Apple iPad Air (5th Gen) Review: A well-packaged premium tablet | Tech Reddy


Over the years, Apple has added a variety of iPads to satisfy a wide range of consumers with different needs and budgets. The general iPad tablet is aimed at early adopters and kids, while the mid-range iPad Air series caters to everyone and the Pro series is for professionals and premium users who want the latest and greatest that a tablet has to offer.

Earlier this year, Apple released the next-generation iPad Air with PC-grade M1 silicon, which is the same as the Pro but costs less. I’ve been using the iPad Air (5th Gen) for a few months now and here are my thoughts.

Design, build quality and display
Since the first version of the iPad Air, even the generic models, Apple has used high-quality construction materials, and for this the company has not made any compromises.

The design is no different. It has no equal to match its classically elegant design and premium hand-feel experience.

Additionally, the new iPad Air is more environmentally friendly than previous models. The iPad Air (5th generation) metal body is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum and is aero-grade quality.

Also, the rare earth components and audio magnets in the case are 100 percent recyclable. Even the packaging has 100 percent re-purposed wood fiber and responsibly sourced raw materials.

Coming back to the design aspect, the Apple iPad Air has the same flat-edge design language as the latest iPhones in the market. It’s Apple’s way of maintaining consistency across devices in its product portfolio.

Apple iPad Air (5th generation). Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

However, there is one small but notable difference; it has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that also doubles up as the power/wake button in the top right corner. It’s easy to access and most importantly works flawlessly.

The bezel is a bit thick and it’s designed that way for good reason. The thickness means users have to hold the iPad and place their fingers on the edge to operate it. Also, four speakers, two each on the right and left side of the iPad (in landscape mode) ensure proper sound delivery. The speakers are really great and I have to tell you, they are the best among premium tablets. You can feel their power when you watch a movie or series without headphones. They work great even at the highest volumes and there was never an instance of audio distortion.

At the bottom (in portrait mode) is a Type-C port. This saves users from having to purchase separate USB accessories, connect power banks, portable storage hard drives or cameras, and transfer high-quality images quickly.

It features a 10.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit IPS LCD-based display with a resolution of 2360x1640p, a pixel density of 264 ppi (pixels per inch) and True Tone display technology.

The display is fully laminated and also comes with an anti-reflective coating.

The screen quality of the Apple iPad Air is really good and also bright, which makes it convenient to use outdoors. I had no problem reading news on websites or checking emails or browsing social media news feeds.

Apple iPad Air (5th generation). Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Indoors, it’s even better. Nature documentaries are captured visually with rich colors and deep blacks on the iPad Air’s display.

Compatible with Apple iPad Air Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio. Working professionals who travel a lot should opt for the former, while others can afford the latter.

I used a regular smart folio cover and it comes with strong magnets. It attaches very carefully to the back of the iPad and when you remove the cover you can feel how strong the attachment is.

And, the soft padding provides good protection against accidental drops, but only at a small height. However, it does an excellent job of protecting the device from scratches when stored in a backpack.

Apple iPad Air (5th generation) with regular smart cover. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

As mentioned earlier, Apple iPad Air (5th Gen) comes with M1 Silicon. It features an 8-core processor that promises up to 60 percent faster performance, and the 8-core GPU can offer up to 2x faster graphics performance compared to the previous iPad Air.

Combined with a powerful CPU, GPU, and 8GB of RAM, the integrated 16-core Neural Engine in the Apple M1 is capable of boosting advanced machine learning (ML) features in the iPad Air.

Numbers and fancy tech jargon aside, the iPad Air is a smooth performer. During my review, I never faced any issues in terms of daily use and also when playing heavy games like Asphalt 9: Legend. Even when using 3D apps like Night Sky with a stable internet connection, it runs smoothly and offers an immersive visual experience.

Even when editing a short video, the iPad Air shows no signs of lag at all. Also, it is a very interesting experience to create scripts and scripts on the iPad display with the Apple Pencil (2nd Generation).

Professionals will love M1 and iPad Air even more with the latest iPadOS 16. It includes several new features, including allowing users to resize apps and work on multiple apps easily, allowing them to be layered or split-screen.

Apple iPad Air (5th generation). Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Stage Manager can allow iPad Air (5th generation) to connect to a full external display with a resolution of up to 6K. With this, users can work on four apps on the iPad and four apps on the external display.

Also, with Visual Look Up. Users can easily pick up objects such as birds, insects, statues and more with a single tap and add them to notes or presentations.

And in the coming weeks, Apple will bring Free Form with the new iPadOS update. With this, users can hold group video conferences or project meetings with presentation sharing functionality.

It offers invitees a great environment to brainstorm with colleagues, share a link, and start working together right away. As others add their thoughts, users can see changes on the canvas in real time.

Also, the previously used app will now appear behind the active users. In this way, users do not lose their work.

must read | Apple iPadOS 16 Released: Key Features You Need to Know

The Apple iPad Air (5th generation) has a 12MP wide-angle camera that can support 4K video recording and is used for scanning documents. Just like iPhones, the native Photos app supports editing capabilities and users can play around to create creative videos. However, I prefer to just edit videos rather than lug around a big iPad to record videos or take photos.

That said, the main camera takes great photos and can be used well for scanning documents and converting them to PDF for work or school projects. The Apple App Store has many third-party apps that can help you with your work.

On the front, it has an Ultra Wide 12MP front camera. It also supports the Center Stage feature first introduced with iPadOs 15. It works great during video chat. It tries to keep the user in the middle of the frame, and people on the other side will not pay attention to the host, even if the latter turns around. Also, if the host is joined by others, the camera will automatically add them to the glory.

The new iMovie app on the Apple iPad Air (5th generation). Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

If you have a good internet connection, it works great with high quality streaming on video calls.

In terms of battery life, it’s capable of 10 hours of video playback with Wi-Fi on, and nine hours with cellular data. However, battery life is highly subjective and depends on the individual user.

I’m not an extreme user and I don’t spend many hours on my iPad. I spend about 10-12 hours outside traveling and working, and the rest at home. I used to charge my iPad Air once a week. My routine with the iPad Air was mostly shopping on e-commerce sites or watching an average of an hour or two of travel vlogs or nature documentaries a day, and sometimes two or two and a half hours of movies. On Fridays.

To test the power of the iPad Air, I tried to play games and even edit videos, as mentioned earlier, Apple’s tablet handles such tasks, and here the battery power is not drastically drained compared to competing Android tablets. This is probably one of the advantages of having complete control over hardware and software.

Also, the new iPad Air supports multiple 5G bands. With this, the device can reach speeds as high as 3.5 Gbps under ideal conditions. The new device also comes with eSIM and Wi-Fi 6 support.

Apple iPad Air (5th generation). Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Final Thoughts- Apple iPad Air (5th Gen) is a really good long-term investment that will serve the whole family at home

Thanks to iPadOS improvements over the past two years, iPad Air models in particular have become more productive than ever. With iPadOS 15.4, which enables universal management, you can easily move objects and notes between your partner’s Mac.

Also, with new enhancements in iMovie, there are even more tools to let your imagination run wild and create exciting short videos.

And the latest iOS 16 brings more features like scene manager for multitasking on iPad Air.

In conclusion, you should consider the iPad Air (5th generation) as a long-term investment and can serve all members of the family, be it working on presentations or playing graphics-rich games, editing videos/photos. to party or watch movies or buy e-commerce apps.

And there is no need to replace it every two years. Given Apple’s software support pattern, the iPad will receive iPadOS updates for at least the next five to six years. Although support has been discontinued, the device works fine and even receives a security software patch from Apple.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cyber security and other personal tech only from DH Tech.


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