The New iPad Air: Buy or Pass?

Eric E. Surbano

10 May 2022


Is the latest model of Apple's tablet worth your money?

When you take a glance at the newest iPad Air, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference from its predecessor, and you’d be right—at least, on the surface. The device shares the same dimensions as the last generation of iPad Air with the same 10.9” screen (meaning you can still use the same Folio or Magic Keyboard cases). Perhaps the only visible difference is the deeper, richer colors available for the model. But what sets this new generation of iPad apart from the previous iteration is something unseen, and it’s probably what will either convince you to buy it or pass on it. 

Apple has been touting its M1 chip for a while now. It’s the same chip found in the MacBook and iPad Pro—and now it’s on the iPad Air. That means it possesses the same performance as the Pro model, and that’s quite evident when you get your hands on it. Running apps like ProCreate runs smoothly with no hassle so you can draw or animate right on the spot. Playing any games from Apple Arcade is lag-free, though the refresh rate on the Pro is a smidge faster than on the Air, which makes graphics seem a little smoother. 

The iPad Air also comes with iPad OS 15, which makes good use of the M1 Chip. Some of its features include Live Text, which detects words in photos, and Multitasking, which allows you to work on multiple apps at once. If you’re familiar with the iPad Pro though, these features are nothing new. 

Apart from the M1 chip, the new Air now comes with a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and Center Stage, the feature which allows the camera to follow you around or auto-focus when another person comes into frame. The cellular model now also supports 5G. 

The main selling point of the new iPad Air is the M1 Chip, and depending on what you’re going to use it for, the chip may be important or not at all. If you’re using it as a constant work companion, especially if your work involves photo and video editing, then the presence of the chip may sway you. 

However, 64GB isn’t enough for a workload like that, so you would probably have to go for the 256GB model priced at 25,900 baht. When you take into consideration that the cheapest iPad Pro 128GB model is 27,900 baht, you can look at it in two ways: you can get the same capabilities as an iPad Pro with the iPad Air with a few small caveats for a cheaper price, or you can just dismiss the iPad Air and go straight for the Pro since it only costs 2,000 baht more. Another thing you’d probably want to consider is the fact that Apple drops major releases towards the end of the year, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the M1 Chip becomes “so 2021” come November.  

Whatever the case, the iPad Air continues to deliver on performance and reliability. Whether it’s a “cop or drop” will depend on what you use it for. 

The iPad Air starts at a price of 20,900 baht. Visit apple.com/th for more information.