Apple’s new iPad Air 5 has much higher performance with its M1 chip and 5G connectivity, but is the iPad Air 4 really worth upgrading to?
The iPad Air 5 is a powerful new tablet from Apple, and it’s got some nice upgrades, but is it enough to consider upgrading from an iPad Air 4? The fourth-generation iPad Air brought significant changes in terms of both looks and speed, making it a tough call compared to an iPad Pro at the time of its release. So the question is whether the changes to the fifth-generation iPad Air make it a clear purchase decision or whether it’s better to wait for the next version.
Apple’s fourth-generation iPad Air was an exciting update, with the flat edges of the higher-end iPad Pro and iPhone mobile devices, along with a super-fast A14 processor. Also, since the home button was removed in favor of a Touch ID sensor placed on the sleep/wake button, the screen grew even though the outer dimensions remained about the same. The iPad Air 4 was released in 2020, and at the time, the iPad Pro used an A12Z, which called into question which had the better performance. A new iPad Pro arrived in 2021, clearly changing the title from the fastest iPad to the best Apple tablet.
With the release of the iPad Air 5, Apple updated this model with some of the latest advancements, matching the ultra-wide Center Stage camera found in the iPad mini 6 and iPad Pro 2021. This means the new model will be much more enjoyable for video calls than ever before. the iPad Air 4, which has a fixed camera frame. Center Stage lets iPad Air 5 follow faces, intelligently zooming and panning to allow a little more freedom of movement. So naturally, the processor has also received an upgrade, and this is a massive upgrade to Apple’s M1 chip, the same one used in several MacBook and Mac computers. This might already justify the purchase, since it’s 60 percent more fast and has twice the graphics performance.
iPad Air 5 price and specifications
The iPad Air 5 starts at the same price as the previous generation, $599 and $749 for the cellular model. What’s new is that the phone now supports 5G, a significant improvement over the iPad Air 4’s 4G LTE. Wired connections also saw a nice speed boost with twice the transfer speed of USB-C. This is important if you use external USB storage.
The display technology remains the same, giving the iPad Pro a bit of breathing room so it’s not a direct challenge, and Touch ID remains the authentication method for the fifth-gen iPad Air. Also, the latest model is very attractive, with five colors available, including a new purple option. With all the performance upgrades that Apple brought to the iPad Air 5 it would be easy to justify the purchase even for fourth generation iPad Air owners.