Last week, at the ‘Peek Performance’ event, Apple has announced a few new products in a few categories such as the new Mac Studio, a refreshed iPhone SE, the Studio Display, and what we think is the most interesting – the new M1 powered iPad Air. With this tablet, Apple took a very different approach, some might even say weird. So, strap in, and let’s get into this!
The new Air has the exact same design as the previous generation from 2020, adopting the flat edges and rounded corners, the resolution, the fingerprint reader, and storage options. Most of the differences are pretty minor, being a new selfie camera and 5G support. This all can look very boring and not a reason to buy it over the previous gen, and you’re right. The new iPad Air will not be a reason to upgrade from the last one.
But the most interesting thing about the new iPad Air is what’s under the hood. The M1 chip is a huge departure from the A14 chips that power the current crop of iPad Airs. It’s going to provide an immense amount of computing power that will be overkill for most casual users. It’s also going to be a battery life monster, as the M-series chips are known for their power efficiency.
So, who should buy it?
well, even thou the M1 is overkill, it will guarantee a very long life of good software experience – for at least 5 years, support for software updates for as long, and it will future-proof the heck out of everyone who buys it. Even if you are a pro user, the power it has can compete with a big number of higher-priced laptops(!), not to mention the tablets.
M1 iPad Air vs. 11″ M1 iPad Pro
wait, what about the Pro models? let’s compare them:
- Display: 10.9″ Liquid Retina (264 ppi) vs. 11″Liquid Retina (265 ppi) with 120hz ProMotion
- Processor: M1 chip with 8GB RAM vs. M1 chip with 8/16GB RAM
- Storage: 64/8, 256/8 vs. 128/8, 256/8, 512/8, 1TB/16, 2TB/16
- Camera: 12MP wide + 12MP ultrawide selfie vs. 12MP wide + 10MP ultrawide + 12MP ultrawide selfie + LiDAR
- Connector: 3.1 gen-2 USB-C vs. Thunderbolt 4
As you can see, the two aren’t so different after all. The pro still has a faster connector that will be much better for photographers who edit on the go or other use-cases that require fast speeds that only Thunderbolt can achieve, but besides that- most people will be fine with the Air.
Which one to go for? The short answer is the Air. It’s a great tablet with enough power to last you for years, a very good design and ecosystem, support from Apple, and a fair price. That said, if you are looking for an iPad right now because of the fast refresh rate, get the Pro. Also, if you need more than 256GB, your only option is the Pro.
And what if you are on a really tight budget? Then, you will be forgiven if you go for the previous Air, and you could save up to $150. If what you want is a smooth display and not so much power, then let us direct you towards the previous iPad Pros. They have the same high-resolution 120hz display as the current one and will be much cheaper, and don’t forget that they were the best and most premium tablets on the market just a few years ago.