Review: The iPad Air 5 remains the most versatile Apple tablet

Review: The iPad Air 5 remains the most versatile Apple tablet

Equipped with an M1 processor, a much better video-conferencing camera, and 5G as a cellular option, the iPad Air 5 absolutely delivers the power you need to get work done like a pro — without the bells, whistles, and price tag of an iPad Pro.

iPad Pro or iPad Air?

Apple’s decision to pump an M1 processor inside the latest iPad Air means comparisons with iPad Pro are  inevitable, given the company’s pro tablets now host the same chip. What makes that decision a good one is that Apple has a steady supply of these processors, and has managed to ensure they ship, which has been a problem elsewhere in the industry over the last year or so.

The M1 chip is arguably the best silicon available right now. Not only is it highly performant, it also scales all the way from the iPad Air to the Mac Studio, stopping at multiple stations in between. In the future, it will sit inside a high-end desktop equipped with a vast cooling system and we’ll finally discover what the top end of its performance might be, shaming the competition.

What this means is that while the processor may not be accomplishing everything it is capable of when it sits inside an iPad Air, it is still more efficient with more performance per watt and 10-hour battery life. If you migrate from a fourth-generation iPad Air to this new model, Apple promises 60% faster processor and twice the graphics performance.

The USB-C port offers up to doubled transfer speeds.

Is it true you’ll get better performance?

I think it is. My experience with an iPad Air (loaned to me by Apple) bears it out. But what about the data? 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.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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