iPad Air (2022) vs iPad Air (2020)

Apple has up to date the iPad Air with a brand new processor, improved entrance digicam and 5G help. However is the brand new mannequin your best choice, or do you have to plump for a reduced 2020 Air as an alternative?

Images: Apple
Pictures: Apple

Ought to I purchase the Apple iPad Air (2022, 64GB, Wi-Fi) or Apple iPad Air (2020, 64GB, Wi-Fi)?

Apple iPad Air (2022, 64GB, Wi-Fi) vs Apple iPad Air (2020, 64GB, Wi-Fi)
full evaluate

The brand new iPad Air (2022) has arrived, bringing with it the mighty M1 processor and some different upgrades. However is it sufficient to warrant upgrading from an iPad Air (2020)? Ought to new consumers seize the brand new mannequin, or would they be higher suggested selecting up the older mannequin at a reduction as shops unload their left-over inventory?

Here is a fast comparability of the 2, as we break up Airs.

Design & construct high quality

The iPad Air acquired a significant facelift in 2020 when Apple ditched the House button and muted liveries to go full-screen and eventually deliver some color to the platform.

Two years on and issues have not actually modified in any respect. Actually, evaluating the scale exhibits that each sport 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm chassis, whereas the load is just about similar: the newer model suggestions the scales at 3g heavier than its 2020 equal (at 461g) for the Wi-Fi model, or 2g heavier (462g) for the mobile.

iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Air 2020: Design

One unusual story which has emerged on-line is a few individuals reporting that because of the again of the brand new iPad being fairly skinny, the fabric truly creaks because it flexes.

In our current , David Worth discovered that his pattern did not undergo from the issue, however our sister publication Tech Advisor had an iPad Air (2022) which did creak. Whether or not it is a manufacturing failure or just a nasty batch is unclear on the time of writing, however it’s one thing you could want to keep in mind in the event you would discover this type of factor an issue.

Undesirable sound results apart, there’s virtually no aesthetic distinction between the 2020 and 2022 variations, with each that includes similar 10.9in Liquid Retina shows. And whereas the House button is absent in each circumstances, you will not discover Face ID on these fashions as as an alternative Apple employs a fingerprint sensor within the energy button.

You may discover help for the second-gen Apple Pencil on each units, in addition to Sensible Connectors that allow you to use the Apple Magic Keyboard and Sensible Folio Keyboard. The importance of that is that if you wish to improve from the older mannequin to the newer one you will not have to exchange any of your equipment.

The brand new iPad Air does function an upgraded entrance digicam that brings new options, however we’ll talk about that additional beneath.

iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Air 2020: Accessories

One option to differentiate the brand new from the outdated is with the liveries. You will get a variety of tones on both, however there’s little or no overlap: solely the House Gray choice is obtainable for each. Purple is probably the most clearly eye-catching new color, however that is very a lot a matter of private style.

Efficiency & options

When the was launched it was heralded by some as an inexpensive iPad Professional for regular individuals. Apple took this and ran with it on the brand new mannequin, because it has a couple of upgrades that make it a critical computational machine.


The headline function for the brand new iPad Air (2022) is the inclusion of the M1 processor, changing the A14 Bionic utilized by the 2020 mannequin. This brings Professional-level efficiency to the Air, because it’s the identical chip utilized by the present and , to not point out a number of Macs.

If you wish to use your iPad Air for creating digital artwork, photograph modifying or high-level gaming, then the M1 will make every thing a breeze. That being stated, in case your utilization is extra tailor-made in the direction of content material consumption, note-taking, gentle photograph modifying and primary artwork, then the A14 Bionic will deal with all of it with aplomb.

As that is the important thing differentiator between the 2 fashions, these understanding which one to purchase ought to rigorously contemplate what they need to do with their iPad. The A14 Bionic isn’t any slow-coach, so in the event you do not want professional efficiency, you may most likely save the cash and go for the iPad Air (2020).


As said earlier, the shows on the 2 iPad Airs are the identical. Meaning you get a ten.9in Liquid Retina panel working at a 2360×1640 decision, 264ppi, with similar brightness ranges and all the same old True Tone, Broad color (P3) and absolutely laminated screens that we have come to anticipate from iPads at this stage.

iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Air 2020: Display

Regardless that the processor within the iPad Air (2022) can deal with every kind of animation and graphical challenges, the refresh price hasn’t modified for the brand new mannequin, staying at a fairly disappointing 60Hz. Meaning in order for you the super-smooth ProMotion shows that run at 120Hz, you then’ll must stump up for an iPad Professional as an alternative.


For probably the most half the primary digicam on the iPad Air (2022) is similar as its predecessor. It appears to be an similar 12MP f/1.8 sensor that options Sensible HDR 3 and Broad color, and may document video at as much as 4K/60fps, with choices for Slo-mo (1080p/240fps), Steady autofocus and Cinematic video stabilisation.

The one distinction is that it presents prolonged dynamic vary for video as much as 30fps and may document 1080p at 25fps and 30fps in addition to the 60fps supplied by the 2020 mannequin. Whether or not these are belongings you’d use is debatable, however they’re current.

iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Air 2020: Cameras

The bigger change is on the front-facing digicam the place Apple has changed the ageing 7MP f/2.2 FaceTime HD unit of the iPad Air (2020) with a significantly better 12MP Extremely Broad f/2.4 shooter. The principle benefit of that is that it permits the newer iPad to supply Centre Stage, the intelligent zooming-out and monitoring functionality that may preserve you within the centre of the shot on video calls even in the event you’re shifting about. There’s additionally prolonged dynamic vary for video as much as 30fps and the extra HD fps choices supplied by the primary digicam.

Principally, in the event you use your iPad for video calls and just like the sound of the Centre Stage function, then that is an awesome purpose to pick out the brand new iPad Air over the outdated one.


The final of the tent-pole options Apple bestowed upon the brand new iPad Air is 5G connectivity. Clearly this solely applies to fashions that include mobile connections. So in the event you solely purchase Wi-Fi variations then this functionality will not be included.

Should you wish to have a community connection the place Wi-Fi fears to tread, you then’ll have a quicker one on the brand new iPad Air (as long as your community supplier presents the function in your space).

For a extra detailed take a look at the specs for each units, this is a breakdown:

iPad Air (2022) iPad Air (2020)
Show 10.9in Liquid Retina, 2360 x 1640 decision, 264ppi, True Tone, Broad Color, Totally Laminated 10.9in Liquid Retina, 2360 x 1640 decision, 264ppi, True Tone, Broad Color, Totally Laminated
Processor M1 A14 Bionic
Storage 64GB/256GB 64GB/256GB
Important Digicam 12MP Broad, f/1.8, SmartHDR, Broad color, 4K video at 60fps, Slo-mo 1080p at 240fps, Steady autofocus, Cinematic video stabilisation, Prolonged Dynamic Vary for video as much as 30fps 12MP Broad, f/1.8, SmartHDR, Broad color, 4K video at 60fps, Slo-mo 1080p at 240fps, Steady autofocus, Cinematic video stabilisation
Selfie Digicam 12MP Extremely Broad, f/2.4, 2x Zoom out, Centre Stage, Retina flash, Sensible HDR 3 for pictures, Prolonged Dynamic Vary for video as much as 30fps, 1080p at 60fps 7MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2, 1080p video recording, Sensible HDR 3 for pictures
WiFi Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5 5
LTE 5G (sub-6 GHz) Gigabit class
GPS Sure Sure
Ports USB-C, Sensible Connector USB-C, Sensible Connector
Biometrics Contact ID Contact ID
Apple Pencil Help Gen 2 Gen 2
Dimensions 247.6mm x 178.5mm x 6.1mm 247.6mm x 178.5mm x 6.1mm
Weight 461g (462g for mobile) 458g (460g for mobile)
Colors Starlight, House Gray, Pink, Purple, Blue Silver, House Gray, Rose Gold, Inexperienced, Sky Blue
Worth From £569/$599/AU$929 From £579/US$579/AU$899

Worth & availability

The iPad Air (2022) is available for purchase now and comes within the following configurations:

  • iPad Air (2022) 64GB (Wi-Fi): £569/$599/€699AU$929
  • iPad Air (2022) 256GB (Wi-Fi): £719/$749/€869/AU$1,159
  • iPad Air (2022) 64GB (Wi-Fi+Mobile): £719/$749/€869/AU$1,159
  • iPad Air (2022) 256GB (Wi-Fi+Mobile): £869/$899/€1,039/AU$1,389

When it was launched, the iPad Air (2020) supplied the identical configurations and at very comparable costs:

  • iPad Air (2020) 64GB (Wi-Fi): £579/US$599/AU$899
  • iPad Air (2020) 256GB (Wi-Fi): £729/US$749/AU$1,129
  • iPad Air (2020) 64GB (Wi-Fi + Mobile): £709/US$729/$1,099
  • iPad Air (2020) 256GB (Wi-Fi + Mobile): £859/US$879/AU$1,329

Now that Apple has stopped promoting it, you may have the ability to decide up some first rate offers in the event you store round. Check out our roundup to seek out what presents are at present accessible for each units.


There is no doubt that the brand new iPad Air (2022) is a superb system that actually does get you into the territory of the iPad Professionals at a less expensive value. The M1 is a fantastically highly effective processor that may make gentle work of something you may throw at an iPad, plus the marginally improved cameras and addition of 5G are good to have.

That being stated, when you’ve got a present iPad Air (2020) then we do not suppose there’s a lot level in upgrading. All that energy is nice, however solely when you’ve got a necessity for it. In any other case, we nonetheless suppose in the event you can decide up the older mannequin on deal, then it’ll ship the iPad expertise most individuals need however will depart a couple of quid in your pocket too.

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