The New iPad Air – Same as the old iPad Air. Except with a new chip. Oh, and a fingerprint sensor.
Last week’s Apple announcement gave us a new watch with fitness and health apps. I talked about it last week in the first Focus.
Now, let’s tackle the second part of that announcement – the iPad Air. Generation 4 iPad Air, The 12th iPad in the 10 inch series (not counting the mini or pro [and that’s both the pro 12 and 10.5 inch models]), and the 24th iPad offering, which does include the mini and Pro models.
iPad Air Focus Chapters:
- 00:00 Intro
- 00:52 iPad Air 2020 Specs
- 2:56 Will the iPad Air have an Ultrawide camera?
- 4:30 USB-C is onboard, but what type?
- 5:35 Price and Availability
- 6:06 Should You Upgrade Your iPad?
- 7:21 iPhone 12 Thoughts – Will it even be called “iPhone 12”?
- 8:40 Are You Getting the iPad Air?
iPad Air 2020 Specs
The iPad Air 4th generation will be out in October 2020. With a 10.9 inch display, liquid retina IPS screen at a resolution of 2360 by 1640, this will give you the best experience an iPad has offered. That is, until the next iPad Pro comes out.
The Air has the new A14 “Bionic” chip. The chip’s ARMv8 instruction set includes machine learning controller, 16-core Neural engine, Secure enclave, and 64-bit architecture.
This CPU is still a six-core processor, but it is only 5 nanometers (nm) in size – 2 nm smaller than the A13. To put in perspective, the A4 chip – which was in the iPad 1 – was 45 nm. It’s 1/9 the size.
There are 11,800 million transistors in this chip, so you can get email, read Facebook and Twitter, take selfies, TikTok – if that is still a thing in a month – play games, and cry when you broke the screen and forgot to get AppleCare.
Cameras in the iPad Air
Other features will include a 12 MP wide camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture, illumination sensor, five-element lens, geotagging, panoramas up to 63 MP, stabilization, and more. You’ll be able to record 4K 60 fps, but if you do, make sure you have enough hard drive space to save those files.
If you’re looking for Ultra-wide camera option, you are out of luck. This is a feature only the iPhone 11, and iPad Pro have.
7 MP selfie camera which allows for 1080p 60fps, and dual microphones with audio control for calls, Zoom, and…
… well, I guess that would be it, right?
The iPad Air Fingerprint Sensor
A new addition is actually something people have not only missed, but also complained about. In this new age of Facemasks (how do you like my mask?), we need a touch ID option more than ever.
Apple put this on the top of the iPad, on the power button, which is great because they can seal it all in one area.
Only issue is, if you use a case for weather protection, you’ll need to get one with a “flap” that covers the button. The Air is NOT water resistant, and there is no Face ID on this model.
802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6 – with 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and Bluetooth 5.0 technology will be available in this version of Air, and allow for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Cellular models will have Gigabit-class LTE, which means when 5G comes calling, you’ll have some nice speeds to surf on.
What About USB-C?
The last big update is USB-C. Now they haven’t said what version of USB-C is in the Air yet. We’re guessing it’s going to be USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, which will have a data transfer of 10 GBps, just like the iPad Pro.
HOWEVER, You can just as easily have a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, which only has a 5 Gbps transfer, or even USB 2.0, which would make the Air’s transfer rate no faster than the Lightning cable that I currently run.
There is one other possibility, which might be the reason why they didn’t say the speed, is if they are working on getting USB 3.2 inside. That’s 20 Gbps, which starts opening up big possibilities for audio and video capture devices to connect without issue.
It’s really all about keeping that price low so they can make money off the device. Because let’s face it – people are going to buy it.
Price and Availability
Speaking of which, the price starts at $599, which is what we normally see for this version of iPad. 5 different colors available – Grey, Silver, Rose Gold, Green, and Blue.
By the way – The 2020 iPad did come out already, is relatively cheaper at $329, and doesn’t have a lot of the features the Air does. That will be next year’s model.
Rumors believe the Air will come out around October 13th, which of course, is the event for the new iPhone.
Should You Get the iPad Air 4th Generation?
So here is my thoughts on getting the Air Gen 4. I personally am at an update year, my iPad Pro 10.5 will be replaced, or more to the point, downscaled.
The fingerprint reader means a more secure iPad. The A14 chip means gaming and video will work well.
No LIDAR, which Apple teased at, no ProMotion, no flash on the camera, and NO U1 chip, which I find a little interesting.
In the previous episode, I noted the U1 option in the watch, for better Airdrop transfers. The only other device with it is the iPhone 11.
In all, it will be a good iPad upgrade if you don’t want a pro model, and your previous model is a few years old. That, or gaming – the graphics on this Air will look really nice.
Thoughts on iPhone 12 Event
I won’t say much about the next iPhone, which is tentatively called “iPhone 12”. Just remember – it’s NOT the 12th generation iPhone. There is still a chance it could be called “iPhone 11 S” or something like that.
Since the iPhone gets it’s own event, I would say it’s going to be 12. Rumored 4 models, including a 6.7″ OLED 5G 12 Pro Max.
My guesses include the camera, that will give you more options than your DSLR has, with flash, and face lock – maybe even also a finger unlock?
It will have the same A14 Bionic chip as the Air, along with all the features you would find in the iPhone 11 or iPad Pro.
Just not an iPad Pro.
If the iPhone 12 has USB-C 3.2 inside, you could start seeing an all-in-one dock, and lots of video on how this can replace all your devices.
Just as long as it stays under the $1,200 mark, right?
We’ll have to wait and see. But in the meantime, are you getting the Air, the Watch, or the iPhone 12? Let me know in the comments below.