iPad Air 2024 vs iPad Air 2022: Biggest expected upgrades

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(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If rumors are true, we might see the iPad Air 2024 soon. We're certainly due for a change since Apple didn’t release any new iPads in 2023. We’ve heard that the company plans to revamp its entire iPad in 2024, but we know little about the reported new iPad Air. However, the rumored iPad Air 2024 vs iPad Air 2022 changes could be significant.

Rumors suggest the new iPad Air could include a 12.9-inch model. Though it might not receive an OLED upgrade like the rumored iPad Pro 2024, the new iPad Air might pack an Apple M3 chip. A landscape-oriented front camera could be a feature as well.

Details are scant so it’s hard to determine if the iPad Air 2024 could be a worthy successor. That said, a larger size, faster processor and a repositioned front camera could be exactly what you’re looking for in an upgraded model. Here’s a rundown of the biggest upgrades the iPad Air 2024 might offer and how they compare to the last iPad Air model from 2022.

iPad Air 2024 vs iPad Air 2022:A 12.9-inh model

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We could see a 12.9-inch iPad Air alongside a 10.9-inch model like the iPad Air 2022 pictured above. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The current iPad Air has a 10.9-inch display. According to rumors, Apple will offer the iPad Air with two display sizes. In addition to a 10.9-inch model, we might see a larger 12.9-inch size that matches the largest iPad Pro. While this iPad Air’s size might be Pro-like, it will still utilize the same LCD technology of the current iPad Air instead of the mini-LED display of the Pro models.

An all-new size could be the biggest design change for the iPad Air, pun intended. A 12.9-inch iPad Air would naturally be heavier than a 10.9-inch model. That said, we suspect it would be lighter than the 1.5-pound iPad Pro since this is still an “Air” tablet. We also think it’s a safe bet this device will cost less than the bigger iPad Pro — which would be good compensation for the lack of a mini-LED display.

Since the iPad Pro comes in two sizes, it wouldn't be so outlandish for the iPad Air to follow suit — even if that does make purchasing an Air a tad more confusing. Still, if you want a larger display at a (presumably) lower price than the iPad Pro, the 12.9-inch iPad Air could be worthwhile.

iPad Air 2024 vs iPad Air 2022: M3 power

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Games like Genshin Impact run smoothly on the iPad Air thanks to the powerful M1 chip. An M3-driven model would naturally offer even greater performance over M1. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Rumors claim the iPad Pro and iPad Air will both pack an Apple M3 chip. The current iPad Air has an M1 chip, as Apple never released a model with an Apple M2 processor. If this M3 rumor is accurate, it seems the company will skip an M2 model, heading right to M3.

As we’ve seen from the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch M3, MacBook Air 13-inch M3 and MacBook Air 15-inch M3, the base M3 chip delivers excellent performance. It brings major gains in speed and adds new graphical capabilities like hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading. That means you would be able to play games like Resident Evil Village and Baldur’s Gate 3 on the iPad Air, which is pretty impressive.

Having an M3 chip in the iPad Air might be even more overkill than having the same processor in the iPad Pro. Apple’s largest tablet has been marketed (and sometimes used) as a laptop replacement, so it makes sense for it to feature the company’s latest and greatest processor. Given how the iPad Air is meant for more general use, we have to wonder if it needs such a powerful chip. Then again, some (myself included) said the same thing about the M1-driven iPad Air 2022.

That said, other rumors claim the iPad Air will have an M2 chip. This would make more sense for a tablet that's not meant to be a workhorse like the iPad Pro.

iPad Air 2024 vs iPad Air 2022: Potential landscape camera

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The iPad Air 2022 doesn't have a landscape-oriented front camera but it's possible the iPad Air 2024 will. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

According to leaker “ShrimpApplePro” on X (formerly Twitter), the iPad Air 2024 might have a repositioned landscape-orientated front camera (via MacRumors). If that sounds familiar, it’s because the iPad Pro 2024 could also have a repositioned front camera, as we’ve previously reported.

Currently, the iPad 10 sports a landscape front camera. In our iPad 10 review, we said this was a smart choice given how it makes for more natural video calls in landscape mode. Having the front camera on the tablet’s long edge also makes sense as many of the latest best Android tablets have the front camera located there. All that is to say we wouldn’t be surprised if the iPad Air (and iPad Pro) have landscape-friendly front cameras.

Speaking of cameras, alleged leaked iPad Air 2024 renders reveal a notable difference with the camera array on the back. The slightly protruding rectangular model is different from the flat version of the current model and somewhat reminiscent of Apple’s smartphone cameras in the iPhone XS

iPad Air 2024 vs iPad Air 2022: Outlook

Though there's no official word on the iPad Air 2024, all signs point to an imminent launch. If that's the case, we'll soon know how big of an upgrade it is over the current model. If rumors regarding the new size and M3 chip prove true, this should be a significant upgrade over the iPad Air. 

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.