First M2 iPad Air reviews call it ‘the iPad to get’

Following the announcement of new iPads last week, the press has just published the first reviews for the M4 iPad Pro. We also now have reviews for the M2 iPad Air, and they praise the balance between having enough powerful hardware for a reasonable price.

M2 iPad Air review round-up

According to Engadget, the new M2 iPad Air is the “iPad to get.” While the website claims that it’s hard to recommend the M4 iPad Pro due to its high price, the iPad Air provides a “compelling blend of features while maintaining a reasonable price.” The review highlights the storage upgrade for the base model (now with 128GB) and the new 13-inch version.

But for the rest of us, the iPad Air is still here, offering 80-ish percent of the iPad Pro experience for a lot less money. And for the first time, there is a large-screen iPad at a much more approachable price. My heart may want an iPad Pro, but my head (and wallet) agree that the iPad Air is a far more reasonable option.

ArsTechnica calls the M2 iPad Air the “everything iPad.” Although the review emphasizes that the entry-level iPad is probably enough for most buyers, the new Air delivers the full iPad experience for much lower prices than the iPad Pro. The website also says that the M2 chip is “powerful enough to do everything people currently use iPads to do.”

The 13-inch Air in particular could appeal to people who want to replace their laptops with an iPad. The screen is large enough, and the device is certainly fast enough. The price is OK, though you’ll need to factor in the cost of a keyboard attachment (if you just want a gigantic slab of glass to read on, the 13-inch Air is still fine, but I find the device just a bit too large and unwieldy if you plan to use only as a tablet).

M2 iPad Air

CNET seems to agree with other reviewers. In addition, the review also points out that new iPad Air buyers will also have to buy an Apple Pencil Pro, as Apple Pencil 2 is not compatible with it.

It looks and feels exactly the same to hold, but has new rotational capabilities and a haptic-enabled squeeze gesture for supported apps. The new Pencil Pro is the same price as a Pencil 2 ($129), which is great, except… the new Air won’t work with your old Pencil 2 at all. So you have to buy a Pencil Pro, or use the lesser USB-C Pencil stylus which lacks pressure sensitivity. Boo to this — It’s wasteful and forces you to upgrade an accessory you might not have otherwise.

The Verge, on the other hand, says that the iPad to buy is not the new Air, but the entry-level iPad that has just gotten cheaper – now starting at $349.

Outside of a couple of specific scenarios, I don’t think I’d tell you to buy this year’s iPad Air. Not because it’s not great — it is great! It’s just that for $250 less, you can get the base iPad, which is just about as good at every common iPad activity. The 10th-generation iPad is a couple of years old at this point, but it’s still an excellent device, especially after Apple lowered its price from $449 to $349. The iPad, not the iPad Air, is the right iPad for most people. 

iPad Air starts at $599 for the 11-inch version and $799 for the 13-inch version.

Video reviews

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