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Apple reveals refreshed iPad Air with powerful M1 chip

This is a very fast iPad

iPad Air (2022)

Apple’s refreshed iPad Air features updated specs that continue to make it one of the tech giant’s top tablet offerings.

The updated iPad Air features Apple’s M1 chip, the same chip featured in devices like the iPad Pro (2021) and MacBook Air. While I expected the iPad Air to get bumped up to the Apple A15 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 13 series, this move signifies an even more aggressive tablet strategy for Apple, suggesting the next time we see an iPad Pro refresh, it might feature the company’s rumoured M2 chip.

This year, Apple also added a larger 12-megapixel selfie camera to the iPad Air, so every iPad model has the useful ‘Centre Stage’ feature for video calls. The iPad Air also now supports 5G connectivity. Notably, the iPad Air still comes with a 20-watt USB-C power brick and charging cable in the box and has a TouchID sensor built into the power button.

As with the previous model, the iPad Air supports the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil and features a USB-C port that is 2x as fast as the previous model. The screen in this model appears to feature the same anti-reflective liquid retina display as the previous version, but it’s not the same XDR branded option we see on the iPad Pro and the MacBook Pros.

iMovie is also being updated to make it easier to use the app to make professional-looking content. This is less of an iPad update, but given iMovie comes free with all iPads, it’s great to see the app receive new features.

This iPad Air update brings the device more in line with the most recent iPad mini, but I’d expect the Air to have longer battery life and a better quality screen. We’ll dive deeper into comparing this in the full review, but for now, the only other difference I can spot is that the mini has a rear flash, and the Air doesn’t.

iPad Air (2020)

iPad Air (2022)

Display

10.9-inch IPS Liquid Retina display, 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution

10.9-inch IPS Liquid Retina display, 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution

Processor

Apple A14 Bionic

M1 chip

RAM

4GB

Storage

64GB, 256GB

64GB, 256GB

Dimensions (in.)

247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm

247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm

Weight

458g

458g

Rear Facing Camera

1.2-megapixel (f/1.8 aperture)

1.2-megapixel (f/1.8 aperture)

Front Facing Camera

7-megapixel (f/2.2 aperture)

12-megapixel (ultrawide)

OS

iPadOS 14

iPadOS 15

Battery

Network Connectivity

Wi-Fi up to 802.11.ac, LTE (23 bands), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE

LTE/ 5G

Sensors

Touch ID (on top), Three axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer

Touch ID, Three axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer

SIM Type

Nano SIM, eSIM

Nano SIM, eSIM

Launch Date

September 15, 2020

March 18, 2022

Misc

Colours: Silver, Space Grey, Rose Gold, Green, Sky Blue

Colours: Space Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple, Blue

Display

iPad Air (2020)

10.9-inch IPS Liquid Retina display, 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution

iPad Air (2022)

10.9-inch IPS Liquid Retina display, 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution

Processor

iPad Air (2020)

Apple A14 Bionic

iPad Air (2022)

M1 chip

RAM

iPad Air (2020)

4GB

iPad Air (2022)

Storage

iPad Air (2020)

64GB, 256GB

iPad Air (2022)

64GB, 256GB

Dimensions (in.)

iPad Air (2020)

247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm

iPad Air (2022)

247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm

Weight

iPad Air (2020)

458g

iPad Air (2022)

458g

Rear Facing Camera

iPad Air (2020)

1.2-megapixel (f/1.8 aperture)

iPad Air (2022)

1.2-megapixel (f/1.8 aperture)

Front Facing Camera

iPad Air (2020)

7-megapixel (f/2.2 aperture)

iPad Air (2022)

12-megapixel (ultrawide)

OS

iPad Air (2020)

iPadOS 14

iPad Air (2022)

iPadOS 15

Battery

iPad Air (2020)

iPad Air (2022)

Network Connectivity

iPad Air (2020)

Wi-Fi up to 802.11.ac, LTE (23 bands), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE

iPad Air (2022)

LTE/ 5G

Sensors

iPad Air (2020)

Touch ID (on top), Three axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer

iPad Air (2022)

Touch ID, Three axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer

SIM Type

iPad Air (2020)

Nano SIM, eSIM

iPad Air (2022)

Nano SIM, eSIM

Launch Date

iPad Air (2020)

September 15, 2020

iPad Air (2022)

March 18, 2022

Misc

iPad Air (2020)

Colours: Silver, Space Grey, Rose Gold, Green, Sky Blue

iPad Air (2022)

Colours: Space Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple, Blue

The iPad Air’s new colours are somewhat pastel-looking but not quite as vibrant as some of Apple’s other products. The colours include ‘Blue,’ ‘Pink,’ ‘Purple,’ ‘Starlight’ and ‘Space Grey.’

The new iPad Air is available to pre-order starting Friday, March 11th starting at $749 for 64GB and hits store shelves on Friday, March 18th.

For everything revealed during Apple’s March event, follow this link.

Image credit: Apple

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