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This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.


While everyone around here is talking about the first release of the iPhone 12 series, I bought the iPad Air (4th generation), which was released on the same day. I've said for some time that I'd buy an iPad Air with the iPad Pro design, and I'm living up to that promise.

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I bought the iPad Air (4th generation), a Wi-Fi version of the Sky Blue/256GB, priced at 79,800 yen (excluding tax)

My previous model was an iPad Pro 9.7-inch; it was released in March 2016, so I've used it for about 4.5 years. Lately, some apps have been taking a long time to launch and I've been trying to find the right time to replace it for about two years now, but there was no model I wanted to replace.

My use of the tablet is as a "content viewer"; browsing social networking sites and websites, reading ebooks, watching videos, etc. I use it more and more often for e-books. However, as the name suggests, the current iPad Pro series is geared too much for professionals and too little for me. Of course, the higher the specs, the longer you can use it, but it's also the more expensive.

Then I could have chosen the previous-generation iPad Air or the non-pro iPad, but that would have been almost identical in design to my iPad Pro 9.7 and I wouldn't have felt like I was replacing it. That's why I've declared that I'll buy an Air with the Pro design when it comes out.

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The iPad is a great companion for lounging around.

So I bought the iPad Air (4th generation), and after using it for a week or so, I'm pretty happy with it. First, the display. Actually, another reason I didn't switch to the current Pro series is the display size - I thought 9.7 inches was just fine.

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The display and body size are both larger than the iPad Pro 9.7-inch.

So I was concerned about the fact that the display has been enlarged to 10.9 inches and the size of the body is also larger... But now it's bigger, so it's easier to view. Especially the text when displaying a comic book in a spread.

I guess my eyes are not as good as they used to be in my mid-40s, but even on my iPad Pro 9.7-inch, it was hard to read the lines when the comic was displayed as a spread.

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It's a size increase of about 1.2 inches, but the dialogue in the comic is much easier to read for me as I'm starting to have presbyopia (Eats Asia Kindle Edition / Suzuki Miso).

So I personally think this size increase is good, but if my eyes aren't getting worse, I still think 9.7-inch is the best size, and I would have been happy with the current Pro design with the 9.7-inch display.

My iPad Air weighs 458 grams, a slight increase of 14 grams from the iPad Pro 9.7-inch (cellular version), but I don't mind that either. It's a bit larger, so when you hold it in your hand, it doesn't feel too heavy, perhaps because of the good weight balance. So it's no more exhausting than ever before.

However, I feel that the software keyboard is slightly harder to reach with fingers when held in the horizontal position. Incidentally, like the latest Pro series, the keyboard division function seems to be unsupported, and is only floating.

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In the horizontal position, the center of the software key is harder to press.

I bought the Wi-Fi version of the iPad this time. I've bought several models of the iPad series so far, but I've always used the cellular version because I didn't need to look for a Wi-Fi service and it was convenient to use it anytime, anywhere.

But nowadays I have fewer opportunities to go out with my iPad, and more importantly, my smartphone is on a Docomo line with a 5G Gigaho plan, so I have unlimited connectivity including tethering through a current campaign. So, I've decided to go with the Wi-Fi version instead of the cellular version this time.

The iPad Air (4th generation) has the same design as the current Pro series, so the home button has been eliminated. So biometrics uses a fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the power button.

Face ID might have been better here, in my opinion. In my case, unlike the iPhone, I often use the iPad indoors, especially in my room, so I don't wear a mask most of the time when I use it. The bezel is quite wide, so there seems to be enough room for the Face ID sensor to be embedded.

Also, with the iPad Air (4th generation), it's hard to distinguish between the left and right sides of the screen, so it's sometimes hard to tell where the power button is located.

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Power button with integrated Touch ID sensor

The processor is indeed the latest A14 Bionic, which is about 2.5 times more powerful on the single-core score, and about 4 times more powerful on the multi-core score than my previous iPad Pro, as measured by Geekbench 5. If there's a difference to this extent, it's worth replacing. There is also a significant difference in the feel, and the Jump+ app, which I found to be particularly slow to launch on the iPad Pro 9.7-inch, launches much faster on the iPad Air (4th generation), as shown in the video below.

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Geekbench 5 test results for iPad Air (4th generation)

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Geekbench 5 measurement results for the iPad Pro 9.7-inch

With this much machine power, I can use it not only as a content viewer but also for creative work. I've been using Premiere Rush with my smartphone (Xperia 1 II) for editing short videos lately, but considering the screen size and other factors, the iPad Air (4th generation) is definitely easier to work with. I may use the iPad Air (4th generation) as my main device for video editing on the go because it works well with the pen.

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It's good for quick video editing with Premiere Rush.

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Because of the Type-C terminal, it can be connected to various peripherals.

So I'll be using the iPad Air (4th generation) for a while. The next time I buy a new one will be when the design changes again.


This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.