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Apple this week came out with new iPad Pro and iPad Air models. The iPad Pro has a next-generation M4 chip and an OLED display so it got much of the attention, but Apple added a whole new size to the Air lineup to offer a more affordable way to get a bigger screen. We spent some time with the new iPad Air to see what's new and whether it's worth buying.


The smaller version of the iPad Air measures in at 11 inches, and the larger version is 13 inches, the same as the iPad Pro. Prior to now, the only way to get a 13-inch tablet was to buy the Pro, but the new Air is a much more affordable option.

Pricing starts at $599 for the 11-inch version and $799 for the 13-inch version, while the 11-inch iPad Pro is priced starting at $999 and the 13-inch iPad Pro is $1,299. So the 13-inch Air is a full $500 cheaper. You're losing out on the OLED display, ProMotion, compatibility with the new Magic Keyboard, and the M4 chip, but not too much else.

The M2 chip in the iPad Air is still super fast and able to handle anything you might want to do on an iPad, and while the display doesn't have the brightness or the contrast of the OLED display, it's good enough for almost everyone.

Confusingly, the iPad "Air" name no longer really fits because the iPad Pro models are now thinner and lighter than the Air models, so you can also expect a little bit of extra bulk going with the Air line. The iPad Air can only be used with the prior-generation Magic Keyboard, but it does work with the new Apple Pencil Pro that has haptic feedback and a gyroscope for barrel roll.

At $799, the 13-inch iPad Air paired with a keyboard is probably the best iPad for those who want a computer replacement, given its size, speed, and price point. The 11-inch model is ideal if you want something smaller and more affordable that's still powerful, but for those who just want a simple tablet for watching movies or browsing the web, even the Air might be too much tablet.

What do you think of the revamped iPad Air and Apple's new iPad lineup? Let us know in the comments below.

Article Link: Hands-On With the New M2 iPad Air
 

jwhazel

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2005
225
92
I can’t speak for the 5th gen, but the new Air has been a very noticeable QoL improvement over the 4th gen and priors. Nothing different about it physically. But software, especially Safari, is noticeably snappier. I‘ll chalk this up to not just the cpu but the extra ram.
 

ub8jayuk

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2022
2
2
I came from a 2020 Air and it’s a nice bump in performance for me. Not a gamer but what I’ve used it for it’s not skipped a beat.
 
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Gezellig

macrumors newbie
Apr 9, 2022
10
21
Had to send back my 13inch Air because of the infamous loose-wobbly TouchID button.
I’ll patiently wait about 2 weeks for a replacement.

From what I saw and tested, it’s gonna be a new personal fave.
 
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Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2006
2,424
7,373
Ireland
11" without a keyboard case is the way to go for an iPad (mini lovers choose mini), unless you are a digital artist with a specialised use case (then you've two size options and a choice to make), or an old person who cares more about simplicity than features. If you want a larger screen IMO just get a Mac. Unless you are an artist or you really need an iPad for some specific reason, a Mac is the better option for most. And you definitely don't need both, as phones are as big as surfboards these days.
 
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bradman83

macrumors 65816
Oct 29, 2020
1,036
2,552
Buffalo, NY
Confusingly, the iPad "Air" name no longer really fits because the iPad Pro models are now thinner and lighter than the Air models, so you can also expect a little bit of extra bulk going with the Air line.
This has been true of Apple's Air product line for a while now; the MacBook Air was thicker and heavier than the 12" plain old MacBook back while it was still around. Personally I think both the MacBook Air and iPad Air should be renamed just plain old MacBook and iPad accordingly as they're the default consumer options, with the base model iPad renamed iPad SE and "Mini" models to denote smaller.

That alone would dramatically simplify the product line. Heck, call the 13" iPad variants and 15/16" MacBook variants "Plus" models if you want.

MacBook
MacBook Pro

iPad SE
iPad
iPad Mini
iPad Pro

iPhone SE
iPhone ##
iPhone ## Pro

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch ##
Apple Watch Ultra ##
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
11,689
1,317
11" without a keyboard case is the way to go for an iPad (mini lovers choose mini), unless you are a digital artist with a specialised use case (then you've two size options and a choice to make), or an old person who cares more about simplicity than features. If you want a larger screen IMO just get a Mac. Unless you are an artist or you really need an iPad for some specific reason, a Mac is the better option for most. And you definitely don't need both, as phones are as big as surfboards these days.
The 13" can be a nice on the go computer if you have a desktop mac and no laptop.
 

Hairball

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2007
187
224
Near an Apple device
I got the 13" iPad Air on Wednesday and the only thing I really wish it had is face ID. Otherwise, wanting a 13" iPad for years, but never being able to justify the price, this is perfect for my needs and wants. I highly recommend it for those who can get by without ProMotion or not needing the OLED screen on the Pro models.
 

chouseworth

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2012
288
806
Wake Forest, NC
I needed to replace two iPads so I got good trade in values for both from Apple and bought both the 11 inch M2 Air and the 11 inch M4 Pro. They are both very nice, but I do not use either as a laptop. After just one day of use, I actually like the Air a bit better because it is just a tad heavier and thicker and feels better in my hand for browsing and Kindle reading. I will be assessing battery life and how videos and Lightroom compare over the next week or so.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,753
1,853
Wherever my feet take me…
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why only an M2 and not M3? I would think that simplifying the lineup (so moving to just M3 & M4, instead of M2, M3 & M4) would help with economies of scale or something.
 

cateye

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2011
649
2,518
I really want to see how it handles playing some of the latest games. 👀

Oh man, you're in luck—The Magical and Amazing all-new 2024 iPad Air® is just (chef's kiss) for those AAA bangers in Apple Arcade. Hang on to your joysticks, gamers! (that's what she said)

Honestly, where the iPad comes into its own as a gaming device is with all the emulators now available. Using RetroArch to emulate games from my Amiga collection on my M1 iPad Pro? Oh yes.
 

nuff_said

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2021
74
178
First time in a long time I’m actually considering an iPad and this might be the one I get. I’m a bit let down by the artificial limitations the OS still has (hopefully we’ll see something next month) and the odd design choices considering it would cost next to nothing for higher refresh screen and Face ID. Moreover, being stuck with the older Magic Keyboard is a bit of a let down.
I’m going to wait until next month before deciding to pull the trigger.
 
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