the iPad Pro that does not say its name

Apple unveils its new iPad Air, which uses the processor usually dedicated to Apple computers, as well as iPad Pro. A formidable machine, which is not for everyone.

What’s really left to the iPad Pro? This is the question we ask ourselves when using the new iPad Air, unveiled by Apple at the start of 2022. Sold from 699 euros (compared to 899 euros for the iPad Pro), it integrates the processor M1. The same as that of Apple’s high-powered computers, as well as its “Pro” stamped tablet. With the bonus, probably the most successful design since the beginning of the range.

Strengths of iPad Air (2022)

The most beautiful iPad

At Apple, design is essential, and colors too. For several months, the manufacturer has taken care to decline its products in multiple tones. The iPad Air is no exception to this rule, with three colors (pink, mauve and blue) in addition to the traditional gray and silver. A first way to differentiate from the iPad Pro, which only exists in two versions of gray.

L'iPad Air (2022) d'Apple
L’iPad Air (2022) d’Apple © Apple

The lines of the iPad Air, version 2022, do not change compared to the 2020 version. These were already inspired by the latest iPhones, with flat edges that promote grip. Unlike the entry-level iPad, the iPad Air is therefore deprived of a physical main button, for navigation again very close to that of the most recent iPhones.

Without Face ID (Apple’s facial recognition system, reserved for the “Pro” model), the tablet can count on Touch ID, the fingerprint recognition system, intelligently moved to the power button.

Unlimited Power

Since the beginnings of its “house” computer processors, Apple has demonstrated all the technical prowess of which its machines are capable. Rather than using the A15 chip, which equips the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, but also the new iPhone SE, the manufacturer integrates the M1 chip, reserved until then for the iPad Pro and the latest MacBooks.

In fact, the iPad Air therefore has stratospheric power, which not only exceeds that of all competing tablets, but probably that of all PCs under 2,500 euros. Enough to meet all needs, including for 3D renderings, as well as photo and video editing.

L'iPad Air (2022) d'Apple
L’iPad Air (2022) d’Apple © Apple

A great screen

If Apple still does not opt ​​for OLED screens for its tablets, the brand demonstrates that we can do great things with LCD technology, more classic. The level of brightness offered by the iPad Air is sufficient to be able to enjoy it in any conditions, including in very good weather, without being too bothered by reflections.

The screen size (10.9 inches) is equivalent to that of the smallest iPad Pro (11 inches), and larger than that of the “classic” iPad (10.2 inches). In a nutshell, this is probably the format that should suit the greatest number.

The arrival of 5G

With 4G, all tablets have offered for several years – as an option – the possibility of taking advantage of the mobile network by inserting a SIM card. Logically, this strategy continues with the deployment of 5G.

The iPad Air is the first tablet from Apple to be compatible with this new network. Unfortunately, at a very significant additional cost: it takes at least 869 euros to take advantage of it.

The weaknesses of the iPad Air (2022)

Limited storage

Apple offers two versions of its iPad Air: a 64 GB version and a 256 GB version (from 869 euros). In 2022, it would have been nice for the entry-level model to offer at least 128 GB of storage, but also more than 256 GB. This constraint seems to be out of step with the impressive performance allowed by the M1 chip: being able to handle files smooth 4K video is good. Being able to store them in quantity is better.

A high price

As often with Apple, the products are far from the most affordable on the market. Regarding the iPad Air, the price of 699 euros seems to be appropriate. Problem: it can quickly climb, even if we are satisfied with the 64 GB version.

As mentioned above, adding compatibility with 5G takes the iPad Air to at least 869 euros. It is then necessary to count 135 euros for the stylus (Apple Pencil), if one wishes to use the tablet to draw or take notes.

To use this iPad as a good complement to a laptop, the “Magic Keyboard” (with an excellent physical keyboard and a trackpad) is a marvel. But this marvel has a significant cost: 339 euros.

L'iPad Air (2022) et le Magic Keyboard d'Apple
L’iPad Air (2022) et le Magic Keyboard d’Apple © Apple

Conclusion

For those who are able to pay the price, the iPad Air version 2022 is a machine that borders on perfection, and which should benefit from a great longevity. Its screen is remarkable, its design irreproachable and its power unbeatable. Three essential points for a tablet. Without any limit in uses, it should appeal to many users with specific needs (3D or video editing, for example).

Only the most demanding still have good reason to switch to the Pro version, which has Face ID, a dual camera module, larger storage capacities and even better display quality.

On the other hand, this iPad Pro is far from being the best choice for those who want a family tablet, to be content to browse the Web, consult social networks and watch videos. For this, the price / quality ratio is without hesitation on the side of the classic iPad, which fulfills these functions at a much more affordable price of 389 euros.

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