Apple iPad Air (M2, 2024) review: new junior iPad is no slouch

The most powerful iPad Air yet is here – and it’s chomping at the heels of the iPad Pro now.

An Apple iPad Air (M2, 2024) on a desk
(Image: © Glen Southern)

Our Verdict

For non-artists, the new iPad Air (M2, 2024) is the sweet spot for you between cost and functionality. Powerful enough and not as eye-watering on the price front. Lots of bells and whistles including the features that come with the new iPad Pencil Pro. A better option than the iPad Pro for lots of people but it might still be lacking for heavy hitters.

For

  • Cheaper option
  • Powerful M2 chip
  • Great new folio case functionality
  • Supports Apple Pencil Pro

Against

  • Doesn't have the iPad Pro power
  • No nano-glass option

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The iPad Air is no longer the cheap and underpowered relation to the iPad Pro range. This offering is very capable and with the M2 chip, 8GB of RAM and some good storage options it means you really do need to look at this device before dropping the dollar on the big brother M4 iPad Pro option. It supports the new Apple Pencil Pro with all the new features like haptics, hover, and barrel roll so it’s time to look at what options you have when buying an iPad for creativity.

With Geekbench score beating the M1 iPad Pro this could be an upgrade option from older power machines. Whilst the GPU falls a little short in some respects the overall offering makes for a very capable creative machine. For creatives wanting to use a range of 2D, 3D and editing the iPad Air used to struggle with underpowered chips and not enough RAM but now things have evolved and that is backed up by the Geekbench 6 scores.

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Chipset:Apple M2 chip, 8-core CPU, 9-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
RAM:8GB
Storage:128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Dimensions:280.6 x 214.9 x 6.1mm
Weight:617g (Wi-Fi), 618g (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
Connection type:USB-C
Battery life: 9 hours with basic use
Screen:LED backlit touchscreen, 2732x2048p, 600 nits brightness
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Apple iPad Air (M2, 2024): Geekbench 6 benchmark scoring
Header Cell - Column 0 CPU single-coreCPU multi-coreGPU Metal score
iPad Air M2 8GB2,6229,17230,563
iPad Pro M4 16GB3,65614,66253,252
iPad Pro M1 16GB2,3858,78033,104
The Verdict
8

out of 10

Apple iPad Air (M2, 2024) review: new junior iPad is no slouch

For non-artists, the new iPad Air (M2, 2024) is the sweet spot for you between cost and functionality. Powerful enough and not as eye-watering on the price front. Lots of bells and whistles including the features that come with the new iPad Pencil Pro. A better option than the iPad Pro for lots of people but it might still be lacking for heavy hitters.

Glen Southern

Glen runs SouthernGFX, a small Cheshire-based studio specialising in character and creature design, which creates assets for TV and film. Clients include SKY, Wacom and Oculus Medium and the studio has an impressive project list that features 3D models for Game of Thrones' house sigils. He's been using and training ZBrush for over 15 years and is a Wacom Ambassador for the UK and Ireland.