If you’re a fan of Apple’s products, you’re well aware of its tablet line “iPad Air.” For 2022, Apple has launched a brand-new iPad Air that keeps a lot of what consumers have grown to love but upgrades features and design aspects to meet the growing demands of its audience.
We’re going to go over each of the features that make the iPad Air (2022) a great upgrade or starting point for those new to the Apple brand, and also a few things that both groups really need to consider before committing to a purchase.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this iPad Air 2022 review:
- Design and Build
- Battery Life and Charging
- Notable Mentions
- Who is the iPad Air 2022 for?
Let’s get started.
iPad Air Design and Build
The design of the iPad Air 2022 is one Apple fans are going to be extremely familiar with. From the front, it looks just like an iPad Pro 11. Visually, it features the same overall design them. It has the same crisp yet simple lines and camera placement, and everything else is practically the same.
The real difference in the 2022 version is that Apple truly maximized the space on the unit to accommodate a larger screen.
There is almost no bezel on the face of the unit, which allows the screen to reach from edge to edge, with only a millimeter or two of bezel lending the unit structural integrity and a bit of a buffer if you drop the iPad.
The dimensions are also the same as the 2020 model that came before. It’s an extremely thin unit that’s only a few millimeters thick and just shy of 11 inches in length.
This makes it compatible with the accessories you still have hanging around from your iPad Air 2020, but we’ll cover that more specifically later on.
On the top of the unit, you’ll find the fingerprint identification pad, and the USB-C port used for charging and connectivity purposes.
The screen used for the 2022 version is a 10.9-inch, 500-nit display, and the unit features both front and rear-facing cameras.
You can choose from Sky Blue, Rose Gold, Green, purple, and space color options.
You get two storage options with the iPad Air 2022.
First, there’s the basic storage model that features 64GB of onboard storage. This is more than enough for casual usage when you only really need to save photographs, browse the web, and maybe write up a text document every once in a while.
However, more serious users will want to go with the 256GB model. This does cost more, but it’s not too high of an upcharge, considering the extra flexibility it grants. If you’re going to be using a lot of productivity apps, gaming, or doing any power-user tasks, this is the storage option you’ll want to aim for.
Of course, expanding the storage available is a problem, but there is a saving grace. Like most Apple products, the iPad Air 2022 relies heavily on the cloud, and you can, in a way, expand your storage indefinitely with cloud storage services from Apple and other companies.
The only issue with that is that anything running from the hardware, such as apps and games, will still rely on your onboard storage. So, consider your usage before settling on either model.
The OS that the iPad Air 2022 uses is where it takes a little bit of a hit. It uses the Apple OS 15.7, which will likely update in the coming months, and that has been a little controversial.
Apple’s OS systems have been regaled as the most user-friendly operating systems available for years. Their simple motion-based controls and easy-to-navigate menus are a hit among casual users and power users alike.
However, this latest iteration has caused a bit of confusion and left some users a bit jilted. Menu organization has changed in some odd ways and made finding key features for power users a bit frustrating. Overall, it hasn’t received the same applause as previous Apple operating systems.
That doesn’t mean that it’s a poor operating system, though. It’s extremely snappy, and it’s lean. You shouldn’t experience any hang-ups whatsoever unless they’re on the app end of things.
Casual users, who aren’t experimenting with non-Apple apps and trying to pull off complicated processes, shouldn’t experience any problems.
Of course, this software issue naturally disappears with time, too. When Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, everyone has a problem with it.
After they’ve had time to adjust to the changes and find everything, the complaints tend to cease. We expect the same sort of situation to take play here. That, or Apple will address some of the most common complaints in one of its schedules patches.
iPad Air Performance
This is one of the biggest changes is the addition of a “Pro-Level” M1 processor. The previous iteration of the iPad Air did have an M1 that performed admirably, but this new upgrade is sure to impress.
It’s faster, more reliable, and overall, it provides a better experience for users of all kinds.
The new upgrade to the M1 processor has already proven to load apps more quickly, handle multi-tasking more efficiently, and keep things running smoothly without the previous version’s minor hiccups.
It does this thanks to its octa-core format and 3.2Ghz processing speed, along with 4x Firestorm technology built in.
Additionally, the M1 processor has 8GB of dedicated RAM to provide more temporary storage, leading to faster load times and fewer technological bottlenecks.
Everything else in the 2022 unit is on-par with the hardware used in the previous version, and users of that model can expect everything to be as reliable as it was before.
iPad Air Camera
The camera on the 2022 version is both a major pro and a persistent drawback.
It’s a 12 mega-pixel front-facing camera with an extra-wide lens, and it features the Center Stage technology that has set Apple’s mobile device cameras apart from most other options on the market.
This camera is capable of taking panorama photographs up to 63 megapixels, and overall, it provides professional-quality captures and high-quality recordings.
This is nothing new to previous Apple users, as the company has been at the front of the pack in terms of camera technology for a long time.
However, there is a drawback to this camera. It’s awkwardly placed by most people’s standards. It’s perfectly fine for selfies or recordings that don’t require you to immediately find the perfect angle, but it takes a hit when you’re doing something on the spot.
The best example of this is when you’re trying to have a professional video chat. It’s alright for you to be informal when you’re video chatting with your mom on the weekends. However, if you’re using it professionally, you can’t afford to be bouncing out of view, falling out of center frame, etc.
Suppose business calls and similar serious video chat needs aren’t your main concern. In that case, you’ll be happy to know it features Smart HDR 3, Focus Pixel, 5x zoom, geotagging, and more to improve your photography sessions.
Battery Life and Charging
Of course, one of the biggest concerns of any tablet user is the unit’s battery life. If that’s not up to par, it’ll spend more time on the charger than it does in your hands. Luckily, Apple has always been pretty good about this, and the iPad Air 2022’s battery is no different.
The battery is a 7600mAh battery capable of lasting for roughly 10 hours while performing casual tasks such as video streaming, web browsing, etc.
Of course, more strenuous tasks that force the unit to consume more power will lower that battery life a bit; most notably, gaming and high-end computing will cause that.
This is a great battery for a tablet in this price range, but there is one drawback; like basically every Apple product, it is non-removable.
That means that if the unit gets old and the battery expires, you’ll need to take it to an approved Apple repair service to have it replaced. You can’t just buy a new one on Amazon and pop it in.
The iPad Air 2022 uses a basic USB-C connection for hardwired connectivity. This is an industry-standard at this point, and it has proven to be extremely reliable.
However, this isn’t the only connectivity feature supported by the iPad Air. You will also enjoy wireless 5G internet connections, the latest Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity featuring low-energy consumption features, and dual-band internet functions.
Built-in software allowing for wireless data transfers can completely eliminate the need for the USB-C port outside of charging.
There is a drawback, though. While the port is USB-C, it does require Apple’s proprietary cable. So, you won’t be able to use an existing USB-C cord from other, non-Apple, devices if your cable is damaged.
This is nothing new to existing Apple users, and because Apple’s cords are known for being durable, it’s not a major concern. It is worth considering, though.
Whether you’re an audiophile who wants to hear every tiny detail of your favorite tracks, a gamer who doesn’t want to miss a single audio cue, or a casual user who likes crisp audio while listening to YouTube videos, the unit’s audio system is important.
Luckily, the iPad Air 2022 does come packed with the same high-quality stereo speakers included with the previous model for listening without any sort of peripheral, and they offer a fairly high level of audio fidelity.
The unit is also compatible with AirPods, Beats, and any other wireless headphones that will allow you to increase the audio quality to your liking, albeit with a peripheral device.
We’ve covered the core of what the iPad Air 2022 has to offer, but there are some neat details that don’t really fall into any of those categories.
Here’s a brief look.
Apple Magnet Backing
Apple offers a number of accessories that attach via a unique magnetic connection on the back, and the iPad Air 2022 has this by default.
It can be used to attach the iPad Air to Apple’s wireless keyboards, stands, protective cases, and more to help you make the most out of your iPad Air without any sort of fuss.
Same Dimensions as Previous Model
If you purchased the previous iPad Air model and picked up a bunch of accessories for it, you’re in luck. Because the iPad Air 2022 features the same magnetic backing and dimensions, it will fit practically every accessory made for the previous model.
This means that if you’re just looking to upgrade to the newest model, you won’t have to start collecting all your favorite peripherals all over again.
Dependence on Proprietary Tech and Service
This is one major drawback to any Apple product. If you’re a longstanding Apple fan, you can ignore this entirely, because you’re already okay with it.
However, new users should consider that across its entire company, Apple is heavily focused on proprietary peripherals, charging cables, and even repair services.
You’re not buying a product that you’re going to be able to work on at home and buy replacement parts for, and the majority of peripherals you buy will need to be made by Apple to work right.
It’s not a big deal because Apple’s products are all reliable, but it is something to consider if you like to shop around a bit before buying peripherals or weighing your repair options.
Who Is the iPad Air 2022 for?
The iPad Air 2022 is for two main types of people. First, there’s the audience Apple has always appealed to; casual tech users who don’t want to fuss with complicated OS systems and maintenance.
If you’ve never owned a tablet before, this is a great starting point, and you’ll pick up on it almost immediately.
Then, there are those who are already sold on Apple’s products, and you just need to upgrade to a newer model to boost your productivity.
The iPad Air 2022 adds a lot of performance capabilities, and it leaves more room for power users to really crank out some productivity.
With that being said, if you’re experienced with more complex tablet setups, or you’re a tinkerer who wants to really dig into everything a tablet can do or upgrade it on your own, Apple isn’t the company you should turn to. The use of proprietary systems for every little thing really hampers your ability to tinker.