Review iPad Air (2020): almost an iPad Pro Mini [análise/vídeo]

The year 2020 is marked by Apple with some drastic changes in the design of its products, by renewing less remembered lines and by the new iPad Air that I will call iPad Air (2020). It has a body with straight lines, borrows a lot from iPad Pro, but it costs a lot less.

Well, I’m André Fogaça and in the next few paragraphs I’ll tell you why I believe the iPad Air (2020) is the iPad that you need to keep an eye on if you don’t have work as your main use for the gadget.

Video review of Apple iPad Air (2020)

Ethics notice

O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.

No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The iPad Air 2020 was provided by Apple on indefinite loan. The product will be used in future content before being returned to the company.

Design and canvas

iPad Air gets a new look, similar to the iPad Pro (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Until 2019 the iPad Air remained very similar to the first model launched, back in 2013. That means two thick edges and two thinner ones, home button on the front, Lightning door and slightly curved rear on the sides. Virtually all of that changes on this year’s iPad Air.

He loses the curves and switches to straighter lines, squeezes the edges of the screen (which became a bigger flick, increasing almost nothing in the size of the tablet) and removes the home button with Touch ID to take this same feature to the on / off . I loved the location for saving button and maintaining the best biometric recognition that Apple has in times of pandemic, when you need to wear a mask.

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Touch ID is on the on / off button (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

It is fast, as fast as the other Touch IDs on iPhones: the time required for the finger to press the button and turn on the screen is the same for user recognition. It seems instantaneous; squeezed, recognized, ready.

Still on the outside, another change is in the Lightning cable that makes room for a USB-C port. A change that should be even on iPhones, ok Apple? OK? Understood? USB-C is good, it’s top and helps when using the same cable for more products from other manufacturers. The environment thanks you.

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

USB-C port reaches iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Returning to the rear, the camera left the level of the housing and now has a bump. Speakers also change and stop pointing downwards when you hold the iPad Air (2020) upright, or to one side when the tablet is lying down. This detail is perfect for those who use the iPad with a keyboard, placing the product horizontally or when watching a movie. In this orientation, the audio comes out on each side, is stereo and more immersive.

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

New iPad swaps curves for straight lines (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

It is not quite as loud as the iPad Pro’s four speakers, but it has improved a lot compared to the previous generation. And talking about iPad Pro, the iPad Air (2020) is almost identical, even in the connectors for accessories and the location to load and pair an Apple Pencil.

Same, identical and that’s great. The design of the iPad Pro is very good, so it’s very good here too.

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

It looks like the iPad Pro, but it’s the same Air (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Hardware and Software

In software, the conversation happens as in the last iPad reviews. It is great, it can do a lot of things, practically nothing crashes, it wants to be a new computer and it succeeds in many moments, but there are traditional limitations of iPadOS itself.

iPadOS on iPad Air (2020) (Image: reproduction)

iPadOS still focuses on touch usage, even with the Magic Keyboard connected (Image: playback)

Having a USB-C port helps a lot in this new type of use for a tablet, and in it you can even open a pendrive plugged with an adapter, or an SD card in a second dongle. On the other hand, the home screen is still made exclusively for touch and does not take much advantage of the large display; the feeling of an iPhone continues – it was worse, it’s getting better.

Samsung has already noticed this dilemma on the Android side, where the tablet situation is an endless mess, and solved it with Dex mode. A “Dex on iPad” type would be interesting, even if it only opens when the gadget is connected with the Magic Keyboard.

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

USB-C port helps a lot in more professional use (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Here two windows can be open at the same time, with a third floating one, but nothing more. Nothing like it has been for a long time on macOS, Windows, Chrome OS or Linux. All use free windows, as a PC has been in recent decades. And look that it is not a performance problem, since the A14 Bionic chip of the iPad Air (2020) is a monster in just that.

In games anything runs, any game that is currently on the App Store. Nothing will find choking for lack of hardware and this situation will certainly continue for at least two years after 2020.

Battery (camera too)

Now, if on the one hand the iPadOS tries to be a computer and fails in a few moments, on the other hand it tries to use less battery and succeeds. Apple keeps promising 10 hours of autonomy and you can get very close to that, even using the iPad Air (2020) as a notebook to write some texts for Tecnoblog in an entire working day.

iPadOS with battery consumption (Image: reproduction)

In another type of use, I put the iPad as a kind of TV to watch the newspaper in live streaming for a few days, an hour or so a day. It took me almost a week to plug the tablet in again.

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

If recharging your battery can be something you will do a few times, taking pictures is another. Even so, the iPad Air 2020 has considerable improvements in the rear camera, with 12 megapixels, aperture of f / 1.8 and that films even in 4K at 60 frames per second, but it is a tablet. He remains clumsy to do this and his smartphone will certainly take better pictures.

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the rear camera of the iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

I only understand cameras on tablets for two things: scanning documents and making video calls. In both iPad Air (2020) does the job well.

Worth it?

So, iPad Air 2020 is a very interesting evolution for the previous model. The new design makes the tablet more sober, more serious and this matches his proposal to try to be closer to a computer. Does he get it? No, it is still impossible to abandon a notebook and be left with just a tablet, but this path gets shorter and shorter.

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

iPad Air (2020) (Image: André Fogaça / Tecnoblog)

The screen is still very good, the audio is more immersive and the USB-C connector is a very delicious cherry in this whole cake. If you use the tablet’s camera for photos, for whatever reason, you can be satisfied too.

It seems that everything is positive, but I’m not happy with the amount of memory in the base model. It starts with 64 GB and that is very little for a type of product that has media consumption as one of its main draws. Apple should start with 128 GB minimum.

If you are going to buy the iPad Air 2020, it is really worth putting a little more money just to have more comfort in indoor space, especially for a tablet without microSD. All of this comes at a price and it starts at R $ 6,999 for 64 GB, rising to R $ 8,699 for 256 GB – it is more expensive if you want 4G connection. It is not cheap, iPad never was, but certainly the purchase of the new iPad Air will yield years of use of the tablet.

iPad Air (2020)

Pros

  • External finish is great
  • USB-C is life!
  • Performance above expectations
  • Compatible with iPad Pro accessories
  • It has almost everything from iPad Pro, costing much less

Cons

  • Base model is only 64 GB (no expansion)
  • Interface could take on expensive notebook soon (not always, of course)

Technical specifications

  • Screen: Liquid Retina IPS 10.9-inch LCD, 2360 × 1640 pixels
  • Processor: Apple A14 Bionic (5 nanometers)
  • Storage: 64 GB or 256 GB without microSD expansion
  • Dual rear camera: 12 megapixels, f/ 1.8
  • Frontal camera: 7 megapixels, f/ 2.0
  • Drums: 28.6 Wh
  • Operational system: iPadOS 14.1
  • Connectivity: USB-C, 4G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Sensors: accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, luminosity, fingerprint on the side and barometer
  • Others: two stereo speakers, support for second generation Apple Pencil
  • Dimensions and weight: 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm; 458 g (Wi-Fi) and 460 grams (4G / LTE)

Leave a Comment