Despite being thinner than the iPad and iPad Pro, the iPad Air (2020) is arguably the most advanced iPad on the market. With Apple's latest A14 chip, an edge-to-edge display, and top-notch cameras on both the front and back, the latest iPad Air will not only satisfy your needs, it'll do way more.
Launched in September 2020, the 4th-generation iPad Air features the most powerful iPad chip yet. Along with a host of new upgrades, the iPad Air (2020) shapes up to the most advanced iPad to date.
Like all iPad Airs, the 4th-generation iPad Air is thinner, more compact, and more portable than all other iPad models. But as opposed to previous iPad Air models, the current one has an edge-to-edge display. Although the iPad Air's frame hasn't seen a huge increase, the display has increased.
Speaking of the frame, the iPad Air uses a rectangular frame. This is perhaps in accordance with the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, which will all feature rectangular bodies. The iPad Air also comes in more colors.
The most significant upgrade to the iPad Air is its chip. The A14 chip, which was rumored to be a part of the upcoming iPhone 12, has been introduced on the iPad Air first. This is Apple's latest processing chip and making the iPad Air faster than any other tablet on the market.
The iPad Air features a 12MP Wide camera on the back, which supports 4K video recording at 60 fps. Meanwhile, the front camera remains a 7MP FaceTime HD camera. This means that the iPad Air has yet to support Face ID, so Touch ID is still used on the iPad Air.
A host of other upgrades have been made for the iPad Air's battery, audio, sensors, and more. It can also support Apple's latest and most advanced accessories such as the Magic Keyboard and the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil.
Available in October, the iPad Air (2020) is one of the best tablets on the market.
Design and Size
The iPad Air (2020) measures in at 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm. The Wi-Fi models weigh 458 grams, and the Wi-Fi + Cellular models weigh 460 grams. Users can pick between 64GB and 256GB storage options, with the previous 128GB option having been removed.
Users will also notice that the iPad Air has changed its design entirely. Whereas previous models of the iPad Air used a round frame, the new iPad Air uses a flat frame. This will match up with the new iPhone 12 lineup, which is also reported to have rectangular frames.
One of the major upgrades of the iPad Air is the display. The iPad Air now features an edge-to-edge display. The screen is a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 Wide colors. It has a resolution of 2360 x 1640 at 264 PPI.
Apple has added three new colors to the iPad Air. In addition to the classic Silver and Space Grey colors, users can now get the iPad Air in Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue. These custom colors will be a fun way to personalize your device.
The iPad Air offers 10 hours of battery life. The 10-hour battery life ensures all-day use with high performance. Even on cellular networks, for the Wi-Fi + Cellular models of the device, the iPad Air can last for up to 9 hours.
Like many new Apple products, this iPad Air has made the shift to USB-C; Lightning cords will no longer work with the iPad Air. In the box, you will find a 1-meter USB-C charging cable and a 20W USB-C power adapter. Unfortunately, wireless charging is not supported on the iPad Air.
Users will be pleased with the iPad Air's brand-new camera. With a 12MP camera on its camera bump, the iPad Air's camera is one of the most advanced. Then, with an upgrade from Auto HDR to Smart HDR, users can rest assured that they'll be getting the best quality.
With their back camera, iPad Air users will be able to take 4K videos at 60fps. Additionally, slow-mo videos will support 1080p at up to 240fps. It will also be equipped with features like Live Photos, Focus Pixels, auto image stabilization, and more.
The front camera remains the same: a 7MP FaceTime HD camera. It can take videos at 1080p with Smart HDR, which is perfect for video calls or self-recording. This means that the iPad Air does not support Face ID yet. However, this camera is still excellent for video calling and taking photos.
Touted as the most powerful iPad yet, the iPad Air features the new A14 chip. And undoubtedly, the A14 chip is the best on the market.
The A14 chip has a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU, allowing it to outperform even the top-selling PC or Android tablets. Then, compared to the previous iPad Air, which used the A12 chip, the new iPad Air has a 40% increase in CPU performance and 30% faster graphics.
With the A14 chip, the iPad Air can run console-level graphics on its screen, an unprecedented achievement. Meanwhile, for running other processes, like 4K video editing and high-quality photo editing, the iPad Air is equipped with top-notch rendering capabilities to make sure users get the most from their media content.
The A14 chip has the Neural Engine, which gives it powerful machine learning. With its machine learning, the A14 chip can perform tasks like analyze real-time data. Capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second, the A14 chip is Apple's fastest chip yet.
Touch ID was available on the previous iPad Air through the Home Button. Now that the new iPad Air has an edge-to-edge display, you can find the Touch ID feature on the Top Button.
Like the Touch ID featured on iPhones, users will use their fingerprints to unlock their iPad Air.
The iPad will ask for a scan of the user's fingerprint, processing the finger's entire curvature and texture, and then users will be able to unlock their device by simply placing that fingertip on the Top Button.
Like any Touch ID sensor, users can use Touch ID to unlock their iPad Air or perform tasks like paying on Apple Pay, with a simple, quick, and easy-to-use authentication process.
The iPad Air is compatible with the latest Apple iPad accessories, previously compatible only with the iPad Pro models. This includes Apple's latest keyboards and Apple Pencil for iPad.
For example, the iPad Air is compatible with the Magic Keyboard, an Apple keyboard originally designed for the iPad Pro. Now, you can use it with the iPad Air too. Otherwise, users can also use the Smart Keyboard Folio.
The accessory that sees the most improvement in the iPad Air is the Apple Pencil. Users can connect 2nd-generation Apple Pencil now. Combined with the iPadOS 14, the new iPad OS, Apple Pencil unlocks a new host of capabilities like Scribble, shape recognition, quick actions, and more.
iPad Air (2020) vs. iPad Air (2019)
|iPad Air (2020)||iPad Air (2019)|
|Price||Starting at $599||Available at authorized resellers|
|Dimensions||247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm||250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm|
|Display||10.9-inch Liquid Retina||10.5-inch Retina|
|Battery (Cellular)||10 hours (9 hours)||10 hours (9 hours)|
|Back Camera||12MP Wide Camera||8MP Wide Camera|
|Front Camera||7MP FaceTime HD Camera||7MP FaceTime HD Camera|
|Accessories||Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio and 2nd-gen Apple Pencil||Smart Keyboard and 1st-gen Apple Pencil|
Design and Size
From a size standpoint, the two iPad Airs aren't too different. With slight modifications of width and length, probably to accommodate the larger display, the iPad Air (2020) and iPad Air (2019) have similar dimensions.
However, the new iPad Air will feel completely different from its predecessor. The iPad Air uses a rectangular frame with a flat edge, unlike the old iPad Air which uses a round frame.
Furthermore, the new iPad Air uses a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display with a small camera notch at the top. Meanwhile, the iPad Air (2019) has a 10.5-inch Retina display. Both still have great resolution, with both devices having 264 PPI.
Both iPad Airs have similar battery lives at 10 hours of Wi-Fi and 9 hours on cellular networks. While this may sound disappointing because the new model hasn't received an upgrade, this isn't uncommon amongst tech devices. Because the iPad Air (2020) can do so much more, the battery life of the device has improved, but it just needs to handle more.
Ultimately, 10 hours of battery life for your iPad Air is great nonetheless. You won't have to worry about your iPad Air dying too often. However, it doesn't hurt to keep a charging cord around. The iPad Air (2019) still uses the Lightning port, but the iPad Air (2020) has transitioned to using a USB-C port.
While the front camera for both devices remains the same, the back camera sees a significant upgrade. The front camera for both versions of the iPad Air is a 7MP FaceTime HD camera. In addition to taking great photos, the front camera is also equipped with a 1080p video recording.
The back cameras, on the other hand, are quite different. The iPad Air (2019) has an 8MP Wide camera that can take 1080p videos at 30fps. While that camera is fine, the iPad Air (2020) has a 12MP Wide camera that can take 4K videos at 60fps. Clearly, the iPad Air (2020) will help you take much better pictures.
The chip is one of the most important components of an iPad, and the iPad Air (2020) receives a huge upgrade in this department. It has the newest A14 chip with a Neural Engine. This is the fastest chip on the market and is 30% faster than the A12 chip, which is used on the iPad Air (2019).
While the A12 chip is good for almost all processes, you'll be getting much more value with the A14. Not only can you run console-level graphics and process 11 trillion operations per second, but you'll also be able to edit videos, run complex programs, and more with the A14 chip. Plus, the Neural Engine on the A14 chip has the fastest machine learning capacity yet.
The iPad Air (2019) is compatible with Apple's Smart Keyboard and the 1st-generation Apple Pencil. Both of these are fantastic devices that'll make your iPad Air experience better and smoother.
However, the iPad Air (2020) gets an upgrade in both departments. You'll be able to use Apple's Magic Keyboard with the iPad Air (2020), previously compatible only with the iPad Pro.
You'll also be able to use the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil. With iPadOS 14 out now, the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil is much more versatile, which will only improve your iPad Air (2020), too.
iPad Air (2020) vs. iPad Pro (2020)
|iPad Air (2020)||iPad Pro (2020) 11-inch*|
|Price||Starting at $599||Starting at $799|
|Dimensions||247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm||247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm|
|Display||10.9-inch Liquid Retina||11-inch Liquid Retina|
|Back Camera||12MP Wide Camera||12MP Wide, 10MP Ultra Wide, LiDAR Scanner|
|Front Camera||7MP FaceTime HD Camera||7MP TrueDepth Camera|
*There's an iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch version that has different dimensions, display size, and price.
Design and Size
The iPad Air and iPad Pro are almost identical in size with the iPad Air being 0.2mm thinner. However, the iPad Air now uses a rectangular frame which has flat edges. The iPad Pro still uses a round frame with round edges.
The iPad Pro has an 11-inch Liquid Retina display, and the iPad Air takes after it with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display. Both of them are edge-to-edge displays and have resolutions at 264 PPI.
While the iPad Pro offers two colors, Silver and Space Gray, the iPad Air gives you more choice. In addition to the two aforementioned colors, the iPad Air also offers Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue color options for the device.
Both iPad models come with a 12MP Wide camera. However, while this is the iPad Air's only camera, the iPad Pro comes with two other lenses. The iPad Air's 12MP Wide camera will still take great photos, and it also supports 4K video recording, making it a formidable tool.
The iPad Pro is also equipped with a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, giving it Portrait Mode and a better aperture on its pictures. You'll also get the LiDAR scanner, a new lens available only on the iPad Pro (2020). The LiDAR scanner helps you with AR features, opening the door to more possibilities.
The front camera for the iPad Air is a 7MP FaceTime camera whereas the iPad Pro has a 7MP TrueDepth camera. The biggest difference is that the iPad Pro's front camera can support Face ID, unavailable on the iPad Air, which still uses Touch ID on its Top Button.
One area that the iPad Air clearly surpasses the iPad Pro is the A14 chip. The fastest chip on the market, the A14 chip outperforms the iPad Pro's A12Z chip extensively.
Capable of running console-level graphics and processing even the most complex processes, the A14 chip is the best tablet chip on the market. If you're looking for top-notch performance on an iPad, make sure to get the iPad Air.
There are a couple of similarities that weren't mentioned, but they'll be covered in this section. For example, the battery lives on the two devices are essentially the same. On Wi-Fi, the iPad Air lasts 10 hours, and on cellular networks, it last 9 hours.
Both devices are also compatible with the Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil. These are Apple's latest iPad accessories designed to improve the iPad experience. With iPadOS 14 out, the Apple Pencil has received a host of upgrades to its functionality.
iPad Air (2019) 3rd-Gen.
The iPad is a popular device amongst those looking for a portable yet flexible device.
The 2019 iPad Air 3rd-generation takes the functionality of an iPad but makes it more compact. With a 10.5-inch Retina display and weighing at just one pound, the iPad Air is probably the most portable version yet. It is also compatible with the Apple Pencil to bring your illustrations and doodles to life no matter what you are working on.
Design and Size
The iPad Air measures 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm and weighs 456 grams.
The screen is a 10.5-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2224-by-1668 that brings the Wide color display and True Tone display to life. Cellular models of the iPad Air also have a SIM tray.
With two storage size options, 64GB and 256GB, users can watch videos and play games on either the Silver, Space Gray, or Gold versions of the iPad Air.
The iPad Air lasts for up to 10 hours at full charge using the built-in 30.2-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. The Wifi + Cellular models last up to 9 hours of web browsing using a cellular data network.
When users are recharging their device, the charging is done via Lightning cable to an adapter or USB plug with the provided USB Power Adapter.
The back camera is an 8MP camera. The functionality of the back camera is one of the iPad Air’s weak points as it doesn’t have the variety of features that other iPads do.
However, for everyday use, the back camera will suffice. The front camera is a 7MP camera. For video recording, the back camera can record 1080p video at 30fps and the front camera can record 1080p.
The iPad Air uses the A12 chip, the same one used in the iPhone XS. For an iPad, this is a remarkably powerful chip that enables high-level performance.
The iPad Air also allows users to use multiple apps at once in split-screen.
The A12 chip is also designed for a better-augmented reality (AR) experience. With a number of apps beginning to dabble in AR, the A12 chip helps the users do a lot more with the iPad Air.
The two most popular accessories of the iPad Air are the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil. The Smart Keyboard converts the iPad Air to a laptop instantly.
Connecting to the iPad is seamless and it works instantly. The Apple Pencil is almost extremely convenient, especially for artists who enjoy the free-hand experience of drawing on a digital screen. The Apple Pencil’s performance is smooth and clean.
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