IPad Air 4 review: Good, but not yet recommended

IPad Air 4

IPad Air 4 can be considered as a shortened version of the iPad Pro. However, with the same price as an iPad Pro 2018, users will be confused when owning this machine.


iPad Air 4 is Apple‘s latest tablet in the mid-range segment. At $ 599 (in the US), the iPad Air 4 is cheaper than the 2020 iPad Pro 11 “($ 799) and higher than the base iPad ($ 329) .The iPad Air 4 is a huge upgrade over the 2020 iPad Pro ($ 799). previous generation iPad Air 3 with the design transformed, bearing the appearance of the iPad Pro with perpendicular edges, removed Home key, USB-C port and overflow screen.

Chip A14 Bionic is the “eat money” point

The biggest advantage of the iPad Air 4 is Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chip, similar to that on the iPhone 12 series. Due to being based on a new architecture, the A14 chip on the iPad Air 4 is also superior to the A12X / A12Z on the 2018/2020 iPad Pro in terms of single-core scores. In terms of RAM capacity, the iPad Air 4 is equipped with 4GB of RAM, equivalent to the iPad Pro 2018 and lower than the 6GB level of the iPad Pro 2020.

Although there are worse scores, but in practice, users will be difficult to recognize the difference between the A14, A12X and A12Z chips. These are all too powerful chips for common tasks, and there is no application that can make them difficult.

Chip A14 Bionic is the "eat money" point

Display & speaker system: Downgrade compared to iPad Pro

Although the design looks very similar at first glance, the iPad Air 4’s screen actually cuts down on many factors compared to the iPad Pro, for example, the size is 0.1 inch smaller (10.9 inches versus 11 inches) , thicker bezels and slightly lower luminosity.

However, the biggest weakness of the iPad Air 4’s screen compared to the iPad Pro is the 60Hz refresh rate, compared to 120Hz of the iPad Pro. This makes the iPad Air 4’s on-screen animations and effects appear “stuttering” compared to the iPad Pro.

The 60Hz screen also affects the Apple Pencil experience, as it creates greater lag when the user writes / draws on the screen.

Display & speaker system: Downgrade compared to iPad Pro

Likewise, from the outside, the speaker systems of iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro are very similar with four holes on the sides, giving users the feeling that the iPad Air 4 has 4 speakers like the iPad Pro. In fact, the iPad Air 4 only has 2 speakers, and 2 out of the 4 holes are only for … decoration purposes. Therefore, the iPad Air 4 for poor sound quality than the iPad Pro, including bass and treble.

Despite losing in both the screen and speaker elements, but, in fact, this can only be felt clearly when users have used the previous generation iPad Pro. As for the majority of regular users (which is also the main user that the iPad Air 4 targets), they will not have any problems.

Touch ID with built-in power button: Sensitive, but not as convenient as Face ID

The new and old iPad Air 4 feature is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Old is because the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is something that is too familiar to users, but new is because the iPad Air 4 is the first Apple device with a fingerprint sensor located at the power key, instead of the Home button. previous devices.

If only judging from the perspective of a fingerprint sensor, the Touch ID integrates the power button of the iPad Air 4 for a very good experience. Although the fingertip contact section is relatively small, it provides quick and accurate recognition. However, to get the best results, the user will need to change their finger position during fingerprint registration.

Although it does a very good job as a fingerprint sensor, when compared to the facial recognition technology Face ID on the iPad Pro, Touch ID on the iPad Air proved to be inferior. With Face ID, users will just need to look at the screen and the machine will unlock. While for Touch ID, they will have to reach the fingerprint sensor. For a device as large and heavy as a tablet, using a fingerprint sensor is much less convenient than facial recognition.

Not to mention, with Face ID, users can unlock while holding iPad in any direction they want. As for Touch ID, they will need to spend a few seconds “groping” to see where the Touch ID sensor is.

Overall, Touch ID on the iPad Air is in a similar situation to the screens and speakers above: it’s good enough for the majority of users, but once you get used to the iPad Pro it will be hard to please.

Touch ID with built-in power button: Sensitive, but not as convenient as Face ID

Conclusion: Good, but not right to buy

Comparing the iPad Air 4’s screen, speakers, or biometrics to the iPad Pro is somewhat unfair. The iPad Air line is placed under the iPad Pro segment by Apple, so it is completely understandable that it is inferior to the iPad Pro.

So why are we constantly comparing the iPad Air 4 to the iPad Pro, even though we know that such a comparison is unfair? Because, with the price of about 16 million dong of iPad Air 4, many users will consider owning the iPad Pro 2018 with equivalent price. And at the same price range, except for the A14 chip based on the newer architecture, the iPad Air 4 loses almost entirely to the 2018 iPad Pro.

However, because the iPad Pro 2018 is a model that has been released for a long time, so the new, genuine product has almost “gone extinct”. Users who want to own iPad Pro 2018 will almost be forced to “hunt” for portable or second-hand goods, requiring experience in testing the machine. Meanwhile, the genuine iPad Air 4 is available on the shelves of most major systems, and users can own it with ease (and peace of mind).

The iPad Air 4 is a very good tablet. The innovative design, along with upgrades to the screen, speakers and A14 Bionic chip have made the iPad Air 4 a leap compared to the old generation. However, when the price of the iPad Air 4 is still on par with the old generation iPad Pro, users will not help wondering.

Therefore, XiPaChao thinks that the iPad Air 4 will be worth buying when its price drops. At the present time, a price comparable to the iPad Pro 2018 could make the iPad Air 4 unattractive; However, in the next few months, when the price gap widens between the two machines, it will be easier for users to accept the downsides of the iPad Air 4.


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