New iPad Air: As Light as Air, as Powerful as a Laptop

New iPad Air: As Light as Air, as Powerful as a Laptop
Image: Apple

Apple has launched another iPad, this time refreshing the iPad Air and slapping a ‘5’ on the end of its name. It has a new M1 chip that the company is touting as up to twice as fast.

This M1 processor is the same chip that is found in the company’s laptops. The selling point from Apple this morning during its Peek Performance event was that the new iPad Air 5 is twice as fast as the similarly priced Windows laptop. Bold of you to assume we do laptop things on our tablets, Mr Cook.

“We love it for being thin and powerful, now we’re taking its performance to the next level,” CEO Tim Cook said.

The new iPad Air

This new device is pretty, it comes in four colours (space grey, starlight, pink, purple and a new blue tone) and will be available in 64GB and 256GB models. It features a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with 3.8 million pixels and promising 500 nits of brightness, full lamination, a P3 wide colour gamut, True Tone and an antireflective screen coating.

Apple is promising all day battery life with this thing. Challenge accepted, Apple.

iPad Air 5th gen specs

The iPad Air 5 also gets a beefy camera upgrade – 12 MP ultra-wide in fact, also boasting Centre Stage (a feature that automatically keeps users centred in the frame as they move around for even more engaging video call). A 12 MP Wide camera is also featured on the back of the iPad Air.

It also boasts ultra-fast 5G. Apple says that the iPad Air can reach peak speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps “in ideal conditions”. Are you familiar with Australia, Apple? It also has eSIM and Wi-Fi 6 support.

Apple reckons the USB-C port will provide up to 2x faster transfer speeds. We’re glad they’re sticking to USB-C charging for the iPad Air. The 8-core CPU delivers up to 60 per cent faster performance, and the 8-core GPU delivers up to 2x faster graphics performance compared to the previous iPad Air.

Thankfully, the 5th gen iPad Air is compatible with the Apple Pencil (2nd generation), we’d have thrown a table if they made us buy a third fancy stylus just to use the darn thing. It’s also compatible with Magic Keyboard.

iPad Air 5
Image: Apple

iPad Air pricing and availability

The new iPad Air is available to order beginning Saturday, 12 March, and will be in stores from Friday, 18 March.

Wi-Fi models of iPad Air are available with a starting price of $929 RRP and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $1,159 RRP.

This article has been updated since it was first published.