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Apple iPad Air 5 officially announced

The iPad Air 5 is official, after being announced on stage during the Apple March Event . Apple's launch event is happening right now,...

The iPad Air 5 is official, after being announced on stage during the Apple March Event.

Apple's launch event is happening right now, and we'll update this page with all the latest information on the new iPad Air as it's revealed.

Tim Cook says "we're taking its performance to the next level" in regards to the iPad Air 5.

Unsurprisingly, one of the big updates for the iPad Air 5 is in performance. Apple claims it takes a massive leap, with the introduction of the M1 chip. That's a 60% uptick in performance versus the iPad Air 4, and graphics which are as twice as fast. Apparently it's the fastest laptop in its market.

The front camera has also been upgraded, with a 12MP ultra-wide camera which supports Center Stage, which allows the camera to keep people in frame as they move around.

Developing...

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The fifth generation in Apple's mid-range tablet line
  • How much will it cost? TBC - launch event happening right now
  • When will it be out? TBC - launch event happening right now

iPad Air 5 release date and price

We're waiting for Apple to confirm the new iPad Air 5 price and release date, but we expect to have these details to share with you by the end of its on-stage iPad presentation - so there shouldn't be too long to wait for these details.

As a bit of background, the iPad Air 4 cost $599 / £579 / AU$899 for the entry-level, Wi-Fi only, 64GB of storage model, with prices going up for more storage and cellular connection.

iPad Air 5 vs iPad Air 4

Spec comparison
iPad Air 5 iPad Air 4
Screen size TBC 10.9-inch
Screen resolution TBC 2360 x 1640
Chipset M1 A14 Bionic
Storage TBC 64GB / 256GB
Rear Camera TBC 12MP
Front Camera TBC 7MP
Connectivity TBC Wi-Fi / 4G
Weight TBC From 458g (Wi-Fi only)
Dimensions TBC 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm
Biometrics TBC Touch ID

The Apple March Event is happening live right now, and while we update this page with all the latest information on the iPad Air 5, you can read the rumors and leaks we saw in the build up to today's announcement, along with what we hoped Apple would bring to the fifth generation Air tablet.

iPad Air 5 news and rumors

We're hearing more and more about the iPad Air 5 now: one source claims that an iPad Air model launching probably in early 2022 will have a 10.9-inch OLED screen.

That size is the same as the iPad Air 4, but the technology is different, as current models use LCD. A move to OLED could lead to better contrast and colors, among other upgrades.

However, more recent whispers about this Apple tablet suggest that OLED isn't working out as Apple wanted, so the iPad Air 5 is going to stick with LCD instead. That's come from not one but two reports now.

One other source meanwhile didn't mention OLED but did say the iPad Air 5 will have a 10.9-inch screen, along with an A15 Bionic chipset (also found in the iPhone 13 range), plus 5G, a dual-lens camera (with an ultra-wide joining the main one), four stereo speakers, and a design that's similar to the iPad Pro 11 (2021) - though still without Face ID.

Some of those claims have been reiterated in a more recent leak, saying that the iPad Air 5 will have an A15 Bionic chipset and 5G, along with a similar design to its predecessor (complete with squared edges), a 10.9-inch screen, a single-lens rear camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide front-facing camera.

iPad Air 5: what we want to see

Here's what we want to see in the next iPad Air model.

1. Generous storage options

iPad Air 4

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPad Air 4 is available with two storage options: 64GB, which is unlikely to be enough for most users; and 256GB, which is quite a bit more expensive. 

Most tablets come with 128GB, because it caters well to the majority, and would work well with iCloud (or your cloud storage tool of choice) for those who require extra storage still.

We'd like to see the iPad Air 5 arrive with 128GB of storage, with Apple dropping  the 64GB option entirely. The latter may be a suitable provision for entry-level iPads, but is unlikely to ever be sufficient for the types of power-users who would be investing in the iPad Air.

2. Improved selfie camera

We took issue with the iPad Air 4's selfie camera – a 7-megapixel unit, it wasn't great for video calling, taking selfies, or recording video of yourself.

Bumping up those numbers to a 10- or 12-megapixel unit would make the selfie camera more useful. Better still would be the inclusion of iPhone selfie technology.

3. Even more color choices

We were pleased to see Apple offer the iPad Air 4 in a range of color options. In particular, we liked the addition of the pastel shades.

We'd like to see more of the same with the iPad Air 5, with perhaps some new color options too. The iPhone XR and iPhone 12 are available in some great, vibrant colors, so let's see them used more!

iPad Air 4

(Image credit: Apple)

4. Longer-lasting battery

The iPad Air 4's battery lasted around 10 hours of use. This is similar to that offered by the majority of iPads; 9-12 hours is the quoted figure for general use. If you're using your iPad to watch movies in bed, or work in coffee shops from time-to-time, this is totally acceptable.

However, if you're a creative using your iPad on a film shoot, a businessperson trying to work on a long-haul flight, or a parent looking to entertain your kids on a long car ride, then you may struggle with that amount.

We'd like to see the iPad Air 5 boost battery life, or at least include software optimizations that keep the device ticking over for longer.

5. Better iPad widget handling

This is more a problem with iPadOS 14 and Apple's software, than iPad hardware, but it's a change we'd welcome.

One of the key features of iOS 14 is the ability to create widgets based on your apps, and leave them on the home screen for easy use. In iPadOS, you can only add these widgets to a carousel on the 'main' home page, making them difficult to find if you have lots of apps, and therefore much less useful.

We'd like to see iPadOS 14 improved so you can add widgets to your home menu wherever you like, not just in the same position.

6. Thinner bezels

The iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro designs don't sport the huge bezels of the entry-level iPad and iPad Mini, but there remains a pretty chunky border separating the screen from the edge of the tablet.

A thinner bezel around the iPad Air 5 would offer an improvement to the design, making the tablet's body size more closely match its screen size. This isn't a deal-breaking demand, which is the reason it sits last on this, but thinner bezels always look better – and this is a wish-list, after all.



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Apple iPad Air 5 officially announced
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