- Expensive with accessories added
- No FaceID
- 64GB baseline storage
Apple, the seemingly undefeatable king of tablets, is at it again with the iPad Air 2020 (also known as the iPad Air 4.) With so many options on the market right now, what can we expect this new iPad to bring us that’s different?
The Apple iPad Air (2020) brings the sleek, modern iPad Pro series design to a more affordable price point. It features minimal bezels, a more square shape, an uninterrupted back panel, and two new color options: Mint green and Sky Blue.
They’ve also done away with the home button opting instead to put the fingerprint scanner into the lock button.
The Apple iPad Air (2020)’s 10.9-inch display adds a little extra room over the baseline model without becoming cumbersome to hold or carry. Reviews indicate the screen offers rich colors and excellent contrast. TrueTone also allows it to adjust color temperatures to the lighting no matter where you’re using it -- an outstanding feature for late-night reading or study sessions.
The bezels are practically non-existent and allow for a much more immersive feeling when using it for art or media.
Saying this tablet is fast is an understatement. Reviews noted that opening up an app is near-instantaneous. It’s also capable of some impressive multi-tasking if you don’t mind bouncing between apps or using the split-screen mode in iPadOS 14.
Sporting the same processor as the iPhone 12, there seems to be nothing that the iPad Air (2020) cannot do. Some reviewers even stated that it’s the closest they’ve come to a tablet that could replace a laptop entirely.
Software & Storage
The Apple iPad Air (2020) offers the same up to date iPadOS as the rest of the iPad line. Storage, however, is a different matter. Reviewers were not impressed by the baseline 64GB that comes with the price, and to get more storage you have to pay a fair bit more.
The rear-facing 12MP camera does a respectable job for a tablet -- just remember you’ll have to aim the rather-large tablet like a camera. So it’s not exactly ideal for vacation photos or the like.
The iPad Air (2020)’s selfie cam does okay for Zoom calls, but it won’t replace your smartphone for decent pictures.
The iPad Air (2020) impressed reviewers with its battery life. While watching videos and using other media, reviewers reported that the tablet lasted around 10 hours on a single charge. Using the tablet for work or school takes a little bit off the top because of multi-tasking, but it’s still plenty to get you through the day. For light users, reviewers said it could take as much as a couple of days to need a recharge.
Perhaps best of all, the tablet uses USB Type-C, so when it’s time to charge, you don’t have to hunt down a Lightning cable.
While the iPad’s back appears to sport four different speaker grills, it only has two speakers. The upper grills serve as an outlet if you cover the bottom two by accident while watching media. Reviewers stated that the speakers and audio were surprisingly good, even having a little bass, which is challenging for speakers on any tablet.
The added cost of accessories is one of the most significant points of contention from reviewers. They’re not cheap, but they are useful, if not necessary, for enjoying iPad Air 2020 to its fullest. But buying them will run you nearly half the price of the tablet itself if you opt for the full lineup.
The tablet supports the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil with a place to snap on and charge at the tablet’s top. It also supports the Magic Keyboard, which was reserved for only Pro models previously.
Of the two, the Smart Keyboard is the most pricey. So if your budget is tight, plan to pick up the Apple Pencil first.
Specs at a Glance
- Recycled aluminum design
- 10.9-inch IPS display
- A14 Bionic processor
- 4GB of RAM
- IPad OS 14 software
- 64/256GB of storage
- Rear-facing 12MP and 7MP selfie cameras
- 10 hours of battery life
- Stereo audio
- Supports 2nd Gen Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard
The Bottom Line
There’s a reason Apple is the best at what they do. Each new iPad or phone that comes along keeps to that standard. The Apple iPad Air (2020) is no exception. You would be hard-pressed to find any genuinely negative things to say about it.
All of that comes with a price, and it’s not a small one, but if you’re looking for the top of the line and the speed that comes with it, the Apple iPad Air (2020) is well worth the money.
Tech Radar says, “The iPad Air 2020 is a phenomenally well-made tablet that improves upon the last-gen version in a variety of ways, solving issues with that tablet’s dated design and accessories. The jump in price will make this a tougher sell for some, but the iPad Air for 2020 is so impressive that you may have trouble choosing between it and the iPad Pro.”
Laptop Mag states, “The best tablet for most people, the redesigned iPad Air has a modern chassis, fast performance and long battery life — plus, it supports Apple's best accessories.”
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