Is Apple’s new slate so magical?

New Air! Apple renew your tablet ipad air. Fifth generation of the ultra-thin slate of the apple brand, now in Wifi and 5G, the newcomer advances with a partially revised technical sheet. Objective: to optimize uses, all uses, whether for simple entertainment or production. the promises Apple held? 20 minutes he took the time to test it and gives you his verdict!

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

Light and pleasant in the hand.

10.9 inches, 6.1 mm thick, 461 grams: Apple’s new iPad Air has measurements that favor the retina. But not only. Very pleasant in the hand, the slate, which comes in 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 gets rid of the Touch ID button on the front, which this time goes to the top right edge. Handling is a bit less easy, but fingerprint unlocking is extremely responsive. Another benefit: the black side borders around the image are twice as thin.

frustrated players

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

Comfort: the two integrated speakers emit a frankly canonical, meaty and wide sound, which really makes you want to leave your headphones or earphones to watch your streaming movies and series.

The M1 chip to create in the big leagues

But the real change is inside. The iPad Air benefits from the Apple-branded M1 processor, which we have a lot of praise for. The processor is the engine. It already equipped the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. 60% faster than the A15 Bionic chip in iPad Air 4, it’s also twice as fast in terms of display.

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

Composed of 16 cores, the neural processor (that is, the brain) is capable of performing 11 trillion operations at the same time (a trillion trillion). Which gives this: 11,000,000,000,000,000,000!

Question of uses

In use, it shows. Or not. Everything depends on the uses, precisely, and here it seems correct to warn potential future buyers: if you are looking for a next-generation tablet just for your entertainment, the iPad Air will not disappoint you, but you risk offering it. yourself a Ferrari to drive on small country roads.

On the other hand, if you are creative and need resources for some demanding applications (such as Lightroom, Photoshop, ProCreate…), this is for you! Welcome, then, to the most demanding video games, 3D modeling, RAW photo editing, 4K HDR video editing and all that joy that ultimately turns the iPad Air into a tablet halfway between the slate for the entertainment… and the professional tool.

Innovation at center stage

We won’t necessarily offer the iPad Air for taking photos. If Apple now integrates a 12-megapixel photo sensor in the back (it can shoot in 4K up to 60 frames per second), the photographic quality it offers is worthy of that of an iPhone 11. It’s not that bad, but the results obtained become perfectible when good light conditions are not met.

Up front, there’s now a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, up from 7-megapixels previously. With it, the idea is not to take group selfies, but to take advantage of the new Center Stage function that Apple offers thanks to machine learning. With it, the user is recognized and his face is tracked and always placed in the center of the screen during views (now in 1080p). It works perfectly with FaceTime, but also with other applications, such as Zoom. We also found the built-in noise reduction system to be quite effective when conference calls.

For its part, the autonomy of the iPad Air does not change and remains stagnant around ten hours. However, we see that the M1 chip is on the move and saves battery power in demanding applications such as video editing. Even so, the charging time of the iPad Air with the supplied 20W charger is still quite long: around 2h30 according to our tests, through the now USB-C port of the tablet.

Very quickly more expensive than a MacBook Air

Sold from 699 euros in a Wi-Fi version with 64 GB of memory, the iPad seduces as much as it challenges. Why, in 2022, not offer 128 GB of storage (we switched directly to the 256 GB model)? Why just offer an LCD panel on a super powerful machine that’s also especially geared towards creators? And what about the price of the accessories: 135 euros for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil stylus and 339 euros for the Magic Keyboard. Which can raise the bill to 1,173 euros… where a MacBook Air with a 256 GB M1 chip costs 1,129 euros…

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