While it’s true that the iPad Pro models are the most powerful iPads available, for most people they are simply overkill. Also, they come with Pro level prices, which isn’t great if you’re only going to use them to watch iPlayer and FaceTime the grandkids. So, for the more discerning user that requires plenty of power but at a reasonable price, the iPad Air is an excellent solution.
With the recent introduction of the iPad 10.9-inch (10th generation), there’s not much to differntiate that model and this one. But, when you look closely, you can see from where the extra expense comes. The two devices are around the same size, although the Air is marginally more compact and lightweight. Both sport a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display, but the one on the Air is fully-laminated, so there’s no air-gap between the glass and digitiser, which makes it feel like you’re touching the actual pixels and makes using the compaible Apple Pencil (2nd gen) that much smoother.
They feature the same 12Mp cameras on the back and front, only the iPad 10.9-inch (10th gen) one is located on the longer side of the device, making it landscape. But, under the hood the Air has the incredibly powerful M1 processor, which was previously found in the last generation iPad Pros, not to mention several recent Macs. This takes things to another level. If someone wants to play games, use graphically intensive apps or just wants a really fast user experience, then the M1 delivers that in spades.
The iPad Air (2022) has often be called the iPad Pro for normal people, and that’s exactly what it is. The USB-C port allows you to connect various external devices, such as storage or monitors, so it can easily transform into an erstaz laptop with a processor that’s desktop-class. Apple offers the sleek Magic Keyboard folio case, but at $299/£319 it’s way overpriced, so we’d suggest a third party Bluetooth keyboard and case as more frugal option.
The only real downside, apart from a recent price hike by Apple for non-US customers, is the 64GB of storage available on the base model. In 2022 this seems very mean-spirited of Apple, especially when its iPhones usually start at 128GB. With that in mind, you’ll probably want to go for the more expensive 256GB configuration as it will age a bit better.
You can pick up the iPad Air in the following configurations:
- iPad Air (2022, Wi-Fi) 64GB: $599/£669
- iPad Air (2022, Wi-Fi) 256GB: $749/£849
- iPad Air (2022, Wi-Fi + Cellular) 64GB: $749/£849
- iPad Air (2022, Wi-Fi + Cellular) 256GB: $899/£1,029
Be sure to read our roundup of the best iPad Air deals too, so you don’t miss out on any great offers.