Is Apple’s New Slate So Magical?

New air! Apple refresh your tablet iPad Air† Fifth generation of the apple brand’s ultra-thin slate, now in Wifi and 5G, the newcomer continues with a partly revised technical sheet. Purpose: to optimize usage, all uses, whether simple entertainment or production. The promises loved Apple? 20 minutes took the time to test it and give you his verdict!

The new iPad Air contains Apple's M1 chip.
The new iPad Air contains Apple’s M1 chip. – CAPTURE

Light and comfortable in the hand

10.9 inches, 6.1 mm thick, 461 grams: The new Apple iPad Air has dimensions that flatter the retina. But not alone. Very pleasant to hold, the slate, which is decorated with five colors (including a new blue), is a truly beautiful object with perfect finishes. Like the iPad Air 4, the fifth iteration of the slate has been stripped of the Touch ID button on the front, which this time moves to the top right edge. Operation is a little less straightforward, but fingerprint unlocking is extremely responsive. Another advantage: the black side borders around the image are downright twice as thin.

Frustrated gamers

This gives the display more breath. As always with Apple, the image is perfectly calibrated, fine and in bright colors. But we honestly would have appreciated that for this new iPad Air, an OLED screen replaces the proposed LCD. The contrasts would have been all the better. In addition, Apple offers on a tablet that is also made to play a panel with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, where 120 Hz is the heart of gamers

Consolation: the two integrated speakers frankly emit canon, meaty and spacious sound, making you really want to put down your headphones or earphones to watch your movies and series in streaming.

The M1 chip to create in the big leagues

But the real change comes from within. The iPad Air benefits from the Apple-branded M1 processor, which we commend. The processor is the engine. It was already equipped with the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. 60% faster than the A15 Bionic chip of the iPad Air 4, also twice as fast in terms of playback.

The iPad Air 5 can run the most resource-intensive apps.
The iPad Air 5 can run the most resource-intensive apps. – APPLE

The neural processor (ie the brain), which consists of 16 nuclei, is capable of performing 11 trillion operations simultaneously (one billion billion). That gives this: 11,000,000,000,000,000,000!

matter of use

In use, it turns out. Or not. It all depends on use, exactly, and it seems sensible to warn potential prospective buyers here: If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art tablet for entertainment only, the iPad Air won’t disappoint, but you’ll be risking offering yourself one. Ferrari to drive on small country roads.

On the other hand, if you are creative and need resources for some demanding applications (like Lightroom, Photoshop, ProCreate…), this is for you! So welcome to the most demanding video games, 3D modelling, RAW format photo editing, 4K HDR video editing and all the fun that ultimately makes the iPad Air a tablet that’s halfway between the entertainment slate… and the professional one. tool.

Center Stage innovates

We will not necessarily offer the iPad Air for taking pictures. Now if Apple integrates a 12-megapixel photo sensor on the back (capable of shooting in 4K at up to 60 frames per second), the photo quality on offer is worthy of an iPhone 11. when good lighting conditions are not met.

On the front is now a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor, compared to 7 megapixels previously. With him, the idea is not to take group selfies, but to take advantage of the new Center Stage feature that Apple offers thanks to machine learning. Recognizes the user and tracks their face and always places them in the center of the screen during visions (now in 1080p). It works perfectly with FaceTime, as well as with other apps, such as Zoom. We also found that the built-in noise canceling system was quite effective when: conf call

For its part, the autonomy of the iPad Air does not change and it hangs around ten hours. However, we see the M1 chip on the move, saving battery power in demanding applications, such as video editing. Nevertheless, the charging time of the iPad Air with the supplied 20W charger remains quite long: about 2h30, according to our tests, via the USB-C port of the tablet.

Very quickly more expensive than a MacBook Air

Sold from 699 euros in Wifi version with 64 GB of memory, the iPad seduces as much as it challenges. Why not offer 128 GB storage in 2022 (we will switch to the 256 GB model immediately)? Why only offer an LCD screen on a super powerful machine that is also/specially aimed at creators? And what about the price of accessories: 135 euros for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil stylus and 339 euros for the Magic Keybord keyboard. Which can push the bill to 1,173 euros… where a MacBook Air with M1 chip in 256 GB costs 1,129 euros…