iPad 2022 vs. iPad Air 2022: are they even matched?

Apple released the new iPad 2022 (10th generation) yesterday. It has a new design without a home button, a better chip and many more improvements. Mainly due to the new design, it now resembles the iPad Air 2022 (5th generation) that appeared in March this year. And because iPad 2022 prices have also skyrocketed, you’d almost be wrong. Maybe the regular iPad isn’t that good?

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iPad 2022 vs iPad Air 2022: what are the differences?

Why would you buy an iPad Air now? Well, wait a minute: there are quite a few differences between the entry-level iPad and the iPad Air. In this article, you can read the main points on which iPads differ from each other. So you can make a better decision if you are in doubt between these two models.

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1) Design and size

For the tenth-generation iPad, Apple has made a big splash purely in terms of design: the home button has disappeared, the edges are flat and the 10.9-inch screen has rounded corners. Touch ID (the fingerprint scanner) is built into the button on the top of the iPad. Lightning has made way for universal USB-C. On the back, there is a single 12 MP wide-angle camera. In short: exactly like the iPad Air.

But there are definitely differences:

  • The iPad 2022 colors are more exuberant: choose between silver, yellow, blue or pink. With the Air 2022, you can choose between space grey, starlight, purple, blue or pink – blue and pink are much more subtle than with the regular iPad.
  • The iPad Air has a selfie camera at the top edge of the screen. This is on the long side of the iPad – handy if you have your iPad lying around during a meeting.
  • The iPad 2022 is a fraction larger than the iPad Air, and also a bit heavier. But it is insignificant.
  • The Smart Connector is on the side of the iPad, the bottom of the iPad Air.

2) The screen

Both the iPad 2022 and iPad Air 2022 have a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with rounded corners with a resolution of 2360 x 1640 pixels at 264 ppi. Maximum brightness is 500 nits, and both iPads have a fingerprint-resistant, grease-resistant coating.

That’s all it takes, because the screen on the regular iPad is obviously a bit thinner. You miss the following: a fully laminated display, anti-reflective coating and wide color reproduction. With the ‘regular’ iPad, the screen appears to be under a thicker layer of glass. This is particularly noticeable when you start drawing, for example with the Apple Pencil.

3) Apple pencil

Apple Pencil 1 and 2 side by side

If you say iPad, you say Apple Pencil: Apple’s stylus for drawing, sketching, writing or annotating. With iPad Air, you use the second generation. This has the advantage that you can ‘stick’ it magnetically to the iPad to store, charge and connect it.

The iPad 2022, somewhat disappointingly, still only has support for the first generation. Charging this has always been a hassle: you needed an adapter or you plugged it into the Lightning port to create an ‘iPad lollipop’. But now it gets even crazier. The new iPad has USB-C, but the Pencil still has Lightning. An additional adapter is required for the ‘lollipop’.

4) Chip

There is also a notable difference in terms of chip. iPad 2022 has an A14 Bionic chip. You know it from the iPhone 12. The iPad Air 2022 has an M1 chip – it’s a chip that’s also in the newer Macs. Without losing ourselves too much in technical details: that difference might say enough.

Usually you will only really notice the difference in chips after a while. Very concrete: a better chip gets longer iPadOS updates. But in this case the difference is immediately noticeable. The big new feature in iPadOS 16 is that Stage Manager only works on a handful of newer iPads, including the iPad Air 2022. But on the all-new regular iPad, you immediately miss the mark.

Conclusion and prices: iPad 2022 vs iPad Air 2022

So the iPad 2022 is clearly the ‘budget’ version. Apple has made some real concessions, some of which are debatable to say the least (the Apple Pencil adapter – seriously, Apple? And a black-and-white-only screen?). But…could there also be a difference between the ‘budget’ version and the more advanced version?

Normally, we would have thought that was a very nice update. The modern look, a bigger screen, a (slightly) better chip, support for 5G, usb-c, the very practical selfie camera, cool colors. And you might be thinking: As a casual user, I don’t need Stage Manager anyway, the Apple Pencil does the same, and I smear the screen – sparingly or not – with my sticky fingers.

The problem is: we’re talking about the ‘budget’ version here. But if you look at the price, the iPad 2022 is definitely not budget anymore. The starting price is no less than 200 euros higher than for the previous iPad, which started at 389 euros. These are the suggested retail prices for the iPad 2022:

  • iPad 64 GB with Wi-Fi: €589
  • iPad 256 GB with Wi-Fi: €789
  • iPad 64 GB with Wi-Fi + mobile: €789
  • iPad 256 GB with Wi-Fi + mobile: €989

This brings him uncannily close original starting price for iPad Air 2022: €698.50. We should also mention that Apple has also become 90 euros more expensive since yesterday and is now approaching 800 euros.

If the new iPad 2022 had become a hundred euros more expensive, we would have found it justified. But now we mainly think: if wiedeweergo to Coolblue and Amac to score iPad Air 2022 at the previous price there. Or maybe even the ‘regular’ iPad from a year ago.

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