Apple’s latest iPad Air is more powerful than an iPad Pro
Apple’s autumn launch event comes around every year like clockwork but at 2020’s event, entitled “Time Flies”, it’s unusually not launching a new generation of iPhones. There’s a new tablet in the works, too: the Apple iPad Air 4.
Following on from the iPad Air 3, launched to little fanfare in 2019, the iPad Air 4 is an altogether different beast, adopting an iPad Pro-style look, a larger 10.9in edge-to-edge display and, perhaps most interestingly, a USB-C port for the first time in a non-iPad Pro.
MORE FROM THE “TIME FLIES” APPLE EVENT:
- Apple Watch SE – cheaper wearable is targeted at children
- Apple Watch Series 6 released with sleep and blood oxygen tracking
- Apple iPad 10.2in (8th generation) gets big performance boost
Apple iPad Air 4: Features, release date and price
- 10.9in, 2,360 x 1,640 Liquid IPS edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with True Tone, and P3 colour gamut coverage
- Apple A14 Bionic processor
- USB-C connectivity
- Touch ID integrated into power button
- Magic Keyboard compatibility
- Apple Pencil 2
- iPadOS 14
- Five colours: sky blue, green, black, rose gold, silver
- Release date: Shipping Friday 18 September
- Price: £579
Other than the headline features, the iPad Air will come in five colours – green, blue, rose gold, black and silver – with Apple’s A14 Bionic processor boosting performance significantly.
Interestingly, that makes it more powerful than the recent iPad Pro updates, released earlier this year. Indeed, this is the first glimpse of Apple’s first 5nm processor and, if Apple’s claims are to be believed, it will deliver a big boost to both performance and efficiency.
The new chip packs in 11.8 billion transistors, six CPU cores (with four high-efficiency cores and two performance cores), and a quad-core GPU that’s 60% faster than in the previous iPad Air. It also incorporates Apple’s Neural Engine and the latest Apple ISP for improved photo- and video-capture capabilities.
The introduction of that new edge-to-edge display also means there’s no room for the front bezel home button anymore. Instead of implementing the Face ID system found on Apple’s iPhones, however, the iPad Air will keep Touch ID but move it instead to the power button in the edge in the corner.
In a surprise move, Apple is also making a Magic Keyboard available for the iPad Air 4, complete with the same Scrabble-tile keys and integrated touchpad as the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. And the iPad Air 4 also has an improved rear camera, improving from the old 8MP f/2.4 unit to a much faster, sharper 12MP f/1.8 camera this time around.
That, incidentally, is the same as the current iPad Pro’s main camera. The front camera is a 7MP FaceTime with “improved” 1080p video-capture capabilities and, finally, the speakers have been enhanced to provide stereo audio automatically in landscape mode.
You’ll be able to preorder the new Apple iPad Air 4 from 16 September with units shipping on Friday 25 September. Prices start from £579.