M1 iPad Air Review Roundup Praises Apple’s Tablet for Its Value, but Believe Its Full Potential Is Held Back by iPadOS

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The M1 iPad Air flaunts performance equal to the more expensive iPad Pro range and is more affordable, making it an excellent value-oriented tablet for the majority of customers. Various technology outlets and content creators have weighed their thoughts on Apple’s latest tablet in this review roundup, as the embargo has lifted.

Starting off with TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino says that the M1 iPad Air sits in between the iPad mini 6 and takes on the iPad Pro at the same time. However, some buyers may still purchase the 11-inch iPad Pro due to a variety of upgrades.

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“The iPad Air however, competes with the Pro above and the mini below at the same time. And this year, as every year, we circle back around to the fact that Apple’s tablet lineup really is the only thing on the market worth purchasing at all. Even if you’re an Android centric phone person, or like to experiment with other platforms, there simply is no other tablet option on the planet that offers anything like that capability, usage and reliability of iPad.

That makes the Air an interesting central focal point that, despite its similarities in price, could end up being one of Apple’s best sellers aside from the entry level 9th generation iPad – which remains its high volume play. That said, the 11″ iPad Pro remains close enough in price to tempt some less budget-conscious users given the storage and better screen.”

As for The Verge, Dan Seifert says that Apple’s M1 iPad Air is an easy choice for most buyers if they had to choose between this model and the iPad Pro. He highlights why spending $200 extra on the iPad Pro is not worth it.

“A lot of people will be wondering if they should get the Air instead of an 11-inch iPad Pro, and I think the choice is easy — buy the Air. You give up the ProMotion display, Face ID, a couple of speakers, an extra rear camera with LIDAR, and the option for mmWave 5G. Of those, Face ID is the one I’d miss the most, but I don’t think it’s worth spending $200 for.

The whole time I was using the Air for this review, it was difficult to find something that stood out about it, partly because we’ve seen so much of this before. That’s not necessarily a problem, and the flip side of that is that I was able to just use the Air for a wide variety of things without finding much to complain about. Sure, I’d rather have Face ID, and the Mini LED screen of the big iPad Pro would be great, but the absence of those things doesn’t diminish the Air’s overall experience.

What you get with the Air is the same performance, capability, portability, and operating system, plus compatibility with the same accessories. It’s a nice upgrade for someone coming from an older iPad with a home button.

Really, that’s just it. The iPad Air is the nice one.”

According to Six Colors’ Jason Snell, the M1 iPad Air provides a familiar feeling to the iPad Air 4 that launched back in 2020, and it is due to both tablet models sporting the exact same design.

“The 2018 iPad Pro redesign is one of the best things Apple has done in ages. With flat sides, a curved display with a minimized bezel, and an improved Apple Pencil that pairs and charges when magnetically clipped to the side of the device, it was a huge step forward for the iPad…. all of those distinctive features are available on the iPad Air.

And one of most transformative moments in the history of the iPad was the 2020 release of the Magic Keyboard, which brought full-on cursor support to the iPad for the first time. Likewise, the iPad Air gets to pick up that feature. Because its dimensions are nearly identical to the 11-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air is completely compatible with all 11-inch iPad Pro cases, including the Magic Keyboard.

And consider this: At $898, the iPad Air and the Magic Keyboard for iPad combine to create the cheapest laptop Apple currently makes. And you can’t pop the MacBook Air’s screen off and use it as a tablet.”

You can also check out some review videos below posted by notable creators.

Rene Ritchie

Dave2D

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MKBHD

Matthew Moniz

Andru Edwards

Overall, there were a ton of positive reviews regarding the M1 iPad Air, but nearly all of them criticized Apple for locking down its potential with iPadOS. Hopefully, when future software updates arrive, the company will allow the M1 chip to properly flex its muscles, giving customers a proper notebook-like experience on the $599 tablet.

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Products mentioned in this post

Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil
USD 129
iPad Air
iPad Air
 
iPad Pro
iPad Pro
 

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