Apple has been promoting the idea that iPad is a great notebook replacement over the past couple of years. It started when they introduced iPad Pro. These devices come with desktop class processors and have the ability to connect with special keyboards and pencil.
It was a hard sell. Priced near a full sized Mac notebook, these devices were a luxury that only the most die-hard or professional users would opt for.
However, the latest iteration of iPad Air might just change people’s minds about using these tablets as a notebook replacement. Priced below iPad Pro, the latest iteration of iPad Air 2020 is proving to be a supremely capable tablet that is within the reach of most people.
Firstly, it comes with Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chip. This chip is the first 5nm silicon from Apple and packs a punch when it comes to single core performance, scoring higher than current iPad Pro 2020 models. It is a 6 core system on a chip and only (slightly) loses out to its more expensive siblings in the multi core and graphical performance department.
Secondly, iPad Air 2020 shares the same physical design as the iPad Pro, making them almost indistinguishable. In addition, iPad Air comes with new colors like sky blue and green. In fact, dimensionally similar, covers and cases that are made for iPad Pro 11” works perfectly on iPad Air 2020.
Thirdly, newer accessories (sold separately) like the absolutely fabulous Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2 work on iPad Air 2020. This marks the first time that these “pro” accessories work on a non-pro model.
Fourthly, USB-C charming port instead of lightning. This opens up the possibility of using an external drive to complement internal storage, a first in the line of non-pro iPads.
Finally, iPad OS 14. This new iteration of the operating system just makes using an iPad more intuitive with a keyboard and trackpad. The mouse pointer behavior works in a way that is just so intuitive on iPad Hover the pointer over a clickable object and it magnetically attaches itself with the outline of the object clearly marked. While attached to the Magic Keyboard, I hardly ever need to touch the screen to click or select. Also, multi-tasking on iPad with the new OS feels more natural and easy to use.
Anyway, I’ve just received my new iPad Air today. So I’ll be posting long term impressions as I try to use it as my daily drive.
iPad Air (2020)
10.9″ Liquid Retina Display
A14 Bionic Chip
12MP Wide Angle Back Camera, 7MP FaceTime HD Camera
RM 2599 (64GB WiFi)/RM 3249 (256GB WiFi)