New iPad Air will be so fast you won’t want an iPad Pro

The fifth-gen iPad Air gets some important upgrades, and could arrive in Apple's Spring event

New iPad Air 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad Air (2020) is an iPad Pro with some of the more niche features removed –and that's exactly why I bought mine as a replacement for my years-old iPad Pro. The Pro was the better tablet but the Air was the better buy, and I haven't regretted buying the more affordable tablet because the Air is so good.

But two years is a long time in tech, and my Air is now less powerful than the iPad mini 6. So I'm excited to see reports that the iPad Air is getting an earlier-than-expected upgrade in time for Apple's Spring event.

The iPad Air (2022): Faster. Smarter. More focused.

According to MacRumors, the fifth-generation iPad will get the same A15 Bionic chip as the current iPad mini as well as a 12-megapixel front camera, quad-LED True Tone flash, 5G in the Wi-Fi+Cellular models and Center Stage support so the camera can keep you in focus as you move around. There aren't expected to be any significant changes to the design – the iPad Air (2020) already dropped Lightning for USB-C – but as with the iPhone 13 there may be some new colour options.

I don't think I'll upgrade this time around, and that's testament to how good the iPad Air already is: the performance of mine is already brilliant, and I don't use video calling enough to get excited about Center Stage. But if you're in the market for an iPad Pro and don't have iPad Pro money, I think you'll be quite delighted with the 2022 iPad Air: it'll make one of the very best tablets even better.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).