Apple iPad Air (5th Gen) review: the best iPad for most people

The newest Apple iPad Air blurs the lines between phone, tablet and laptop more than expected. It’s got that legendary Apple quality and, aside from the price point, which can get pretty high if you need the cellular model with 5G or more storage, there’s little to complain about with this latest slate. In fact, there’s a lot to love.

While Apple’s “What’s a computer?” iPad TV ad from a couple of years ago was widely mocked (and is still strangely irritating, to be fair), the company has continued to improve the iOS tablet experience. Last year, Apple updated the base iPad (9th generation) and the significantly more compact iPad mini (6th generation), too.

Let’s be clear: the iPad Air 5th Gen won’t replace your laptop or desktop, but the tablet is now much more than a way to watch Netflix while under the covers. For those who can afford it, it is likely to become your go-to device for video calling, reading news, browsing the internet, iOS gaming and some working while on the go.

There are some spec downsides, but these are only really apparent if you compare it head-to-head to the even pricier 12.9-inch iPad Pro, particularly the 120Hz refresh rate, known as ProMotion technology, and the ability to sign in via Face ID.

We used the iPad Air (5th Gen) over the course of a week to get a feel for its design, gesture controls, battery life, performance, stylus support, keyboard support and much more. So keep reading to find out our final verdict on the latest iPad.

For more 2022 tablet coverage, be sure to read our breakdown of the best Android tablet, best tablet for kids and our verdict on the best tablet of the year so far.

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Apple iPad Air (5th Gen) review: summary

The iPad Air 5th Gen is for someone who doesn’t need the power of the iPad Pro, prefers a bigger display than the iPad mini and better specs than the base iPad 9th Gen. It is the all-rounder in the series: portable, lightweight and thanks to the addition of Apple’s M1 chip, performance and speed are better than ever before.

Price: Like other models, the Air 5th Gen has two variants: Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/Cellular. The cost goes up in correlation with your chosen storage size – coming in 64GB or 256GB….