2020 iPad Air review: Still the best iPad for most people

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Final spring, Apple revived the iPad Air branding after letting it lie dormant for a number of years. The 2019 iPad Air was an awesome compromise between the affordability of the usual iPad and the efficiency and options of the far dearer iPad Professional.

The brand new 2020 mannequin continues in that custom. It’s dearer than the 2019 model, however incorporates extra of the Professional’s options and design and provides a considerable leap in efficiency.

With a beginning worth of $599, it’s not fairly the cut price the 2019 Air was at $499, particularly whenever you begin tacking on equipment just like the Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard. Nonetheless, it’s a greater purchase than the iPad Professional for most individuals and a giant step up from the usual iPad.

Taking cues from iPad Professional

As with the iPad Air from 2019, the 2020 mannequin takes some cues from the iPad Professional, together with a large colour show with True Tone help, however this yr’s Air borrows much more.

Apple has shifted the iPad Air to the iPad Professional’s flat-edged design, ditching the house button in favor of a much bigger show with smaller bezels throughout. It’s precisely the identical dimension because the 11-inch iPad Professional, and even helps the Magic Keyboard made for that mannequin.

ipad air 2020 keyboard Jason Cross/IDG

The brand new iPad Air helps the superb (however costly) Magic Keyboard.

Like with the iPad Professional, the iPad Air now has a USB-C port as a substitute of a Lightning connector, which implies simpler entry to exterior storage units and cameras. Final yr’s iPad Air supported the first-generation Apple Pencil, whereas this yr’s mannequin helps the second-generation Pencil. It prices $30 extra, however the magnetic attachment and charging is a a lot better design.

ipad air 2020 pencil Jason Cross/IDG

The second-generation Apple Pencil is dearer, however the magnetic attachment and charging is price it.

The 8-megapixel f/2.4 digital camera has been swapped out for an upgraded 12-megapixel f/1.8 digital camera that takes a lot better pictures and movies. The entrance digital camera is properly improved, too, and likewise helps 1080p FaceTime calls.

However you don’t get all the things you get in an iPad Professional. That improved entrance digital camera shouldn’t be accompanied by the TrueDepth module for Face ID and Animoji. As a substitute, Apple has included a Contact ID sensor into the highest button (as there isn’t a extra room across the bezel for a house button).

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