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Apple just gave 4 compelling reasons to buy the new iPad Air, and I'm tempted

Apple's newest lightweight tablet comes in a larger bigger screen size, has a more powerful chip and additional storage options, and the selfie camera is now in the right place.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Apple iPad Air

The iPad Air (2024) is finally here and, as expected, Apple's first tablet refresh since 2022 is bringing some serious improvements. Apple debuted several new products at its "Let Loose" event yesterday, among them a new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil Pro, and a more durable Magic Keyboard.

Also: I've used every iPad since the original. Here's my buying advice for the new 2024 models

If you're considering a new iPad, the 2024 version of the Air should be tempting, especially if you don't need all the features of the more expensive Pro model. 

Here's a look at what's new for the 6th generation iPad Air.

1. A bigger screen option

First up, Apple is introducing an all-new bigger size. While previous versions of the iPad Air only had a single size to choose from, this year's edition has an 11-inch size and a 13-inch size – the larger one giving you 30% more screen to work with. It makes the iPad slightly less portable, but the added real estate will certainly be worth the tradeoff for some.

2. An M2 chip for enhanced performance

The previous generation iPad Air runs on Apple's M1 chip, but this year's model gets the new M2. Even though Apple has since moved on to introduce the M4, the M2 is the same chip that powered a lot of top-of-the-line MacBooks, including our 2022 product of the year.

Also: This $349 iPad was secretly the best announcement during the Apple event

This chip is an impressive addition that Apple says has a 15 percent faster CPU, 25 percent faster graphics, and 50 percent more memory bandwidth than the previous generation. Of course, it also brings increased AI capabilities and is 50 percent faster than the previous M1-powered iPad Air for your creativity and productivity tasks.

3. New placement for the front camera

It may seem minor, but the front-facing camera of the latest iPad Air is in a new spot. It's now on the landscape edge, moved from the portrait edge. Previously, you had to use the iPad in portrait mode on a video call as moving it to landscape mode distorted the picture. Now, video calls will look exactly as they do on a laptop.

4. Bigger base storage

The 5th-generation iPad Air shipped with a base storage of 64GB, with an option to expand to 256GB. The 6th generation starts at 128GB with the option to expand to 256GB, 512GB, and even 1TB. Not only does the new version have more storage to start and a higher top-end option, but there are more choices along the way if you'd like to land somewhere in the middle. 

Also: Inside iPad Pro's new 'outrageously powerful' M4 chip

The iPad Air 6 will begin shipping next week at a starting price of $599 for the 11-inch model and $799 for the 13-inch model.

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