iPad Air. With an immersive 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display.¹ The breakthrough Apple M1 chip delivers faster performance, making iPad Air a creative and mobile gaming powerhouse. Featuring Touch ID, advanced cameras, blazing-fast 5G² and Wi-Fi 6, USB-C, and support for Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil (2nd generation).³
10.9-inch Liquid Retina display¹ with True Tone, P3 wide color, and an antireflective coating
Apple M1 chip with Neural Engine
12MP Wide camera
12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
Up to 256GB of storage
Available in blue, purple, pink, starlight, and space gray
Stereo landscape speakers
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
All-day battery life⁴
Wi-Fi 6 and 5G cellular data²
USB-C connector for charging and accessories
Works with Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (2nd generation)³
iPadOS 15 is uniquely powerful, easy to use, and designed for the versatility of iPad
Apps are available on the App Store. Title availability is subject to change.
¹The display has rounded corners. When measured diagonally as a rectangle, the iPad Air screen is 10.86 inches. Actual viewable area is less.
²Data plan required. 5G, Gigabit LTE, LTE, and Wi-Fi calling are available in select markets and through select carriers. Speeds are based on theoretical throughput and vary based on site conditions and carrier.
For details on 5G and LTE support, contact your carrier and see apple.com/ipad/cellular.
³Accessories are sold separately. Compatibility varies by generation.
⁴Battery life varies by use and configuration. See apple.com/batteries for more information.
For this review I am comparing the iPad Air 5 to my Samsung TabS7 that I have used for about 1 year. I am also new to the Apple eco system (I will never give up my Pixel).
I have been using the iPad Air 5 with 256GB for a little over one week. I had to purchase the Apple Pencil with it (a must for my needs) and a simple leather folio case from Torro to protect it. The case has a nice flap that keeps the Pencil secure in my work bag so I don't have to worry about losing it.
Inside the box there is the iPad Air, a USB C cable, and a power brick. There is no micro sd slot and one USB C connection.
The iPad Air is a beautiful device. The build quality is very nice. The aluminum body is cool to the touch and feels good in my hands. Amazingly it is both lighter and larger than the S7, and the squared sides are smoother, more refined to the touch. I also like that the power button is on the Top/Left side of the tablet. I don't have to worry about pressing the power button instead of the volume rocker. The case that I purchased does interfere slightly with the fingerprint sensor, but I have got used to it in a couple of days.
I have recently heard that people are complaining about the build quality. They say Apple made the aluminum case thinner and the tablet creaks and flexes when people use it. I have not experienced this while taking notes, drawing on the tablet, or when holding it and watching content. I have not attempted to bend or flex it (why would anyone) and I have to wonder what people are doing with this tablet to get it to do that.
The M1 chip handles every task and nothing slows this tablet down.
The screen is beautiful. Colors are warm and rich. Text is easy to read and content watching is great. The bezels are there but minimal. There is a slight glare like on most tablets and you will want to keep a microfiber cloth handy to remove fingerprints.
There are four speaker grills in the body of the iPad Air, but it only has two speakers. The sound quality is slightly tinny and not as rich or full when I compare it to the S7. Because it is shown as a device to be used for content creation and consumption I would have expected a better experience from the iPad. The sound isn't bad, but at this price point it should be much better.
The camera is another area where the iPad is lacking. Both front and rear cameras are much better on the Tab S7 than the iPad. While the iPad does produce a picture that is better than it initially looks on the screen, it is just ok. It tends to produce pictures that are warmer (more yellow). The camera placement also takes some getting used to. The selfie camera is best in portrait mode and really takes some getting used to when used in landscape. Also, when taking a selfie, the image flips so that the picture is not a true representation. Again, for a tablet that is shown being used to create content I expected more.
Using the iPad Air to take notes or draw on is an enjoyable experience. I use Sketchbook and Adobe and the apps seem to work and perform better on the iPad. I like the Apple Pencil more as an input device. It definitely feels more like a pencil or pen because of its' size, but is heavier than what I am used to using. I wish that Apple had made the texture more like the rubberized feeling S pen, but for size and screen contact, the iPad wins. The Pencil also has stronger magnets that hold it to the tablet more securely.
I also like that the Pencil attaches to the top of the top/right side of the tablet. The double tap feature is another thing that I really like about the Pencil. The Pencil is not included with the iPad Air, so I had to spend an extra $130.00. As someone who needs the functionality the Pencil provide this was not an option. While there are less expensive pencil options, the mixed reviews caused me to pass on them.
Battery life is also good. In the limited time I have been using the iPad Air I have not been able to deplete the battery. I can listen to music or podcasts while taking notes or drawing and still end up with a 40% charge at the end of the day.
Something else I really like is the size of the widgets. The space required for each of the ones I use allows for better placement on the screen. I never thought I would have said that Apple allows for better customization, but it does on this tablet.
I really like the iPad Air. It syncs flawlessly with my Mac Mini and MacBook Air. I can use it as an extra screen via Sidecar. It also functions as a drawing tablet while I work in Photoshop or Lightroom. These are benefits I cannot have with a non Apple tablet so I have to take that into consideration when reviewing this device. The initial cost plus the added cost needed to allow it to function for my needs made me want look at the iPad Air more critically. And to an extent I have. The added functionality though make it a great value for me.
One final thing. If I did not need the integration I would have happily stayed with the Tab S7.
I’ve owned many tablets over the years, but nobody does it quite like Apple when it comes to consistency. Battery life, app & accessory support, processing speed, etc. All a league ahead of the competition for devices in this category, save if you need more ports or a different OS. I haven’t liked Apple’s phones in recent years because of a few main design choices: Face ID instead of a fingerprint scanner for biometrics, an ugly notch that steals screen real state, and a lightning port instead of a much more modern and capable USB-C port. IPad’s don’t have the notch (thank God), but the base model still has a lightning port and the pro models use Face ID only, not to mention the price tag (ouch!). So when the 4th Gen iPad Air launched without any of those issues/compromises, I thought some Apple engineer had designed it just for me. I purchased it right away last year and I can’t find anything to complain about. I did upgrade to the 5th Gen model this year for the M1 chip, a storage upgrade, and 10GBPS USB-C, but my review stands for both generations. You get basically the same CPU/GPU performance of the iPad Pro without Face ID and the price tag, while still retaining more “pro” features than the base model iPad. In my opinion, this is the best bang for your buck iPad, and it could replace a laptop completely if you don’t need desktop specific software, and don’t mind a dongle or two for accessories. 5/5
As a long time Android user I have been reluctant to buy an iPad, but I'm glad I finally broke down and did it! I was looking for a tablet for particular musical and artistic things and reviews said that the iPad was the best for my needs. I got the Air with a larger storage capacity for a good volume of photos, videos and music. The apps I have downloaded so far have been great, from drawing programs to band setlist apps. I have been very pleased with the ease of use and look forward to becoming even more familiar with my iPad Air.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about usability, camera, reliability and connectivity. Editors are less positive about storage and have mixed opinions about price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 100/100 = Excellent quality.
TechRadarRating, 4 out of 54.0Gareth Beavis on March 16, 2022
iPad Air (2022) reviewA great, versatile tablet that struggles to establish an identity
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A:AnswerYou should have received an email about activating the free Apple Music not long after you purchased the device. You can also download and open the Apple Music app and it should automatically pop up.