It was sung, and so it has been. Before winter leaves us here, we have a new Apple iPad Air. The latest mid-range Apple tablet for the consumer market is armed (surprisingly) with the Cupertino company’s M1 processor and 5G connectivity, while the remaining elements remain unchanged.
With all this, the iPad Air 2022 repeats the impression of its raw performance or screen quality but also leaves us with gaps regarding its place in the Apple equipment ecosystem, with increasingly blurred lines or in what Apple believes we will be able to do with it.
A lot of power, yes, but let’s not compare.
Placing the M1 processor inside the new iPad Air 2022 has been Apple’s main excuse to release a new model this year after the significant design renovation of the previous generation. In the end, the wheel cannot stop.
This already well-known processor that definitively and transversally irrigates the vast catalog of Apple products, regardless of the type we are talking about, is a declaration of the company’s intentions.
We are talking about a chip common to this tablet and the company’s latest consumer computers, which can give us an idea of the raw power level we are talking about. And that this line of processors is the safe bet to have some security at the level of updates (or improvements and integration surprises) in the face of a long useful life of the tablet.
There is no doubt about its capabilities in the experience of using the iPad Air 2022 and in the synthetic tests. Although in performance with a single core, the difference with the A14 that mounted the iPad Air of the previous generation is not very relevant (1707 of the M1 by 1495 of the A14), in multicore, the takeoff of the M1 is evident, with almost 7000 points in GeekBench 5 against the 4,205 we got in our test with the iPad Air (2020).
The raw power of the Apple M1 is fantastic. Still, it would not be as relevant on a day-to-day basis without the 8 GB of RAM that accompany it and with which we have enjoyed one of the best experiences with an iPad in terms of fluidity and work multitasking.
It’s a joy to know that you don’t have to worry about a lot of a load of applications or browser tabs with which you are working simultaneously or the duration of those sessions. Everything stays in its place until you need it. And that, on a tablet, is a blessing for the “open and forget” that its use instinctively asks us.
Apple demonstrates such superiority at the level of processors that it allows itself the luxury of equipping the iPad Air with an M1 processor that will probably even be too big for it.
The internal memory is where, again, and now they go … Apple deserves a good slap. The base model, priced at 679 euros, has only 64 GB of internal memory.
If you come from the iPad world, you will know that as soon as you install high-level games and applications, you will reach too more quickly (if not as soon as you start it) a point of no return in which you must think very carefully about what to install, what to delete to leave space to other apps or be a crack of the organization and management of information that you store, as well as a, convinced of storage and synchronization in the cloud.
The new iPad Air 2022 is so close to the iPad Pro in almost everything that, for some users, it will not be an easy choice.
Add almost 200 euros to reach the other version, 256 GB … or, be careful, just 200 euros to run an iPad Pro with a more balanced internal memory of 128 GB, the same processor, better screen, sound, and cameras in addition to the not inconsiderable Added FaceID.
In all this long talk about the M1 and its power, it is inevitable to think about the possibilities of working with this iPad. However, the iPad, being by far the best tablet operating system, remains stagnant or separates at high speed from the impression curve drawn by both A15-type mobile processors, especially those of the M series.
The power level aspirations of the iPad Air 2022 are already too far ahead of what an iPad can do at the software level.
And it is that having almost everything in an iPad, from screen to power, keyboard, and even touchpad, trying to stand up to a laptop or Surface Pro 8-type device right now is currently very far from the iPad. It is not a question of power, and every day it seems more evident that, on iPads that are not input, iPadOS is not the best candidate to manage so much possibility at the power level.
The second technological milestone that this iPad Air (2022) can boast of is its 5G connectivity, always if we choose this configuration and do not stay exclusively with “Wifi only,” which, by the way, is wifi 6.
It is always good news that looking to the future, and there are improvements that we can squeeze in, even if they currently have little or no relevance. And this iPad Air with M1, a clear candidate to be an iPad with a perfect old age, is excellent news.
Follow full-day autonomy
The arrival of the M1 processor in the bowels of a consumer iPad does not alter one iota the red line that Apple, in a very successful way, must have marked on fire regarding what a tablet must offer the consumer in terms of autonomy.
The iPad Air (2022) has offered us the same satisfactory experience in terms of autonomy as the rest of its siblings, whether they are older or younger. Half an hour up or down, depending on the more specific use you give the tablet, the new iPad Air maintains an autonomy that, for many users, can mean a day’s work.
Ipad Air 2022 M1 Review Engadget Screen Resource
With heavy and varied use, the iPad Air (2022) can be kept away from the charger for around 7 hours based on our tests. Use more content consumption and fewer connected accessories; you can go above those figures.
What does not change is not the standard charger that comes with the iPad, 20W. The fast charge, which this tablet boasts, leaves the equipment ready in less than two and a half hours.
It also supports the second-generation Pencil, making it an exciting device for designers or creatives, especially if you combine it with a Mac.
Adding the Pencil and the Magic Keyboard to the elemental iPad Air raises costs above 1,150 euros.
The problem with these Apple accessories for its range of more ambitious iPads is the price that the set is capable of reaching. In the case of this iPad, the basic model plus an advanced keyboard and pencil goes beyond 1,150 euros.