Apple iPad Air M1 Owners Complain Of Creaking Noises, Call Into Question Build Quality

Apple iPad Air
Speaking from experience, one of the side effects of getting older is an uptick in creaking noises coming from places they never did before (back, knees), to go along with lingering aches and pains. It sounds like the iPad Air might be getting to that age. The newest version with its fancy M1 processor released to retail on Friday, and some users are already calling into question the tablet's build quality.

Some early adopters of Apple's latest-generation iPad Air say the aluminum chassis feels "a lot thinner" than the previous version. They also say the tablet makes an audible creak when holding it.

"I ordered and received two blue iPad Air 2022 [tablets] today and I’m a bit shocked. The aluminum backplate is a lot thinner than on the iPad 4 which I also have. You can almost feel the battery through the plate when you hold the device," a user wrote on Reddit.

"Both iPads have the same feeling and are making creaking noises when you hold them. This did not happen on the iPad Air 4. Both are going back but is it just me? I also asked a second person and she felt it too," the user added.

It's not just a single incident. Other users chimed in with similar complaints, one of which said it "feels weird when naked." The iPad, that is (in case that needs clarifying). Another user said they visited an Apple Store to check out the latest iPad Air and they too noticed "some creaking" when pressing on the aluminum backplate. And yet another user said, "if you press on little bit on the back, the battery presses the screen and you can clearly see the black patches on it.

One of the users posted a short clip to YouTube where you can hear a faint popping or clicking noise coming from the back panel.

"Picked one up yesterday and noticed this too. Part exchanged it today for the 11” Pro. The questionable build quality of the Air 5 has me taken aback. Whenever I picked the device up or changed how I was holding it, the back of the enclosure would creak. Same thing with the in-store models I tried out earlier," another user wrote.

Yet another user said they didn't notice the issue...until they came across the Reddit thread. "Once I saw it, I couldn't unsee it." The same user said they went to an Apple Store and experienced the same thing on multiple iPad Air demo devices, but not on any of the iPad Pro models.

Should you be concerned? That depends on you feel about potential noises that are seemingly attributed to a thinner back panel. It should be noted that none of the reports say this affects functionality in any way. There are no screen issues mentioned, and the tablet is not crashing or anything of the sort.

The big selling point of the latest iPad Air is the M1 processor. This is the same powerful custom Apple Silicon as found in the iPad Pro, but with a cheaper starting price ($599.99). It also features a 10.9-inch LCD screen with 500 nits max brightness, 8GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage, 5G connectivity (sub-6GHz), 12MP front and rear cameras, and a USB-C connector.