Tech

Apple iPad Air 2022, analysis: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity

Last March 8, Manzana presented his iPad Air 2022the fifth generation of a model that first went on sale in November 2013 and had been updated to its fourth generation in October 2020. During the event, called Peek Performance, Apple also announced the Mac Studio, the Apple Studio Display and the iPhone SE 5G.

With the iPad Air 2022, Apple returns to “hit the table” in the tablet market by updating with some very interesting details, and which we will analyze next, a model, the iPad Air 2020, with which it shares a design, screen and size. Just take a look at Apple’s page where it compares all its iPads to realize that it has the best and most varied offer of tablets on the market, although not the cheapest.

Specifications of the Apple iPad Air 2022

OS iPad OS 15
Screen 10.9-inch LED-backlit Liquid Retina MultiTouch with IPS technology. Compatible with Apple Pencil 2nd generation
Resolution 2,360 x 1,640 pixels at 264 ppi
Processor M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core graphics processor
Memory 8GB
Storage 64 or 256GB
Frontal camera 12 Mpx ultra wide angle, f / 2.4 aperture and 122º field of view
Rear camera 12 Mpx wide angle and f / 1.8 aperture. Digital zoom up to x5
connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ax (6th generation) / Bluetooth 5.0 / 5G on WiFi + Cellular models (Nano SIM and eSIM card)
ports USB-C port compatible with: charging, DisplayPort and USB 3.1 Gen 2.
Battery 28.6 watt hour / 7,606mAh lithium polymers
Dimensions 24.76 x 17.85 x 0.61cm
Weight WiFi model: 461 grams / WiFi +Cellular model: 462 grams
Colors Space Grey, Pink, Purple, Star White and Blue
Box contents iPad Air, USB-C charging cable (1 meter), and 20W USB-C power adapter
Price From 679 euros (WiFi model) and 849 euros (WiFi + Cellular model)

Continuity in design and format

Externally it is almost impossible to differentiate the iPad Air 2022 from the fourth generation model, since both are the same size (24.76 x 17.85 x 0.61 cm) and its weight is similar, except that the iPad Air 2022 weighs an imperceptible 3-4 grams more (461 grams for the WiFi model and 462 grams for the WiFi+Cellular model).

And I say that it is “almost” impossible to differentiate them because there is indeed a new range of colors, among which we find the space gray above, but also white starthe pinkthe purple and the blue. If I’m not mistaken, this decision by Apple to change and expand the shades of the iPad Air 2022 makes it the iPad with the most options to choose from in terms of the range of colors available.

Apple iPad Air 2022, analysis: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity

Regarding your 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with resolution of 2,360 x 1,640 at 264 dpi and compatible with Apple Pencil 2nd generationis exactly the same as the previous model, that is, it is still backlit by LED with Multi-Touch and IPS technology, its maximum brightness is 500 nits and it has an oleophobic anti-fingerprint cover with integral lamination and anti-reflective film.

In addition, it is based on the colors of the wide color gamut (P3) and it is True Tonewhich dynamically corrects the white balance to achieve more natural tones while not increasing visual fatigue, so common when we spend a lot of time in front of a screen.

Compared to the Pro models (12.9-inch and 11-inch), Apple has not incorporated the ProMotion technology that automatically adjusts the screen’s refresh rate up to 120Hz, giving you incredible responsiveness when you scroll with your finger or Apple Pencil. And neither, this time compared to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, its screen has mini-LED technology, capable of sending light to each pixel more precisely.

The lack of ProMotion and the fact that the panel is IPS instead of mini-LED is totally logical, they will surely be features that will be added in future versions of the iPad Air, but for now Apple has left them for its Pro range.

Apple iPad Air 2022, analysis: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity

Apple iPad Air 2022, analysis: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity

The Apple M1 chip arrives in the iPad Air family

The fourth generation iPad Air had an A14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine that still has a long time to live because its performance is very good, but Apple wanted the main novelty of the iPad Air 2022 to be the powerful and versatile M1 chip, present in devices such as the Mac mini, the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air or the iPad Pro.

Although many people (including myself) did not expect to find, at least this year, an M1 outside the iPad Pro family, it is one of those novelties that make a difference compared to previous models. The M1 with its 8 CPU cores, 8 cores for GPU and 16 cores for Neural Engine make the iPad Air 2022 the fastest of all generations of Air that Apple has launched since 2013, highlighting its power in applications with high graphic load.

According to figures from Apple, the CPU offers 60% more speed, while the GPU doubles the graphics performance compared to the previous model. And regarding the 16-core Neural Engine, combined with the CPU and GPU, it enables advanced machine learning functions to be carried out. In addition, Apple has doubled the RAM of the previous model, reaching 8 GB in this fifth generation.

iPad mini vs iPad Air 2020 Apple iPad Air 2022 review: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity 32 Apple iPad Air 2022 review: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity 34

In the images above we show the iPad mini 2021 compared to the iPad Air 2022. The format is the same, although there are other differences, as you can read in the review we published of the sixth generation iPad mini.

Centered framing to facilitate teleworking

One of the most interesting novelties of the iPad Air 2022, already present in the iPad Pro models and in the 9th generation iPad, is the “Center Framing” feature (Center Stage) of its 12 Mpx front camera and aperture F/2.4 that takes advantage of the ultra wide angle and Machine Learning to place us in the center of the image when we are making video calls.

If we move, it will automatically adjust the frame to keep an eye on us and zoom in or out as needed when other people join or leave the call. Furthermore, this functionality is available in FaceTime, but also in other video conferencing systems such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, Webex, etc.

Refering to rear camerait is identical to the previous generation, with a 12-megapixel wide angle and aperture of F/1.8 with digital zoom up to x5. And in video recording it continues to offer 4K at 24, 25, 30 or 60 fps, 1080p HD video at 25, 30 or 60 fps, x3 zoom, 1080p slow-motion video at 120 or 240 fps, time-lapse video. lapse with stabilization and, as a novelty, extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps.

They complete the audiovisual section two stereo speakers horizontally and, compared to the Pro models, it lacks facial recognition through the TrueDepth camera (what is known as Face ID), so we will quickly access everything that the iPad Air 2022 offers through Touch IDthe fingerprint identity sensor built into the top button.

Apple iPad Air 2022, analysis: the generation with the M1 chip and 5G connectivity

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Conclusions

Apple has renewed its entire range of iPads in less than a year: the Pro models, the “no surname” iPad that is in its ninth generation, the sixth-generation iPad mini and the iPad Air 2022 that has been the protagonist of our analysis . Without a doubt, it has options for all tastes, needs and budgets, and all of them are equipped with technologies that, in many cases, surpass those offered by the competition.

This new version of the iPad Air not only justifies its launch by the fact that it includes the Apple M1 chip, a powerful micro that stands out in applications with a high graphic load, it also incorporates for the first time in the Air models 5G connectivity (Of course, provided that the model that supports physical Nano SIM card and is compatible with eSIM has been purchased).

And if we talk about connectivity, its sixth generation Wi-Fi (802.11ax), its Bluetooth 5.0 and the USB-C port that is now up to twice as fast as the previous generation and reaches data transfers of up to 10 Gb/s. In addition, it allows us to connect USB-C accessories such as cameras, external drives, and monitors with resolutions up to 6K.

Finally, note that, as you can see in the images that accompany this analysis, the iPad Air 2022 is compatible with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil (135 euros), the Magic Keyboard (€339), the Smart Keyboard Folio (€199) and Smart Folio cases (89 euros).

Final assessment

RESUME

The new iPad Air 2022 maintains the same design, screen and size as the iPad Air 2020, but has been renewed with the Apple M1 chip, with 5G connectivity (in WiFi+Cellular models) and with Center Framing support.

Design and build quality9

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