iPad Air (2020) review roundup: The right price, design, and performance for most people

The first iPad Air (2020) reviews are in and it sounds like Apple's new tablet is a winner.

Credit: Apple

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro aren’t the only Apple devices shipping to customers this week. There’s also the brand-new $599 iPad Air that launched last month, and based on the early reviews, it’s going to be a runaway hit.

The biggest change in the 2020 iPad Air over the prior model is the design. The new tablet takes its cues from the iPad Pro and eliminated the home button, slims the bezels, and flattens the sides. It also adds an array of new color options, all of which impressed Laptop Mag’s Phillip Tracy, who wrote: “Something about the Air gives off cool retro vibes. It could be the rounded machined aluminum corners, sculpted like an old Mercedes racing car, or that single prominent circular camera lens above a small mesh microphone. Whatever it is, the iPad Air’s elegance helps to offset the industrial aesthetic.”

The screen is also improved on the iPad Air. While Apple's latest tablet doesn’t support 120Hz ProMotion like the iPad Pro models, Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch calls its omission “unfortunate but understandable.” At CNET, Scott Stein agreed, saying that while ProMotion on the iPad Pro is “lovely,” he’s “fine without it.”

The other new feature on the iPad Pro is Touch ID, which is now built into the power button. It’s the first time Apple has used the tech, but early reviewers were happy with the implementation. Stein observed that it “seems to work reliably so far and there’s no reason why future iPhones (or even the Apple Watch) couldn’t get these little Touch ID buttons, too,” while Dieter Bohn of The Verge was thrown at first but ultimately found the button “unlocked the iPad quickly, conveniently, and securely.”

The iPad Air uses the same A14 Bionic processor as the iPhone 12, so as you’d expect it’s very fast. In Bohn’s testing, he concluded that it’s “fast enough to do everything you want to do with an iPad today and will likely continue to be fast for several years to come.” Similarly, Dana Wollman of Engadget said the iPad Air “seemed to have no problem keeping up with my multitasking and frequent app-switching.”

So basically, the iPad Air is the perfect device for someone who doesn’t need quite as much Pro but wants more than entry-level. As CNBC’s Todd Haselton sums it up: “I think the iPad Air fits great right in the middle of Apple’s tablet family. It’s a good choice if you don’t need everything on an iPad Pro, like the fancy cameras and faster screen, but also want a better screen, speakers, and design than you get on the entry-level iPad.”

You can order the new iPad Air from Apple with prices starting at $599.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Michael Simon

Michael Simon

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?