The last time táo introduced a new máy tính bảng ipad Air was 2014. Since then, there have been ipad Pros with more premium features & price tags, và even a resurrected, unbranded original Air (now known as the 9.7-inch iPad) with the lowest entry-level price ever. But as the Pros got more expensive and the base model less, there"s been nothing but a widening gulf in-between those two extremes. Until now.
So, with the 2019 máy tính bảng ipad Air 3 và the almost identically specced ipad tablet mini 5, táo hasn"t just launched new iPads — they"ve launched a new midrange tier khổng lồ the lineup, something with many of the Pro features but without the pro price.
I spent some time chatting with táo khuyết about the new ipad Air 3 in new york City last week & picked one up one for nhận xét while in Cupertino for the Show Time event. But, I wanted to bởi a wider, more complete, more in-context review for the Air as well... In the air. Literally.
I scored an upgrade on my flight home, headed khổng lồ the airport, jumped into one of the wacky s-shaped pod seats, và got to work finding out what this new 10.5-inch Air is really all about.
Note: If you can find it on clearance sale, strongly consider the just-discontinued 10.5-inch 2017 ipad tablet Pro 2, which is almost identical, but has 4 speakers, a 120hz ProMotiion display, and better rear cameras.
The máy tính bảng ipad Air 3 (2019) may cost the same as the original iPad, but it brings an almost full-on, pro-level feature set with it for that price. That makes it the new everyday máy tính bảng ipad for just about everyone.
For people who want:Touch IDOld/Classic design10.5-inch sizeLaminated, wide gamut displayCutting edge processorsLightning portiOS + millions of appsFree hãng apple educationAppleCare support
Not for people who want:Face IDNew, fuller screen design7.9-inch or 12.-9-inch sizesProMotion displayCutting edge camerasUSB-C portmacOS or WindowsSuper-cheap, DYI video viewerIntel inside
New khổng lồ the Air is DCI-P3 wide gamut color, so your greens look ultimate Widow gore-green và your reds look ultimate Cap raging red.
Apple"s not calling these displays HDR or claiming they can display HDR content. They can play it back, but the LCDs just aren"t capable of the same inky blacks or peak brightness as OLED displays. So what you get is more of an extended range, in other words, the best they can do.
And, yeah, sure, not everyone appreciates wide color, but if you"re painting on your ipad or working with photos, it looks so good it"s hard to lớn go back lớn plain old sRGB. If you want a Dolby Vision experience, táo khuyết offers the much smaller iPhone XS Max or the táo TV 4K, which you can plug into any OLED your heart and eyes desire.
There are some OLED tablets out there, like the new Samsung Tabs, but last I heard, for the amount hãng apple wants lớn make, và what they want to bởi with them, the current ren of OLED still isn"t practical or consistent enough.
Still, watching videos looks great. Animation pops just lượt thích you"d expect, and even Apple"s TV+ sizzle reel... You guessed it... Sizzles.
What the new Air 3 doesn"t get that, not only the current, but even the previous 10.5-inch Pro had is Apple"s 120hz ProMotion on either. Yup, that smoldering smooth refresh rate didn"t survive the price cut.
But, True Tone did. That"s what táo apple calls dynamically adjusting the display to lớn match the màu sắc temperature of the world around you, keeping white white. Not blue-white or yellow-white but crispy, paper white.
You may want khổng lồ turn it off if you"re in a studio doing color correction but otherwise turn it on and leave it on.
iPad Air 3 The Silicon
So here"s where things get interesting. The 10.5-inch máy tính bảng ipad Air 3 may look almost the same as the 10.5-inch ipad Pro 2, but... Wait for it... It"s bigger on the inside.
Instead of an A10X Fusion, which had three sets of paired efficiency and performance cores quote-unquote fused together, the new Air backs Apple"s latest A12 Bionic, which has four efficiency và two performance cores that, thanks to a new controller, can all work separately or all assemble, Avengers-like, together.
It"s lightyears — okay, four years — ahead of the A8X in the previous ipad Air. But, while it"s the latest, it"s not technically the greatest. Because like the iPhones XR & XS, it has the regular A12... Not the A12X of the current iPads Pro. That adds two additional performance cores và three extra graphics cores, bringing that total to 7. It also has less memory. 3GB instead of 4GB (or 6GB in the 1TB version) to lớn be precise.
It does have the same new Neural Engine, which means even though it doesn"t use it for Face ID, because no True Depth camera system, it does use it for everything else involving machine learning & computer vision, including photo enhancement, to photo sorting, khổng lồ all the heavy lifting all those crazy CoreML apps do every day. Và it works with the new image signal processor lớn get more out of the cameras than the sensors themselves could possibly achieve.
Now, most people won"t care about most of this. What they"ll care about is that games fly at 60fps, real estate apps recommend the best photos for their listings so fast they don"t even realize they"re being recommended, and, hey, I can actually see the sky and the screen in that photo!
But, what"s more, A12 has enough overhead to lớn make sure ios upgrades và new apps keep flying on it for four or five years to lớn come.
If you"re more concerned about the present, about today, then you get the same base level 10 hours of battery life that Apple"s been targeting for iPads for years now. They don"t really increase it often if ever, but they add new features, and many times reduce weight, balancing capacity và efficiency, lớn maintain it. So you can vì more for the same amount of time.
And that includes doing a ton of goofy reviews stuff from the time I left my khách sạn to the time I got off the plane. Apple"s usually on the conservative side of its battery metrics, but I"ll keep hammering on the Air 3 for a month or so to lớn see how it does.
Wi-Fi hasn"t changed — it"s still 866Mbps MIMO. LTE — Yeah, LTE, 5G still isn"t a thing — is gigabit now, and with both a real SIM và an eSIM, you can stick in a thẻ for your day-to-day and sign up for roaming plans when and if you travel.
That is, if you get the cellular version, which I always vì chưng because I just don"t trust airport, coffee shop, even hotel, và other quote-unquote miễn phí Wi-Fi, & I can use it as an incredibly long lasting hotspot for everything else I own, even & especially while traveling.
That"s how I downloaded everything onto this iPad, from the hotel and the Lyft, và the airport, prior to lớn taking off.
5. Máy tính bảng ipad Air 3 The Cameras
About the only area where the new ipad Air 3 falls short for me, and I mentioned this in my máy tính bảng ipad mini 5 reviews as well, is the rear camera. Not the front camera which is a new 7 MP 1080p model that might not be True Depth lượt thích the Pro, which means no Animoji or Memoji, but is still great for Selfies, groupies, FaceTime, & FaceTime groups. But the rear camera.
The rear camera, which is stuck at 8 MP f/2.4 & 1080p, just feels so yesterday. Lượt thích I said before, the A12 image signal processor, tied into the neural engine, mitigates that somewhat thanks khổng lồ Smart HDR và all the other near real-time processing it does, but it"s always going to be limited by the glass.
A lot of you keep telling me you don"t care. You have phones to take photos with. And, honestly, good for you. But I see a lot of people taking photos with iPads, even after all the fun everyone"s made of them, and if the ipad camera is their primary camera, I want it to be all that it can be.
But, sure, these don"t require a camera bump & a lot of people prefer that, and they work fine for scanning documents and doing other kinds of businessy work.
They also work terrifically well for AR, thanks lớn all the optimizations táo bị cắn has done for that. Seriously, you can thua trận track of which objects are real và which are models sometimes, and that"s terrific scary.
iPad Air 3 Accessories
If you look at the ipad Air 3 as the new 10.5-inch ipad Air, then it has two new và really important accessories khổng lồ talk about. But, if you look at it as a slightly stripped down 10.5-inch ipad tablet Pro, well, then, it has two very important accessories that didn"t get stripped và are still very much worth talking about.
One is the hãng apple Pencil. The first generation pencil, not the second. That"s because, with the older ipad tablet design, there"s no way to pair or charge with the second generation pencil. Not without switching lớn the new máy tính bảng ipad design, which — follow along if you got this at trang chủ — you can go pick up any time you want at its pro price tag.
So, previous thiết kế gets previous Pencil. Which means, yes, you"re left changing via Lightning, yes like an animal, which is fast và convenient because you can đứng đầu it up right on the ipad tablet itself… even if it"s absolutely as awkward as it looks.
The Pencil itself still works terrifically well. It doesn"t have the tap-to-change-tools feature, but it has the accuracy, the feel, the angle, the shading, everything else that makes táo apple Pencil really quite something else.
I mostly use it to draw but it works just as well for note taking, slide making, và almost like a mouse pointer for anything that you want to lớn get your fingers out of the way from the screen for, and just be really precise with.
Two is the Smart Keyboard. Also first-generation, not second. But also, I still kinda lượt thích it better. Yes, it"s lượt thích origami, but you can fold it up in multiple ways & you don"t have to feel the keys on the backs of your fingers.
It"s also sealed from debris & it"s water resistant, which is great for a travel computer.
They vày come separately, they vày carry an additional cost, but as I sit tens of thousands of feet in the air, drawing and typing, they feel lượt thích inextricable parts of the experience.
iPad Air 3 The Conclusion
The new, 3rd generation, máy tính bảng ipad Air starts at $499. That"s the same price as the original and, looking back over the last nine years, it"s interesting to see how the sản phẩm has evolved. More precisely, how it"s grown.
Back then, if you wanted an iPad, there was only one khổng lồ get. Now, you have a full range of options. I know that might sound confusing but it really isn"t.
If you already have an máy tính bảng ipad Pro, any máy tính bảng ipad Pro, including the 2017 10.5-inch model, you really don"t need to look at the new Air. Maybe if you have the original năm ngoái 12.9-inch và you"ve been itching for something smaller & faster, but otherwise, you"re good.
If you have an older non-Pro iPad, though, or you"re brand new to iPad, I"d argue, strongly, that the new Air should be your go to.
If it"s just too expensive, then, by all means, look at the 9.7-inch entry-level model. It doesn"t have the laminated screen, the A12, or the Smart Keyboard, but it has hãng apple Pencil support and it"s an amazing value starting at just $329.
If you really want or need pro features lượt thích quad speakers, USB-C, the TrueDepth camera with FaceID, 12mp, 4K rear cameras, and that beastly A12X chipset, và performance is more important to you than price, you can get the ipad tablet Pro of the future starting at $799.
And, if you want something smaller that you can tuck away into a jacket pocket, and you don"t care about the Smart Keyboard, you can get the máy tính bảng ipad mini 5, which is identical in every other way, starting at $399.
Otherwise, this is the new normal, the new mainstream, the new baseline.
The new máy tính bảng ipad Air is the new everyday máy tính bảng ipad for just about everyone.
The ipad tablet Air 3 (2019) may cost the same as the original iPad, but it brings an almost full-on, pro-level feature mix with it for that price. That makes it the new everyday máy tính bảng ipad for just about everyone.
VECTOR | Rene Ritchie
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Rene Ritchie has been covering personal technology for a decade. Former editor-in-chief of tptgame.vn & Editorial Director for thiết bị di động Nations, he specializes in Apple & related technologies, news analysis and insight. Follow him
reneritchie on Twitter, Instagram, watch his videos on YouTube, and visit him on the website at reneritchie.net.