(exam) – After a 2021 without novelties, finally this 2022 Apple has updated one of its flagship products, the ipad air. At the beginning of March, the company announced the release of a new version that brings back old knowledge, but also notable -and somewhat unexpected- changes.
The new iPad combines the best of two worlds: It has features inherited from the 2020 versionsuch as the screen, the speakers, the rear camera and the fingerprint reader, which joins, in the 2022 version, a M1 processor5G and other attributes that take it to a new level.
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The decision to include the Mac’s M1 processor in a tablet that, let’s face it, isn’t considered the company’s most advanced, was a bold one and, in turn, loved by many users who enjoyed the possibility of being able to have the latest processors for a not so high price.
But, leaving aside the news and the M1 chip, it was time to take it apart. I’ve spent the last few weeks with the new iPad Air gaming, working, video calling, taking photos and the first thing I can say is it was a family experience, but more quickly.
Design: Same exterior, new colors
In terms of design, the new iPad Air is identical to the 2020 model and very similar to the 2018 iPad Pro. The main difference with the model from two years ago is that it comes in a new color range: space gray, starry white (a silver, but slightly more pastel), pink, purple, and blue.
Although the device is large -it has a 10.9-inch screen-, portability is not an issue, because it is light and can be easily carried in a backpack, bag or even by hand. The advantage of its size is that it allows you to enjoy an excellent viewing experience for movies, series, videos and more.
It’s not as easy to use with one hand, but it takes a step back for more screen real estate. In any event, its weight, its thickness and its borders of the screen allow a comfortable use both in vertical mode, to take notes, and horizontally, to watch videos, play games or navigate between applications.
Now let’s talk about the resolution: Like its 2020 version, it keeps the screen LCD liquid retina with a resolution of 2360×1640 (264pp). In addition, it has a maximum brightness of 500nits and a very faithful color reproduction, which allows to see vibrant and sharp images.
A but that one might find in this aspect is that lacks the iPad Pro ProMotion display. ProMotion allows animations, especially scrolling ones, to run smoother, though it’s more useful for people making movies or professional creative projects.
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In terms of sound, it has a less powerful speaker system than the Pro version, however the two speakers on each side deliver a loud and clear stereo experience which has nothing to envy to that of its cousin Pro.
Ultimately, has a fingerprint reader on the power buttonwhich works quite well and is very fast, although personally I prefer FaceID, mainly because the latter is easier to use and because I don’t have to do anything but look at the screen.
Room: Pandemic Requests
Due to the pandemic, many of us have had to work from home, with constant video call meetings. Meetings by Zoom, Meet or other platforms are here to stay and Apple has taken advantage of the opportunity by adding a novelty to this year’s iPad Air: center stage.
In front there is a camera 12 megapixel ultra wide angle which provides support for CenterStage (center of the stage). This technology allows that, during a video call, we are always in the center of the image, even when we move, considerably improving the experience.
CenterStage works like on the latest iPad Pro. I found it very useful, especially in the meetings where I moved around the place, but, when I was seated, on certain occasions, she came very close to my face. However, apart from these certain occasions, I quite liked this technology.
I originally thought center framing could only be used in FaceTime, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that also works on Zoom, Webex and Skype. I haven’t tried it on all the video calling platforms available, but at least on the best known ones and the ones I use the most.
For its part, like the previous model, this device has a 12-megapixel wide lens in back. It takes good photos with crisp colors and no noise, although I don’t really know many people who usually take photos with a large iPad, myself included.
Finally, I must add that this main camera is capable of recording video in 4K at 24/25/30/60fps That is 1080p at 25/30/60fps with stereo sound and also allows you to record slow motion or fast motion videos.
Performance: the jewel in the crown
I explained a lot about the exterior and the camera, but it was time to get to the heart of this apartment. The biggest change of this iPad Air is the arrival of the M1 chip from Apple, the same that uses the Macbook Airthe Macbook Pro and the iPad Pro 11 or 12 inches.
At this point, I want to highlight the versatility of the M1, as this powerful chip is capable of running on both a desktop device and a tablet. The power of the M1 is incredible, in this case thanks to the 8 GB that have RAMwhich are both in 64 GB and 256 GB versions.
I appreciated not having to worry about many apps loading or many browser tabs open at once, as the iPad Air was able to handle that load with ease, opening apps almost instantly and responding quickly to any command.
In more everyday tasks, like studying, watching movies, or just browsing social media, the M1 might not shine as brightly, but is dazzling when performing particularly demanding taskssuch as editing and exporting 4K videos, or using applications with high graphics load.
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I wanted to put it to the test in one of the most demanding games, the Genshin Impact, and the result did not disappoint me, since I was able to play with the graphics at maximum and at 60FPS, without any problem. I also put it to the test editing 4K videos in iMovie and same thing, good performance.
Regarding battery life, as always Apple stood out and, contrary to what I thought, the presence of the M1 chip did not affect it. I was able to use the iPad Air for almost a 12 hour day, with a few breaks, and about 8 hours of more intensive use.
Finally, something that did not particularly please me was the internal memory, since the basic model, the most “economical”, only has 64 GB, which, despite all the possibilities offered by the device, fall somewhat short. Choose model 256 GB it costs more, bringing it closer to the value of the iPad Pro.
The iPad Air 2022 offers a very good experience in terms of autonomy, since it can be used all day without having to recharge it. Additionally, it supports Apple Pencil and the second-generation Magic Keyboard, making it especially useful for designers or creatives.
I don’t think it’s the iPad that can completely replace a laptop or desktop, but it definitely is. can perform many similar tasksespecially when mixed with other accessories, like the Apple Pencil or the detachable keyboard.
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I consider that it is one of the most balanced tablets available on the market, since it can be used in everyday life, for watching TV, reading, playing or studying, but also for working. It has good performance, portability and operating system.
And finally, although this device is externally the same as its 2020 pair, details such as the M1 chip and the front camera with Center Stage, they take it to a new level, getting closer to being “Pro”.
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