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New iPad Air gets an M1 chip, 5G, and more, to set new tablet standards (Pre-order available)

By Ken Wong - on 11 Mar 2022, 9:28am

New iPad Air gets an M1 chip, 5G, and more, to set new tablet standards (Pre-order available)

Note: This article was first published on 9 March and it's republished now because the iPad Air is available for pre-order today.

The new iPad Air features Apple's M1 processor. Image source: Apple.

The last time we saw a refresh of the iPad Air was in 2020 when we welcomed the 4th Gen model. Powered by Apple’s A14 processor, it came in two storage capacities and either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and cellular models. It also had a redesign with Apple removing the Home button and making it look a lot more premium.

Well, we’ve waited until now for the latest model, and judging from what Apple just unveiled at their Peek Performance event, the wait was worth it.

First off, rather than turning to the A15 chip that they used in the iPhone 13 and updated iPad Mini last year, they went big and went for the M1 processor used in the Mac Mini, MacBook, and iPad Pro.

Thanks to M1, the latest iPad is able to deliver a graphics performance twice as fast as previous versions. This means it can do more, like editing 4K video streams to playing graphics-intensive games.

One of the other changes announced was the new ultra-wide 12MP front camera that supports Center Stage. This uses machine learning to automatically track and follow your head and keep you properly in frame during FaceTime calls.

The Magic Keyboard is just one of the accessories the new iPad can be used with. Image source: Apple.

Connectivity gets a boost with the new iPad Air supporting 5G, and Apple saying that they’ve bumped up the transfer speed of the USB-C port to twice as fast as before to 10Gbps. The port can also connect the iPad Air to an array USB-C based accessories, including cameras, external storage, and displays with up to 6K resolution.

It can also be used with Apple made accessories like the Apple Pencil (2nd generation), Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Smart Folio.

The only mention of battery life was made at the end where it said that the new iPad Air had an all-day battery life.

But not all has changed.

For example, little has changed in terms of design, with the display also unchanged so that the tablet comes with a Liquid Retina display, 500 nits of brightness, and a P3 wide colour gamut. The TouchID is also in the same top button as in the 4th Gen model Air.

All the improvements at a glance.

The new iPad Air is available to order beginning Friday 11 March in 64GB and 256GB configurations and five colours - Space Grey, Pink, Purple, Blue, Starlight. You can check out the colours and soon place orders from Apple's online store. Prices will start from S$879 and are expected to be in stores beginning 18 March. Here are the full configuration and price points:-

iPad Air (2022) Price Points
Connectivity 64GB 256GB
Wi-Fi only S$879 S$1,099
Wi-Fi + Cellular $1,099 S$1,319

All the relevant apple accessories are also available from your local or online Apple store:-

  • Apple Pencil (2nd generation) is available for S$189.
  • The Magic Keyboard for the new iPad Air is available in black and white for S$439.
  • The Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Air is available for S$269.
  • The Smart Folio for the new iPad Air is available for S$119.

Read Next

  1. Apple’s new Mac Studio with M1 Ultra chip and Studio Display monitor is every professional’s dream system
  2. Apple launches iPhone SE (2022) alongside green colourways for iPhone 13 series
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