Apple iPad Air Goes Big With A New Display Size, M2 Silicon And Pencil Support

Apple iPad Air with keyboard on a black and gray gradient background.
Apple is refreshing its iPad family, part of which entails an upgraded iPad Air lineup with a bigger display size option that's on the level of an iPad Pro, and faster custom silicon inside. Namely, the latest-generation iPad Air is rocking Apple's M2 silicon, which Apple claims yields nearly a 50% performance boost compared to what's now the previous generation with M1 silicon inside.

Let's discuss the display options first, though. The sixth generation iPad Air is offered with an 11-inch display that's a touch bigger than the fifth generation's 10.9-inch display, as well as a new and substantially larger 13-inch display option. Those display options match what Apple's also-newly-refreshed iPad Pro with M4 silicon come in, except the iPad Air doesn't make the leap to OLED like the new Pro models do.

Instead, Apple's sticking with Liquid Retina displays for the iPad Air, which translates to IPS with a 2732x2048 resolution and 600 nits of brightness for the 13-inch model, and a 2360x1640 resolution and 500 nits brightness for the 11-inch variant. Both work out to a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch. They also feature touch support (obviously) and an anti-reflective screen coating.

Apple M2 iPad Air infographic.

The M2 chip inside the sixth generation iPad Air boasts an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. Compared to the A14 Bionic, Apple says performance is three times faster on the latest iPad Air models. It also boasts a 16-core Neural engine that is 40% faster than the M1, Apple says, and of course there are power efficiency gains to be had with the latest hardware.

One of the physical changes to the iPad Air's design language is the repositioning of the front camera—there's an ultra-wide 12-megapixel camera that now sits at the top of the tablet when in portrait mode rather than landscape mode.

"The camera features Center Stage, which uses machine learning (ML) to automatically keep everyone in the field of view. This new camera location is perfect, since it has become the most common orientation for iPad users, whether they are connecting with friends and family over FaceTime, or joining a video conference while using iPad Air in a keyboard," Apple explains.

Rear view of Apple's iPad Air showing the color options.

There's another 12MP camera around back that supports 4K video recording, as well as slo-mo recording at 240 frames per second.

For audio, Apple's hyping up the iPad Air's landscape stereo speakers that work in tandem with dual microphones to stifle background noise when capturing audio. Additionally, the 13-inch model gets a beefed-up audio system with "double the bass," according to Apple.

Other notable features include 8GB of RAM; 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options; Wi-Fi 6E and optional 5G wireless connectivity; and support for Apple's latest Pencil with hover functionality.

Apple iPad Air starting prices.

Overall, it's a solid upgrade for the iPad Air, with Apple offering blue, purple, starlight, and space gray color options. Pricing breaks down as follows...
  • 11-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 128GB: $599 (or $799 for cellular)
  • 11-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 256GB: $699 (or $849 for cellular)
  • 11-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 512GB: $899 (or $1,049 for cellular)
  • 11-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 1TB: $1,099 (or $1,249 for cellular)

  • 13-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 128GB: $799 (or $949 for cellular)
  • 13-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 256GB: $899 (or $1,049 for cellular)
  • 13-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 512GB: $1,099 (or $1,249 for cellular)
  • 13-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 1TB: $1,299 (or $1,499 for cellular)
The latest iPad Air lineup is available to order immediately.