Apple’s Peek Performance event is finally here, and not only did we see a new iPhone SE, but Cupertino also launched a revamped version of the Apple iPad Air. The 5th generation iPad Air may not look very different from the last iteration of the tablet that came out in 2020, but under the hood it gets a significant increase in power thanks to it now being powered by the Apple M1, the same one in the iPad Pro.
Let’s make it clear though, the Apple M1 and the Apple A14 Bionic chip that it replaces in the iPad Air both technically were launched in 2020. But according to Apple, the 8 CPU cores in the new iPad Air’s M1 chip offers up to 60% faster performance compared to its predecessor. Furthermore, the M1’s 8 GPU cores will be able to deliver up to twice the graphics performance of the 2020 iPad Air. The 16-core Neural Engine also provides machine learning capabilities, and with all of that combined Apple says you’d be able to do everything from edit multiple 4K video streams, 3D design, AR functionality and play the most intensive games. Apple has also stated that it comes with 8GB of RAM and as for storage, you can choose between 64GB and 256GB.
Switching to the Apple M1 chip doesn’t just bring a performance boost, but apparently also 5G connectivity. Previously, the cellular-enabled iPad Air only came with 4G LTE connectivity at best. You’ll also find WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 support as well. The USB-C port has been given an upgrade too, with Apple claiming that it’s now twice as fast as its predecessor. However, there is still no Thunderbolt 4 support, with the USB-C port limited to USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds. The iPad Air will come with a USB-C charging cable as well as a 20W USB-C power adapter in the box. Apple also mentions that the new iPad Air comes with 100% recycled aluminum in the enclosure, the latest step in Cupertino’s efforts to be more sustainable.
The processor isn’t the only major upgrade on the iPad Air either. Apple has also swapped out the old front facing 7MP camera for a new 12MP, f/2.4 ultra wide camera with a 122° field of view. This means that the iPad Air will also get Center Stage support, which automatically puts you in the center of the frame during your video calls. It also means that the entirety of Apple’s iPad lineup now gets Center Stage. Meanwhile, the rear of the iPad Air still has a 12MP, f/1.8 main camera as did the old iPad Air.
Elsewhere, the iPad Air is largely the same. You’ll find the exact same 10.9-inch, Liquid Retina Display with a 2360 x 1640p resolution for a 264ppi pixel density. It covers the P3 colour gamut and has True Tone too. The display is capable of 500nits of brightness, and you can use the 2nd generation Apple Pencil on it too. There’s also stereo speakers, a dual microphone array and Touch ID too which is located on the power button. It measures 6.1mm thick and weighs just 462g. Keeping the lights on is a 28.6Whr battery that Apple says will last you up to 10 hours of video streaming. The new iPad Air comes in Space Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple and Blue.
Apple iPad Air 2022 Malaysia pricing and availability
Here’s how much the new iPad Air will cost you in Malaysia:
- Apple iPad Air, WiFi only, 64GB storage- RM2,699
- Apple iPad Air, WiFi + Cellular, 64GB storage – RM3,349
- Apple iPad Air, WiFi only, 256GB storage – RM3,349
- Apple iPad Air, WiFi + Cellular, 256GB storage – RM3,999
Curiously, while the new iPad Air technically starts at the same USD599 price in the US, in Malaysia, the price has increased by RM100, with the base model now at RM2,699. As for availability, Apple mentioned that it’ll be available from March 18 onwards in the US, but as for Malaysia it’s still unknown, with its product page stating that the delivery date is currently unavailable.
As usual, there’s also a plethora of optional accessories that you can get with the iPad Air. These include the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, the Magic Keyboard, the Smart Keyboard Folio and the Smart Folio. Here’s how much these accessories will cost you:
- Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) – RM549
- Magic Keyboard – RM1,349
- Smart Keyboard Folio – RM769
- Smart Folio – RM329
For more information on the new Apple iPad Air, you can check out its product page on the Apple website.