Apple iPad Air (5th generation)
The iPad Air (5th generation) is a slight improvement over the previous generation, but it's still undisputed as the best secondary tablet you can buy. If you're using a pre-2020 iPad and don't want to go pro, this is for you.
Apple's strategy of putting powerful chips into affordable hardware isn't new, but it really raised the bar with the iPad Air (5th generation). Adding laptop-grade silicon to the iPad Pro lineup was one thing, but a beefy M1 processor in Apple's lightweight,secondary flagship tabletIt certainly makes it a no-brainer, right? Yes, but as is often the case with any fancy piece of technology, it's not that simple. We'll detail that in this review of the Apple iPad Air (5th generation).
iPad Air (2022)
Sleek, premium design • Color display • Impressive performancesee comment
Update, October 2022:Added details about the features and release of iPadOS 16 for iPad Air (5th generation).
What you need to know about the Apple iPad Air (5th generation)
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi only, 64GB):US$ 599/£ 569/€ 679
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi only, 256GB):$749/£719/€849
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64GB):$749/£719/€849
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB):$ 899/£ 869/€ 1.019
The Apple iPad Air (5th generation), commonly known as the iPad Air 5, replaces the outgoing Air (4th generation), just seventeen months after the latter's release in late October 2020. The iPad Air 5 debuted at the Peek event Apple Performance on March 8, 2022, along with theiPhone SE (2022)and/or Mac Studio.
If the previous iPad Air was a long-awaited “tick”, this is definitely the inevitable “tock” model. Put the two side by side and no one but the most diehard Apple fan will be able to tell the difference. It's a bit heavier (1-2g depending on the model) and the color options have changed, but the size, ports/buttons, screen, rear camera, and speakers are all identical to the iPad Air ( 4th generation). Consult ouriPad Air 4 In-Depth Reviewto learn more about these features, as we'll be skipping some of the familiar stuff in this review. It's also compatible with the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) and Magic Keyboard case, as well as other existing iPad Air accessories.
The iPad Air (5th generation) shares a lot of DNA with its predecessor, but packs all the M1 power of the iPad Pro.
The two biggest changes are under the hood: the M1 processor and5G support. the game changerM1 chipsetIt shouldn't require any introduction at this point, but the trickle-down effect of Apple's silicon strategy means that the iPad Air 2022, like the iPad Pro (5th generation) before it, offers MacBook-caliber power, albeit with some subtle tweaks. .architecture Apple also doubled the RAM on all models to 8 GB and updated the selfie camera.
These small updates are accompanied by a small price increase, but only if you have your eye on the mobile model. The Wi-Fi version matches its predecessor, but the new 5G-enabled variant will set you back an extra $20.
iPad Air (5th generation) went on sale on March 11 and shipping began a week later on March 18, 2022. You can buy iPad Air (5th generation) directly from the Apple Store and major third-party retailers. like Amazon and Best Buy. iPad Air (5th generation) color options are Space Grey, Pink, Purple, BLUE, and Starlight.
What is good?
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
While that's not always the case, especially with Apple products, this is a time when a reworked design is a good thing. Everything great about the iPad Air (4th generation) applies here: the quality construction of glass and recycled aluminum, reasonably sized bezels that give you enough space to hold it without obscuring the edges of the screen, and Touch ID for biometrics. The fingerprint reader is integrated into the power button, and while the two-step unlocking (rest your finger and press down) is fiddly, it's fast and accurate.
iPad Air (5th generation) has a USB-C port for access to external storage and compatibility with accessories. That might sound like a given for a modern tablet, but hey,this is apple. There is also a small update hidden here. The USB-C 3.1 specification is a "Gen 2" version that increases data transfer speeds to a maximum of 10 Gbit/s (up from 5 Gbit/s). This also enables support for connecting the iPad Air to Apple's Studio Display, something you can't do with other Air models.
Let's talk about the other semi-notable updates before we get to the main one. First, it supports 5G. It's predictable and not that exciting, but it's a nice to have for those who want data on the go. The most interesting change is the front camera with a wider aperture and a higher number of megapixels. This is the same camera found in the iPad Pro (5th generation). It's a solid little shooter, offering good color accuracy and enough detail in decent lighting, though it struggles in low light. Perhaps most exciting is the addition of Center Stage, another "Pro" feature that follows faces around the room, zooming in and out to keep them in frame. It's a neat trick, and it's compatible with FaceTime, Zoom, and Google Meet.
To check: The best iPads you can buy
Of course, the main update to the iPad Air (5th generation) is the powerful M1 chip. It is also the full version, the one with eight CPU cores and eight GPU cores. That's a lot of power, perhaps too much for what the iPad Air can actually do (but more on that later). There's no competition here though - this is the most powerful tablet you can buy for this price.
The iPad Air handled intensive games like Genshin Impact with ease, with frame rates hovering around the 50-55 mark on average at maximum settings. Benchmarks only confirm how beastly this is, with numbers outpacing the Tab S8 series' Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 implementation and the best Windows hybrids too. While multitasking was never an issue on the latest model, the doubled amount of RAM will also help future-proof the tablet for years to come, and that's a good thing, because Apple generally supports its tablets with software updates for up to five years or more. .
The chip's efficiency is a boon to battery life, though the iPad Air (5th generation) largely holds the roughly 10-hour mark we saw on its predecessor when it drained from 100% to zero. It will fall off faster with heavy use, but it's always an all-day tablet and then some. Apple has also introduced faster charging in the latest model, although the included charger only reaches 20W of power. If you have a 30W PPS USB PD charger, you can charge it from empty to full in just over two hours instead of two and a half hours. verifyour guide herefor the best charger options.
The M1 iPad Air offers the best value of any tablet.
iPadOS still straddles the line between iOS and macOS, moving much closer to its isolated mobile roots than the more open Mac software platform, but with all its quirks (seriously, why aren't widgets interactive? ) and omissions (desktop modeand multi-user support, please!), the app's ecosystem is unrivaled for optimization and breadth. You can safely assume that most apps will scale to the screen dimensions with custom UI tweaks, something you don't get with even the most basic apps on Android or Windows tablets. Things will only get better withiPad OS 16, scheduled for late 2022. This adds the base Stage Manager for a more desktop-like app switching experience, revamped Weather and Home apps, child account management, and more.
Kudos to Apple for continuing to make tablets fun too. The iPad Air's pastel shades are a breath of fresh air (ha) in a market awash in matte black/grey/silver plates. That said, the softer Starlight color shown in this review is there if you're not feeling itchy. However, I do miss the green color scheme of the previous generation.
what is not so good
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
We complain about this at length, but it bears repeating:64 GB is not enough storagefor a tech product, especially when system storage is just over 10GB. Yes, you can go down these paths if you only use a few apps and are meticulous about iCloud management (or regularly connect an external drive), but the point is, you shouldn't. 128GB is standard for every other tablet maker operating in this price range, and there's no excuse why Apple hasn't addressed a long-standing issue with the previous generation iPad Air.
Compounding the problem is the price of the 256GB model. At $749 for the iPad Air with Wi-Fi with 256GB of storage, it's just $50 off the iPad Pro's $799 starting price. The $100 delta for the cell phone model is a bit higher, but even despite their increasing similarities, the Pro is still a Pro for a reason.
All the significant criticisms of the previous iPad Air are equally valid for the latest model.
And one of those "Pro" features you don't put on the air is "ProMotion," aka Apple's fancy name for ahigh refresh rate display. This is a great tablet screen, no doubt about it. It's colorful without being oversaturated, pixel-rich, and while rated at ~500 nits compared to the 11-inch Pro's ~600 nits, it stays bright enough to use anything but direct sunlight. However, that 60Hz cap is really depressing. Again, other tablets in this price range are switching to 90Hz and higher. It was already silly for Apple to restrict its vanillaiPhonesat 60 Hz, but a device with a laptop inside? It may be running at similar power levels to Goku, but the lagged animations mean it doesn't look as smooth as it should when navigating between apps and navigating the UI.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
If you're new to the Apple ecosystem, be prepared to push back on accessory prices. The Magic Keyboard ($ 299) and Apple Pencil (2nd generation) ($ 129) really unlocks the potential of the iPad Air, but you're seeing an additional $400+ taken out of your bank account.
Center Stage is one of the major upgrades to the fifth-generation iPad Air, but it's not unique (the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series has an identical feature), and Apple's insistence on placing the front-facing camera in the front bezel still makes it feel right. as if you were staring into space during video calls. Unlike the rear shooter, the front camera also lacks a 4K capture option.
Apple iPad Air (5th generation) specifications
|Apple iPad Air (5th generation)|
10.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD
247,6 x 178,5 x 6,1 mm
Space Grey, Pink, Purple, Blue, Starlight
Apple iPad Air (5th generation) review: The verdict
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
The iPad Air (5th generation) offers the best value for money of any tablet to date. Apple's software support is guaranteed to keep it up to date and stable, but it's the over-the-top M1 chip and healthy supply of RAM that ensures it's future-proof for years to come.
Of course, beyond 5G support, this was fundamentally true for the high-end iPad Air. Sure, it didn't have an M1 chip, but the A14 Bionic was already way ahead in 2020 and remains competitive with today's best mobile silicon. Meanwhile, the same complaints we had with the 4th-gen Air are all present and accounted for, and the complaints about the 64GB base storage and 60Hz refresh rate have only gotten louder as time has gone on. .
So the iPad Air is in a strange place. It's still a fantastic gateway into the iPad ecosystem, offering enough flexibility to function as an "iPad Pro Lite" for work and play. Likewise, if you just want to stream movies and play a handful of games, the base model is a steal, and its display, design, and feature set are far superior to the regular iPad to justify the extra expense. But even with all that cutting-edge raw power, the iPad Air (5th Gen) sometimes feels strangely outdated: a tablet that got a big boost in an area where it already excelled, while neglecting its legacy flaws.
The iPad Air remains arguably the easiest product to recommend in the entire giant Apple ecosystem.
The real question is whether you should buy the iPad Air (5th generation) or the 11-inch iPad Pro ($ 749)? If you can live with or avoid the negligible storage, the price differences between the base models (either Wi-Fi or cellular) will save you a fair amount of money. However, if you're considering the iPad Air with 256GB of storage, we recommend spending the extra money.
For $50 more, you get Face ID biometrics, an ultra-wide rear camera, and quad speakers. The real kicker is the 120Hz display. After experiencing an iPad with deliciously smooth animations, it's hard to go back to boring 60Hz. Sure, you get half the storage with the Pro compared to the Air at most, but 128GB is a good sweet spot.
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Elsewhere in the Apple ecosystem, you have theIpad mini($ 499) for those who want something a little more portable and conventionaliPad($ 329) for all the basics of a quote. We also recommend looking into a refurbished iPad Air (4th generation), as almost everything good about the last generation has been carried over from its predecessor.
As far as direct competition is concerned, the iPad Air (5th generation) is behind the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 ($ 699)but ahead of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE ($ 529), unless you're looking at the latter's low-power 5G model (whichwe do not recommend). The Galaxy Tab S8 is closer than ever to challenging Apple's tablet dominance with faster charging, but it's hampered by poor Android optimization for larger screens (although that's somewhat fixed with Android 12L), battery life isn't all that stellar and it lags far behind in raw performance. The nextgoogle pixel tabletit hopes to speed up Android tablets in 2023, but until then competition from Apple is few and far between in this price range.
The iPad Air (5th generation) remains undisputed as the best secondary tablet you can buy, and arguably the easiest product to recommend in the entire giant Apple ecosystem. If you're using a pre-2020 iPad and don't want to go pro, this is for you. Let's just hope the next Air manages to "flag" some of those lingering warnings.
iPad Air (2022)
Sleek, premium design • Color display • Impressive performance
Apple's cheapest tablet to date is still the best iPad for most people.
The 2022 iPad Air is a slight improvement over the previous generation, but it's still undisputed as the best secondary tablet you can buy. However, it is not without its flaws, namely the meager 64GB of base storage and 60Hz refresh rate.
Questions and answers about the Apple iPad Air (5th generation)
And youpurchased accessoriesor a case for the Air (4th gen) will work fine, but older model cases won't fit.
The iPad Air 2 was released in 2014 and has been discontinued. The iPad Air (5th generation) is the latest model of the iPad Air.
Yes, iPad Air (5th generation) is supportedbandas 5G sub-6Ghz. he can't standmillimeter wave.
The iPad Air (5th generation) has four speaker grills, but only two stereo speakers (firing from the left). They're perfectly fine, but they sound a bit off-balance when holding the tablet upright.
No, the iPad Air (5th generation) does not have Face ID. It has Touch ID biometrics through the on/off button.
No, the iPad Air (5th generation) does not have a headphone jack. you will have to useBluetooth buttons/canso audio USB-C.
Yes, although it is missingWi-Fi 6E, as well as the latest BLUEtooth standard (Bluetooth 5.0 only).
Is an iPad 5th generation worth buying in 2022? ›
You should buy the iPad Air 5 (2022) if you're looking to upgrade to the Apple M1 chip, you want a better front camera and FaceTime experience, or you want to upgrade to a 5G iPad. You should get the iPad Air 4 (2020) if the price comes before anything else.How do I check the specs on my iPad Air? ›
Look on the back of your iPad. Open Settings, tap General, then tap About.Is iPad Air 5 worth buying? ›
However, there's no doubting the iPad Air 5 is the more advanced device. It is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of performance, has a faster USB-C port, and a more feature-rich camera setup. It will cost you more, but if you really need those extra features, it's your best bet and is absolutely worth it.How many watts can iPad Air 5 handle? ›
20 watts (3 amps): iPad mini 6, iPad 8-9, iPad Air 4-5, iPad Pro 11″ (3rd gen), iPad Pro 12.9″ (5th gen), iPhone 12-14 Pro Max.How powerful is iPad Air 5th generation? ›
Early reports suggest the M1 iPad Air delivers the same performance as an M1-powered iPad Pro. That means Geekbench 5 scores of 1,700 single-core and 7,200 multi-core for iPad Air 5, compared to scores of 1,583 single-core, 4,209 multi-core on the iPad Air 4.What is the advantage of iPad Air over iPad? ›
5th-Generation iPad Air (2022)
The main difference between the devices is their chips and amount of memory, so if you plan on using your iPad for more demanding tasks like 3D graphic design, advanced photo editing, and gaming, the iPad Air will be the better choice by far.
Go to Settings > General > About.What is the RAM of iPad Air 5? ›
It has 64 GB or 256 GB of internal storage, and 8 GB of RAM. It has a 10.9-inch 2360 by 1640 Liquid Retina Display display with 3.8 million pixels. The display is laminated and has an anti-reflective coating, as well as wide color, True Tone and 500 nits of brightness.Is iPad 5th generation still supported 2022? ›
Apple never warns ahead of time what devices will stop being supported with software updates. The 5th generation iPad will still be supported until September / October 2022, and likely another year also.Is the iPad 5th generation outdated? ›
Discontinued but Supported
The following models are no longer sold, but these devices remain within Apple's service window for iPadOS updates: iPad: 5, 6, 7, and 8. iPad Air: 3 and 4. iPad Mini 5.
Is 5th gen iPad still usable? ›
iPod Touch (5th generation)
|iPod Touch (5th generation) in blue|
|Lifespan||October 11, 2012 – July 15, 2015|
|Discontinued||July 15, 2015|
Apple usually supports a new iPad with iPadOS updates for at least five years and often several years longer.