New iPad Air 5 with M1 surprised many of us at Apple’s Peek Performance Eventbut once this feeling subsided, I found myself with a question: why does this exist?
Yeah, I know that title was pretty dramatic. In fact, I’m confident the iPad Air will be a great tablet to use. But I came into Laptop Mag as an Offers Writer. I care about giving each of you the best value, and the iPad Air isn’t it
Right now, in this gap between the launch of the M1 iPad Air and the eventual announcement of the M2 iPad Pro, the former has no reason to be here. Let me explain.
64GB is just getting silly now
64 GB is an incredibly limited amount of space and Apple knows it. The company made a big stink to increase the base iPhone 13 at 128GB, so the fact that this smaller storage option still exists for the iPad is totally inconsistent with what Apple itself has said.
And I haven’t even started talking about the impact on the end user. the best apple arcade games can take up to 7GB of storage, and all the most used apps on the App Store easily fill a gigabyte. Your photo library, your podcasts, your downloaded movies, your TV shows, any creative work you do – all of this will reduce the capacity of your iPad that you regularly use in these storage options and tweak to make room for more. ‘other stuff.
That’s why even at $599, this lower-cost option just isn’t an acceptable choice. You don’t want to waste your time unloading and re-downloading things as needed. Apple is expected to permanently upgrade storage to 128GB at that same price.
iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021: what’s the difference?
Laptop Mag smartphone expert, Sean Rileyhas already done a detailed face-to-face between the new iPad Air 5 and iPad Pro with M1and you can check it out for a deeper look
What I will highlight, however, are the improvements you get in the iPad Pro over the iPad Air:
- Better camera system: an additional 10MP ultra-wide, true-tone flash and LIDAR scanner
- Face ID: A real depth camera on the front for easy unlocking
- A better display: Liquid Retina with 600 nits brightness and 120Hz variable refresh rate
- Quad-speaker audio
- USB-C connector supports Thunderbolt
With these features, you’d expect it to be a more expensive option, right? Well, while the list price (or RRP in the UK) of $799 / £749 suggests it, the reality is different.
After nearly a year in the wild, the M1 iPad Pro is regularly discounted and you can find the 128GB model for the same price or cheaper than the 256GB iPad Air.
Wait… So what’s the point of the M1 iPad Air?
That’s a good question, dear reader. The goal is not yet clear, but it will be soon. You see, this Apple event was just a small announcement in the grand scheme of Apple Silicon’s direction.
We basically got the M1 equivalent of going Super Saiyan with the M1 Ultra: this is the final form. But there was a lot of expectation to see the M2 in stuff like a new MacBook Air and a 13-inch MacBook Pro. One thing we can count on Apple to do is make common sense decisions with their device refreshes, so it’s no surprise that when the M2 event inevitably happens, it’ll just be a matter of time before this new chip ends up in the iPadPro.
That’s when the 2022 iPad Air will make sense, but for now it exists alongside a far superior and cheaper iPad Pro.
Outlook – just get the iPad Pro
Do you want an iPad M1? 64GB of storage only restricts you and the cost of a 256GB model is right there in no man’s land for absurd prices.
As of this writing, the 11-inch iPad Pro with 128GB of storage is exactly the same price as the 256GB iPad Air 5 at $749/£717 on Amazon (it used to be cheaper), but it also comes with the added benefits of a better display, better cameras, Face ID and Thunderbolt support This is a clearly superior tablet that I think is worth buying take the hit on storage.
But of course, that’s just one person’s opinion. You have every right to have your own opinion on how important that extra 128GB of storage is for your content storage needs. All I’m saying is think about it before you blindly choose the new thing, yeah?