– Oh, look what I have here. It’s an iPad… Air. See, for the past couple of years, I’ve reviewed the basic iPad, and I’ve made this joke
about how you really didn’t need me to tell you that much because the iPad is
always, A, pretty good, and B, well, you know what an
iPad is and what an iPad does. So I could just say, “It’s an iPad!” and that was kind of the whole story. But the iPad Air is a little different. It’s an iPad, sure, but what exactly does the Air part mean in
Apple’s product lineup? I started out a little bit
confused by that question, but now I think I get it. So let’s look at this iPad… Air. (upbeat instrumental music) So, to start, I actually
want to do a comparison. So here it is, the new iPad Air, and this right here is
the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Can you tell the difference between them? I mean, except for the
different colors on the bezel. How about now? How about now? How about now? Aha, there it is. The iPad Air doesn’t have
four speakers; it only has two on the bottom, where
the iPad Pro has four. Now, there are other
differences, of course, and we’re going to get into them, but the point is that this
new iPad Air isn’t all new. It uses a lot of the same parts, or at least the same designs that we’ve seen for a couple of years now. It has a physical Touch ID
home button for unlocking, and these pretty big
bezels around the screen. A Lightning port for charging, and now it has a keyboard connector. And, heck, the keyboard that Apple gave us to review with this is literally the old iPad Pro 10.5-inch keyboard. It says Pro right here on the box. Anyway, Apple’s product lineup is actually a little bit crowded now, and maybe just a little bit inconsistent. So let’s go over it. There’s the basic $329 iPad that doesn’t have a keyboard connector. There’s the $399 iPad mini
that Nilay just reviewed, and it basically has the same
specs as this new iPad Air, and this iPad Air starts at $499. Finally, there’s the 11-inch
iPad Pro starting at $799, and the 12.9-inch version
which starts at $999. So, like Nilay said in
the iPad mini review, that’s a lot of price points and it’s easy to say that it’s too many, but to me, this lineup is starting to make a little bit of sense. There are a lot of iPads, but they all serve different needs. The mini is for people
who want a tiny little tablet that they can hold in their hand. The Pro is for people who want to try to replace their laptop with it, or just have the nicest,
most powerful thing. But then where does that leave the iPad, and especially the iPad Air? Let’s just have a story. Imagine you’re walking
into an Apple store. Easy, right? And you want to buy an
iPad to do iPad stuff. Games and web browsing and
reading and watching movies. You know, iPad stuff. And let’s just say, just for fun, one of the things you wanted
to do was, you know, type. That decision used to really suck. Before there was the iPad Air, you had to choose between getting the basic iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard or spend like $300 more, or even more than that,
to get the iPad Pro. But now there’s this iPad Air right in the middle for people who want an iPad that does just a little
bit more than the basics. So compared to the basic
iPad, this is what you get: You get a nicer, laminated
display with True Tone and a wider color gamut. You get a faster A12 processor. You get this keyboard connector, and you get a nicer front-facing camera. That’s kind of it. But honestly, that’s most of
the really important stuff that people would want if they were looking for a step up from
the regular, basic iPad. And it only costs $170 more. Okay, but how does the
iPad Air actually perform? I mean, you know, this
is a review after all. Well, as a tablet, it’s very, very fast with this A12 processor. It’s fluid, and I love
the iOS app library. There’s just a ton of really good apps available for this thing. I think it has really strong battery life. I’ve got no complaints
about that whatsoever. And I think the screen looks great, even if it doesn’t have all the fancy super ProMotion stuff that
you can get on an iPad Pro. The only bummer I found is
the speakers, but whatever. Also, the cameras are exceedingly… cameras. They’re fine. They’re kind of ignorable, in my opinion. For me, coming from the old iPad Pro 10.5, the only thing I noticed
that felt different was that the sound only
comes out of one side of it. In fact, if you can find a
10.5-inch iPad Pro for cheap, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing to go buy that instead of the Air. They’re kind of pretty much the same thing, but the older Pro gives you more speakers and the faster ProMotion display. And I think the processors between them are pretty much a wash. Now, the iPad Air uses this old origami-style keyboard design, and it costs $159. And (sighing) I just want
to officially apologize for making fun of how
awkward it is to open and close this keyboard. Because, sure, it’s awkward. But you know what this thing can do? You can fold it around like this to set it this way to watch movies, or you can set it this way to actually draw with an Apple Pencil, which is something you can’t do with the new iPad Pro keyboard. So, I’m sorry, origami. Now, there are downsides to the Air. I don’t love that it uses Lightning instead of USB-C to charge. But apparently Apple thinks
USB-C is a Pro feature, which, whatever. Every Android– anyway. It’s also compatible
with the Apple Pencil, but it’s the first-gen Apple Pencil that you need to not lose the cap for and stick it into the side
of the iPad to charge. And it also rolls right off a desk. Again, these things are not chuck-it-out-the-window disappointing, but they’re not my favorite features. If you want to get around those downsides by stepping up to an iPad Pro, you can. But really, that’s spending a lot of money on a thing that is legitimately amazing, but also legitimately
unclear as to what it’s for. The futuristic hardware
features on the Pro don’t actually do that
much for most people. The only thing you’re
really missing out on is having a tablet that feels
like it’s from the future. It doesn’t mean that the tablet you have today isn’t excellent. Here’s the new 11-inch iPad Pro right here and, compared to this new Pro, the bezels on the Air, they sure are big. And not having Face ID on an iOS device is starting to feel a
little bit antiquated. But I think, for most people, this Air is a better choice. Plus, you get to have a headphone jack. With the iPad Air — and honestly, kind of
with the MacBook Air, too — most of the features that people really want from a Pro
machine become available without having to pay Pro prices. The iPad Air floats in the
middle of the iPad lineup and if you can afford it, you should get it over the basic iPad, because I think that’s what Air means now. It’s the best all-around
choice for most people. Hey, everybody, thanks
so much for watching. And let me know, is this iPad for you? Do you prefer the mini, which has basically the same specs
in a smaller package? Or something else entirely? Hit me up in the comments, and I’ll try and reply. And stay tuned to The Verge, we’re going to have a bunch more product reviews coming really soon.