iPad Air (2020) upgrade: 5 thinking points before you buy

The latest iPad Air was made available for purchase at Apple here in late 2020 – today we're going through the details. This iPad Air (2020, 8th gen) will cost you approximately $600 if you buy it all at once, and it delivers a look and an experience quite similar to that of the iPhone 12 – so what's the big difference? If you already own an iPad, why should you consider buying a new device now?

5. Upgrade battle

The iPad Air (8th gen) works with a 10.9-inch display and a new A14 Bionic chip (the newest available in a new iPad today). The best reason to choose an iPad Pro over an iPad Air today is the iPad Pro's larger display, ProMotion (higher image refresh rate), and its back-facing camera array. All of that might still be worth the $200 extra for the 11-inch iPad Pro.

The standard 10.2-inch iPad will cost you approximately $329 – significantly less than the iPad Air (8th gen) at $600 USD. That'll be your best choice if you're not looking for the latest sleek industrial design, compatibility with the Smart Keyboard Folio / Magic Keyboard, the newest processor, or compatibility with the Apple Pencil (2nd Gen). The standard iPad still works with the 1st-gen Apple Pencil, too.

The iPad mini is just an absolute conundrum, if you ask me. This device has a 7.9-inch display, the same processor as the iPad, same compatibility with the Apple Pencil 1st-gen, and isn't compatible with "Smart" or "Magic" keyboard accessories, and it costs more than the iPad. You'd be paying an extra $70 to have fewer features and a smaller display VS the standard iPad.

4. Colors

The newest iPad Air comes in an enticing collection of colors. This, you might've guessed, ends up being "the last straw" in a lot of consumer's decision making process when it comes to new electronics. In the case of the iPad Air (2020), they've got the choice of Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, or Sky Blue.

Apple also has a set of cases and covers for the iPad Air 8th gen in a collection of just-as-wild colors. The Smart Cover for iPad (8th generation) comes in Pink Citrus, Cactus, Surf Blue, Pink Sand, Black, White, Cyprus Green, and Deep Navy – each of these were made available for approximately $50 USD.

3. The look

The new iPad Air (8th gen) looks simple and elegant. If you're already looking at the iPhone 12, mini, Pro, or Pro Max, you'll have a perfect companion device in the iPad Air. If you need that extra space and the more impressive set of cameras, the iPad Pro also fills this device-matching sort of necessity that some of the most hardcore Apple fans have.

2. Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

The iPad Air (8th gen) works with the Apple Pencil (2nd gen), including magnetic connection and charging. The Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) will cost you a cool $129 USD, and it comes in any color you want, so long as it is white.

1. Charging cords

At long last, the iPad Air makes the switch from an Apple-exclusive cord to a more standardized sort of cord – USB-C. You'll still get a charging cord in the box, and 20W USB-C power adapter (unlike the iPhone 12, which does away with the adapter in this generation).

The switch to USB-C means you'll no longer need to buy new Lightning USB cords when you lose or break your old ones – now you'll only need USB-C, inevitably less expensive since so very many companies manufacture cords with this standard connection.