Apple is the undisputed leader in the tablet industry. In 2021 it reached a market share of 34.2%, followed by Samsung (18.3%) and Lenovo (10.5%), according to the IDC consultancy . The latest bet of the company from Cupertino (California) to strengthen its dominance is the fifth generation iPad Air. In addition to brand new 5G connectivity, the device incorporates the same processor as some Apple laptops and desktops.
EL PAÍS has tested the device for a few days, which is available in five colors – gray, white, pink, purple and blue – from 679 euros. Its design is similar to that of its predecessor and that of the iPhone 13 . In addition to completely flat sides and rounded corners, the manufacturer has opted for a back with an elegant matte finish in which fingerprints are practically not marked. In hand, the tablet is quite comfortable and light. It measures 24.7 centimeters long, 17.8 centimeters wide and six millimeters thick, and weighs 461 grams.
The 10.9-inch screen offers good contrast and realistic colors. Unlike the iPad Pro , whose refresh rate reaches 120 Hz, this device stays at 60 Hz. This parameter refers to the number of times the panel is updated per second. Therefore, the higher it is, the better the experience and the more fluid and smooth the animations and movements between screens are perceived.
Touch ID, a sensor that allows you to unlock the device with your fingerprint, is located on the top power and lock button. Although it works quite well, a facial recognition system like that of its older brother, the iPad Pro, is missing. On one of its sides, the tablet incorporates a magnet to hold and charge the second-generation Apple Pencil, which costs 135 euros. The pen is used for precise note taking and drawing, but can also be used to quickly take screenshots by dragging the tip from the bottom left corner of the panel, for example.
The iPad Air maintains a 12-megapixel rear sensor. For the front camera, which is usually the most used in the case of tablets, Apple has opted for a wide angle of 12 megapixels, compared to 7 megapixels of the previous iPad Air. With this sensor, a good image quality is achieved during video calls. In addition, the device has the centered framing function, which uses machine learning to follow the user and focus on them if they move while speaking. This option was already present on the iPad Pro and is partly reminiscent of the Amazon Echo Show 10 voice assistant.Despite its good performance, the location of the front camera is not the most appropriate in some situations. When laying the tablet horizontally, the sensor is off to the side rather than centered and the user appears not to be looking at the screen.