The iPad lineup is a little convoluted in 2022, and while all iPads are great, some are definitely easier to recommend than others, either because of features that aren't coming to them in the future, or just because they use the new Apple Pencil rather than the first generation one.
In our expert opinions, the iPad Air is more than enough machine for the vast majority of users, with an M1 chip inside that matches MacBooks and the iMac. That makes it powerful and efficient, while still being slim and light.
And, ahead of Cyber Monday, Amazon has cut $50 off of the MSRP which brings it down to $549.99 for Cyber Monday, putting the iPad Air just $100 above the iPad 2022.
Get the best iPad for less on Cyber Monday
Apple iPad Air with M1 |
$599, $549 at Amazon
Apple's iPad Air M1 offers much of what the more expensive iPad Pro does but at a considerably lower price - even lower with this Cyber Monday deal.
We've seen it drop about $20 lower than this, but it's a great way to jump into iPadOS 16, especially with new features like Stage Manager.
Sure, that’s not quite pocket change, but it does make the iPad Air with M1 about $100 more than the new tenth-generation iPad, but with vastly increased functionality.
It's thinner, lighter, faster, and supports the second-generation Apple Pencil so you won't have to use an adapter to charge your stylus, while also being perfectly sized for the Magic Keyboard attachment.
Naturally, though, the real draw is the M1 chip powering things. While the M2 will naturally outperform it, the iPad Pro that has the M2 is considerably more expensive. Thankfully, the M1 will get all iPadOS 16 features like Stage Manager, but will also still get external display support.
Now that Apple has made it clear that some iPadOS features are coming to M-series chips but not A-series ones, having an M1 iPad Air may lead to vastly increased options in the future. And, even if it doesn't, it's never a bad idea to future-proof your purchase.
In our review, we awarded the M1 iPad Air a 4-and-a-half star rating out of 5, noting that “the iPad Air 5 still stands on its own as a stellar tablet for anyone looking for power and performance without a "pro" price tag”.
Looking for even more iPad deals on Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday? iMore’s live blog is full of savings on Pro, Air, Mini, and standard iPads, including ninth and tenth-generation versions.
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Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom.
Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more.
He’s also the Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.