iPad Air 4 vs. iPad Air 5: Should you upgrade?

ipad-air-2020-vs-2022.jpg

Image: apple

The newest iPad Air represents the fifth generation of Apple’s lightweight and ultra-portable tablet range. From the outside, the 2022 entry looks and feels very similar Predecessor 2020: the iPad Air 4. From the thin, symmetrical bezels, to the 10.9-inch display, to the cool-to-the-touch aluminum body, I wouldn’t blame you for mistaking one generation for the other.

But the latest iPad Air packs the company’s proven M1 processor, a wider front-facing camera, and the hottest buzzword in tech: 5G. In theory, all three upgrades should make a difference in the everyday iPad experience.

Whether you’re an existing iPad Air user considering an upgrade or a first-timer splitting between the two latest models, I’ve listed the top selling points for each iPad below to help you find the perfect one to make a purchase decision.

specifications

iPad Air 4 (2020)

iPad Air 5 (2022)

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10.9″ Liquid Retina LED

10.9″ Liquid Retina LED

brightness

500 nits

500 nits

Apple Pencil Compatibility

Second generation Apple Pencil

Second generation Apple Pencil

processor

A14 Bionic

M1

connectivity

USB-C, magnetic pins

USB-C, magnetic pins

storage options

64GB, 256GB

64GB, 256GB

camera

12 MP rear camera; 7MP front camera

12 MP rear camera; 12 MP ultra wide front camera

Colours

Space Grey, Silver, Rose Gold, Green and Blue

Space Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple and Blue

battery

10 hours surfing the internet

10 hours surfing the internet

Price

$499

$599


You should buy the iPad Air 5 (2022) if…

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Image: apple

1. You’re ready to embrace Apple’s M1 supremacy

The adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks doesn’t really apply to the iPad Air 5 (2022). Beneath the familiar glass and aluminum exterior is Apple’s eight-core ARM-based CPU, the M1 processor. Apple’s M1 chip, which has been leaked from MacBooks and iMacs, is expected to be up to 60% faster and more powerful than its A-series counterpart – like the A14 in the 2020 iPad Air. That’s a significant step forward when you think about it that both iPads start equally with 8 GB of RAM. While the 2022 iPad Air didn’t get Apple’s newer M2 chip, the M1 is still a powerhouse for graphics-intensive apps like video editors, 3D racing games, augmented reality, and general multitasking.

More: iPad Air (2022) vs iPad Pro (2021): What’s the difference?

2. You want a better front camera and FaceTime experience

Camera performance isn’t usually the main selling point for tablets, let alone iPads. But with this year’s iPad Air, Apple is emphasizing its new and improved front camera.

While the 12-megapixel rear camera remains unchanged, the front now houses a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. With a wider field of view than the previous generation’s 7MP FaceTime HD lens, the new iPad can take advantage of Center Stage, Apple’s webcam feature that tracks and tracks your face as you move. This is especially useful for presentations and FaceTime calls with friends and family.

3. They thrive on 5G

Apple didn’t leave the possibility of 5G up in the air with the latest iPad model. While not mmWave 5G, the sub-6GHz bands on the iPad Air (2022) allow you to dial into the 5th Gen network and access faster download speeds than the iPad Air (2020)’s 4G LTE. You’ll obviously need to have a 5G data plan, have the appropriate nano-SIM (or eSIM) card, and buy the more expensive cellular version of the iPad to take advantage of the faster network. If you qualify and often work remotely, then the 5G-enabled iPad is for you.

Likewise: eSIM vs SIM: what’s the difference?

You should buy the iPad Air 4 (2020) if…

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Image: apple

1. Price comes before anything else

With the release of the new iPad Air, most third-party retailers have flagged the 2020 model as a means of inventory clearance. The winner of this sequence is you, the consumer. At the time of writing this article, the iPad Air 4 (2020) is only available once $469, less if you choose an open market retailer like eBay. That is more than 100 US dollars difference to the new iPad Air 5 (2022), which in a snapshot only convinces with 5G, the front camera and computing power. If one, two, or even all three of those aspects aren’t on your priority list of features, opting for the older iPad Air might be the best match here.

Also, Apple’s worst product has now become one of its best

to examine alternatives

Still on the fence? Consider these other tablets recommended by ZDNET:

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