The new iPad Air has a new “old” design. Combined with sharp lines and rounded edges, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 look too big. It had a design among the most iconic Apple has ever had at the time. The new shape is a huge improvement over last year’s iPad Air, as it still had to settle for a long-standing design, including a very wide frame around the screen.
Apple’s latest tablet has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display (it has a resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels, which is equivalent to 264 ppi) and unlike the previous screen, it has almost no frame.
To insert the Touch ID fingerprint into the reader, previously the home button on the front of the iPad was inserted in a circle, which Apple has inserted on / off. The iPad Air has integrated stereo speakers placed horizontally. That way, you’ll get good stereo sound, whether you’re playing the game or watching video on your tablet.
The screen has absolutely excellent image quality. The color reproduction is good and it adapts to the surrounding light and thanks to a brightness of about 500 nit, the iPad Air can be used indoors and outdoors. It’s impressive for the IPS display, though it’s still a bit left to the OLED level.
Beneath the screen is Apple’s newest and most powerful processor to date, the A14 Bionic, two generations newer than the latest iPad Pro – and exactly the same as Apple’s new iPhone 12 mobile processors.
The A14 Bionic is a 5 nm chip and, according to Apple, offers room for a unique number of transistors. This makes the new iPad Air 40% faster than its predecessors, which is also confirmed by our benchmark tests. Especially in the Geekbench 5 test, the iPad Air device surprises with the only result we’ve ever measured with a mobile device.
Despite its sleek design and high performance, the biggest advantage of the iPad Air is the iPadOS (now in version 14) and Apple’s full ecosystem of tablet-friendly apps. Since 2019, Apple has been separating the iPad operating system, iPadOS, from iOS mobile. Among other things, this has improved multi-feature properties, both between different applications and between multiple documents that can be opened simultaneously in the same application. File management has also improved and become “computer-like”, plus the Safari browser now loads full versions of web pages instead of mobile-friendly ones.
All in all, the 2020 version of the iPad Air is the best of its kind to date. It’s going to be very close to being as good as the slightly more expensive iPad Pro, and if you’re already an Apple user accustomed to Apple’s ecosystem of apps and services, the iPad Air is the most prominent tablet right now. Keep in mind, however, that so far Apple’s iPhone 12 series has only 5G. If you want a tablet with 5G speed, you need to look for an iPad alternative. On the other hand, the iPad supports a fast Wi-Fi 6 wireless network protocol so that at least optimal conditions are guaranteed at home.