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Review iPad Air 5th Gen (2022) with M1 Processor Where’s the Software?


hey everybody it’s lon seidman i got in the new ipad air the other day this is the fifth generation ipad air this one is significantly more powerful than the prior edition because it is powered by an m1 chip the very same chip that you can find in the 13 inch macbook pro and the macbook air and that’s a lot of horsepower for a tablet and we’re going to take a closer look and see what this new device is all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this new ipad is all about now the price point on this starts at 599 dollars and goes up from there we are looking at the entry level version today which has that apple m1 processor and 64 gigabytes of storage there is a 256 gigabyte version available for a little more money and they also have one that you can attach to 5g and 4g cellular networks so you can get data access when you’re out on the road note that the ipad air does not support the faster 5g ultra wide band but it supports all of the other 5g bands that you might connect with it of note here is that even the entry level version has the apple m1

processor fully specced out so this has eight gpu and eight cpu cores along with eight gigabytes of ram and that is the same configuration you’ll see up the line the m1 on the ipad air performs the same as the ipad pro does but the ipad pro has a better camera system it has a better display there’s a larger display option if you want something bigger and the pro i think is still going to have some appeal over the air but the performance is not going to be one of the areas in which they differ now this has a 10.9 inch display the same as the previous version had it runs at a resolution of 2360 by 1640 that’s 264 points per inch it can go up to a brightness of 500 nits so it’s very bright and it runs at 60 hertz and i do believe the ipad pro display runs at a higher refresh rate but like the ipad pro this does have a laminated display so you won’t have an air gap between the glass and the display surface itself that makes it a little bit easier to write on it with the apple pencil but also you get better viewing angles on it too so it does have a nice quality feel to it but it’s not quite up to par with the pro and one area where i noticed that is in the build quality now this weighs 1.02 pounds or 461 grams on its own and i found that the aluminum on this feels thinner than even the prior edition ipad air and certainly thinner than the ipad pro and the result of that is you’ll you’ll feel it kind of creaking a little bit when you hold it and a lot of people have been talking about this in other reviews and i’ve been experiencing this myself you can feel the aluminum flex a little bit sometimes you might hear a little creaking sound with it it feels very unapple like and i found that it becomes more noticeable when the device heats up especially if you’re putting it under load doing some video editing or something along those lines so it doesn’t have quite the high quality feel

that i’ve expected from apple products over the years doesn’t feel bad but i’m not used to an apple product having that creakiness to it which this has i’m not hearing it as much but i’m feeling it and that’s something that really stood out for me on this one and something i haven’t felt on other ipads that i’ve reviewed and on the bottom you’ll get a usb type-c port and this is a full service port that works with external hard drives it supports up to 10 gigabits per second of throughput it also is how you charge the ipad so it supports power going in and you can plug external displays in through this with an adapter now you could also plug this into a docking station and many docking stations have display output additional usb ports and can provide power back in my dock here supports ethernet and this worked with that as well so this is going to work very similar to how it would on a regular pc on the right hand side here you’ve got a spot for the apple pencil this is designed to work with the second generation apple pencil which will dock itself to the side here magnetically and it charges itself when it’s attached to it on the other side you’ve got nothing and you’ll find the volume rocker on the other side next to where the apple pencil docks and the function of these volume buttons insofar as up and down is concerned will vary based on whether you have the ipad in portrait or landscape configuration now like the prior edition ipad air there are two cameras on this one one on the back and one on the front the rear camera is the same camera they had in the prior edition model it has a 12 megapixel sensor which looks great you can see a picture i took outside a little bit earlier it’s got a 1.8 aperture and it can shoot video at 4k at 60 frames per second and i found that even at 4k 60 it does a very nice job stabilizing the video even when you’re walking now the front-facing camera here is an improvement

over the prior edition this now has a wide angle 12 megapixel camera this will shoot 1080p at up to 60 frames per second and when you first load it up you’ll have this zoomed in image but if you just pinch out here you can see just how wide the image is on this and this also supports apple’s center stage technology which will crop and zoom the image based on people that are in the frame and it will do that with supported applications mostly facetime and zoom and other conferencing applications now battery life on this feels about the same as other ipads you’ll get about 10 hours of usage on it if you are doing the basics if you are editing video or playing games that of course will eat into the battery more significantly and that is true of other ipad models but these m1 chips have proven themselves to be very power efficient so they generally don’t consume all that much power when you’re not doing something all that strenuous now before we jump into some performance examples i wanted to pull up some benchmarks first this first one we’re looking at is the 3d mark wildlife test and there we got a score of 18242 and as you can see this puts this ipad’s performance right in line with what we got out of my macbook air m1 and the reason is is that my macbook air m1 has exactly the same processor on board but this is running with ipad os and not mac os which will limit what’s available for you to run on it we also looked at the geekbench benchmark and there you can see the scores there were very much the same as my mac so there really isn’t

any performance difference here between this ipad and something that you would buy to use as a laptop and thanks to a viewer michelle rossi who owns the ipad pro with the m1 we were able to confirm that the benchmark speeds out of the pro are the same as what you’ll get out of the air performance doing all sorts of basic tasks here is great as expected uh we are on my wi-fi six network here and as you can see browsing the nasa.gov homepage everything is loading up very quickly here no issues that i could find doing all of the basics that you would typically do on a tablet like this i’m going to just flip it over into landscape mode here briefly because this does support things like split screen so i can bring in for example youtube with the video playing and have things run side by side here so we can reposition things and play back a video at the same time and all the things that you would expect to gain from an m1 based device will be working quite well here the problem right now is that up until now most of the ipads that really delivered the most performance were the more expensive pros and the result is that there’s not a lot of software out there that really takes advantage of this chip just yet maybe in a year’s time now that the m1 has made it down into the mid-level design we might see some things popping up but right now the amount of applications you can find that really can take advantage of the horsepower that this has under the hood are very

much limited but we can look at a few things let’s take a look at some video editing first so here’s an app called lumafusion and what i’ve got running here is a bunch of 4k 60 frames per second clips that we’re putting together into a video project we had a little transition there between the clips and if i wanted to add more i certainly could so what i’m gonna do here while we’re looking at the picture of the dog running is bring down this clip here let me grab it and drag it onto the timeline it is kind of difficult for me to edit video with my fingers because i’ve been editing with a mouse and trackpad for so long but as you can see here i brought down another clip that’s on top of the one of the dog and i want to do a picture and picture here to see if we can really get some idea of computing horsepower and so what i’m going to do now is just make this smaller and move it over here a little bit and maybe i will round out the corners on it as well so make it a little bit softer perhaps and do some rounded corners and now if we go in and preview this we can get a feel for what this is able to do so we’ve got two 4k 60 clips here really no rendering time it’s just doing it all in real time and now that we’re done with that not very good editing here but we can play it back and you can get a feel for how responsive the m1 is here on an ipad using video that i shot at 4k 60.

So really really quick here you will have some you know time to have to encode the video at the full resolution and i found on my macbook air that’ll take a little bit but not significantly so and the performance here on this will rival uh what you would get out of a pc with an i7 on board for this kind of activity and in many cases you often need a gpu to get this kind of video editing performance on the pc side yet these m1 chips have all of that stuff integrated so this little project i think is a good example of some of the power that you have at your fingertips that is not yet fully tapped and i’m really eager to see now what developers might do with the m1 now that it’s on the mid-range ipad as opposed to just the top-end ones now there are ways to make this more computer-like because like the ipad pro the air has these three little connectors here in the back and those will attach to things like the apple smart keyboard folio here and because the ipad air has the same form factor as the ipad pro 11 most of the accessories for the pro 11 will fit on the air like this smart keyboard folio that i bought a few years ago for my ipad 11 and this gives you of course keyboard functionality they have something called the magic keyboard which gives you a keyboard and a trackpad but you can also pair up things like an apple trackpad to the mix

here or even just a regular mouse and keyboard and be able to use this more like a computer now the apple accessories are really expensive there are some third-party accessories that support the smart connector on the ipad that cost a little less bridge and logitech are two brands that make some but just be prepared to spend a lot more on your ipad purchase to make it work more like a computer that said remember you’ve got a usb port here so any usb keyboard or mouse that you plug in with a hub or something is going to work these also support bluetooth so you could bring in your bluetooth mice and keyboards into the mix also and see how those work out one thing that i have found though with track pads is that if they are not officially supported by apple you don’t get all the functionality so many of them will support pinching and zooming but not all will support things like application switching and some of the other gestures that you might do with your ipad now my advice to you if you’re doing a lot of projects that are typically done on a laptop or desktop computer look at the macbook air for that kind of stuff over the ipad and the reason is is that i am constantly frustrated trying to work within the limitations of the ipad os to do productivity work that includes the video editing example we talked about earlier but even things like word processing and other types of tasks that are more keyboard based just work better on something that’s

designed around a more open computing operating system like mac os versus something like ipad os at the moment and one of the things i would love to see in the future from the ipad is some way to turn it into a mac when it gets docked with a track pad and keyboard because as far as hardware is concerned this has got the same guts now and because the macbook has the same guts the battery life you get out of that macbook laptop is comparable to what you would get out of an ipad it’s remarkably good and i don’t see much of an advantage for productivity work on an ipad unless you want to do some stuff with the apple pencil now this is the second generation apple pencil that normally works with the ipad pro but this now works of course with the ipad air and the more recent ipad mini and you can do a lot of cool stuff with this so they have some handwriting recognition built in and so you can write out notes and have your handwriting recognized pretty much immediately but you can also draw on this too so what i’m going to do here is pull up the marker and we’ll go to blue here and you can do lines like that you can do thicker lines if you turn the pen sideways and it also detects pressure and there are some lower cost third-party pencils out there but typically those pencils don’t do all of the functions that the official one does so some detect pressure but not the angle some don’t detect either the pressure or the angle so for the best results going with the apple pencil is often the best way to go and i found it to be a really good experience even going back to the original ipad pro with the first generation pencil very low latency very accurate i wish i was an

artist because i would be using this to draw things with but i think if you are looking to do digital art ipads are a great way to do it paired up with the apple pencil and i love how it just charges up when you dock it to the side additionally they’ve integrated the pencil into the rest of the interface so anytime there is a text input field you can actually use the pencil to fill in the field here versus having to type it in as you can see my chicken scratch there didn’t get detected very well but you get the idea you can just draw or write on any area where there’s a text input and you can start interacting with your ipad using your handwriting versus having to tap keys alright one last thing to check out and that is its gaming performance you can pair up an xbox or a playstation controller over bluetooth and then download a bunch of games and play them on your ipad this is ocean horn 2 that we’re playing right now looks and plays great it feels like it’s running at a very smooth 60 frames per second which is what i would expect out of the m1 chip here and this is one area where the ipad does a little better than the mac in software because there are far more games available on the ios platform than there are for the mac just given how many ipads and iphones are out there and it runs really smoothly here now this is a game like many of the games you’ll find for the ipad that was not targeted at the m1 at least at the time i’m recording this video so i am really eager to see what we get now that the m1 is at the mid level of the ipad marketplace might that entice more developers to code for this chip because this game while it looks and plays beautifully is not taking advantage of the hardware that we have inside so overall the performance level on this new ipad is exceptional and it’s much faster than the prior generation that said if you’re running with the prior generation there’s no real need i think to go out and buy this right away and that’s because there’s not enough software to really take

advantage of what this thing can do and i’m hoping now that the mid-range ipad has an m1 that we might see developers figure out ways to take advantage of that on the ipad os platform now if you’re looking at the ipad mini it is still running with the older processor but it still performs just as well this is my mini and you can see the size differences here i kind of like the mini form factor so i would love to see an m1 mini come out at some point especially if we see software taking advantage of the m1 platform but if you are running with an ipad from a couple of years ago this is a big upgrade and it’s something that i think will have a lot of potential as developers start working with the amount of power that apple has now put into their tablets and this is easily the fastest tablet on the market along with the ipad pro that’ll cost you a lot more so all in a real winner here from apple uh but again it’s going to take a while to really realize what this amount of horsepower in a tablet device can do that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters jim tannis and tom albrecht hot sauce and video games and eric’s variety channel brian parker and frank goldman amda brown and matt zagaya and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe visit lawn dot tv slash s

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