Is the iPad Air 2022 (5th Generation) any better? We experimented

With the launch of each iPad, Apple is trying to convince that many of the activities that are traditionally performed on a computer can be performed on a tablet. Creating presentations, writing essays, playing games, and editing photos and videos are all possible exercises. But is a tablet already capable of replacing a notebook for good?

From my experience with the new iPad Air 2022, which was announced in March this year, I say yes. But that’s not something that still goes for everyone, because it largely depends on what you’re going to do with the device.

At first glance, the new iPad Air is just like any other tablet. What makes it special is the inside: the M1 processor, a chip designed by Apple and which has been equipping the brand’s flagship Mac and MacBooks since 2020.

After a few weeks of testing the 5th generation iPad Air with M1 chip, I can say that it is the best and most recommended tablet at the moment considering its set and price: from R $ 4,999 , In the cheapest version and look at retail stores, and from R $ 6,697, on the Apple Store.

With the power of computers and the simple use of cell phones, there are few competitors that can make this device.

However, he is not perfect. What bothers him most is the combination of computer and cell phone elements. The iPadOS operating system is not as intuitive as macOS (or Windows) and iOS (or Android), so not everything you do on a PC or iPhone can be done on an iPad.

What I like: Performance and multimedia

Judging by the giant 12.9-inch screen of the iPad Pro (2021) and the leanness of the iPad mini (8.3-inch screen), I can say that the iPad Air 2022 is exactly the right size: 10, 9 inches (27.6) centimeters. Meters diagonally from corner to corner) combine good looks and practicality.

The LCD panel is large enough to watch videos, series and movies on the go, for example, but not large enough to get in the way with one hand.

Photo: Lucas Carvalho / Lean

The edges are thin enough to cover the screen as much as possible, but not thin enough to accidentally touch. You can easily hold the screen, and the traditional “normal” iPad at the bottom of the screen doesn’t need a physical home button.

Despite the lack of buttons, the iPad Air 2022 doesn’t have a Face ID – the new iPhone and iPad Pro face recognition. To unlock the tablet, you need to use your fingerprint: Touch ID is located on the screen, at the top with the on and off buttons.

Fortunately, Touch ID can recognize your finger whether you’re holding the tablet vertically or horizontally – just register two positions of your fingerprint when you first set up the device.

In terms of performance, there’s nothing to complain about: the 5th generation iPad Air flies to edit photos in Photoshop and videos in iMovie – programs I’ve tried.

It easily runs the heaviest games from NBA 2K to Call of Duty Mobile, without any frame rate reduction and no stuttering. And runs any social network and website with the same peace of mind as a modern iPhone.

In terms of battery, the performance is also of a high standard: in my tests, about 10 hours of screen on, an average of 5 hours of usage per day.

Using the iPad Air for browsing the web, listening to music, watching series, videos, and occasionally making video calls or playing games, it charged about 50% at the end of the day.

iPad Air 2022 USB-C Port - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt

iPad Air 2022 USB-C port

Photo: Lucas Carvalho / Lean

Horizontal stereo speakers make the sound louder and hard to distort even at maximum volume, which guarantees good hours of video playback. The maximum resolution is too high for this screen size: 2,360 x 1,640 pixels.

In video calls, the iPad Air is cool too: with a center stage feature, a 12MP ultra wide front camera can follow you wherever you go inside the frame. The frame is a bit slow, but no worries, and it works with FaceTime, Google Mate, Zoom and Microsoft teams.

But is it really as light as the name suggests? At 462 grams (the version I have tested is with 5G), it is definitely the lightest model in tablets of this size that Apple sells today. It’s not lighter than previous generations – the third-generation iPad Air, for example, weighs 456 grams in the Wi-Fi version alone.

What I didn’t like was the connection and the system

Despite the screen, good resolution, and well-calibrated colors, it suffers from the same problems as other Apple LCD displays: extra reflection and fingerprints, which interfere with viewing some deeper scenes in movies and series, for example. ۔

Touch ID, while being sharp, is not as intuitive as Face ID if you leave your iPad sitting there as a second screen, or bend over with the baking cover. In addition, the sensor is narrow and sometimes requires multiple scans to recognize your fingerprint and unlock the screen.

5th Generation iPad Air 2022 Touch ID with M1 Chip - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt
Photo: Lucas Carvalho / Lean

If you’re “buried” in Apple’s ecosystem and have only lightning cables at home, you’ll have to struggle to adapt to the only USB-C port on the iPad – which is the new iPhone. Comes with charger in the opposite box.

It’s easy to get a charger (for example Android ones work here), but finding headphones with this connection is not so easy nor so cheap.

Cameras, on the other hand, are fine. For photos and videos, the result is lower than the iPhone or Android phone in the same price range – but at least better than a cheap Android tablet.

On the other hand, the front camera is much better for video calling than any PC webcam. The side position captures a bit of a weird angle, so anyone calling will realize you’re on an iPad or cell phone, but I’d still prefer it to be on low resolution webcams. ۔

Finally, iPadOS still needs to be improved. Sometimes, it works as well as a PC: browsing in Safari is like a notebook, for example. But at other times, it’s annoying: not every app works well with the big screen (like Instagram and some shopping apps).

iPad Air 2022 5th Generation - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt
Photo: Lucas Carvalho / Lean

There are a lot of gestures that I can’t remember, and multitasking isn’t as universal as looking at Windows on a computer.

Things may get better with the advent of the “Stage Manager” mode for the upcoming iPad OS 16, but you may still have to make the effort to adapt today.

Who is it worth?

The iPad Air 2022 has many other features, but I haven’t tried them. An example is to draw using an Apple pencil. Or a usable like a notebook using the keyboard and even the cover with the mouse. Accessories that you should buy separately if you are interested and have the money to spend.

The tested model also has a 5G connection, but since the new Internet is not yet available in Sao Paulo, it was not possible to test it. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.

First: If you are looking for a tablet to work with, there are few better competitors. Performance is top notch, as is display and sound.

Cheaper Android tablets are, but they are usually more for media use, or less for people with low demand, such as children or those who do not need much power in this type of device, for entertainment. Are

The iPad Air 2022 is so good that it can even replace a laptop, depending on what kind of work you need to do on it – for web browsing, design and image editing, that’s fine.

iPad Air 2022 5th Generation - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt - Lucas Carvalho / Tilt
Photo: Lucas Carvalho / Lean

For more complex work, make no mistake: the PC is still more complete than the iPad. The iPad OS operating system does not have the capability of Mac OS or Windows for really heavy programs like Adobe Premiere (mobile version is limited).

Now, is the iPad Air or iPad Pro better (the most advanced of all time)?

Well, they both run the same processor. In terms of performance, the experience will be the same. The difference is mainly due to the lack of main camera and storage capacity in the iPad Air model. This year’s model is only 64 GB or 256 GB, while the iPad Pro can be up to 2 TB.

Again, it all depends on your usage profile: if you’re going to be working with lots of pictures, series, movies, games, comics and books, then maybe you have a wide Lose memory.

In short, the iPad Air 2022 works like a computer for a variety of functions – even better if you can connect it to a keyboard and mouse. But it wasn’t long before a powerful chip and a dedicated operating system turned the iPad into a complete desktop. Maybe next time?

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