iPad Air Teardown: A12 Bionic Processor With 3GB of RAM, Bluetooth 5 and Larger Battery, But Lacks ProMotion Display Tech

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    iFixit today shared a teardown of the resurrected iPad Air, confirming specs and providing some additional details about the component parts of Apple's new middle-tier tablet, which is compatible with the first-gen Apple Pencil.


    The iPad Air is identical in size and thickness to the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and just a bit lighter weight. iFixit notes that outwardly, the only design differences include a new, darker Space Gray color, the absence of a camera bump, and two speakers compared to the iPad Pro's four. The new model number is A2152.

    Opening the iPad Air up reveals an internal layout and central logic board similar to Apple's 2017 iPad Pro range. The dual-celled 30.8 Wh battery is a little bigger than the 30.2 Wh Apple advertises on its site, and a provides a step up from the 27.6 Wh battery in the 2014 iPad Air 2. Battery life is advertised as up to 10 hours.

    Meanwhile, Apple's A12 Bionic processor is layered over 3GB of RAM, and iFixit confirms the rear camera remains at 8 megapixels.

    Otherwise, as iFixit notes, the size is similar, the Pencil support is similar, and the chips are similar to the old 10.5-inch iPad Pro. However, the Air lacks the latter's ProMotion 120 Hz technology that's now exclusive to the 2018 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. ProMotion automatically adjusts the display to the movement of the content, for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion.

    The new iPad Air is harder to take apart than the late 10.5-inch iPad Pro, since it lacks the latter's stretch-release adhesive pull tabs and includes extra adhesive near the top of the screen. As such, iFixit gives the new iPad Air a 2/10 for repairability, the same score the new iPad mini earned in yesterday's teardown.

    Article Link: iPad Air Teardown: A12 Bionic Processor With 3GB of RAM, Bluetooth 5 and Larger Battery, But Lacks ProMotion Display Tech
  2. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    This is probably my favorite size iPad with the 10.5 display. I’m completely content that they added the A12 processor and True tone, Apple Pencil support, however, if they would’ve added Promotion display, this would’ve been a ‘home-run’ by my standards. But still, a nice refresh to the the Air alongside the refreshed Mini.
  4. StellarVixen macrumors 68000


    Mar 1, 2018
    All in all, it is a good buy for us who use tablets as secondary devices, for browsing, entertainment and such. I see this as a good buy. I couldn't care less about bezels and 120 Hz display.
  5. rmoliv macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2017
    What’s the point of this iPad? I can’t see any.
  6. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    To offer something more affordable under the ‘Pro line’. Considering everything it’s offering, it’s fairly competitive in features and it has first Gen Apple Pencil support. The 10.5 is like the perfect median of a size of an iPad that’s not too large or too small either.
  7. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    Only thing I really lament here is the loss of quad speakers, though for this sort of device/ use case I suppose it's really not a massive issue for most people. Other than that a really solid device for the money, and makes more sense in the line to me than the 10.5 Pro did while being so close in price to the 11".
  8. MacFather macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2012
    A marginal improvement over the iPad Air 2 from 2014.
  9. justperry macrumors G4


    Aug 10, 2007
    Home is everywhere and nowhere.
    Boring comment.:p

    I Have the iPad Mini 2, was a present for my girlfriend but rarely used it when abroad, she left it here last time, have little use for it, sometimes comes in handy but could easily do all and more on my 2012 13" MBP, sadly my Tv provider does not have a web browser viewer, is available on the iPad though, don't see that much TV, better stream from other sources, pick and watch instead of the content that's available from my provider, Tv sucks overall.

    The Air seems to be a good upgrade from earlier versions, for those who have it, enjoy.
  10. itsmilo macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2016
    To keep the iPad Pro price unreasonable high. Same thing happened to the iPhone when they squeezed in the XR or the 8 at the same time as the X
  11. roncron, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019

    roncron macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2011
    IMHO, the 10.5" iPad Pro from 2017 is a better buy right now.

    It's the 2019 iPad Air with a better display (pro motion) and better stereo speakers that actually sound like stereo. The only advantage of the 2019 iPad Air is the A12 processor. But the A10X processor in the 2017 iPad Pro is more than powerful enough for most people; when the 2017 iPP 10.5" came out, professional reviews and benchmark tests indicated it was as fast or faster than many mainstream laptop computers. I would conjecture that very few people need their iPad in 2019 to be more powerful than a typical laptop from 2017; and those that do can pony up and buy the 2018 iPad Pro.

    Still, I'm happy that Apple is making the 2019 iPad Air. It's a good option for people who want more than the basic 9.7" iPad but can't afford the 2018 iPad Pro. I'm also happy that Apple has not retired the 10.5" form factor. The increase in screen size over the 9.7" model, while modest, is still enough to be a meaningful improvement, and yet the difference in size and weight between the two models is hardly noticeable.
  12. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Meh update imo. Getting the 2017 iPad Pro seems like a better decision.
  13. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
    To sell and make some quick bucks...
  14. Sethal macrumors member


    Jun 5, 2014
    Has iFixit done a tear down of the 2019 iMacs yet?
  15. Emanuel Rodriguez macrumors regular

    Emanuel Rodriguez

    Oct 17, 2018
    A lot of people don't get this. When trying to save your company money, you come to the realization that really, any available iPad will do just fine for almost any purpose, including the new iPad Air. I was recommending the 9.7" iPad, but these days I recommend the iPad Air. Latest components, low price.
  16. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    The smart connector functionality is also very useful for those wanting it for laptop replacement...(bluetooth keyboards dont have the seamless functionality)
  17. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2003
    Would love to know your definition of 'marginal.' More Ram, much faster graphics and cpu, more base storage, pencil support versus none, more battery, better display (True Tone and larger), brighter display, wider gamut, Smart Keyboard support versus none, better bluetooth, better wifi, better FaceTime camera...

    The only thing that wasn't drastically improved was the form factor. And the only new features missing, FaceID, ProMotion, Pencil Gen 2, and quad speakers, can be had for a mere $300 more.

    Marginal? I must have missed the /s
  18. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    And there’s no loss of connection/lag with the smart connector. Bluetooth keyboards are fairly good today, but with the smart connector, it really eliminates both of those concerns.
  19. locovaca macrumors regular

    May 14, 2002
    Once you go 120hz you don’t go back.
  20. StellarVixen macrumors 68000


    Mar 1, 2018
    Again, I do not care. It looks better but it isn't deal breaking.
  21. adamw macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2006
  22. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    Yup I tend to agree with you now.

    When this we first announced I would argue “No this one is $150 cheaper and has a more powerful processor! This is a good thing!” But now I’m realizing for the average person these processors are a push (especially with the 4GB RAM in the older pro) and combine that with the fact that I’ve seen many sales of new or refurbished iPad Pro 10.5 for the same or even cheaper price than the Air 3. I was *this* close to pulling the switch on a refurbished 10.5 Pro on amazon for like 400 (combined with a $75 open box Smart Keyboard deal on eBay) to replace my 9.7 Pro. But honestly I realized the difference between the 2 is just not that great. Plus I really love the ability to have the free Office suite when I occasionally need it.
  23. curtvaughan, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019

    curtvaughan macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2016
    Austin, TX
    I agree - my 2017 iPad Pro 12.5, at least so far, has given me no issues the last 16 months since I purchased it. It doesn't bend so easily, has a phone jack, and still has touch id. I have no interest in face id - it's more expensive, and I honestly don't want my eyes bombarded by IR radiation. The only improvement I'd like would be to expand touch id to the whole display rather than just the home button, and to be able to use the newer pencil with it. The old pencil charging method - inserting it into the lightning port - is awkward. I guess I should knock on wood, as others in this thread have mentioned some issues with the 2017 models. I think the best buy on a MBP right now is for the 2015 models, the last with the older keyboard model and non-flimsy display cables. Neither of those "features" would have been necessary if Apple wasn't so focused on thin. If they'd just go back to the 2015 design with processor and SSD updates I'd probably buy one.
  24. xpxp2002 macrumors regular

    May 3, 2016
    Agreed. I was debating between the iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) and the new Air. The Pro had the better display, but only LTE-A and Bluetooth 4.2.

    In the end, the wait for the new Air to arrive in store and the $560 price after tax on the Pro is what made the decision for me. Seeing this tear down confirms I made the right decision with the Pro.

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