iPad Air 4 (2020) vs iPad Air 3: 5 big differences

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Apple has just announced the iPad Air 4 and it’s quite a big departure from the model we reviewed last year. Here are the five biggest differences you need to know about.


We’ve been waiting for the next-gen iPad Air for a while now, with rumours suggesting a big redesign was on its way, and thankfully that’s exactly what we got.

Of course, a big difference is price. The new iPad Air 4 will cost £579 when it launches in October, a lot more than than the current £499.

Should you get your wallet ready to pre-order the next version? Here’s what’s new.

Related: iPad Air 4 news

1. The iPad 4 looks a lot like the iPad Pro

As prior leaks suggested, the iPad Air 4 looks very much like its Pro-sibling. Gone are the sloped sides and hefty front bezel, with a much more industrial look replacing them.

The sides are now flat with rounded corners, the back sits flush against a table and the screen stretches further into the corners. It looks a whole lot more modern than the iPad Air 3 and gets a big thumbs up from us as a result.

It comes in more colours too, with a blue and green option added.

All the colours

2. USB-C is finally here

The use of USB C is another welcome change. Like the iPad Pro, the Air has ditched Lightning as its main connector port and replaced it with USB-C.

USB-C has many bonuses and it’s great to see Apple beginning to utilise it across more of its product line. You’ll now be able to use a wider variety of cables to charge the device, plug in USB-C dongles and SD card readers and so on.

Related: iPad 8

This will also be handy for those who use a recent MacBook Pro (or Windows laptop, for that matter) as you’ll be able to charge both with a single cable.

3. TouchID remains, however it’s very different

Arguably one of the most interesting changes is that the iPad Air 4 is the first tablet from the brand to embed a TouchID sensor into the power button. You could compare it, we guess, to how TouchID works on a MacBook.

This method of unlocking allows Apple to remove the myriad of sensors required for the FaceID system and we assume save some cost in the process.

4. Big updates on the inside

iPad Air 4 is the first iOS device to run using the new A14 chip architecture, something we expect to see nestled inside the iPhone 12 whenever that gets its big reveal. This should give the iPad Air 4 a notable upgrade over the iPad Air 3, which runs on the much older A12 chip.

There’s also support for WiFi 6, 60% faster LTE and a new 12MP camera on the back that’s got more in common with the iPad Pro than the older Air.

Related: Apple Watch 6 vs Apple Watch SE

5. Support for newer accessories

While both versions of the iPad Air work with keyboards and pencils, the ones they use are very different. The new iPad Air 4, for instance, uses the newer second-gen Pencil that charges atop the tablet rather than being plugged directly into the port.

It also supports the newer Magic Keybaord, a £279 accessory that launched with the iPad Pro. Neither of these work with the older iPad Air.

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Source: The Inquirer – iPad Air 4 (2020) vs iPad Air 3: 5 big differences