do as fast mmWave 5G as the iPad Pro.
cnetScott Stein Tested 5G on the new iPad Air:
This iPad doesn’t support mmWave, it only supports sub-6 5G. Effectively, at times, it sounds similar to LTE: My home speeds were around 290 megabits per second on Verizon, while speeds in Washington Square Park in New York were only around 60 Mbps to 80 Mbps.
center stage camera
With an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera, the new iPad Air is the last iPad to gain support for Center Stage, a feature that helps keep you and someone else in the frame with you when you’re on a video call. roam around. Center Stage is available for FaceTime calls and supported third-party video calling apps, such as Zoom.
The front camera has also received an upgrade to 12MP – and is definitely better than the previous Air. FaceTime gets that nice center stage enhancement that we saw on the iPad Pros last year as well. As I said in my review of those, it’s a huge quality of life improvement for those of you who video chat a lot in the form of the auto-crop and tracking feature when the iPad Air is in landscape mode. So does the awkward left-hand placement of the camera. , Overall the angles look more natural and less awkward. The color and contrast of the video call quality has also been improved.