iPad Air 2020 reviewed: all its features and prices — 2022
Apple introduced its new mid-range tablet at a special event on September 15, 2020, kicking off a new generation of iPad Air that completely change your design and that incorporates features that increasingly resemble an iPad Pro. In this article we will tell you everything about this device.
Highlights of your design
This iPad has many elements to highlight in terms of its design, since it is very different from what this range of tablets had been in previous generations. In the following sections we tell you what is the most outstanding in this regard and what we consider you should know.
New shape factor and colors to choose from
Possibly the biggest change that this fourth generation iPad Air has represented is in its appearance. We quote it again because this is half true. The form factor is not new in the Apple ecosystem because the iPad Pro had already been released in 2018, but it is new in this range. In fact, this 'Air' is the first to incorporate a design of this type after the 'Pro', with a front all screen after removing the Home button and considerably reducing the frames.
For practical purposes, it uses a body almost identical to that of the 11-inch iPad Pro, although the bezels on its front are somewhat thicker than in these. In general, they look much more modern than in previous generations. Even in the back we see a change, since the camera has been improved and a lens practically identical to that of the iPad Pro 2018 has been used, although in this case we do not find a flash. We also see the Smart Connector, which was already released in previous generations and in this one it is located on the back, which makes it compatible with some accessories that we will discuss later.
An unprecedented novelty in this device and that not even the 'Pro' have is a wide range of colors . To the classic space gray and silver, there is now a rose gold that looks more coppery depending on the light, a soft light blue and a green that looks really elegant. All this in a body with a premium aluminum design in which the straight edges and rounded corners are also traced to the most recent iPad Pro. As to dimensions we find 24.76 centimeters high, 17.85 centimeters wide and a thickness of 0.61 centimeters. The weight It is 458 grams in the WiFi versions and 460 grams in the WiFi + Cellular models.
An almost 'Pro' screen
This is quite possibly one of the most important parts of a touch device like this. Includes a screen 10.9 inches with LCD technology that Apple calls Liquid-Retina. It has a resolution 2,360 x 1,640 pixels at 264 pixels per inch, with a wide P3 color gamut, to which is added True Tone technology that helps reduce eyestrain by adapting colors to different light situations. It also includes an anti-reflective film, an anti-fingerprint cover and a brightness of 500 nights.
For practical purposes we can say that it looks practically the same as the 'Pro' models, although it lacks something that would really match it. Does not have ProMotion technology , which is what Apple calls its screens with 120 Hz refresh rate. Those who have rarely tried this function would say that it is dispensable, despite not being strictly necessary, but it provides greater fluidity when navigating the system and viewing certain graphics in videos and games. In any case, it cannot be said that this is a point against the iPad Air 4, since it is understandable that it has not been added considering that the price is lower than that of the 'Pro' models. However, if it is true that, perhaps for all those users who come from an iPad that already has this screen technology, they notice quite the difference, and even, having a newer and more powerful device, they have the feeling that this iPad it works slower than its previous one, due to those 120 Hz refresh that it does not have on its screen. However, it is something that over time you stop noticing, since both your eyes and you end up getting used to this refresh rate until it becomes negligible.
Anyone who has previously tried an iPad Pro from 2018, 2020 or 2021 will have been able to observe that there are certain differences at the touch level. They are light and almost invaluable if you have not had extensive experience with any of the 'Pro' mentioned, but it is noticeable in a certain way how the material that covers the screen of this iPad Air is of a slightly lower quality. For someone who has never tried the other screens, it will not even be noticeable and although it is not something dramatic or worsens the experience, it is something that has been noticed.
It does not have Face ID but it has a new Touch ID
Gone are the times when anyone could unlock our devices or if we put a security method on it, it was a tedious password, code or pattern. The classic Touch ID is still alive on this device, but no longer in the non-existent Home button, but in the unlock button . This iPad Air 2020 has been a pioneer in incorporating a fingerprint sensor in this part (as far as Apple products are concerned) and the truth is that it works just as well as always, with the same efficiency and level of security. Also, keep in mind that, although at first it may seem awkward to have to use the button, due to the way of using this iPad Air it becomes really intuitive and comfortable to put your finger on this sensor to be able to unlock the iPad. or pay with Apple Pay.
Would a Face ID have been nice? Yes. In fact, it would have been great, but again we have to put this product in perspective and see that it is actually the intermediate model of Apple's tablet, that its price is lower and therefore you cannot have exactly the same as in the models more advanced.
The most relevant at the hardware level
Although we do not want to downplay the visual factor, given that in the end it is important that whoever buys a product of this type convinces them aesthetically, the truth is that this iPad has much more to say at the hardware level. Not only has it changed externally, but inside we can find more than outstanding changes and that we analyze in the following sections.
A processor at the height
The main brain of this device and the one that will allow everything to work well is the chip A14 Bionic Which incorporates. This again has 64-bit ARM technology and is only 5nm in size. It even comes with a neural engine (Neural Engine) that helps in numerous processes, making it a much more efficient chip than those of yesteryear (the first to incorporate the Neural Engine was the A12 Bionic).
Well, what does this mean for practical purposes? Well, have an iPad beast. It is true that it is not an 'X' or 'Z' version of the processor, which are the ones that Apple dedicates to the 'Pro' models and have greater power. It is also not an M1 like in the 2021 iPad Pro, but it seems more than enough to be able to run any process without problems. Even in areas such as video editing you can get to take advantage of this powerful processor that Apple has said is a 40% faster than its predecessor, the A13 Bionic. Precisely that processor is prior to this A14, but it was not in the iPad Air 2019, which had an A12 Bionic, so the jump in this regard is very substantial. There will really be few users who need more power in an iPad than what this model already provides with the A14 Bionic chip, since after all, both this iPad Air and all iPad models are very limited, not because of the power of its processors, but because of the capabilities and opportunities provided by the operating system itself, iPadOS.
Another thing to note is that this processor will allow you to have the latest updates of iPadOS for many years, with at least 4 or 5 years guaranteed. Which is a point in favor to continue enjoying the advances of software that is increasingly professional, making it possible to do more and more tasks on Apple tablets without having to resort to a computer.
fair storage capacity
This iPad Air comes in two storage capacities: 64 GB Y 256 GB. The lower capacity version could fall short for many users who focus this device on a regular work team. All the specifications are practically made to be an almost ‘Pro’ device, but those 64 GB are already somewhat scarce for this purpose, so storage on external devices or in the cloud would have to be used.
The 256 GB however seems to be already enough for this device. While the 512GB might have been a wise move, in the end this would push the price above what an iPad Pro costs, which would be quite confusing. Therefore, this maximum capacity seems more than enough for a majority of the target audience that this fourth generation iPad Air focuses on.
Navigate iPad even without Wi-Fi
Several years ago Apple added the possibility of purchasing an iPad in WiFi or WiFi + Cellular versions . The latter, also known as LTE, allows you to contract an exclusive data rate for this device through an eSIM, so that you can browse the internet without having to be near a known WiFi network.
In principle, we believe that it is always more worth having an iPad in a WiFi version, but LTE could come in handy for a certain user profile. If you are used to using the device on the move, that is, away from home, it may compensate you if you also find a good data rate. This will allow you to have a constant Internet connection in places such as public transport, cafeterias, parks or any other place, no matter how inhospitable it may seem. This iPad Air stands out precisely for being a device with a good screen size, but in a compact body that greatly favors portability.
Is it a problem that it does not have 5G?
Based on what was said above, we wonder what happens with the non-existence of 5G connectivity on this device. If we look back we can remember that the iPad Air of this generation was launched the same year that the iPhone first brought this connectivity. In fact, in later months we could see how the 2021 iPad Pro also incorporated this feature into the WiFi + Cellular versions.
These iPads do not even have 4G as standard, although it can be obtained in these versions with their corresponding price increase. The truth is that the fact that it does not bring 5G in that version does not seem to be a priori problem, or at least it is not at the moment. Having brought this connection would have increased the price considerably, placing it very much on a par with the 'Pro', being also a utopia to connect to networks of this type in much of the world, since the infrastructure today is still very scarce .
Enough camera set for an iPad
We start from the premise that an iPad is not focused on taking pictures, starting with its own size, which can be uncomfortable for this purpose, unlike an iPhone. In any case, we find interesting features for the cameras of this device, whether they are to take a snapshot at a given moment, to have a fun time taking photos in the Photo Booth app or to obtain good quality when scanning documents.
- 7 MP lens.
- f/2 aperture
- Video recording in 1080p at 60 f/s.
- Wide color range.
- Smart HDR.
- Retina Flash (screen serves as flash).
- Backlight sensor.
- Automatic stabilization.
- Modo Live Photo.
- Burst mode.
- Exposure control.
- 12 Mpx wide angle lens.
- f/1.8 aperture.
- Five element lens.
- Video recording in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 f/s.
- Video recording in 1080p at 30 or 60 f/s.
- Slow motion recording in 1080p at 120 or 240 f/s.
- Auto focus.
- Wide color range.
- Panoramic photos up to 63 Mpx.
- Smart HDR for photos.
- Automatic stabilization.
- Hybrid infrared filter.
- Backlight sensor.
- Live Photo mode.
- Burst mode.
- Exposure control.
- Stereo speakers.
- Double microphone for calls, video and audio recording.
- Wi-Fi 802.ax sixth generation connectivity with simultaneous dual band 2.4 and 5 GHz and HT80 MIMO.
- In WiFi + Cellular models UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1,700/2,1000, 1,900 and 2,100 Mhz) and GSM/EDGE of 850, 900, 1,800 and 1,900 MHz with Gigabit LTE in bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48, 66 and 71.
- Bluetooth 5.0.
- Geolocation with digital compass, WiFi and iBeacon microlocation in WiFi versions and integrated GPS/GNSS and mobile networks in WiFi + Cellular versions.
- Three axis gyroscope.
- Ambient light sensor.
- 64 GB: 649 euros.
- 256 GB: 819 euros.
- 64 GB: 789 euros.
- 256 GB: 959 euros.
Other technical data
iPads are less iPad if you don't have accessories. They are very functional tablets on their own, but it is no less true that accompanying them with keyboards, mice and other external elements makes their potential multiply. This is precisely what we will see in the following sections.
And USB-C has arrived (finally)
No one doubts that Lightning was a bit of a revolution when it was introduced by Apple. Both its reversible design and its speeds were very suitable for the time, but with the arrival of USB-C and the adoption of this standard by many companies, the Apple standard was somewhat delayed. Despite the fact that the company has already begun to incorporate it into its Macs and even into the iPad Pro, we did not see it on more devices until the arrival of this 2020 'Air' model.
Having a USB-C connection on this device not only implies a more efficient charge in less time, but also opens a new world of possibilities as far as external accessories are concerned. Possibly the highlight is being able to connect photo and video cameras, as well as external storage devices, being able to manage them perfectly from the Files app. Without a doubt, after the change in design, the great novelty and the great joy that many powerful buyers of this iPad Air have taken is just this, the inclusion of the USB-C port. The number of possibilities that it brings to this device is enormous, opening up much more the range of uses that each person can do with this fantastic device and, making the iPad already a versatile piece of equipment before, now it can become much more so thanks to the number of accessories that can be used with it.
Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard and other compatible accessories
The Apple Pencil 1, already compatible with all recent iPads except for the 'Pro', was already somewhat short for this intermediate model. In this new iPad Air we find full compatibility with the renewed second-generation Apple Pencil introduced by the company in 2018. Beyond its design and its ease of loading and transport (magnetically on one side of the iPad) it stands out for adding additional functions and greater precision.
The surprise also comes from the hand of accessories that connect with the Smart Connector , such as the Smart Keyboard or the Magic Keyboard. The first of these is not new, since the predecessor of this equipment could already be connected to it, but the new model of keyboard with trackpad is an advantage for those users who use the keyboard for a long time and also want to take advantage of its benefits. of the manageable cursor with the trackpad.
Also other accessories such as Bluetooth mice or keyboards are compatible with this iPad Air. So are covers, holders or stylus less dedicated than the Apple Pencil but cheaper. Therefore, it could be said that in this sense the iPad Air has nothing to envy to the most advanced models.
The accessories that are included
It may seem like a simple fact, but the truth is that it is really important to know what this iPad Air includes in its original box. We found a 1 meter USB-C charging cable accompanied by a 20W power adapter whose input is also USB-C. In addition, the guides and user manuals are included, with the classic stickers with the Apple logo. And of course the iPad Air. What kind of joke would it be otherwise?
iPadOS, the absolute star of any iPad
At a time when hardware innovation is scarce, there are those who suggest that the next revolution will come through software. In the case of this iPad Air, despite its good components, it can be said that this is the case. iPadOS 14 and the successive versions compatible with this model are not exclusive to it, but for that reason we cannot ignore the fact that it is the best companion that the device has.
In 2019, Apple decided to separate iOS from the iPad, leaving this system only for the iPhone and iPod touch, thus allowing the iPad to have a system that is still based on the same aesthetic and functional base, but with some interesting additions. The use of the mouse, enhancing the Split View and even having three apps on the screen at the same time, perfectly managing office documents, files from external devices and many more functions are present in this iPad Air. We must also add the company's software classics such as Siri, FaceTime, Apple Pay or services such as Find my iPad.
We honestly don't believe that an iPad is better than a computer, or at least today, but the truth is that for certain people it can be better. Not because it does more things, but because what it is capable of doing may be enough for many. Obviously, whoever uses very powerful and professional software tools focused on engineering or similar tasks could not adapt an iPad for this purpose, but many professionals in photography, word processing and many other fields in which there are more than enough apps to iPadOS.
Price and conclusion
We end this review with two fundamental aspects such as the prices of the tablet and the conclusion that we make at La Manzana Bite after seeing everything that an iPad Air like this incorporates and can give.
iPad Air 2020 (4th generation) prices
Everything seemed too nice in this new iPad Air, but we found the surprise when we saw its price. Beyond the fact that other stores can offer specific discounts, if we look only at the official price that Apple will maintain for this device, we see that rises €100 compared to the previous model . Considering that it is expensive, cheap or fair already depends on the perception of each one and on how much they are willing or not to pay for a team with the features that we have discussed in this article.
A round iPad that will outshine the 'Pro'
Users who want an iPad will be in for a hell of a choice. If they want a device that doesn't spend a lot of money, has a good processor, the latest iPadOS updates, and doesn't mind having the classic iPad design, they'll choose the iPad model as is, the one with no additional name. If someone wants a tremendously compact device to take anywhere to consume multimedia content and occasionally surf the Internet, they will have the iPad mini. Whoever wants a device with a new design, a powerful processor and capable of handling heavy processes will choose a… What can you choose?
Before the launch of the iPad Air 2020, this question would have been resolved by recommending the iPad Pro, but since this 'Air' model has inherited a good part of its features, the question is no longer so clear. In our view, if there is a demanding user who can do without LiDAR sensors, ultra wide angle and 120 Hz refresh rate, the most recommended is this 'Air'. The difference with its 11-inch counterpart is 200 euros and frankly, these differences do not seem to be enough to make it worth depending on the public.
Therefore, if you are looking for a device with a modern look, that guarantees good performance and you do not need the latest features as mentioned in the previous paragraph, you should definitely opt for this iPad Air 2020.