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Apple’s iPad Air gets an M1 performance boost: is this now the best iPad for music makers?

iPad Air 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has released a new version of the iPad Air, its ‘mid-range’ tablet, with the big news being that it now contains an M1 chip.

Originally designed to power various Mac computers, and later transplanted into the iPad Pro, the M1 has now dripped down again, giving the iPad Air a significant performance boost in the process.

How does the new iPad Air compare to the best iPads for music makers?

The 8-core CPU promises a speed boost of up to 60 percent in comparison to the previous model, while the 8-core GPU is said to deliver twice the graphics grunt.

As such, this should be a supremely powerful music production tablet, and one that significantly narrows the performance gap to the 11-inch iPad Pro while undercutting it on price.

Other enhancements include an Ultra Wide 12MP front camera with Centre Stage functionality (this keeps users in view even if they move around), a faster USB-C port, and 5G compatibility on the cellular models.

The iPad Air has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display and is available in space grey, starlight, pink, purple and blue. It’s compatible with the Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio and the Smart Folio covers.

Prices for the new iPad Air start at $599/£569 for the 64GB WiFi model; there’s also a 256GB WiFi model that costs $749/£719. The 64GB and 256GB WiFi/cellular models cost $749/£719 and $899/£869 respectively.

Find out more on the Apple website.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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