Phone ReviewReview

iPad Air 6 (2024) Preview
Thank You For Reading

The iPad Air is that perfect middle ground where price, performance, and size come into an almost perfect goldilock, at least as far as tablets go. If rumours are true, we are soon to see the new, 6th generation of the iPad Air.

The iPad Air (2024) is expected to be announced sometime in late March, or early April, so there isn’t much more left for us to wait. What’s interesting is that this year Apple is said to introduce not one, but two iPad Air models, with the second one being a larger 12.9-inch iPad Air.

What other upgrades and changes will the 2024 iPad Air bring along? Well, here’s a quick list of the ones we expect to almost certainly see:

Expected upgrades with the iPad Air 6 (2024)

Apple M2 chip replaces the M1

A new, 12.9-inch model

Better connectivity

Front-facing camera changes position

New colors

iPad Air 6 (2024) Specs

If you are familiar with the 2022 iPad Air, you might see an uncanny level of resemblance here. Truth be told, there isn’t much information about the iPad Air (2024) to go on as of this moment, so we are assuming that whatever hasn’t been addressed in rumors and leaks will remain the same.

However, Apple is expected to announce the new Air in spring next year, so there is still time for these specs to turn out different, and hopefully give us more to look forward to besides just a new chipset.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Design & Colors

The likelihood of Apple changing the iPad Air’s design in any drastic or noticable manner with the next generation is pretty slim. The last overhaul might have been two generations ago, when the company introduced the 4th generation, but that is still pretty soon as far as iPads or tablets in general go.

What we are really hoping to see, however, is that selfie camera going to one of the longer sides of the tablet, just like it is on the latest iPad Pro models. One of the best things you can do on an iPad is place it somewhere at home, with the display facing you, and have a FaceTime chat with a friend or family member while you are doing something else, and having the camera on the vertical side of the screen is not exactly optimal.

By the look of some recently leaked CAD renders new 12.9-inch iPad Air, it seems the camera is staying where it always has been. That said, the same renders show us a slightly different design of the camera at the back of the iPad Air(s), showing the camera bump housing the lens as well as the flash, whereas previous models had a single bump for the lens only.

Even more freshly leaked are the dimensions of the new iPad models. According to the source that tipped 9to5Mac, the 12.9-inch iPad Air will measure 280.6 mm x 214.9 mm x 6.0 mm which is almost exactly the same as the 2022 12.9-inch iPad Pro which measures 280.6 mm x 214.9 mm x 6.4 mm.

Besides the small change related to the camera bump, we fully expect the iPad Air (2024) to remain with the same design as the 2022 model, although since the previous couple of generations did resemble the iPhone 12 to 14, it is feasible that Apple would make those sharp edges a bit less sharp. That would match the same design change on the iPhone 15 series — a small detail but one which definitely becomes noticeable in everyday use, at least as far as comfort goes.

Colors-wise, even though there hasn’t been any news on the subject, it is safe to assume that Apple will go for a similar palate, and spice things up by maybe replacing one of the more eye-catching options, like the blue or purple, with something like green or gold.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Display

Unfortunately, the iPad Air is usually treated the same way as a non-Pro iPhone. In other words, don’t expect to see a high screen refresh rate here, we suspect it will remain at 60Hz. We would love to see Apple equip its mid-range tablet with an OLED or mini-LED panel this time around, instead of the IPS LCD one that the 2022 version has, but that is unlikely.

Since displays across the whole tech space have been getting brighter recently, we also wouldn’t be too surprised if the new iPad Air comes with a significantly brighter one.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Camera

It is no secret that the back camera on a tablet is probably its least used part, so we don’t expect anything different from the 12MP wide snapper that came with the predecessor. That said, the 12MP ultra-wide front camera might be moved from the top bezel to one of the iPad Air’s sides, which would make it much more convenient for video conferences, especially if you are going to hold the tablet in your hands.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Performance

The new iPad Air’s performance is the one area where there have been rumors for a solid upgrade, jumping from the M1 chipset to (most likely) the M2. What does that mean in practicality? Well, Apple says that M2 has a GPU that’s 35% more powerful in comparison, and a CPU that is 18% faster.

M2 also comes with a 40% faster neural engine, which is the part of the silicon responsible for tasks that utilize artificial intelligence, such as Siri, for example.

As for RAM and storage, everything is currently pointing at absolutely no changes. But having zero changes, especially with the storage options, would be almost as big of a letdown as the lack of a higher display refresh rate, because it would mean the same 64GB and 256GB.

256GB fine, it is a great middle ground and fits the mid-ranger spot the iPad Air holds in Apple’s tablet portfolio nicely, but 64GB? In 2024?!? Come on, that sounds like the least funny joke in the world of mobile tech. The target audience for the iPad Air probably doesn’t need it to have 512GB or more, but it also doesn’t need it to have just 64GB.

One thing that Apple will very likely update, however, is the connectivity of the iPad Air with the 2024 models. We expect to see Bluetooth 5.3, which creates more stable connection with Bluetooth devices and is more power efficient. Apple should also upgrade its mid-range tablet from Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 6E, which can utilize the faster 6GHz Wi-Fi networks.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Software

Apple released iPadOS 17 back in September, when the new iPhone 15 series was announced, so if the iPad Air really is set to come out this upcoming spring season, it will launch with that straight from the box.

iPadOS 17 includes a lot of features that iPhones get, such as lock screen customization, interactive widgets on the home screen, and you can now check your health and fitness information on your iPad as the Health app is available there too.

As far as software updates go, iPads are usually supported between 5 and 7 years, just like iPhones. Most of the time it is 6 years, so don’t worry about future-proofing, you are covered.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Battery

Just like with the rest of its products, Apple does not specify what the charging speeds or battery capacity are on its iPads, and that includes the iPad Air. That said, the iPad Air 5 from 2022 generally lasted for a day or so of use with its 7,606 mAh battery, so we can expect similar times from the iPad Air (2024). In fact, they might be better, given the more power-efficient chipset and Bluetooth module.

One thing we are seriously hoping to see, however, is faster charging speeds. The iPad Air 5 charges from 0-100% in about 2 hours and 10-15 minutes, using the recommended 20W charger from Apple.  Even bumping that to 30W, or even more for the 12.9-inch model, would make a major difference for the user.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Audio Quality and Haptics

Besides the display, the speakers are also one of the main areas where Apple differentiates the Air from the Pro iPads. The latter comes with four speakers, while the Air has two. That is not to say that the audio quality is bad on the mid-range iPad, it is just far from being as impressive. Apple might improve the sound with the iPad Air (2024), we doubt it will add two more speakers.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Models

Word on the street is that Apple might release two iterations of the iPad Air (2024). More specifically, we are talking about two sizes, a 10.9-inch one and a 12.9-inch variant. This means that the mid-range iPad Air series would almost perfectly match the iPad Pro lineup in terms of size options, eliminating the need to go Pro just for a larger display and battery.

iPad Air 6 (2024) Summary and Final Verdict

It is a bit hard to get hyped about the iPad Air (2024) at this stage. If the only changes truly remain the chipset, some new colors, and an additional size, then it would hardly be something to write home about. That being said, we expect Apple to surpris us with more changes than just these, so even though there is nothing “spicy” coming out of the rumor mill yet, it doesn’t mean the product won’t be an exciting one.
Thank you for reading

Leave a Reply