[Hot Review]iPad Air (5th Gen) is the perfect choice for those who want to stick to processing performance even with split features – PC Watch

Apple “iPad Air (5th generation)” (Prices from 74,800 yen. Type cover and pen sold separately)

On March 18, Apple released the “iPad Air (5th Gen)” equipped with the “Apple M1 chip” in the SoC. This is the second iPad series with Apple M1 after the iPad Pro.

The cheapest model of the iPad Pro is 94,800 yen, the cheapest model of the “Mac mini” is 79,800 yen, and the cheapest model of the “MacBook Air” is 115,280 yen, so the cheapest model is 74,800 yen. The cheapest Apple M1 powered device.

This time, let’s see how the ease of use is different from the iPad Pro, and whether there is a difference in performance.

iPad Air Specifications

iPad Air uses iPad OS 15 as OS and Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine with high-performance core x 4 + high-efficiency core x 4) as described above for SoC. It has 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB of storage.

The display adopts a 10.9-inch IPS LCD (2,360 x 1,640 dots, 264ppi, 60Hz, brightness 500cd/㎡, P3, contrast ratio undisclosed, anti-reflection, compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil), named “Liquid Retina display”. .. The camera has a built-in wide-angle camera (12MP, F1.8, 29mm) on the back and an ultra-wide-angle camera (12MP, F2.4, 14mm, 122-degree viewing angle) on the front.

Like the rest of the iPad series, a Wi-Fi version and a Wi-Fi + Cellular version are available. The Wi-Fi + Cellular version is 5G compatible and can use Nano SIM cards and eSIMs. The Bluetooth version is 5.0.

The physical interface is equipped with USB Type-C (charging, DisplayPort, USB 3.1). The previous model was USB 3.0 with a maximum of 5 Gbps, while this model is a USB 3.1 with a maximum of 10 Gbps, which improves the communication speed with external devices.

The body measures approximately 178.5 x 6.1 x 247.6 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 461 grams for the Wi-Fi model and 462 grams for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. It has a built-in 28.6Wh battery, which is said to last up to 10 hours when surfing the Internet/video via Wi-Fi, and up to 9 hours when using the Internet via mobile data communication.

Unfortunately, only 64GB and 256GB of storage are available. Since it comes with an Apple M1, I want a model with at least 512GB.

[Table 1]iPad Air (5th generation) specifications
Product name iPad Air (5th generation)
you iPadOS 15
CPU Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU, 4 high-performance cores + 4 high-efficiency cores, 8-core GPU, 16-core neural engine)
memory 8GB
storage 64GB, 256GB
exhibit Liquid Retina display (10.9 inches, 2,360 x 1,640 dots, 264ppi, 60Hz, brightness 500cd/sqm, P3, contrast ratio undisclosed, anti-reflective, compatible with 2nd gen Apple Pencil)
communication Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Wan 5G
interface USB Type-C (charging, DisplayPort, USB 3.1)
camera Wide-angle rear camera (12MP, F1.8, 29mm), ultra-wide-angle front camera (12MP, F2.4, 14mm, 122-degree viewing angle)
battery capacity 28.6Wh
Battery Life Wi-Fi internet/video playback: up to 10 hours, mobile data internet: up to 9 hours
battery charging time unpublished
Body Dimensions (WxDxH) Approx. 178.5 x 6.1 x 247.6 mm (W x D x H)
weight Wi-Fi Model: 461g, Wi-Fi + Cellular Model: 462g
Safety Touch ID (fingerprint authentication)
application App Store, Books, Calendar, Camera, Clock, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Find, Home, iTunes Store, Magnifier, Email, Maps, Measure, Messages, Music, Notes, Photo Booth, Photos, Podcasts, Reminders, Safari , Settings, Shortcuts, Siri, Stocks, Tips, Translate, TV, Voice Memos, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, Apple Store, Trailers, Clips, Swift Playgrounds, Support
same product iPad Air, USB-C Charging Cable (1m), 20W USB-C Power Adapter, Instructions (Quick Start Guide, Safety and Operation, SIM Pin, Sticker)
colour space gray, starlight, pink, purple, blue
Price 64GB/Wi-Fi version: 74,800 yen
64GB/Wi-Fi+Cellular version: 92,800 yen
256GB/Wi-Fi version: 92,800 yen
256GB/Wi-Fi+Cellular version: 110,800 yen

iPad Air offers nearly the same performance as iPad Pro

In terms of performance, I compared it to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation) and the “iPhone 13 Pro Max” with the Apple A15 Bionic. Although the iPhone 13 Pro Max is not a tablet terminal, it is not an “iPad mini (6th generation)” with the same SoC, but is a reference measurement.

【Table 3】Verifier specifications and benchmark test results
Product name iPad Air (5th generation) 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation) iPhone 13 Pro
system-on-chip Apple M1 Apple M1 Apple A15 Bionic
CPU High Performance Core x 4 + High Efficiency Core x 4 High Performance Core x 4 + High Efficiency Core x 4 High Performance Core x 2 + High Efficiency Core x 4
graphics processor 8 cores 8 cores 5 cores
Neural Engine 16 cores 16 cores 16 cores
memory 8GB 16 GB 6GB
strategy 256GB 1TB 1TB
you iPadOS 15.4 iPadOS 15.4 iOS 15.4
AnTuTu benchmark V9.0.9
all 108,8299 127,4024 85,0046
CPU 254,440 260,429 220,607
graphics processor 549,004 633,983 330,037
Memory 144,405 221,291 162,211
user experience 140,450 158,321 137,191
Geekbench 5.4.4
single core score 1,722 1,715 1,753
multicore score 7,095 7,196 4,924
Calculation (Metal) 21,677 21,359 14,942
Geekbench ML
TensorFlow Lite CPU Score 959 1,029 955
3DMark Wildlife Extreme
total score 5,022 5,113 3,016
average frame rate 30.1fps 30.6fps 18.1fps
Basemark Metal Free 1.0.7
comprehensive 6,741 6,638 4,357
lightning 83 83 87
calculate 90 92 90
instantiate 99 97 98
post processing 88 91 89
sequential read 1,333.33MB/sec 2,723.40MB/sec 817.89MB/sec
sequential write 2,000.00MB/sec 2,081.30MB/sec 1015.87MB/sec
Random (4K) reads 33.44MB/sec 43.24MB/sec 27.28MB/sec
Random (4K) writes 26.59MB/sec 31.97MB/sec 18.80MB/sec
Copy files from external storage to internal storage
10GB (5 files) 25 seconds 69 (USB 3.1 connected to SSD) 10 seconds 87 (Thunderbolt 3 with SSD)
Export 4K video in real time with iMovie
3,840 x 2,160 dots, 29.97fps 2:57.23 2:55.09 3:18.83
OS startup time
until the password input screen is displayed 13 seconds 72 16 seconds 21 17 seconds 15
Startup time of NEW STATE MOBILE
until “Click to start” is displayed 15 seconds 58 13 seconds 59 15 seconds 79
Action time for continuous YouTube video playback
Display brightness 50%, volume 50% 10 hours 20 minutes 18 seconds 8 hours 18 minutes 34 seconds 18 hours 15 minutes 33 seconds
Measuring Communication Speed ​​with iPerf 3
download speed 868Mbps 870Mbps 868Mbps

* Use “SSD-PH1.0U3-BA” for USB 3.1 connection to SSD, and “Portable SSD X5 MU-P85008” for Thunderbolt 3 connection to SSD.

First of all, in terms of CPU performance, the iPad Air’s score is almost the same as the iPad Pro, although slightly lower than the iPad Pro, with AnTuTu Benchmark CPU around 98% and Geekbench 5 Multi-Core Score around 99%. .. In terms of 3D performance, 3DMark Wild Life Extreme scores around 98% and Basemark Metal Free scores around 102%.

Even when compared to the actual app, iMovie measured a real-time export of 4K video at 5 minutes, but the iPad Air was 2 minutes 57 seconds 23 and the iPad Pro 2 was only around 2 minutes 55 seconds 09 minutes 55 seconds 09. Just over 2 seconds. It can be said that the performance of the iPad Air is almost the same as that of the iPad Pro.

I’m a little concerned about the storage speed. Using JazzDiskBench’s Sequential Read, the iPad Air was 1,333.33MB/s and the iPad Pro was 2,723.40MB/s, about half the speed. iPad Air and iPad Pro or each capacity may use different performance storage.

The difference in time required to copy files from external storage to internal storage is within the expected range. iPad Air is connected to USB 3.1 to SSD “SSD-PH1.0U3-BA”, iPad Pro is connected to Thunderbolt 3 to SSD “Portable SSD X5 MU-P85008”. , using 2.36 times the iPad Air. However, if you can copy 10GB (5 files) in 25.69 seconds, that’s a practical speed for taking photos and videos.

The run time for continuous YouTube video playback was 10 hours, 20 minutes and 18 seconds, which is 1.24 times that of the iPad Pro. Measurements were made with the same display at 50% brightness and 50% volume, but the iPad Pro may not work well in this condition because the original brightness is high. If you match the actual brightness exactly, rather than the brightness percentage, that should reduce the difference in runtime.

I wish the iPad Air and iPad Pro had night mode

The iPad Air has a small number of cameras, but the image quality is quite high. As expected, the difference can be seen by zooming in on the photos taken with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But even if you compare them on a 27-inch screen, at least for photos taken during the day, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Still, it’s a far cry from the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has Night Mode, when it comes to shooting night scenes. I don’t think there’s a reason why the iPad Air and iPad Pro with the Apple M1 can’t have night mode, although the Mi Pad 5, which can be purchased for 43,780 yen, does. Please generously introduce the technically achievable functions, so that the device can be used as long as possible.

The iPad Air features a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle front-facing camera that supports “midframe,” a feature that keeps people inside the frame. All iPads now support the center frame feature. The picture quality on the front-facing camera itself is excellent, bright even in indoor light, and captures natural-looking colors. Coupled with the mid-frame function, there is no doubt that it is a perfect network conferencing device.

Shot with wide-angle camera (1x)

A great value-for-money product for those who want to split the functionality while sticking to processing performance

The iPad Air, powered by Apple’s M1, has evolved into a model that’s closer to the iPad Pro, but differs in a number of specs. However, the performance in practical applications is about the same.

Regardless of security, there is no “Face ID while wearing a mask” feature on the iPad Pro now, and Touch ID is easier to use. For users who focus on processing performance, but the functions can be divided to a certain extent, the iPad Air can be said to be an excellent cost-effective product.

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