If you're still wavering between getting the iPad Air and the iPad Pro, the new fifth-generation Apple iPad Air (2022) makes it somewhat easier to choose. Packing the M1 chip, 5G, and a better front camera, the new iPad Air is a mid-range tablet with peak performance. If you don't need the iPad Pro's 120Hz display, Face ID, bigger storage sizes, and cameras (and you probably don't), go for the iPad Air.
- Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU, 8-core graphics)
- 12MP front and rear camera with Center Stage
- 64GB or 256GB
Design-wise, the iPad Air looks unchanged from the previous version. Even better, this means it works with previous iPad accessories, including the Magic Keyboard for iPad. Your Apple Pencil 2 will also work, but not the first-gen Pencil. The Pencil will stick to the side of the tablet for charging, too. The 10.9-inch display is bright and vibrant, but it's only a 60Hz display. It isn't a big deal honestly, especially to my eyes. It's smooth enough that I don't think I need the iPad Pro's 120Hz display. Center Stage is also now on the iPad Air's front camera, and works brilliantly to track you around.
If you're using the iPad Air for watching videos, you'll love its room-filling audio. It's crazy loud at max volume — I could hear it from all around the house. iPadOS 15.4, which the Air comes with, supports Universal Control. That means if you're using a MacBook Pro updated with Monterey 12.3, you can slide the cursor to the edge of the screen and it will pop up on your iPad, letting you use your mouse to control the iPad as well. If you're using the Magic Keyboard, you can also use the trackpad on your iPad to control your MacBook, too.
Since it's packing the M1 chip, you'd expect top notch performance, and the Air delivers that. I'll be honest, most games today will still deliver great performance even on last year's iPad Air. What stands out is when you try editing videos and photos. Where last year's iPad felt a little laggy with Premier Rush, I was breezily switching between projects. Editing photos also felt snappy and easy. You'll easily have a full day of battery life, but our video test only clocked in at 3hr 50mins. That's on max volume and brightness. It's shorter than the mini, which lasted 5 hours. I suspect the larger screen of the Air easily eats up a lot of that power at full brightness.
The Apple iPad Air (2022) has mainstream pricing, but performs at the top level. It's premium enough that you might even consider it a flagship product. While I still prefer the iPad mini's pocket-friendly size, reading, watching, and working on the iPad Air is still a fantastic experience. Prices start from S$879. Get it from Apple, Lazada, Shopee, or Amazon.
Note: Review unit provided by Apple.
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