iPad Air 2022 First Impressions: Why Most People Should Get This Over The iPad Pro!
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Let's be honest, a lot of us want only the latest and the best. So we see people get the top of the line phones and tablets and computers, many of which are specced out with options that we'll probably never actually use (1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max, anybody?). But is it really the most effective use of money? If you've ever considered getting an iPad, you might have thought about skipping straight to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It's a fantastic tablet, of course. You get that incredible Mini-LED screen, 120Hz ProMotion, up to 16GB of RAM and that blazing-fast M1 chip, among others.
But at what cost, and do you really need all that? With Apple branding the iPad Pro for professionals (literally, in the name), the new iPad Air 2022 is what they're marketing as the tablet for the general public, and I couldn't agree more.
Coming in five colours (Space Grey, Pink, Blue, Purple and Starlight), the new iPad Air is a major improvement over the previous generation. You now get the same M1 chip that's in the iPad Pro, 8GB of RAM, 5G support and the USB-C port is now USB 3.1 Gen 2, which supports speeds up to 10Gbps.
There are only two storage configurations though, with either a 64GB option of a 256GB model. Personally, I would always recommend going for the higher storage capacity model. This is especially true for tablets since you most likely would use them to download movies and shows for on-the-go viewing. Of course, if you know you're going to be keeping everything on the cloud or you're going to be streaming everything, going for the 64GB model is a good way to save some money.
As for the display, it's a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display that supports True Tone, has an anti-reflective coating and also supports the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. While the display only gets up to 500 nits max brightness, it's still very legible even under sunlight and its bright enough for normal indoor usage. The display also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, which means that watching compatible shows on this is a delightful experience.
Moving on to the chassis, it's the same flat-edged design that we saw in the previous iPad Air, which I honestly like quite a lot. It weighs just 461 or 462g, and compared to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro I have, I found myself reaching for the Air more often when I was winding down in bed and reading or watching shows. It's just less tiring to hold up, but still big enough to enjoy content. On the side, you get the magnetic connector that allows for easy pairing and charging of the Apple Pencil.
Something that the iPad Pro has over the iPad Air though, is Face ID, and I did find myself wishing the iPad Air was able to unlock with facial biometrics. While the Touch ID sensor is fine and responsive, it's just more seamless with the iPad Pro.
A nice feature that's in the iPad Air though, is Centre Stage, and I cannot espouse enough how much I love this feature. It's fantastic for when I'm on FaceTime calls with my friends and family, and I don't have to constantly check if I'm in frame because I know the software will do the work for me. The iPad Air ships with iPadOS 15, so again, you get all the great features like focus modes, enhanced multitasking, SharePlay and more.
On the back, you get a 12MP wide camera and there's also Smart HDR 3 and 4K video recording support. Personally, I wouldn't use an iPad to take photos, but this works great for scanning physical documents for marking up with the Apple Pencil.
Inside the iPad Air, you get that same M1 chip as I mentioned earlier. It's really fast and I never noticed any sort of slow down or lag even with a lot of apps open. For the general consumer, this device will be more than sufficient for most tasks, even for simple video editing. We'll be putting it to the test in our full review and editing a 4K video to see how the iPad Air performs, so do stay tuned for that!
Using the iPad Air for work is also perfectly doable, with compatibility for the Magic Keyboard cover meaning you can bring a physical keyboard around wherever, whenever with the tablet. And of course, the iPad Air handles emails, documents, excel sheets and more with ease.
The battery inside is a 28.6-watt hour lithium-polymer battery, and Apple claims 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi, which is about right. A full charge lasted me around 3 days with a few hours of reading every night, so I'd say the estimate is pretty much there.
Starting at S$879, the iPad Air is definitely the tablet that most people should consider. It offers really great performance that's more than enough for general browsing, content consumption and even content creation.