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The new iPad Air 5 (2022) is a beast, and we love it

iPad Air: a photo of the new Apple iPad Air
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's new iPad Air 5 (2022) features the same M1 chip as found in the iPad Pro, ultra-fast 5G, a new front camera with Centre Stage for video conferencing, and more great features. So, the big question is, has Apple just said goodbye to the more expensive iPad Pro?

Looking at the specs, we'd say so. That M1 chip is the same tech that powers the higher-priced iPad Pro, and its now wedged in here. It wouldn't surprise if Apple is lining up its more powerful M1 Max or even the new M1 Ultra for the next iPad Pro, these are same chips that comes packed in the gloriously super-charged Mac Studio.

Yes, we know it's 'just' an iPad Air, but the tech in this new edition is hard not to love, and makes it a perfect tablet for artists and designers. As well as the new, more muscular chip, the iPad Air is compatible with all of the standard accessories, including the Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard. It's a tiny desktop in your bag.

You find the best prices on the iPad Air 5 Gen from Friday, March 11, and it will be in stores beginning Friday, March 18. Before you hit pre-order, let's dig into some of the specs that more than compete with the iPad Pro 11-inch.

iPad Air (2022): the specs

Apple iPad Air: a photo of the new Apple iPad Air

The new iPad Air features the same M1 chip found in the iPad Pro (Image credit: Apple)

The use of the M1 chip means this iPad Air can be used with more power intensive apps and software, and won't drain the battery. You'll be able to multitask and make use of the kind of high-end apps reserved for MacBook users. According to Apple the 8-core CPU delivers "up to 60 percent faster performance", while the 8-core GPU will offer "up to 2x faster graphics performance" compared to the current iPad Air.

this new iPad Air will enable you play high-end, graphically capable games, make use of professional design software, and edit multiple streams of 4K video

Used with the CPU and GPU and a "16-core Neural Engine" this new iPad Air will enable you play high-end, graphically capable games, make use of professional design software, and edit multiple streams of 4K video – in a word, it can do everything the iPad Pro can do, for less money.

This tablet isn't skimping on the display either. The iPad Air's 10.9-inch Liquid Retina screen displays 3.8 million pixels, features 500 nits of brightness, full lamination and a P3 wide colour gamut, making it a great artist's tool. The anti-reflective screen coating tops it all off nicely.

iPad Air (2022): price

Apple iPad Air: a photo of the new Apple iPad Air

(Image credit: Apple)

The new iPad Air comes with a starting price of $599 / £569, and the wi-fi and cellular models start at $899 / £719. The new iPad Air can be configured with either 64GB or 256GB, which you pick will hike the price. At this price and with these specs (above) it's hard not to see the new iPad Air as a cheap iPad Pro 11-inch alternative.

The new iPad Air comes in space grey, starlight, pink, purple, and blue finishes. Depending on your colour choice you may see your iPad Air rise in price. You'll also likely want to tally up the cost of those accessories.

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Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & Design at Creative Bloq. Ian is the former editor of many leading magazines, including digital art focused ImagineFX and 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. Ian launched the magazine X360 in 2005 and has relaunched many others. In his early career Ian wrote for music and film magazines, including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. With over 25 years' experience in both print and online journalism, Ian has worked on many leading video game and digital art brands. With a passion for video games and art, Ian combines his loves to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq. In his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.