If you’ve had your eye on the new iPad Air 5, you may want to proceed with caution as some users are reporting build quality concerns.
A Reddit thread is awash with users worried that the build of the latest iPad Air may not be up to Apple’s normal standards, with reports of the tablet having a noticeably thinner aluminum chassis. As a result, the tablet apparently creaks and gives the feeling of a hollow sensation in the hand, while light pressure on the back of the iPad Air can result in the display warping.
“I ordered and received two blue iPad Air 2022 today and I’m a bit shocked. The aluminum backplate is a lot thinner than on the iPad 4 which I also have. You can almost feel the battery through the plate when you hold the device,” said Reddit user mezzox33142. “Both iPads have the same feeling and are making creaking noises when you hold them. This did not happen on the iPad Air 4. Both are going back but is it just me? I also asked a second person and she felt it too.”
This was backed up by another user going by the name of germ80: “Confirm the same here on my blue Air 5. Feels like I can feel the inside from the back. More than OK once I put it in my folio case, but feels weird when naked.”
A mix of other replies and comments in the thread appear to back up worries over the build quality of the fifth-generation iPad Air. We contacted Apple to see if it was aware of these concerns and if it had any comment, but we’d not received a reply at the time of writing.
It’s worth noting that in our iPad Air 2022 review we had no issues with build quality or any creaking. And reviewer Tony Polanco simply noted the tablet was very light and thin with an elegant design, and he didn't have any concerns over the iPad Air’s chassis. So there’s a chance that these complaints on Reddit are limited to a particular batch of iPad Airs.
While we consider the iPad Air 5 to be one of the best tablets you can buy right now, if you are concerned about build quality you might want to wait and see if this is a widespread issue and how Apple responds. Or you can check out the latest iPad Pro.
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Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.