iPad Air 4 (2020) Review and Verdict

Why go Pro when the Air is this good?

OUR VERDICT

The iPad Air for 2020 is a phenomenally well-made tablet that improves upon the last-gen version in quite a lot of ways, fixing points with that tablet’s dated design and equipment. The bounce in value will make this a harder promote for some, however the iPad Air for 2020 is so spectacular that chances are you’ll have bother choosing between it and the iPad Pro.

FOR

  • All-screen design
  • Lots of power
  • Adventurous color choices

AGAINST

  • 64GB storage is limited
  • Higher price than last-gen
  • Selfie camera could be better

Two-minute review

The iPad Air 4 (2020) doesn’t carry something revolutionary to Apple’s tablet vary, however a whole lot of the options that had been beforehand unique to the iPad Pro have trickled all the way down to this way more reasonably priced, and subsequently extra engaging, system,

While this is a tablet that’s unlikely to tempt power-hungry customers away from the iPad Pro, it brings a whole lot of what makes that series of tablets nice to a less expensive system, albeit one that isn’t as low cost as the usual iPad. Finally, the iPad Air 4 (2020) is the center selection between each extremes of Apple’s tablet lineup.

Starting with the plain dangerous information, Apple has elevated the value of the iPad Air during the last technology by $100 / £100 / AU$120 to $599 / £579 / AU$899. But the additional spec you’re getting right here, in addition to the improved design, make that an comprehensible transfer from the corporate, and it feels justified.

Everything feels a contact extra refined on the iPad Air 4, a lot so that it’s now troublesome to justify choosing an iPad Pro if you happen to like this design however aren’t determined for a fast-refreshing 120Hz show.

iPad Air 4 price and release date

The iPad Air 4 launch date is confirmed for October 23. You can pre-order the tablet now at Apple’s web site, and we anticipate to see different retailers providing it quickly.

The iPad Air 4 value begins at $599 / £579 / AU$899. That’s fairly a hike over its predecessor, however as we’ve talked about you’re getting an enormous specs jump right here that arguably justifies the rise.

It’s obtainable in quite a lot of configurations, with either 64GB or 256GB of storage, and with LTE connectivity or simply Wi-Fi – see beneath for a full listing of spec and value choices.

iPad Air (2020) costs
Region 64GB 64GB and LTE 256GB 256GB and LTE
US $599 $729 $749 $879
UK £579 £709 £729 £859
AU $899 $1,099 $1,129 $1,329

For reference, the iPad Air 3 started at $499 / £479 / AU$779 for the Wi-Fi only mannequin with 64GB storage, and $649 / £629 / AU$999 for 256GB.

Design

The design of the iPad Air has so much in common with the iPad Pro vary. The home button has been dropped in favor of an all-screen design to make it extra in keeping with Apple’s Pro merchandise.

And, certainly, the iPad Air 4 feels much more premium than the iPad Air 3. That slate was criticized for its dated-feeling design, and it seems to be like Apple took discover. We’ve used this tablet alongside the brand new iPad 2020, which sports activities the extra conventional iPad look, and it’s remarkable how a lot the Air feels different to that pill thanks to its straight edges and all-screen entrance.

There are nonetheless thick bezels around the surface of the show, as there are on the iPad Pro, however general it seems like an enormous step up in comparison with the design of last year’s Air.

We discovered this to work nicely all through our testing time – our thumb fell naturally on this spot, so little effort was required to achieve the button. On the right-hand fringe of the tablet are quantity up and down buttons, and there’s a magnetic connector below these to which you connect the Apple Pencil stylus for charging.

There’s a second Smart Connector on the rear facet, and you should use this to attach Apple’s Smart Keyboard, in addition to different merchandise, to your slate. The iPad Air Four options assist for brand spanking new equipment, together with the second-gen Apple Pencil, which is one other important improve.

If you’re searching for a tablet that you should use with a stylus or keyboard in sure eventualities, the iPad Air (2020) has you lined. We discovered the Smart Keyboard to be nice for phrase processing, whereas the Apple Pencil is helpful if you wish to sketch in your tablet, take notes, or simply signal paperwork in your personal handwriting.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the tablet weighs 458 grams, whereas the LTE-ready version is barely heavier at 460 grams. The dimensions of each models are 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm.

Display

The iPad Air 4’s display

The iPad Air 4 is available in one measurement, with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina show – this feels just like the optimum measurement for a tablet to us, as you’re getting a big display, however one that doesn’t really feel gargantuan once you’re holding the system with each fingers.

The resolution is impressive at 2360 x 1640, which equates to 264 pixels per inch. We discovered the display to be implausible for watching video, with vibrant colours and a strong peak brightness, so you’ll enjoy a premium viewing expertise when watching Netflix or other streaming providers.

Specs, performance and camera

The iPad Air 4 has a few of the newest and finest internals obtainable in a tablet, and on paper it even beats the iPad Pro, with the newest A14 chipset powering the brand new Air product, the place the most recent Pro has the previous-gen A13 processor.

We discovered the A14 Bionic chip to work phenomenally nicely, with the iPad Air (2020) opening apps in report instances and simply dealing with multitasking and different complicated duties.

We don’t understand how a lot RAM is contained in the iPad Air 4 – that’s not a stat that Apple reveals about its new merchandise – however we hope to learn this when somebody is in a position to do a full teardown of the tablet.

Your storage choices are 64GB or 256GB, and this can be a difficulty for individuals who want plenty of house however can’t stretch to the value of the extra capacious mannequin.

64GB isn’t sufficient house for most individuals on a tablet as of late – and there’s no microSD assist right here, so it’s a troublesome ask to go for this over a tablet that has 128GB of space or more.

It’s additionally value noting that if you happen to’re extra of an influence person even 256GB will not be sufficient house; some iPad Pro merchandise provide as much as 1TB of house onboard, but it’s not an option on the Air 4, and can be a deal-breaker for some.

On the rear of the iPad Air 4 is a 12MP shooter with an f/1.8 aperture which serves as  your main digicam, and which additionally is available in helpful when you’re using options akin to augmented actuality.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be utilizing this digicam to take ‘serious’ images, but it’ll do you simply effective if you happen to’re trying to take images to add to social media or different apps.

On the entrance of the tablet is a 7MP selfie digicam that we discovered to be passable, nevertheless it isn’t significantly spectacular from Apple contemplating that a whole lot of Android tablets now provide higher cameras for front-facing video.

Software

The iPad Air (2020) is working Apple’s newest iPadOS 14 software out of the field, and it’s arguably the most effective software you’ll discover on a tablet – Android isn’t as well-optimized for tablets as Apple’s devoted software.

All main apps are optimized for the tablet’s show, with just some choices, akin to Instagram, not working in addition to you’d anticipate. iPadOS 14 additionally brings widgets and different new options to the tablet.

Battery life

We’ve but to find out how massive the battery within the iPad Air 4 is – once more, it’s not a spec that Apple typically shares – however battery efficiency appears pretty much as good as from earlier iPads, and we discovered we might use the tablet for around 10 hours earlier than having to achieve for the charger.

If you go for the LTE-ready version of the iPad Air 4 you’ll seemingly find the battery drains barely quicker once you’re related to cellular networks, as using these might be extra of a drain than utilizing Wi-Fi.

This isn’t the best battery life we’ve ever seen on a tablet, but it’s nonetheless very good, and most customers needs to be perfectly happy.

You get a 20W charger within the field – Apple has stopped together with chargers within the field with the iPhone 12 vary, however has chosen not to take action right here – and you’ll discover that can cost up your tablet faster than an iPad Air 3. We found it was in a position to cost the tablet from zero to 27% in half an hour.

Should you buy the iPad Air 4?

Buy it if…

You’ve got an older iPad and you want an improve

The iPad Air 4 doesn’t introduce a whole lot of new options to the iPad household, nevertheless it does make a few of the finest present options, such as the refined design and Apple Pencil assist, extra accessible. If you’ve bought an ageing iPad, this may be the right selection on your subsequent tablet.

You want some top-end spec

This tablet isn’t going to be pretty much as good for multitasking as an iPad Pro, however if you happen to don’t want the easiest efficiency, however nonetheless need a respectable slug of energy, you need to go for the Air 4 over the usual iPad or an older iPad system.

You need a colorful tablet

It’s uncommon to discover a tablet that is available in a coloration that isn’t silver or gray, and the iPad Air 4 is the primary tablet that Apple has provided in quite a lot of colours for a while. If you need a slate with a distinct look, the iPad Air is likely made for you.

Don’t buy it if…

You need the last word iPad experience

That title nonetheless belongs to the iPad Pro vary, which gives a barely higher expertise in quite a lot of key areas. That 120Hz show can be necessary to some folks, and also you’re not going to get that expertise with the iPad Air.

You want a cheaper iPad

The iPad Air 4 isn’t as reasonably priced as some would have hoped for, and this isn’t an alternative choice to the corporate’s least expensive tablets. The least expensive Air Four mannequin is the 64GB variant, and that gained’t be sufficient storage for lots of people.

You want heaps and many storage

The iPad Air vary doesn’t include a 512GB or 1TB storage possibility, because the iPad Pro does. If you need to fill your tablet filled with apps, games and extra, chances are you’ll have to go Pro, though 256GB needs to be sufficient for most individuals.

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