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iPad Air 6 vs iPad Air 5: What’s new?

Apple has just announced the iPad Air 6, an impressive upgrade to the iPad Air 5 which launched back in 2022, in an event which was hailed as the “biggest day for iPad since its introduction.”

But how does the new tablet compare to 2022’s iPad Air? We’ve compared the newly announced iPad Air 6 to its predecessor, the iPad Air 5, and highlighted the key differences between the two models to help you decide which is best for your needs.

The iPad Air 6 is available in two sizes

The iPad Air now comes in a choice of two sizes, a redesigned 11-inch model and an all-new 13-inch, with the latter offering a decent 30% more screen real estate.

Speaking of screens, both iPad Air models feature Apple’s signature stunning Liquid Retina Display and allow for SplitView so you can easily multitask and switch between open apps. It’s not quite the same as the new OLED-powered Ultra Retina XDR panels of the similarly-sized iPad Pro range, but it’s a solid middle ground.

11 inch and 13 inch models of iPad Air 6

The iPad Air 6 has a new front camera position

Up until now, all models of iPad Air have had a front camera embedded along the top portrait edge. The iPad Air 6 now has a landscape 12MP front camera, found at the top of the screen when the iPad is in a horizontal position. This should make it easier to use the camera when you’re connected to the compatible Magic Keyboard or generally for video calls, and follows suit from a similar change in the latest models of iPad and iPad mini.

Similarly to the iPad Air 5, the front camera on the iPad Air 6 is fitted with Centre Stage technology. This technology uses machine learning to automatically pan the camera to keep you centred in the frame. When others join or leave the shot, the view will also act accordingly and expand or zoom.

The iPad Air 6 runs on the M2 chip

Another upgrade for the iPad Air 6 is its processor. While the iPad Air 5 runs on Apple’s M1 chip, the Air 6 runs on the M2 chip. Launched in October 2022, the M2 chip was included in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and has only recently been succeeded by the M3 chip. It was also the chipset of choice for the previous iPad Pro range.

With the new chip in tow, the iPad Air 6 promises to be 50% faster than the iPad Air 5 and 3x faster than the A12 Bionic. 

Not only does it promise to be faster, but with M2, the iPad Air 6 can deliver powerful AI performance across the vast ecosystem of apps that include advanced AI features.

iPad Air 6 specs listed

The iPad Air 6 has more storage options

The iPad Air 5 offers just two storage options, a 64GB and a 256GB. To offer users more flexibility, the iPad Air 6 now has a choice of a staggering four storage options, starting with 128GB up to a massive 1TB. There are also the 256GB and 512GB options too, so there’s guaranteed to be a storage size to better suit your needs.

The iPad Air 6 is available from 15th May

The new iPad Air 6 is currently available to pre-order from the Apple website ready for its official global launch on 15th May. The 11-inch model is unsurprisingly cheaper, starting at $599 / £599 / €699 and the 13-inch model has a starting RRP of $799 / £799 / €949.

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