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Apple iPad Air 2020 vs iPad Air 2019: What’s Changed?




Apple has recently launched the 2020 iteration of iPad Air. At first glance, the fourth-generation iPad Air adopts a premium look similar to the iPad Pro but in a sleeker form factor. Hardware-wise, it has also brought significant changes in the processor, rear camera, and operating system compared to its predecessors. Is upgrading from last year’s iPad Air worth spending for? Here’s what we think.


Apple iPad Air (2020)Apple iPad Air (2019)
10.9-inch (2360 x 1640) True Tone Liquid Retina display, Wide Color (P3), 264 ppi, 500 nits10.5-inch (2224 x 1668) True Tone Retina display, Wide Color (P3), 264ppi, 500 nits
Apple A14 Bionic chip w/ Neural EngineA12 Bionic Chip w/ Neural Engine
64GB, 256GB storage64GB, 256GB storage
12MP F1.8 rear camera8MP F2.4 rear camera
7MP F2.0 front camera7MP F2.2 front camera
Nano-SIM, eSIMNano-SIM, eSIM
4G LTE 4G LTE
WiFi 6, HT80 w/ MIMOWiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, HT80 w/ MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-CLightning
Touch IDTouch ID
iBeacon microlocation (all models), GPS & GNSS (LTE models)A-GPS, GLONASS
Stereo speakersStereo speakers
Dual microphonesDual microphones
Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio supportSmart Keyboard support
Apple Pencil support (2nd-gen)Apple Pencil support (1st-gen)
USB-C to Lightning Cable--
iPadOS 14iOS 12
28.6 Whr battery with 20W wired fast charging support30.2 WHr battery with 10W/12W wired fast charging support
247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm
458g (WiFi)456g (WiFi)
460g (LTE)464g (LTE)
Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, Sky BlueSilver, Space Gray, Gold

Summary of improvements of the iPad Air 2020:
• Newer and more powerful chipset
• Better display
• Higher rear camera resolution
• Support to Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio support
• Support to Apple Pencil (2nd gen)
• Newer WiFi version
• USB Type-C port for charging and connecting peripherals
• Optimized operating system for iPad
• Faster wired charging

Just like what we mentioned above, the Apple iPad Air 2020 is now equipped with  Apple’s latest A14 Bionic Chip with 16-core Neural Engine. This means that the iPad Air 2020 improves performance for AI, graphics, image recognition, and more. Its SoC also uses 5-nanometer process technology and is equipped with 11.8 billion transistors for faster processing. Meanwhile, last year’s iPad Air is powered with an older A12 Bionic Chip that also has Neural Engine.

In terms of display, the 2020 iteration of iPad Air comes in a 10.9 inch which is slightly bigger compared to last year’s model at 10.5-inch. The former has a screen-to-body ratio at 81.3% while the latter is smaller at 78.3%. The latest iPad Air model also increases display resolution at 2360 x 1640 from 2224 x 1668. Although both sports Wide Color P3, 264ppi, and a peak brightness of 500 nits, the iPad 2020 sports a Liquid Retina display similar to the 11-inch iPad Pro. It also comes with slimmer top, bottom, and side bezels in black which can also be seen from the top-of-the-line iPad model.

Both iPad models have single rear cameras. However, the iPad Pro 2020 has a higher resolution for its rear camera at 12MP and a larger aperture at F1.8. The iPad 2019, on the other hand, has only an 8MP camera with a smaller aperture at F2.4.


When it comes to connectivity features, the iPad 2020 has the latest WiFi 6. It can transfer data with transfer speeds up to 5Gbps, connect various peripherals, and charge battery through its USB Type C port. Just like the Pro variant, the iPad Air 2020 ships with support to Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and second-generation Apple Pencil which maximizes user’s productivity. Meanwhile, the previous iPad Air comes with WiFi 5, Smart Keyboard, and first-generation Apple Pencil support.

For the battery, the iPad Air 2020’s battery is rated at 28.6Whr and comes with 20W wired fast charging support while the iPad Air 2019 is rated at 30.2Whr with a slower 10W to 12W wired fast charging support.

The iPad Air 2020 also has an optimized UI with the latest and dedicated iPadOS14 that focuses on multitasking, productivity, and Augmented Reality. Its predecessor sibling, however,  runs on iOS 12 which is the operating system of the previous iPhone X series.

Should you upgrade?

If you want a powerful yet stylish iPad for productivity that’s affordable than the iPad Pro, then the iPad Air 2020 is for you. You’ll get the latest A14 Bionic Chip, a slightly larger display with better resolution, compatibility with Apple’s latest accessories, support to third-party peripherals through USB-C, faster WiFi connectivity, and speedy wired charging starting at PHP 33,990. 

What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.



Jewel is a Multimedia Producer for YugaTech. She's a caffeinator by day and a cinephile by night.

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