Top 5 Alternatives to the iPad Air (2024) You Should Consider


iPad Air

Apple finally released new iPads this year after over a year without updates. The iPad Air received a major refresh, now featuring an M2 chip and a new 13-inch size, alongside the existing 11-inch size.

The new iPad Air starts at $599 for the base model with 11-inch Wi-Fi, and prices vary based on size and configuration. For the new 13-inch model, the starting price is at least $799.

As impressive as the new iPad Air is, there are other tablets on the market worth considering. Here are five alternatives you might explore:

Apple iPad Pro 2024iPad Alternative

The iPad Air wasn’t the only new iPad Apple released this year; there’s also the new iPad Pro (2024). If you can afford it, the Pro models offer significant upgrades over the Air.

The iPad Pro also comes in the same 11-inch and 13-inch sizes as the Air. However, it goes further with a new OLED display, a first for the iPad, offering deeper blacks, brighter colors, and an overall sharper display.

If you opt for the 1TB or 2TB model, you can choose the new nano-texture finish. This antireflective coating reduces glare, which is beneficial for work on the iPad Pro, although it may not achieve the same deep blacks as the standard glossy display.

The iPad Pro also introduces the powerful M4 chip, which hasn’t even been featured in a Mac yet. The M4 chip offers the same high performance as the M2 but with improved thermals and uses half the power. According to Apple, it delivers performance comparable to a thin-and-light PC but at only a quarter of the power consumption.

The M4 chip also includes a robust Neural Engine, making it well-suited for powerful AI tasks. This suggests that iPadOS 18 could potentially introduce significant AI upgrades and features to leverage the chip’s capabilities effectively.

The iPad Pro (2024) is indeed an expensive tablet, significantly more costly than the new iPad Air. However, if you’re looking for the best and most capable iPad available in 2024, it’s the one to consider.

Apple iPad Air 2022iPad Alternative

Still interested in an iPad Air but donā€™t require all the features of the new model? The 2022 iPad Air remains a highly capable device that shouldnā€™t be overlooked. Plus, opting for this model now that the new one is available can save you some money.

The iPad Air (2022) features the M1 chip, which is a few years old but remains very fast and powerful for a tablet. While the M2 offers a 50% performance boost over the M1, for most users, the M1 is likely more than sufficient. After all, most people use the iPad for tasks like checking email, messages, social networks, media consumption, and gaming, all of which the M1 handles effortlessly.

Although the iPad Air (2022) comes in only one size, it boasts a beautiful and crisp screen. It includes a 12MP rear camera and a front-facing 12MP camera located at the top of the device in portrait orientation. It supports USB-C charging and is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard, making it suitable for serious work. The base storage of 64GB might be limiting, so opting for a larger storage option is recommended if possible.

While being two years old, the iPad Air is still a capable machine that meets the needs of most users. If you donā€™t require the M2 chip or a 13-inch iPad Air, opting for an older model can save you money while still providing a satisfying experience.

iPad 2022iPad Alternative

When the 10th-generation iPad was released in 2022, it faced a somewhat awkward situation. Apple continued to sell the ninth-generation iPad at a lower price, making the $450 price tag for the 10th-gen model seem a bit high.

Now that the ninth-generation iPad is no longer available from Apple, the situation has changed. As a result, the 10th-generation iPad from 2022 has received a price drop to just $350, making it a much more appealing choice and easier to recommend.

The 10th-generation iPad eliminated the traditional home button and now incorporates Touch ID into the power button at the top of the frame. It features a front-facing camera oriented for landscape use, ideal for video calls, especially with Center Stage functionality. The iPad also supports USB-C charging, aligning with Apple’s transition to USB-C across its iPhone, iPad, and Mac product lines.

With the removal of the home button, the 10th-generation iPad now features a larger display with thinner bezels, making it ideal for media consumption. While it’s still an LED panel and not the best display available, it’s more than adequate for most users.

The 10th-generation iPad uses Apple’s older A14 Bionic chip, which debuted with the iPhone 12 lineup and the 2020 iPad Air. While it may not be the latest or fastest chip, it’s perfectly adequate for media consumption, checking social networks, and playing some games.

Apple Pencil Support

The iPad (2022) supports the first-generation Apple Pencil and the Apple Pencil USB-C. It doesn’t support the Magic Keyboard, but it is compatible with the Magic Keyboard Folio. The Folio is more versatile overall, allowing you to be productive with both a keyboard and a trackpad.

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When the iPad (2022) first launched, it was a bit difficult to recommend. However, with the recent price drop and its continued status as a great tablet for the average user, it has become a solid alternative to the iPad Air (2024).

OnePlus Pad iPad Alternative

If you are an Apple love but don’t mind switching to Android, the OnePlus Pad remains one of the best tablets available on the market.

The OnePlus Pad’s design stands out among the usual tablet colors and basic glass slabs. It features a unique Halo Green color with a brushed metal look and a circular pattern on the back, reminiscent of a vinyl record. It’s slim, lightweight, and quite comfortable to hold.

OnePlus shipped the OnePlus Pad with OxygenOS 13 on it, and has promised three years of Android OS upgrades and four years of security patches. It should be upgradeable to Android 16, which will likely arrive later next year. OxygenOS 13 runs smoothly on the OnePlus Pad, and it has great multitasking capabilities so you can maximize productivity ā€” especially when paired with the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard and OnePlus Stylo.

In terms of specs, the OnePlus Pad is impressive with 8GB of RAM and the MediaTek Dimensity 9000, one of the higher-end MediaTek chipsets. A standout feature of the OnePlus Pad is its ability to have up to 24 live apps running simultaneously. While the average person may not need 24 apps open at once, it’s a nice feature to have.

Lastly, the OnePlus Pad boasts some of the best battery life among tablets. Its 9,510mAh battery can provide over 12 hours of consecutive video watching and an impressive one month of standby time. With no accessories or background apps draining power, the battery can last around 50 days. Additionally, it supports 67W wired charging, allowing you to recharge from zero to 100% in about 80 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus Tab S9 FE

For those considering the 13-inch iPad Air (2024), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is a worthwhile alternative if you’re open to Android. It offers a similarly sized 12.4-inch display without a hefty price tag.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus features a 12.4-inch WQXGA display that offers a pleasing viewing experience with vibrant colors and sharp resolution. It also boasts a 90Hz refresh rate, which, while not as high as 120Hz, is an improvement over the 60Hz screen of the iPad Air. This results in smoother scrolling and overall improved responsiveness compared to the iPad Air.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is powered by the Exynos 1380 chipset, offering good midrange performance and up to 12GB of RAM. It initially shipped with Android 13 and Samsung One UI 5.1.1 and has since been updated to Android 14. One of its standout features is Samsung DeX, which transforms the Android interface into a desktop-like experience similar to Windows or macOS. DeX enhances productivity on the tablet, though its usefulness depends on app compatibility and user preference.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus offers good battery life, lasting between 18 and 20 hours with continuous video watching on its 10,090mAh battery. It also supports fast charging, allowing it to reach a full charge in under 90 minutes.

There’s much to appreciate about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus, especially its affordability compared to other large tablets on the market. If you’re seeking a larger tablet without breaking the bank, it’s definitely worth considering.

Conclusion

Apple’s latest iPad Air boasts impressive features, but it’s not the only option in the ever-evolving tablet market. This article explored five compelling alternatives, catering to various needs and budgets.

For the ultimate power user, the iPad Pro (2024) stands out with its M4 chip, OLED display, and cutting-edge features. However, its price tag reflects its top-of-the-line specs.

If you’re open to a previous iPad Air model, the 2022 version offers excellent value with its powerful M1 chip and beautiful display. It’s a fantastic option for those who don’t require the absolute latest technology.

For budget-conscious users, the 10th-generation iPad (2022) presents itself as a capable device with its recent price drop. It handles everyday tasks well, making it a great choice for casual users and students.

Venturing outside the Apple ecosystem, the OnePlus Pad offers a unique design, impressive battery life, and smooth performance with OxygenOS 13. It’s a compelling option for Android enthusiasts.

Finally, for those seeking a large-screen Android experience, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus delivers a 12.4-inch display, a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, and the versatility of Samsung DeX. It’s a powerful and affordable alternative to the larger iPad Air model.

Ultimately, the best tablet hinges on your individual needs and priorities. Consider factors like budget, desired screen size, operating system preference, and processing power requirements. By exploring the diverse options available, you’re sure to find the perfect tablet to enhance your productivity and entertainment.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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