iPad Air (2024) review: Apple’s M2 tablet is even better than my $1,200 Android


advantages and disadvantages


  • Increased base storage for the same price as the old model
  • Affordable large (13-inch) screen option
  • Apple Silicon M2 is faster
  • Camera placement is more natural

  • Thicker and heavier than iPad Pro
  • Does not unlock Face ID
  • There is no headphone jack
  • Display refresh rate 60Hz

More shopping options

ZDNET Buying Tips

With a portable feel and increased basic storage capacity, the device is versatile iPad Air (2024) Balance performance and price. It’s powerful enough for most tablet use cases like browsing multiple apps, watching movies and TV shows, and making video calls while costing hundreds of dollars less than the Pro model and other top Android tablets.

Also: iPad Pro (2024) review: Apple’s highest-end tablet isn’t a MacBook, and I’m fine with that

That said, while this iPad Air certainly doesn’t perform better than the iPad Pro – it shouldn’t – it doesn’t significantly outperform the previous Air model or other cheaper iPads. But if you want a big-screen, lightweight iPad with most of Apple’s fixes, this year’s model may be the most affordable choice for consumers.


iPad Air 11 inches iPad Air 13 inches
Starting price $599 $799
Display Liquid retina display Liquid retina display
Weight 462 grams (16.3 oz) 617 grams (21.8 oz)
Processor Apple M2 chip Apple M2 chip
Warehouse 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery Up to 10 hours, Li-Po 28.93Wh Up to 10 hours, Li-Po 36.59Wh
Camera Main 12MP | 12MP front Main 12MP | 12MP front

How I Tested the iPad Air (2024)

I’ve been testing the iPad Air daily for the past week and a half, using various productivity apps for writing and working, browsing the web, playing games, etc. Benchmark testing includes performance comparisons with older iPads. more (8th generation) and Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. My review unit is the 11-inch model, although Apple also sells a larger 13-inch size this year. This helps Apple keep the specs on both configurations nearly identical, including processor, RAM and storage, rated battery life, and cameras.

What’s the best feature of the iPad Air (2024)?

Double the storage for the same price as the last model: The iPad Air (2024) comes in four storage capacities, starting at 128GB and going up to 1TB for both the 11-inch and 13-inch models. The 11-inch iPad Air with 128GB of storage costs $599, the same price as the previous generation’s 10.9-inch model with half the storage, at 64GB.

iPad Air (2024, 6th generation)

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Doubling the storage for the base model is enough to get some buyers to add the new iPad Air to their carts. Add to that all the extras that come with the latest model, including the front-facing camera now centered on the longer side of the tablet, the M2 processor, etc. and you have one of the best Features better, if not the best, value tablet on the market.

The faster M2 chip benefits all types of users: The new iPad Air has an M2 chip, an upgrade from the M1 on the fifth-generation model. How much better is it? Apple says the M2 chip gives the new iPad Air 50% faster performance than the previous M1 model and three times faster than the A13 Bionic model.

Also: Apple iPad Air (2024) vs. iPad Air (2022): Which model should you buy?

While I don’t have an M1 model to test those claims, I do have two older eighth-generation iPads in the house, both of which felt less snappy and noticeably less responsive after I switched. to iPad Air last week. Clearly, the iPad 2024 outperforms the older A12 Bionic chip in benchmark tests, but notice how it compares to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra pill.

Geekbench score 6 SC CPU benchmark MC CPU benchmark GPU benchmarks
iPad Air (2024) 2622 10007 41771
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra 2081 5601 9481
iPad 8th generation 13:30 2788 8998

For reference, the Samsung is a 14-inch, $1,200 tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. Besides outperforming the Ultra tablet in benchmarks, I found that using every The date on the iPad Air is much more reliable and stable than the Samsung.

While I like the versatility of the Tab S9 Ultra as a work device and entertainment tablet, the iPad Air is much faster and less prone to random errors (e.g. app crashes, crashes, etc.). connectivity and overall performance), especially when using apps like CapCut for quick video editing and Photoshop for photos.

iPad Air (2024, 6th generation)

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Large screen options for the first time: Apple sells the 13-inch iPad Air for the first time. It’s intrinsically heavier than the 11-inch model – about 5 ounces – but it offers more screen real estate for improved productivity and content consumption.

Also: I have used every iPad since the first one. For the new 2024 models, here is my buying advice

Considering that the 13-inch iPad Air starts at $799, it’s a solid and relatively affordable option for college students and working professionals. However, I prefer the 11-inch model because of its portability. That’s the whole purpose of the “Air” device, right?

What I want to see in the next model

iPad Air (2024, 6th generation)

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

An authentic iPad “Air”: Apple missed the mark on the “Air” moniker for this year’s iPad, as the latest iPad Air is both heavier and thicker than the latest iPad Pro.

It’s not that the company hasn’t kept the size and weight of the iPad Air true to previous versions, but it’s that Apple devoted most, if not all, of its effort to making the iPad Pro expensive. Money is lighter and thinner this year. iPad Air in the dust.

Also: The true potential of the M4 iPad Pro will be realized at WWDC and AI will have a lot to do with it

At 462 grams, the latest 11-inch iPad Air is quite similar in weight to its predecessor, which weighed 461 grams at 10.9 inches. The 2022 and 2024 models are both 0.24 inches (6.1 mm) thick. Apple didn’t make the iPad Air thinner or lighter this time, which is disappointing given how much thinner the Pro model has become. Perhaps “Air” currently only has basic features, similar to how it applies to the MacBook line.

iPad Air (2024, 6th generation)

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Unlock Face ID: It may sound like a broken record, but truth be told, many iPad Air users want this feature but Apple has yet to add it to this model. While this is a minor issue, especially with the very accurate fingerprint reader embedded into the power button on the side, it’s more a matter of convenience.

You can set up Touch ID with both hands so you don’t have to reach in with the same hand every time you need to unlock it, but I wanted to raise my tablet and have it recognize my face to unlock it. in a seamless way.

Final thoughts

After latest testing iPad Air, the biggest reason to upgrade from an older model is the larger 13-inch size option. What was once a perk of the iPad Pro has now been downgraded to a much more accessible price point.

I also feel confident in recommending that current owners, including those with 2022 models, hold off on upgrading. Aside from the larger screen configuration, there are no generational differences between this year’s iPad and the iPad two years ago.

Alternatives to consider

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