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Review: The new iPad Air is here, can it finally replace your laptop?

The 2022 iPad Air is described by Apple as the most versatile iPad Air to date, with the tech giant even going further on to say it can replace a traditional desktop or laptop. But can it really?

Here’s a quick review of the newest addition to the iPad range.

Since the introduction of the first iPad by Steve Jobs in 2010, Apple has shown no signs of slowing down. The iPad portfolio has welcomed newer and more innovative products since, including iPad Pro, the iPad (currently in its ninth generation), and iPad Mini.

Launched in March 2022, the latest iPad Air (follow-up to 2020’s generation) is made to be powerful yet super light. With the Apple-designed M1 chip and iPad OS, the iPad Air is said to be able to deliver a massive leap in performance — making it easier and faster to get your tasks completed on the device. However, the question on everyone’s mind is: can the iPad Air finally replace your laptop (like the MacBook Air)? I had the opportunity to give the iPad Air a little test run of my own and here’s what I found out.

Apple iPad Air 2022
iPad Air is available in Space Gray, Pink, Purple, Starlight, and Blue

The experience

Similar to Apple’s more recent product launches, the iPad Air is now also a happy recipient of the breakthrough M1 chip. The iPad Air is said to be able to boost performance for all kinds of apps and workflows, especially with 8-core Central Processing Unit, 8-core Graphics Processing Unit, and a 16-core Neural Engine. These all sound super impressive on paper, but how do they translate when it comes to next-level experiences with the iPad Air?

Although I primarily use the tablet for work purposes (such as writing articles), the iPad Air has also been a faithful companion for streaming shows on Netflix and catching up with my favourite channels on YouTube. Hence, battery life is of utmost importance to me. In my experience, the iPad Air — designed to have an all-day battery life for light uses — can last about seven to eight hours before it needs to be charged again. This includes binging the latest season of  ‘Stranger Things’, working on my assignments, and catching up on the newest K-Pop releases on ‘Music Bank’.

In terms of writing articles on the iPad Air, there’s the Magic Keyboard — which eases the process remarkably. With its built-in trackpad and floating design, the addition of a keyboard does make the overall user experience feel like you’re using a laptop instead; albeit, a smaller version. Personally, if I know I’ll be away for some time but would rather not have my MacBook with me, I can just opt for the lighter iPad Air because the tablet works just as well for me.

Another feature on my list of pros is the 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display on the new iPad Air. You can’t go wrong with an immersive visual experience and the anti-reflective screen coating doesn’t hurt either. Available in blue, purple, pink, starlight, and space grey, the 2022 iPad Air is also equipped with landscape stereo speakers, Touch ID function, as well as front and back cameras. While I did not make excessive use of the Ultra Wide 12 Megapixel front camera and the 12 Megapixel Wide back camera, I understand that the iPad Air can be used like your own ultra-portable mobile studio. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me!

For many, one downside to the iPad Air is that the device does not come with Face ID. In addition, you might find multitasking to be quite complicated. However, you can still use Split View to work with multiple apps concurrently. If you’re just using the iPad Air for quick tasks and enjoyment, you’d find that the tablet’s actually rather smooth. So, if I’m just watching Apple TV+’s  ‘The Afterparty’ on my bed or furnishing an article in a cafe, the iPad Air works pretty well for me.

Apple iPad Air 2022
The new iPad Air works seamlessly with the Magic Keyboard

The verdict

From the smooth user experience to a long battery life, the new 2022 iPad Air sure packs a mighty punch without compromising on lightness and portability. Apple’s sleek gizmo is no slouch after all. The all-encompassing question, however, is if the iPad Air can be a worthy complete replacement for laptops.

Personally, I find the 2022 iPad Air to be superbly efficient and the tablet ticks all the right boxes for me. It’s portable, easy to use, integrates well within the Apple ecosystem, and allows me to complete my tasks as well as binge-streaming programmes without having to constantly check on the battery status. The iPad Air would not be the best device for you if you’re considering heavy usage, such as editing videos and storing a massive amount of files.

Deciding between the iPad Pro and iPad Air? Your choice truly depends on how much storage you require but if space is not the main requirement for you, opt for the latter. In summation, I’d give the iPad Air a go if I want a practical and convenient gadget for more on-the-go purposes (together with additional accessories like the Magic Keyboard) but I’ll still find myself reaching out to my faithful MacBook to get more complicated tasks done — especially those that would benefit from a larger screen size.

The 2022 iPad Air is priced from THB 11,400. For more information about iPad Air, head over to this website.

(All images by Apple)

Review: The new iPad Air is here, can it finally replace your laptop?

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