The price is: $599
Screen size: 10.9 inches
Weight: 1.02 lb (461 g)
Memory: 8 GB as standard
Battery life: Up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing
Storage: 64 GB and 256 GB options.
Warranty: 1 year, extendable with AppleCare.
Operating system: iPadOS 15 (compatible with iPadOS 16)
Display: 10.9-inch liquid retina display, 2360×1640 resolution
CPU: Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)
Graphics: The M1 features an 8-core GPU
Ports: Thunderbolt/USB 4 port
By comparison, the iPad Air feels like the “Golden Child” of Apple’s 2022 tablet lineup. The iPad Pro is more expensive, the iPad 2021 looks outdated, and even the excellent iPad Mini won’t get all the features of iPadOS 16. Undoubtedly one of them Best tablets for students.
It also costs $599, but 64GB seems a bit stingy, especially if the iPad Air is supposed to be your primary device. Still, it’s impressive it’s possible be your primary device—the built-in M1 chip found in many Apple laptops and iMacs means you get a lot of power per watt for impressive performance and efficiency.
All of this packed into a device that weighs 1.02 pounds, the only question mark is what you actually want to do with it. Sure, it can replace your laptop, but with extras like Apple’s Magic Keyboard, it costs a lot more.
iPad Air M1: Setup and Usage
Apple devices, from iPhones to iPads and Macs, all follow the same setup template; turn on the device, connect to WiFi, sign in to your Apple ID, and configure any biometric security.
It’s the same with the iPad Air M1, and it won’t last long — and it involves using the TouchID sensor built into the sleep/wake button.
iPad Air M1: Design, features and specifications
At first glance, it’s fair to say that the iPad Air looks similar to the more expensive iPad Pro. It has a slightly smaller display, but much of the design language is the same between the two—there’s a volume rocker and an Apple Pencil attachment and charging port on one side, and a wake/sleep button (iPad) on the top. The Air version has a TouchID button).
The bezels are also thin, with rounded corners on the outer edges and the display itself. There is a 12MP front camera and a 12MP rear camera.
At the bottom there is a USB-C port for charging, the ability to connect accessories and a pair of speaker grilles. The iPad Air comes in space gray, star (not white), pink, purple, and blue.
iPad Air M1: Specifications and performance
The big addition to the iPad Air this time around is the M1 chip, so it’s worth focusing on that here. It’s a powerful chip that packs a CPU, GPU, and more into a single piece of silicon. This means moving data faster, but more efficiently than spreading it between components.
A result? The iPad Air with the M1 still boasts 10 hours of battery life, but it’s got an incredible amount of power under the hood. Whether you’re using Google Docs, calendaring, email, and a task manager, it can work during your workday, but at the end of the day, there’s plenty of energy left for play. It includes games like Genshin Impact and Civilization VI.
It runs iPadOS 15 out of the box, but unlike the cheaper and smaller iPad and iPad Mini, it gets all the features of iPadOS 16. So you can connect it to an external display, run a stage manager, and have a desktop-like experience.
For the full experience, you may be tempted to invest in a Magic Keyboard accessory. The keyboard itself is great, but it’s pricey, and there’s an argument to be made that it puts the iPad Air on par with the M1 and MacBook Air. Apple Pencil (second generation) is also supported.
iPad Air M1: Price
At $599, the iPad Air M1 is a fantastic value (if still incurring the infamous “Apple Tax” for a premium device). Still, the biggest problem with that price tag is the 64GB of storage that’s attached to it—if you’re a serious iPad user, you’ll bump into that sooner than you like, especially with larger photo libraries.
Sure, Apple offers a larger version, but $749 isn’t a huge deal. A broke customer might argue that this is instead a way to push the Pro, which starts at $799 for the 128GB 11-inch version, but as we’ve said in this review, it’s a very expensive tablet itself.
iPad Air M1 Review – User Reviews
With 4.8 stars out of 5 (opens in new tab) With an average star rating on Amazon, the iPad Air M1 is certainly popular. Many have noted that the Air is incredibly fast (including charging it) and that the Apple Pencil is well worth it if your use case demands it.
In fact, as we mentioned in this article, many are wondering if the iPad Pro feels a little overpowered as a result.
Should you buy the iPad Air M1?
Your iPad Air M1 usage depends on your tablet needs. It’s as powerful as a laptop, costs less than Apple’s cheapest MacBook, and is a great all-rounder for media consumption and work, as well as demanding gaming.
If your daily life could be improved by a $300 magic keyboard, we suggest looking for a MacBook instead.
If this product is not for you
If cash is tight, the iPad Pro has a better 11-inch screen, double the storage, and FaceID for unlocking — but it’s a significant price jump, especially if you want to add a Magic Keyboard or Apple Pencil.
If you’re looking for a more affordable tablet, the 10.2-inch iPad 2021 is a great option. Its design is understated, and it lacks the pizzazz and slim bezels of the iPad Air’s screen, but it still runs iPadOS and all your apps — but it doesn’t get all the features of this year’s iPadOS 16.