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Apple iPad Air 2019 review: Premium tablet choice

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Quick verdict: The iPad Air 2019 sits squeezed between the truly premium iPad Pro and much cheaper Apple iPad, making it for those who need a little more power than the regular model.

The good

  • Apple A12 CPU delivers plenty of power
  • iPadOS remains a joy to use
  • 10.5-inch LCD is crisp and clear

The bad

  • The regular Apple iPad is much cheaper
  • Lacks the productivity features of the iPad Pro
  • No storage expansion
Apple iPad Air (2019)
Wander into any Apple store, or browse the Apple store online, and you'll be faced with two options when it comes to iPads with 10-inch displays. There's the 10.2-inch Apple iPad and the 10.5-inch Apple iPad Air. Despite that 0.3-inch screen size difference, at a quick glance it would be super easy to mistake one for the other, until you looked at the asking price Apple wants for the iPad Air.

Put simply, the iPad Air has to work extra hard to justify its asking price, especially as it sits not only well above the regular iPad but uncomfortably close to the entry-level iPad Pro. Does it succeed? It very much comes down to what you want out of a tablet and how long you want it to last.

Design

Design

  • Lighter than the regular iPad
  • True Tone Retina Display is lovely
  • Still has a headphone jack!
  • Standard Apple colour choices
Apple iPad Air (2019)
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Performance

Performance

  • A12 gives the iPad Air more of a future than the regular iPad
  • LTE if you want it, but it's pricey
  • Predictably, only fixed storage on offer
  • Camera is present but not exciting
Apple iPad Air (2019)
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Battery life

Performance

  • 10 hours battery life possible
  • Lightning recharging only
Apple iPad Air (2019)
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Verdict

Should you buy it?

The Apple iPad Air 2019 does have a technical edge on the regular model Apple iPad, but it's still not the case that it can do things that the cheaper model cannot.

That's why the standard model iPad remains our pick of the current Apple crop for most users after a content consumption device. The Apple iPad Air is a nice option if you want that slightly more luxury feel of the True Tone display or if you do have a lot of heavy app usage in mind that needs the power of the Apple A12 chip. There's also the longer-term view that it will retain value longer due to future iOS upgrades, but if you're on that path, it's certainly well worth considering going the full-fat Apple iPad Pro instead.

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Pricing and availability

Price

64GB Wi-Fi: $779 RRP
256GB Wi-Fi: $999 RRP
64GB Wi-Fi + LTE: $979 RRP
256GB Wi-Fi + LTE: $1,199 RRP

Where to buy

Specifications

Apple iPad Air (2019)
3.5
  • Battery 3.5
  • Design 3.5
  • Performance 4
How we score our reviews

General

Display Size
10.5 inches
Resolution
2224 x 1668px
Screen Type
Retina Display
Processor Type
Apple A12 Bionic
Graphics Processor
Apple GPU
RAM
2GB
Operating System
Apple iOS

Connectivity

Bluetooth
v5.0
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Network Compatibility
4G on select models
GPS
No
NFC
No

Storage

Storage Options
64GB/256GB

Miscellaneous

Battery Life
Up to 10 hours
Rear Camera
8MP
Front Camera
7MP
HD Recording
Yes
Headphone Jack
Yes
Colours
Gold, Silver, Grey
Product Line
iPad Air

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