Apple iPad Air 2020 – A TRUE User Review & Upgrade Story | Hardware Canucks

So this might come as a surprise for a lot of you, but I’ve been using an iPad pro for about three years. This was my very first prototype in the iPad lineup that was announced back in 2016. And I still love using it every day to watch my favorite TV shows, responding to emails, FaceTime my friends and family without having to run out of battery quickly. If I were to use a smartphone and I also use it sometimes as an aid to learn new recipes while cooking now over the course of those three years, Apple has updated their pro lineup with bigger and better displays, uh, an all new redesigned body and great enhancements to the software side with iPad iOS. And let’s not forget the performance has been improved drastically with Apple’s custom Silicon chip. Now I’ve been thinking of upgrading my existing iPad pro for a little while now. Uh, and the new iPad pro looks like a promising upgrade, but I sort of had to change my mind until Apple recently announced.

So this is the new iPad air from the outside. It looks a lot like the iPad pro minus a few features. I’m pretty sure most consumers won’t care about including myself. The air is actually the middle child in Apple’s iPad lineup with a starting price of $600. It’s meant to bridge the gap between the entry level iPad that goes for $330. And the pro model that starts at $800. Now I’ve been using the air for the past couple of months. And to my surprise, this device slowly start to make its way into my everyday creative workflow instead of something that I’ve used casually during my leisure time. And having spent some time reflecting on the things that I’ve used this for, I’ve come to realize that the new air is exactly the upgrade that I’ve been looking for from my old iPad pro and offers so much more than what I expected. So here’s my upgrade story with the new iPad air. The new core Sierra key 100 RGB is a true flagship keyboard with 4,000 Hertz polling rate. And you OpX optical mechanical switches, quality PVT, key caps, a gorgeous redesign all around, and then you IQ wheel that has a lot of functionality check out with the key 100. Yeah.

RGB down below.

All right. So the first thing I want to talk about is the setup process. And this was my first surprise. Within 10 to 15 minutes, I was able to transfer all of my apps, photos, and settings to the new air, uh, without having to plug anything in. Essentially it discovered that my old iPad pro was in the same network and it asked me if I wanted to bring everything in or set it up as a new device. I chose the first option and I was up and running in no time. It took me a few days to get used to the new form factor, because from a design standpoint, there’s just so much going on with a new iPad air versus my old iPad pro the first thing being the boxy shape around the edges, I have the silver model, but there are a variety of color options that you can choose from including space gray, which is my personal favorite Rose gold, green, and sky blue.

And the bill quality is fantastic. And that’s something that I always expect from an Apple device. It only weighs a pound and it’s really thin too. So I can easily slide this into my backpack with my camera, the power button now functions as a touch ID sensor. It was a small change that I had to adapt to coming from the dedicated home button on my old iPad. No Apple did this to minimize bezels and maximize the screen size. And they also switched over to gesture based navigations, which I’m sure anyone with an iPhone 10 or above can relate to it. Wasn’t too hard to learn that because in a lot of ways, it felt very similar to my Android smartphone, uh, like going to the home screen, switching between apps and jumping between recent apps. Apple did switch from lightening to USBC on the new iPad air.

I really appreciate this updates since all of my other devices feature USBC. And it’s just one cable that I need to carry around to charge the device. It feels nice to say goodbye to lightning finally. And here’s the best part given how universal USBC is these days. I can simply connect my camera to the iPad to transfer photos or footage connect to USB-C hubs, to expand connectivity. It’s pretty fast to at five gigabits per second, although for a 2020 device, I would have expected to support 10 gigabits per second, which is the fastest USB protocol to date. But perhaps that’s a chip limitation as for size. The air is a little bit bigger than my old iPad pro, but I got used to that easily because the main star of the show is that sweet, beautiful and gorgeous 10.9 inch led backlit IPS display. And let me tell you guys the quality of the screen surpasses most laptops that I checked out by a huge margin.

It gets really bright up to 500 nits, which is perfect when I’m outside, enjoying my cup of coffee and writing out a script. The color accuracy of this panel is incredible because it covers a wider DCAP three color gamut. So everything from watching videos, editing photos, and even videos, I’ve been a joy to do on the new air. Now this does not have the 120 Hertz promotion feature found on the new iPad pro, but honestly, I don’t think I would ever need that or let alone take advantage of that feature because for the vast majority of things that I do on this device, like catching up on emails, first thing in the morning, or binge watching suits on Netflix, or even FaceTiming people 120 Hertz does absolutely nothing to enhance that experience. Unless if you’re into gaming on a tablet, then maybe the higher refresh rate screen could come in clutch.

The built-in speakers sound great. Just like my old iPad pro the new air features a stereo sound, the quad speaker setup, to be honest with you, both iPads sound similar, I’ll be the old iPad pro had more clarity in the troubles. Um, but nonetheless, you know, for content consumption and just listening to music or just filling out the room, and especially when I’m cooking this thing, it gets the job done. Then there’s the 12 megapixel camera at the back. It’s a good quality sensor, but I wouldn’t use it to take photos unless I’m scanning documents for insurance or work related stuff. Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s the front facing seven megapixel camera, because as you can see right now, this is a 10 80 P video recording from that camera. And the quality looks so much better than most windows laptops, or just any webcams out there.

Even the microphone sounds great. This is something that I would use confidently in zoom meetings or Skype business calls, because I really wish nobody manufacturers heck even Apple could take notes because if you think about it, the highest end IMAX, or even the MacBook pros feature seven 20 P cameras. So this, I guess Apple does have to learn from themselves too. So, yeah. Okay. So I think I’ve given you guys a good idea on how good the hardware of the iPad air is. But now I want to shift gears and talk about how I’ve used this device for tasks that I thought I would never use an iPad for. And this revolves around the second generation Apple pencil, along with the magic keyboard, I want to start things off with the keyboard. First off, it’s made out of a hard shell Silicon material, and it snaps onto the iPad via the smart connector located at the back.

And it’s also magnetised, which prevents the iPad from moving around. It also includes a USB-C port for pass through charging only, which is a nice touch, but there are some limitations with this accessory. First off, there’s only one real angle that you can position this ad. I can’t tilt past that because otherwise I feel like I’m going to snap this thing into opening. This thing is also a bit challenging as well. It’s not like your traditional laptop where you can use one hand to open the case. You need to use both hands to open it, and I’ve run into multiple instances where at open to the other way, and it would detach the lid from the iPad. It’s frustrating, but I’ll have to give myself some time to get used to that. Also, this Silicon material is not easy to keep clean. If you have any surfaces around you with debris or grease on that, it’s going to get into the surface easily and cleaning it off is it’s a total pain in the butt.

But having said all of that, the keys are amazing. It’s backlit. And I love the feedback that it provides. I’ve been using it a lot more than my XPS, 17, a to write out scripts and structuring our content for the channel. The included track pad is also nice. The integration with iPad iOS is really well done. Like being able to select text within a document or clicking on items while browsing the web. I was even able to make changes to a website that I created for a client. It really made me feel like I was using a laptop and that’s something that I never thought I would say for an iPad. It’s just crazy. Now I did experience a few disconnects with the magic keyboard. Keep in mind that this isn’t a Bluetooth accessory. It communicates to the iPad air through those smart connectors at the back.

Um, I was easily able to address that by simply reattaching the iPad to the keyboard, but look for $300. This is an expensive accessory, and it wouldn’t be my first choice to pair with the iPad because you can easily get away with a Bluetooth keyboard. That’s probably 30 to $40 on Amazon, but you know, what would be my first choice to pair with the new iPad air? It’s the new Apple pencil, because this is by far my favorite accessory for the new iPad. You see, when I bought my first iPad pro about three years ago, I was thinking about picking up the first gen Apple pencil to explore my mediocre artistic skills. I wasn’t really good at that, but I wasn’t really a fan of the design because you needed to plug it into the lightening port to charge that thing and even set it up in the first place.

And I w I was just afraid that I would snap something or just break it. Um, there were memes all over the internet, but I think the second generation Apple pencil addressed all of that. It magnetically snaps onto the air and charges wirelessly, and it’s pretty strong. It also has a matte texture around versus the glossy finish on the old one, which compliments the grip while you’re using it. I’ve been editing raw photos captured from my Canon ESR and my Fuji XD three on the new air using Adobe Lightroom. And the pencil gives me precisely control over a variety of adjustments, like contrast hue, saturation, healing tools, and much more recently, a friend of mine was looking to create a logo for his music band. And I thought, maybe I’ll give it a shot on the new iPad air to see what I can come up with.

So I found this app called Autodesk sketchbook, and it’s a layer based program where you can add variety of elements. So I was able to craft something with my own writing and a few other simple and clean, uh, elements. And I sent over my first draft in a few hours and the whole team loved it. So it just goes to show how much more I can explore with, uh, this app, for instance, and also new Apple pencil, because the control that you get with this tool is, is amazing. And I love using it every day. The other cool thing I did with the iPad air was editing a video and I was surprised by its performance. You see a friend of mine just wanted to put together an anniversary wishes video from friends and family all over the world, and she was struggling with her magnetic hair.

So I was just thinking to myself, maybe I’ll just give it a shot on the iPad and see how far I can push the 14 bionic chip that’s inside this guy. So I tried out Luma fusion, which is a video editing program, specifically designed for iPad iOS. And I have to say the UI and the way how it playbacks footage. It almost felt like I was using my native Emily on my XPS 17 notebook because stitching together footage, music tracks all seemed very seamless and it was just so much easier. And the thing actually played pack those footage without a problem. It exported the file faster than I thought it would. I was able to import some native cannon ESR footage to the iPad air, and it played back that 4k footage like butter. And it goes to show that I can comfortably edit one of my own videos on this device, which is just amazing.

And it just goes to show how flexible the, a bionic chip is in terms of performance. And we’re starting to see that with the current Silicon chip from Apple, which is the M one found on the Mac book, air Andy Mac book pro the performance that those chips offer is really, really promising. And I honestly can’t wait to see what Apple does have in store for us in the future battery life has also been great on the iPad air. It doesn’t really drop the performance while editing something like most windows laptops do. So that’s a huge bonus. I just have to plug it in once every two days. And given that I have the wifi model, that helps too. So here’s the thing with the new iPad air. This device is not going to replace my computer, whether if it’s my laptop or my desktop, because I still rely on those machines to get more intensive work done, like editing a crazy timeline, more intense timeline and DaVinci resolve, or a fancier thumbnail in Photoshop. But what I can say is that the new iPad error, it can do 90% of the tasks that I would normally do on a computer. And that is exciting. And quite frankly, quite frankly, it is promising as for the rest of the percent. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what Apple can deliver in the next couple of years, because I hope by then I would be able to just use this device to create content because that’s the ultimate goal. I think that’s kind of what we are all looking forward to.

So on that note,

Thank you so much for watching. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Let us know what you guys think about the new iPad air. And if you are an existing iPad user, if you have something from say the first generation, the second generation iPad, would you actually consider the new iPad air? Let us know. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll talk to you guys.

And the next one.