Performance, Cost Make New iPad Air a Winner

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Matteo Montes de Oca

The new iPad Air 4th Generation has a lot of features that should appeal to consumers.

Apple enthusiasts this October and November are excited to get their hands on the new iPad Air 4th Generation with the new, blazing fast A14 Bionic chip starting at $599.  This is a significant cost decrease compared to the previous iPad Pro lineup with the A12Z Bionic that starts at $799. The new iPad Air (what I call the “budget” iPad), is cheaper but faster and is equipped with a USB-C charging port for fast charging like the iPad Pro lineup.

I personally got the iPad Air 4th Generation in October of this year and I love it. It has the Pro feel, but is less expensive (and who doesn’t love that?). Instead of the standard 64 GB, I purchased the 256 GB version starting at $729 which I highly recommend for the extra storage.

I also purchased the Apple Pencil 2nd generation ($130) which is also pretty cool. It sticks to the side/top of the iPad depending on how you’re holding it, but be aware that the Apple pencil magnets are not strong and are prone to falling off of the iPad. However, I ended up returning the apple pencil because, for me, it had no use at all and was overpriced because on amazon I could get a stylus for $10.

The new iPad Air also packs a 12 megapixel (MP) wide rear camera for photos and a 7 MP camera for FaceTime and selfies. The device can also film in 4K. In addition, Apple included a 20-watt charging brick instead of the 5-watt brick that came with last year’s model, providing 10 straight hours of battery life for surfing the web.  Personally, I believe it would be faster to charge your iPad with a hamster wheel than the 5-watt charger, so it’s good they changed it. 

The new lineup features an array of different colors. (Photo Courtesy of https://www.techradar.com/.)

Apple also provided consumers with five new color options: sky blue, green, rose gold, silver, and space gray. I personally chose the sky blue version, and I like the variety Apple gave us. 

In terms of its screen, the iPad Air 4 comes with a 10.9” liquid retina display that has a true tone and weighs 1 pound (458 grams) for WiFi models, and 1.01 pounds (460 grams) for WiFi & cellular versions. The device has a 2360-by-1640-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (PPI), along with a fingerprint-resistant and anti-glare coating on the screen that you can’t feel or notice at all, and the screen is still glass. I do highly recommend a screen protector and case, though, especially for Apple Pencil users.

The on/off button has a built-in fingerprint scanner which I found a bit too elongated at first, but it quickly grew on me. It also has two stereo speakers, one on the top and one on the bottom. 

The only downside is that the 3.5 mm headphone jack was removed from the new iPad Air, and therefore, so were the earpods from the box. That means users will have to invest some more money in AirPods in order to privately listen to music, movies, etc.

However, overall, the iPad Air 4 is better for the average user than the iPad Pro lineup, especially because it’s faster due to the A14 Bionic chip that it possesses, and because most people don’t need the pro features. Apple’s new lineup of budget devices is solid, and I think the company is heading in the right direction with them as the technology is improving but the prices are decreasing. That’s a win/win for consumers and Apple product fans.