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Apple iPad Air 2022 review: A well-balanced tab for work and fun

Business Today logo Business Today 19-04-2022 Nidhi Singal
Apple iPad Air 2022 review: A well-balanced tab for work and fun © Provided by Business Today Apple iPad Air 2022 review: A well-balanced tab for work and fun

Specs: 10.9-inch LED display at 2,360x1,640p, Apple M1 chip, iPadOS 15, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, up to 10 hours battery backup, 64GB/256GB storage options, 461 gm 

Price: Rs 54,900 for 64GB 

Colour: Space Gray, Pink, Purple, Blue, Starlight

In the Box: iPad Air, Type-C charge cable, 20-W USB-C power adapter

The undisputed king of tablets, Apple’s new iPad Air 2022 packs in the best – a familiar design and power from the in-house silicon chip (M1) that supported the Macbook Air, Mac machines and even the last year’s iPad Pro.

The familiar square-edged design on the new Air houses a 10.9-inch screen in a 100 per cent recycled aluminium casing. The 461-gram weight is divided throughout, making it convenient to hold. The tablet is designed to be used in both portrait and landscape mode. While I used the former mostly for reading, the latter was preferred for content consumption, gaming or working while mounting it on the keyboard dock. But in both modes, the power button that bundles TouchID for security (unlocking and authenticating app purchases) and the volume buttons, are easily accessible. The front camera is at the top centre (portrait orientation) and works best for eye contact during video calls but the ‘Centre Stage’ automatic reframing compensates for the experience when used in landscape orientation.

The 10.9-inch LED screen with 500 nits of brightness is vibrant to use with great sunlight legibility. Apple's True Tone adjusts colour and intensity to match the ambient light, which I preferred keeping off as I like the bright white screen over pale yellowish. And the anti-reflective coating cuts glare, making it easier to view the screen. Although addicted to 13-14-inch laptop screen size, I loved using this almost 11-inch screen for reading, gaming, streaming videos and even working.

Be it photo and video editing, gaming, sketching and drawing, or documentation, this iPad Air handles all sorts of workloads without any lag. While the M1 chip comes into play to handle heavy workloads like editing videos, some bit of credit goes to the iPadOS too, which over the years has been refined to handle multitasking. It brings features such as side-by-side view and drag-and-drop that make it much easier to work. If you have experienced the macOS on any of the Apple laptops, the dock at the bottom makes you feel at home. 

For those who haven’t, the dock acts as a shortcut for the apps you wish to access in a jiffy. Plus, it also gives access to frequently used apps, eliminating the need to browse through the home windows.  

There is also a single 12MP rear camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture that is good for casual photography (at least you won’t miss a shot you want to capture). It’s a decent enough camera which I use for scanning documents. iPad Air is available in WiFi and Cellular with WiFi variant (priced about Rs 14,000 higher). You can insert a data SIM card for seamless connectivity but if you are an iPhone user and logged into the iPad using the same Apple account, it can connect to iPhone’s personal hotspot hassle-free. Or can connect to the hotspot of any other smartphone too. All this is backed with an all-day battery, lasting about seven hours of usage. And the Type-C charging port makes it easy to look for a cable when out of juice.

Artistic Instinct

The capacitive touch on the tablets makes it convenient for artists to sketch and draw, given they have a nice stylus. And be it sketching, drawing, colouring, taking notes or marking PDFs, Apple’s 2nd gen Pencil with pressure and tilt sensitivity perfectly emulates the pen-paper experience. And it works well with regular apps such as notes and pages. Given Apple hardware is the preferred picking for creative professionals, the App store has a plethora of paid and free third-party apps to download too. However, unlike the S-Pen that’s bundled with the latest Samsung S8 Tab series, you will have to shell out Rs 10,900 for this 2nd Gen Apple Pencil

Makeshift laptop

It’s not just the macOS and the productivity suite but Apple has also designed the Magic Keyboard accessory for iPad (Rs 27,900, sold separately) that converts it into a productivity power horse. The magnets on the keyboard hold the tablet tightly, avoiding accidental falls. Plus, just like a laptop screen, I was able to adjust the angle of the Air for better viewing and working experience. The well-spaced keyboard is comfortable to type on. But it is the responsive trackpad with gesture support that replicates the laptop-like experience. Pairing the iPad Air with the Magic Keyboard was a perfect laptop alternative. Also, seamless sync with iCloud backup, makes it easy to fetch all my documents and folders on this machine. And when stepping out for meetings, I preferred using this combination over the laptop. 

Verdict

With iPad, Apple’s spoiling you for choices. Right from the Mini, all the way to the Pro, there were already plenty of options to choose from. And this new iPad Air 2022, sweetens the deal even further. Priced starting at Rs 54,900, it sits comfortably between the 11-inch iPad Pro 3rd generation (starting Rs 71,900) and 9th generation 10.2-inch iPad (Rs 30,900 upwards). Plus the design housing the 10.9-inch display makes it compatible with previous-gen and the iPad Pro accessories including the Magic Keyboard and 2nd gen Apple Pencil for productivity and creative needs.

Also read: EXCLUSIVE: To achieve its semiconductor dream, Indian govt should act fast, says expert

Also read: HP expands Chromebook portfolio, launches x360 14a in India

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