Apple iPad Air 5 Review – Perfect All-Rounder Tablet For Indians
Table Of Contents
- 1Review Summary
- 2Apple iPad Air 5 Price, Variants & Availability
- 3Apple iPad Air 5 Box Contents
- 4Apple iPad Air 5 Specs At A Glance
- 5Apple iPad Air 5 Design and Build
- 6Apple iPad Air 5 Display
- 7Apple iPad Air 5 Performance
- 8Apple iPad Air 5 Software
- 9Apple iPad Air 5 Camera
- 10Apple iPad Air 5 Battery
- 11Apple iPad Air 5 Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Apple iPads are hands down the most popular series of tablets to use out there. What I have with me today for reviewing is another such tablet, the Apple iPad Air 2022. However, this is not your regular iPad and the 2022 refresh is a major step-up in terms of performance. This is because of the fact that the refresh brings the brand’s most powerful chips to the iPad – Apple M1 chipset. Launched only a month ago, you can clearly see that Apple is going all out in providing the performance that you NEED in 2022. There are four variants for the latest iPad Air refresh and for this review, I got the 256GB Wi-Fi plus Cellular model in my hands.
For those who have already been iPad users in the past and currently are, a lot of things will seem unchanged. It is primarily in the performance department that the Apple iPad Air 2022 has received a major boost. In terms of other things, like the display, fingerprint, speakers, camera and the like are an exact replica of the 2020 model. In fact, the good thing is that the 2022 model fits right in all the cases and other accessories of the 2020 model. So, if you have already used the 2020 iPad Air model and sold it off to get your hands on the 2022 model, you are in luck (given the fact that you did not throw or sell the accessories away).
- Unbeatable performance
- Compatible with Apple Pencil 2nd Gen
- Lightweight and very easy to carry around
- Great battery life
- Millimeter-wave 5G connectivity absent
- Base model offers only 64GB of storage
- Front-facing camera does not work well in landscape modes
There are four primary variants that we get for the latest tablet offering by Apple. The Apple iPad Air 5 2022 price in India starts at Rs. 54,900 for the 64GB variant. This is the variant that comes with only Wi-Fi. On the other hand, the Wi-Fi + Cellular model comes with a price tag of Rs. 68,900. Moreover, this is the exact same price tag that the Wi-Fi only 256GB model of the iPad Air 2022 comes in. Additionally, you also get a Wi-Fi only 256GB model for the tablet that is priced at Rs. 82,900 in India.
When it comes to the availability of these variants, you can grab them at Amazon, Flipkart, official Apple online store and offline retail stores as well. Just a quick tip: On Flipkart, don’t search for iPad Air 2022. Instead, try iPad Air 5th Gen and you shall get the desired results.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you will get inside the box of an Apple iPad Air 5 2022:
- One unit of Apple iPad Air 5 2022
- USB-C charge cable
- 20W USB-C Power adapter
- Quick start guide
- Warranty card
We will be getting right into the details of the tablet soon. Before that, here’s a quick glance at the Apple iPad Air 5 2022 specs:
Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display
Chipset: Apple M1 Chip
RAM & ROM: 8GB RAM, 256GB ROM
Software: iPad OS 15, Upgradeable to 15.3
Rear camera: 12-megapixel
Selfie camera: 12-megapixel
Battery: Lithium Polymer Battery 28.6 Wh
Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm
If you have been an iPad user before or are an Apple enthusiast, you will immediately notice the iPad Pro-like design. This new design to the iPad was introduced back in 2020 itself with the iPad Air 2020. This year, the design remains the same. You don’t get to see any new changes in design.
The all-aluminium build is the same and so is Apple’s current take on design. This involves uniform bezels throughout. Additionally, you also get to see flat sides and from the front, it looks exactly like the 11-inch iPad Pro. There is very little difference between the 10.9-inch and 11-inch display on the iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro, respectively.
Although the tablet is pretty big, the weight distribution is excellent on it. Whenever I picked up the Apple iPad Air 5, I barely felt anything. It weighs 462g and feels too lightweight to even weigh that much, which is amazing. The fact that it is this portable and lightweight makes it even more comfortable to use. Of course, you can’t compare it’s portability with the 8.3-inch iPad Mini but, it does the work excellently well.
The iPad Air 5 2022 comes with the same large 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display as the Apple iPad Air 4. Moreover, as mentioned before, the difference between the iPad Air 2022’s and iPad Pro’s 11-inch display is miniscule to say the least. What this basically means is that it will fit right in iPad Pro accessories as well. That is a plus if you have already used the iPad Pro and have accessories of it.
However, there are a couple of things that make the iPad Pro stand out in terms of display. For starters, the slightly larger 11-inch display, of course. Secondly, the ProMotion variable refresh rate panel. You get a standard 60Hz panel on the Apple iPad Air 5.
Good thing is that the lack of a ProMotion display will not make much of a difference. The scrolling animations would have definitely seemed visibly fluid. Apart from that, there are no changes when you are watching a video or reading something on the 10.9-inch display.
Moreover, the presence of uniform bezels will not at all get in the way of your viewing experience either. The 500 nits brightness knocks indoors and outdoors visibility out of the park and is a delight for your eyes. All-in-all, the display on the iPad Air 2022 refresh impressed me a lot, just like the iPad Air 4 display did.
Moving to the most exciting bit of the iPad Air 5 2022, the Apple M1 chip. This is not your ordinary tablet processor and is actually a desktop-level ARM chipset. MacBooks run on this processor and you can already comprehend the kind of performance you can expect from the 2022 refresh.
Surprisingly, the Apple M1 chipset has been optimised really well with the iPad OS, something that I didn’t expect. It offers the same top-of-the-line performance along with amazing battery efficiency. Brining desktop-level performance on a 10.9-inch without many glitchy errors is no joke. Apple has done it and showed again why they are who they are in the realm of tech.
It’s good to see that instead of introducing an iPad Air with the Bionic A15, Apple went with the M1 chipset. This was surely a great decision and you can see that the brand went all out in the performance department. The M1 chipset has eight cores (four high-performance and four efficiency cores). On the other hand, the A14 has two high-performance cores. Overall, the M1 is slightly superior in terms of clock speed as well (3.2Ghz compared to A14’s 3.1GHz).
You can quite literally feel the difference in performance with the M1 chip-powered Apple iPad Air 5. Be it hardcore multitasking or hopping into several games of CoD Mobile, the tablet blasted through all that without breaking even a teeny tiny bit of sweat. That is what I call true performance and the 2022 Air is more than full of it.
It doesn’t matter if you have ten to fifteen tabs open on Safari or a project being edited on GarageBand, the iPad Air 5th Gen can still pull off multitasking pretty well. Everything is just so seamless and something that will be very new to you when you use it for the first time. Won’t be a surprise if you have already been a MacBook user but, this is just something else.
Although the iPad Air 5 brings desktop-level performance on smaller screen, it doesn’t run on MacOS. Instead, the tablet runs on the latest iPadOS 15. It is also further upgradeable to 15.3. The only problem is that although iPadOS is great for those who really want the tablet experience, it just limits you terribly. Everything seems a tad bit clustered at times where the MacOS just shines.
To be specific, the primary problem with iPadOS is the multitasking and file management system. While the MacOS simplifies these two very important elements, the iPadOS makes them more complex. I really can’t complain though.
You are getting industry-leading performance on a compact device and something that no other tablet can replicate in this price segment. Although, it will surely be great to see Apple do some tweaks to the iPadOS and make it more optimised.
You will be happy to know that there are some much-needed upgrades on the optics front as well. Although the rear camera is made of the same 12-megapixel sensor, it is the front camera that has undergone changes. The previous iPad Air 4 offered a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. On the Apple iPad Air 5, you get a significantly better 12-megapixel sensor.
It doesn’t end there. This front-facing selfie shooter is backed by the Apple Center Stage feature. For those who are not familiar with this, the feature’s self-centering design works to keep you in frame when carrying out video calls. That is very convenient during meetings, online classes and pretty much any video call session.
Although the Center Stage feature is a neat addition, there are certain gray areas it needs to cover. For example, it can’t make up for the front-facing camera being on the side of the display in landscape mode. This has been a very annoying problem in all the iPads and sadly, the iPad Air 5 is no exception.
Good thing is that the quality of the 12-megapixel FaceTime sensor is really good. Even in dimly lit rooms, the sensor surpassed my expectations and offered some of the best camera qualities I have seen on tablets.
See, if you are gaming (especially Genshin Impact and CoD Mobile), the iPad Air 5’s battery life is going to beat the dust soon. However, if you are more of a I-love-watching-Netflix-all-day kind of person, you can easily expect to see a battery backup of 5-6 hours on maximum brightness. That is what I personally experienced and hence, can easily say so.
Meanwhile, if you are someone who is going to end up using the tablet for a couple light tasks now and then, it can go on for days. One thing that I would say kind of disappointed me was the fast charging tech. The 20W charging speed takes roughly 2 hours to fully charge up the tablet. I noticed that the iPad was charging up to 15% in 15 minutes and that is not good.
Today, with the kind of fast lives we have, fast charging tech has to be good enough. This is one place that Apple totally missed the mark but then again, iPads have been performing this way in battery charging tests forever. Major change is needed on this front, for sure.
The speaker output on the iPad Air 5 is very impressive, I have to say. It has a very pleasant-to-hear audio output where all the highs, lows and mid are in great balance. In addition, there is a bit of a base to further make the audio quality seem a tad bit extra extravagant. You can’t expect the iPad Pro’s quad-speaker setup sound from the Apple iPad Air 5’s dual-speaker output.
Furthermore, you don’t get to see the iPad Pro’s Face ID tech on the Air. This was absent in the previous 4th Gen model as well as on the iPad Mini. Instead, you get a fingerprint sensor that is integrated within the sleep/wake button. The fingerprint is fast and reliable.
However, just looking at your iPad and unlocking it in milliseconds is always superior. Then again, paying a hell lot extra for that is also something to think about. Yes, I’m talking about the Face ID feature on the iPad Pro. Another upgrade that you get to see is the 5G connectivity support. That is available on the top end variant which I’m reviewing.
BUT, there is a little bit of a twist here. The Apple iPad Air 5 is not compatible with the millimeter wave networks. Although you miss out on real 5G speeds, it won’t be much of a loss if you are not used to it anyway. It is still a step from being limited to just LTE.
Moving on to ports, you don’t get to see the iPad Pro’s Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C port on the Air. On a brighter note, the speed of the port has been upgraded to 10GBps. This is as twice as fast as the iPad Air 4 and allows you to transfer files faster. Besides, you can also plug in up to a 6K external display.
Another thing I would have loved to see was a 3.5mm headphone jack. Only the iPad 9th Gen comes with this port and the rest don’t. Still, the 3.5mm headphone jack is criminally underrated and overly useful.
The Apple iPad Air 5 aka Air 2022 refresh is something that I’d definitely recommend to every other person looking to buy a premium tablet. Not only does it come with the portability of a tablet but, carries the performance of a laptop. I mean, of course, I would not go so far as to say that it replaces your laptop. However, there is way too much power in this iPad than you would even require.
No Android offering comes remotely close to beating the Apple iPad Air 2022 in this price range. My only complain would be with the base model coming with only 64GB of ROM. The price gap between the base model and the 256GB variant is nuts.
Honestly, what you are paying for is the processor and 5G connectivity. Apart from that, everything else is the same as you would see in the iPad Air 4. The iPad Air 5 is the perfect tablet for everyone because of the monstrous versatility that it offers. Seamless performance? HUGE Check. Fantastic gaming? BIG Check. Brilliant display? Check. Great battery life? Check. Good cameras? Check.
What else do you even require in a tablet? The Apple iPad Air 5 has come into existence to never let you down. The presence of the M1 chipset also ensures that the tablet is future-proof. You are easily sorted for the next five to probably even seven years with the tablet. Moreover, whether you want to take notes, make great digital art, play games or binge watch your favourite shows for hours on end, there’s nothing else that I would highly recommend at this price point.
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