When the 2018 iPad Pro was released, Apple created a big gap in its iPad lineup. The budget iPad is great for those who are looking for an affordable tablet for everyday use, but it lacks the power to do more advanced tasks such as video editing and multitasking. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, comes with plenty of power, but for a hefty price.
Many Apple enthusiasts believed that the iPad Air line was all but forgotten, but Apple made a surprise move and introduced the 2019 iPad air. The new tablet sits perfectly between the iPad and the iPad Pro. Does the balance that the new iPad Air offers make it a great device for students? Whether you are studying a manufacturing management degree online, or something else entirely,there are five good reasons why the tablet is perfect for use with your studies.
It’s Still Affordable
At $499, the iPad Air isn’t what you call cheap. However, compared to the $799 starting price for the iPad Pro, the iPad Air looks like a better deal in terms of value; and it is. Compared to the iPad Pro, you really don’t lose much if you are not a pro user.
The iPad Air makes do without the ProMotion display and the USB-C port, and instead opts for a more traditional Retina display with 500 nits of brightness. Don’t get me wrong; the display is immensely capable. It even supports higher gamut for great color reproduction.
The relatively marginal difference makes Apple’s $499 starting price for the iPad Air appealing to more customers, particularly for students looking for a capable tablet – that can handle everything you throw at it, as we will find out later – that doesn’t break the bank.
While the budget iPad sticks with the older A10 processor, the new iPad Air uses Apple’s A12 Bionic processor found in the iPhone XS and XR. It also comes with all the bells and whistles, including the M12 coprocessor and the Neural Engine.
It is safe to say that the iPad Air packs a lot of punch. Whether you need to open 3D files or you want to access the course materials related to your degree, the iPad Air will blow past these tasks with ease.
Using the A12 processor also means good gaming performance. Paired with the large screen of the iPad, you can enjoy a bit of gaming in between working on course assignments and accessing the online learning portal of your university.
A Headphone Jack!
Yes, the iPad Air does come with a headphone jack. As rare as this feature may be, the presence of a headphone jack means you can get good audio output without having to spend a fortune on a high-quality Bluetooth headset. There are more budget options to choose from in the audio department indeed.
Of course, you can still use a Bluetooth headset if you already have one. The iPad Air supports Bluetooth 4.0, making it more than capable of streaming high-quality audio to a headset or speaker of your choice, completely free of wires.
The built-in speaker is a bit of a disappointment, but that’s acceptable at this price point. You don’t get the quad-speaker setup found in the iPad Pro, but you still get two speakers on the bottom of the iPad Air should you need to listen to a streamed lecture without your headphones.
Another great thing about the iPad Air is its battery life. It has a rated battery life of 10 ours, but we regularly get more than that during our tests. In fact, you can almost always get all-day battery life with the iPad Air.
Compared to the iPad Pro, the Air can handle more tasks for longer without running out of battery. This is due to the less power-intensive screen and the use of an efficient chipset in this device. If you go for the Wi-Fi only model of iPad Air, you will never have to worry about running out of battery.
Having a device that lasts an entire day is a huge plus if you are a student. You no longer have to charge your tablet in the middle of the day or spend hours stuck near a power outlet in order to get some assignments done. Unsurprisingly, the Air’s battery lasts longer than that of the budget iPad.
Everything Else in Between
Everything else about the iPad Air is just as interesting, particularly for students. You get Touch ID as opposed to Face ID, but the bezels are slim enough still. You will also find the iPad Air to be more comfortable to hold compared to both the budget iPad and the iPad Pro.
There is a lightning connector underneath the table, so no extra chargers or cables are needed. All of your current iPhone chargers and cables will work fine with the iPad air. The updated 7-megapixel FaceTime camera is a huge plus too, although the 8-megapixel rear camera is underwhelming.
And then there’s the support for the original Apple Pencil. We were hoping for an Apple Pencil 2 compatibility, but we’re stuck with the Apple Pencil 1 for now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the original Apple Pencil is $30 cheaper than the Pencil 2.
You also get compatibility with many of the older iPad Pro accessories; the iPad Air borrows its chassis from the older 10-inch iPad Pro, so things like covers and cases are cross-compatible. You can even use the Smart Keyboard Cover from Apple, making the device more powerful.
All things considered, the iPad Air is a valuable device to get if you are a student. It is even more valuable if you are an online student, since you can do all of your course-related tasks on the iPad Air.
For $499, the new iPad Air is a steal. Even compared to Samsung’s latest GALAXY Tab S5e, the iPad Air still offers so much more value. Now that you know the best five reasons why the iPad Air is perfect for students, getting one is a no brainer.