The new iPad Air 2022 is greatly improved, but is the upgrade worthwhile for predecessor owners? As a discontinued model, the vintage model is also worth a look.
Is it worth upgrading to the 2022 model?
The iPad Air 4 was released 18 months ago, but with the new iPad Air 5 model there is a significantly improved successor with a significantly faster M1 CPU. For owners of the iPad Air 4, the question now arises whether it is worth upgrading to the latest model. It can no longer be bought from Apple, the price of the iPad Air from 2020 has fallen sharply from retail partners, and you can currently get the tablet from Amazon for less than €579 – so you’re paying nearly €100 less than a new model. After all, the old model can still keep up with many tasks well.
Watch the new 2022 iPad Air 64GB on Amazon
Design: Advantage iPad 2022 (a matter of taste)
The two-generation design is identical on the outside, and the weight is nearly identical: at 461g, the WLAN model is just 3g heavier than the 2020 model. You get a flat, frameless device with a modern look that looks a lot like the iPad Pro-style models. But there are no differences with the iPad Air 2020 in terms of dimensions either. But what is new is the housing colors that we personally like better than the colors of the previous model: silver has been replaced by “Polarstern” or white, instead of light blue and green there is a stronger violet and blue. Pink replaces rose gold. However, this is a matter of taste: some users may prefer the old colors.
Camera: iPad 2022 feature
An important upgrade is the better front camera, which benefits video conferencing. The resolution is higher by 12 megapixels instead of 7 megapixels, instead of the traditional focal length, it is also an ultra-wide-angle camera. You can either use a larger field of view for video conferencing or use the convenient Center Stage function: then you’ll always remain in the center of the image automatically, even if the viewing angle is slightly tilted or there is movement. The rear camera, on the other hand, is identical and still noticeably less powerful than the Pro models.
iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021: Which should I buy?
Performance: iPad 2022 feature
With the iPad Air 2020, Apple is still using the A14 chip, which is also used in the iPhone 12 (Pro). It’s actually a fast and powerful mobile device chip, but it’s clearly overtaken by the new M1 chip from the iPad Air 5, which Apple uses even in desktop devices like the iMac and Mac Mini. While the A14 chip has two high-performance cores and four efficiency cores, it should handle 4GB of RAM. The M1 chip also used in iPad Pro models, on the other hand, has four high-performance cores and four efficient cores and can access 8GB of RAM.
According to the published data, the iPad 5 scored 1706 points in the single-core test, 7218 in the multi-core test in the Geekbench app test, and 21,197 in the Metal-Graphics test. The weaknesses of the iPad Air 2020 are mainly reflected in the graphics performance and the multi-core benchmark. In the single-core test, it still scored a good 1583, but on the multiprocessor test it’s clear at 4210 and it scores about half on the Metal 12447 graphics test. The double the RAM should also give the new model a head start – For gaming, video editing, or upcoming applications such as VR and AR.
Battery life: tie
Battery life appears to be identical. Apple sets the same iPad Air 2022 runtimes as the iPad Air 2020: 10 hours of browsing and 9 hours of browsing over mobile connections. However, upcoming tests still show differences, for example if the powerful M1 chip is used extensively.
There were no changes to the screen, and the same bright 10.9-inch screen with up to 500 nits of brightness seemed to be available. A feature on the iPad for beginners is the flat design and better protection against reflections.
The same extensions are supported. If you want to use both the Pencil and Apple Keyboard cases, you’ll need both a second-generation Apple Pencil and one of Apple’s latest Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio keyboards. Apple also offers a full line of accessories in matching colors with the new housing.
USB-C: iPad feature 2022
Unlike the iPad Pro, the iPad Air offers only a USB-C port instead of Thunderbolt. With the current version, the data transfer rate is at least 2 times higher and you can connect 6K displays. An interesting improvement not only for photographers and videographers.
According to Apple, the data transfer rate is two times higher than the new model.
Cellular: iPad 2022 feature
For an additional cost, the iPad Air is also available in a version with mobile support, and for the first time also with 5G. Although network coverage in Germany is currently moderate, 5G support may be an advantage in the long run. 5G should prevail soon, especially in places like airports or trade fairs.
The iPad 2022 has some great strengths and could outperform the iPad Air 2020 in all respects. So we only recommend that you buy the iPad Air 2020 at high discounts. The upgrade varies if you’re considering switching from a 2020 model to a 2022 model. A new front camera and faster processor are real plus points, but many will benefit only a bit from practical tasks like browsing the web or standard applications. The 2020 iPad has already delivered high performance and not everyone uses an iPad for video conferencing.