iPad Air 2022, a “pro” with some hesitation

iPad Air 2022, a “pro” with some hesitation

iPad Air 2022

The iPad Air 2022 is identical to the iPad Air 2020, at least under the design point of view, but technologically with the adoption of the Apple M1 chip it increasingly resembles the powerful 11-inch i Pad Pro. Apple therefore continues with this update strategy which includes few aesthetic innovations and a planned rotation of hardware components - which are inaugurated on the Pro, then move on to the Air and finally land on the iPads. The mechanics aren't ironclad and there are exceptions, but this year's launch was undoubtedly bold because a fifth-generation iPad Air with such a powerful processor is a watershed from the past.

Design that wins doesn't you change The iPad Air 2022 makes the color a distinctive feature compared to last year's edition. In fact, in addition to the classic sidereal gray and pink, which have remained unchanged, it offers the galaxy, purple and blue versions as alternatives to the silver, light blue and green of the Air 2020. A small detail but it must be recognized that the painting of the aluminum alloy adopted by Apple shines for quality and even the chosen color gradient is not trivial. After that, nothing changes compared to last year: the dimensions are unchanged, the weight has increased by 2-3 grams, it mounts two speakers with four diffusion grids and the fingerprint sensor is integrated into the upper button.

The screen is the reliable 10.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD with a resolution of 2360 × 1640 pixels (264 ppi), True Tone technology, P3 color range and a maximum brightness of 500 nit. Despite being one of the best LCD panels for tablets, it is on this front that the iPad Pro snaps forward thanks above all to the ProMotion technology capable of varying the refresh rate up to 120 Hz and thus guaranteeing superior fluidity in the transitions of the interface. in the apps, in the game and in the scrolling and responsiveness of the touch (even with Pencil). But be careful: with video streaming there is no difference.

No news for accessories: the second generation Apple Penci l, the efficient Magic Keyboard (in black or white) and the Convenient Smart Keyboard Folio.

The advent of the M1 chip Apple M1, as is well known, is the first system-on-chip developed with proprietary technologies by the company for its line of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro , Mac Mini, iMac 24, iPad Pro and now iPad Air too. It was presented in November 2020 and depending on its use it integrates a gpu with seven or eight cores. In the case of the iPad Air 2020, the most powerful version was chosen, capable of increasing cpu performance by 60% and graphics by 200% compared to the previous Apple A14 Bionic soc. Not to mention the adoption of 8 GB of ram, against the previous 4 GB.

The first question is whether this change is actually noticed in everyday life: yes, but only with the most demanding applications and graphically demanding video games . Here, this is the most striking turning point: the ability to perform video or photo editing, rendering, 3d modeling and other activities at the same level reached by the iPad Pro. In summary, the Air 2022 is a more flexible solution than to the old model, but criticalities remain.

The first is that for basic activities such as online browsing, mail management or the interface, there are no major differences compared to the past; yet the Pro, even with the same M1 chip, seems to go further. It "seems" because what makes the difference is simply the fluidity of the 120 Hz of the LCD panel; that of the Air goes to 60 Hz.

iMovie on iPad Air 2022

Secondly there is the theme of memory cuts for storage space. The iPad Air 2022 is only available in 64GB and 256GB versions, while the iPad Pro in (almost) all possible declinations between 128GB and 2TB. This means that when you look at the list price of the 256 GB Air, the distance to the 128 GB Pro model is only 30 euros.

Yes, the 64 GB Air costs 200 euros less than the cheaper Pro, but considering the growing size of the apps we would recommend it exclusively to those who use the tablet very limited. For example, Facebook occupies 1 GB, heavier games such as Call of Duty and Genshin Impact respectively 7 GB and 14 GB, while a normal title about 1 GB, productivity applications about 500 MB each, while apps generally 100/200 MB.

The maximum autonomy declared is always 10 hours but in reality, as in the past and in line with the market segment, a mixed use allows to operate for about 7 hours; a little less if you use the mobile connection, even more if you choose 5G.

Clockwise: iPad Mini, Magic Keyboard, AirPods 3, Pencil 2, Smart Keyboard Folio, iPad Air 2022

Improved photos and videos, partially The iPad Air 2022 features the same external main camera as last year: an ultra-wide 12 Megapixel model with 4k video recording at 60 fps. The photographic quality is not very high when compared to a mid-range smartphone, but still acceptable. The novelty is finally the 12 megapixel ultra-wide frontal one with 1080p hd video recording; previously it was equipped with a 7 megapixel model. The feeling is that the old one has been squeezed to the maximum while this still has room for improvement. And then most of the webcams of laptops are at 720p resolution, so for the distance learning of the little ones it could be a valid option.

By taking pictures, making videos or activating video-calls, the color rendering and brightness appear slightly higher than the old model but the difference is not so obvious; the wide-angle function, on the other hand, immediately catches the eye as the portion of space captured is much larger. The automatic framing technology (Center Stage) is also useful, which with FaceTime and other apps such as Facebook Messenger, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom and Webex allows you to keep a single and close people in the center of the image. Unfortunately in landscape mode the positioning of the camera on the chassis affects the result: you are always positioned to the side, unless you waste a little time to find the ideal shot.

5G and super fast usb The new iPad Air shares support for 5G mobile networks with the Pro, but unlike the latter it no longer provides support for the old gsm and edge networks, but only 3G and 4G . Obviously there is no lack of nano-sim slot and e-sim technology. Confirmed supports wi-fi 6 and bluetooth 5.0. Big step forward instead for the usb-c port which is now able to support a maximum data transfer performance of 10 Gbps (previously it went to 5 Gbps) thanks to version 3.2 gen 2; no, it is not thunderbolt certified like that of the Pro. However, the port update offers great speed in external data storage and the ability to manage high resolution screens such as the Pro Display XDR 6K or the new Studio Display 5K.

In conclusion The iPad Air 2022 is a recommended product for students, families and professionals in general. It is really for everyone even if the maximum is obtained by combining a keyboard and in some cases also the Pencil and the price increases accordingly. But a laptop still travels to another level. The Air is so advanced that it could cannibalize the sales of the current 11-inch iPad Pro: few differences. Obviously there is a criticality that is linked to the commercial proposal, or rather to the fact that the 64 GB price list is acceptable but that of the 256 GB is too close to the 128 GB Pro. The advice for the average user is to evaluate the storage space you need and above all to understand how to synergistically exploit iCloud. For the super professional, on the other hand, we recommend pointing directly to the iPad Pro (for the 120 Hz screen) and if in doubt, wait for the next version which should be unveiled in the fall. And the undecided? Buy it because an Air has great longevity and with the M1 chip even more.

iPad Air 2022 64 GB wi-fi

699 € - buy on amazon 699 € - buy on Apple Store iPad Air 2022 256 GB wi-fi

869 € - buy on amazon 869 € - buy on mediaworld iPad Air 2022 64 GB wi-fi + cellular

869 € - buy on amazon iPad Air 2022 256 GB wi-fi + cellular

1039 € - buy on amazon Rating: 8

Wired: high performance thanks to the M1 chip, video-call quality, 5G support

Tired: lack of 128 GB cut, lcd panel still 60 Hz

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