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The iPad Air line originated in 2013, named with the same "Air" moniker used for thin and light MacBooks. The iPad Air 3 acts as a stable mid-tier for those who don't want Face ID or to spend too much for a tablet. Thin, light, and capable; you're not compromising much for the price.

The iPad Air runs iPadOS, which means you get all the features and apps you've come to expect from an iPad.

 

Appleinsider reviewed the iPad Air 3 and gave it a 4 out of 5.

iPad Air 3 Features

Apple Pencil

The iPad Air uses the first generation Apple Pencil. Previously reserved for the iPad Pro line, the Apple Pencil has propagated through the entire iPad lineup. With the laminated display of this model, using the Apple Pencil on its screen still feels natural as ever.

The Apple Pencil charges via the iPad's lightning connector, and does not offer the magnetic charging capabilities required to use the second generation pencil.

First generation Apple Pencil works as expected on the iPad Air First generation Apple Pencil works as expected on the iPad Air

Display

The mid tier iPad has a 10.5-inch P3 gamut display at 500 nits of brightness. It uses True Tone and has a laminated display. The resolution of the screen is 2224x1668 at 264 PPI. 

Of note, even though this iPad shares a lot of similarities with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, it is missing one key element. There is no promotion display, which means you are not getting the 120Hz refresh rate that iPad Pros have.

Processor

The A12 Bionic is apples go to chipset for their most recent mid tier tablets. With 3GB of RAM, you are able to easily run any app and multitask using the modern iPadOS. Games run great at 60fps with no lag, as Appleinsider tested Fortnite on the hardware.

iPad Air runs Fortnite great at 60fPS iPad Air runs Fortnite great at 60fPS

Smart Connector

The Smart Connector was launched with the original iPad Pro with the hope that third party accessory makers could design new pro accessories with an easy connection. Very few accessories ever took advantage of this and almost all were keyboards. The Apple Smart Keyboard is what Appleinsider recommends for the iPad Air, along with these accessories.

The Smart Keyboard offers a good typing experience on the iPad Air 3 The Smart Keyboard offers a good typing experience on the iPad Air 3

Cameras and Speakers

The rear camera is 8MP and is capable of capturing Live Photos in wide color, and is limited to 1080p video recording. The front facing camera was upgraded this generation to 7MP and allows for 1080P FaceTime and video.

The audio is limited to two stereo speakers, unlike the iPad Pros with four. These speakers still sound great, although it is easy to block one of the speaker grates when holding the iPad.

Air or Pro?

When looking into the iPad Air, you likely will notice it encroaching quickly onto the iPad Pro, especially when buying the higher memory model. The difference between the models will be design, Touch ID vs Face ID, Apple Pencil generation, camera system, and chipset generation.

The iPad Pro starts at $799 with just 64GB of memory and no accessories, so keep this in mind when comparing the two. If money is no object, the design and power is obvious in the iPad Pro series and is an easy decision from there. 

For those who are budget minded, which is most of us, the iPad Air is the perfect balance of power and price. Check out our in depth comparison for more information.

iPad Air 3 Options and Pricing

You can purchase the iPad Air in three colors; space gray, silver, and gold. It is configurable to have 64GB or 256GB of storage and a cellular option can be added. Pricing at $499 or $649 respectively. Add $130 if you want to add cellular to either option.

The iPad Air 3 is sometimes on sale, so use our Price Guide to help with your purchase.

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