10.5-inch iPad Air
10.5-inch iPad Air

10.5-inch iPad Air



  • 10.5-inch Retina display
  • True Tone & Wide color
  • A12 Bionic processor
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 7-megapixel front camera
  • Touch ID
  • Headphone jack
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Apple used to have an iPad Air 2 back in 2014, but it was discontinued in favor of the iPad and iPad Pro lines. In 2019, Apple brought back the iPad Air with the aim of introducing a mid-tier tablet to take the place of the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which was still for sale up until when the iPad Air was released.

The iPad Air replaces the older iPad Pro, so Apple has recycled the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s body and reused it for the iPad Air.

The iPad Air is identical in size and thickness to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and just a bit lighter weight. It features the same slim, tapered sides and wide top and bottom bezels, used to house the front-facing camera and the Touch ID Home button.

An older design with Touch ID and thicker bezels differentiates the new iPad Air line from the 2018 iPad Pro models as those have edge-to-edge displays with slimmer bezels and no Home button.

Rather than adopting USB-C like the iPad Pro, the iPad Air features a Lightning port at the bottom for charging purposes. At the top, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, a feature no longer present on modern iPad Pro models.

Dual speakers are available at the bottom of the tablet, and at the back, there’s a single-lens rear camera with no flash. A standard sleep/wake button is located at the top of the tablet, and there’s a volume up/down button on the side.

Available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, the iPad Air measures in at 250.6mm (9.8 inches) tall, 174.1mm (6.8 inches) wide, and just 6.1mm (0.24 inches) wide. It’s thin, light, and has a larger display than the lower-cost iPad, though it’s not quite as large as the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. It weighs just a pound, making it a bit lighter than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro it’s modeled after.

Touch ID

Rather than adopting Face ID, the 10.5-inch iPad Air, much like the 9.7-inch iPad, features a Touch ID Home button for biometric authentication purposes. People who prefer Touch ID over Face ID may want to consider the 10.5-inch iPad Air over the recent iPad Pro models for this reason.

Touch ID is used to unlock the iPad, access apps, and make purchases with Apple Pay.

Smart Connector

On the left side of the iPad Air, there’s a Smart Connector that’s designed to work with the new Smart Keyboardthat Apple has released for the iPad Air.


The iPad Air features the same multi-touch fully laminated display as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a 2224 x 1668 resolution at 264 pixels per inch, though it does not feature ProMotion technology, a feature limited to the Pro line. The iPad Air does offer 500 nits brightness and 1.8 percent reflectivity thanks to an antireflective coating.

To protect it from fingerprints, there’s the same fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating that’s on all iPads.

A laminated display, used in all iPads with the exception of the 9.7-inch model, combines the coverglass, touch sensor, and LCD into a single layer that reduces thickness and brings the LCD layer closer to a user’s eyes for a more immersive experience.

P3 wide color gamut support is included for rich, vivid colors that are true to life and accurate, which is ideal for artists, and there’s True Tone support.

True Tone adjusts the white balance of the display to match the ambient lighting to make the screen easier on the eyes. If you’re in a room with yellower lighting, for example, the iPad’s display is warmer in color so there’s not a stark contrast between the color of the iPad and the lighting in the room.

Apple Pencil Support

Apple included Apple Pencil support in the iPad Air, which means the entire available iPad lineup now works with the Apple Pencil.

The iPad Air is compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, which is the model that has the Lightning connector on the end. It does not work with the second-generation Apple Pencil that was introduced for the iPad Pro models, but it is compatible with the Logitech Crayon.

A12 Bionic Chip

For the iPad Air, Apple used the same A12 Bionic chip that’s also included in the 2018 iPhone lineup. It’s clocked to 2.4GHz, the same as the iPhone’s A12 chip, and the performance is quite similar to the performance of the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.

Compared to the A10X Fusion in the 9.7-inch iPad, the A12 offers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability thanks to the 4-core graphics engine included.

Neural Engine

The A12 Bionic chip has an 8-core Neural Engine that uses real-time machine learning to power features across iOS, improving photo taking, gaming, augmented reality, and more.

Apple in 2018 opened up the Neural Engine to its Core ML platform, allowing developers to take advantage of real-time machine learning features in their apps.

The A12 Bionic brings faster detection of AR surfaces for the rear camera, better AR experiences for the front-facing camera, and immersive 3D gaming experiences.


The iPad Air is equipped with 3GB RAM. That’s 1GB more than the 9.7-inch iPad and 1GB less than the iPad Pro models. It’s also the same amount of RAM available in the iPhone XR.


The iPad Air features an 8-megapixel rear facing camera with an f/2.4 aperture, which is the same camera that’s available in the 9.7-inch iPad.

It supports Live Photos, auto HDR, 43-megapixel panoramas, Burst mode, and Timer mode, but it is not as advanced as the upgraded 12-megapixel camera in the iPad Pro, making rear camera one of the major differentiating factors between the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. There is also no rear flash.

The iPad Air’s camera is able to capture 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and 720p Slo-mo video at 120 frames per second.

The front-facing camera is better than the camera in the 9.7-inch iPad at 7 megapixels and an f/2.2 aperture, making it almost on par with the iPad Pro. There is no TrueDepth camera system, though, so there’s no Face ID, Animoji, Memoji, or Portrait Mode.

The front-facing camera is more advanced than the rear camera in some ways, supporting wide color capture and Retina flash.

Battery Life

The iPad Air features what Apple calls “all-day battery” which means it lasts for up to 10 hours depending on task. That’s the same battery life available across the iPad lineup.

As mentioned above, the iPad Air charges through a Lightning port at the bottom of the tablet that works with a Lighting to USB cable and included 12W USB Power Adapter.

Trackpad and Mouse Support

iPadOS 13.4 brings trackpad and mouse support to all iPad Pro models, the iPad Air 2 and later, the fifth-generation iPad and later, and the iPad mini 4 and later.

According to Apple, trackpad support has been “completely reimagined for the iPad” and its touch-first interface, though it should still be familiar to Mac users. The cursor displays as a circle that highlights various user interface elements, text fields, and apps on the Home screen or dock, making it clear what can be clicked on.

Gestures on the trackpad are designed to let users switch between apps, access the app switcher, and activate the Dock, Control Center, and apps in Slide Over. Multi-touch gestures on the trackpad allow for quick and easy navigation through iPadOS.

Apple designed trackpad support to integrate into both first and third-party apps. Scrolling through web pages in Safari and photo libraries in Photos is supported, for example, as is precisely editing text in notes and other apps, viewing and organizing email in Mail, and more.

Apple says that most third-party apps will work with no changes at all, and developers will be able to take advantage of new APIs for deeper trackpad support.

Compatible Mice and Trackpads

Trackpad and mouse support will allow any of the above listed iPads running iPadOS 13.4 to connect to a Magic Mouse, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad, Magic Trackpad 2, or third-party mouse using Bluetooth or USB.

When connected to a Magic Trackpad 2, iPads will support gestures that include scrolling, swiping between app spaces, accessing the Home screen, accessing the App Switcher, zooming in and out, tapping to click, right clicking, and swiping between pages.

When connected to a Magic Mouse 2, iPads will support scrolling, right clicking, and swiping between pages.

Apple has designed a Magic Keyboard accessory, which is a Smart Keyboard for iPad with a trackpad, but this is limited to the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models.

Logitech, a company that makes accessories for Apple devices, has developed keyboard cases with a built-in trackpads for the 10.2-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Air, which will allow these models to access the trackpad features built into iPadOS 13.4.

Other Features

Speakers and Microphones

There are two speakers located at the bottom of the iPad Air for stereo sound (vs. the quad speakers in the iPad Pro) along with dual microphones for FaceTime calls.


The iPad Air supports 802.11ac WiFi with speeds up to 866Mb/s, Bluetooth 5.0, and Gigabit LTE. It supports 28 LTE bands, including band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66, and 71.

Gigabit LTE connectivity is limited to the more expensive iPad Air models with cellular chips.

There are two SIM options in the iPad Air: a physical nano-SIM slot at the side of the device and an eSIM, or digital SIM, which is designed to work without the need for a physical SIM card.

The physical nano-SIM slot supports the Apple SIM that is designed to let users swap between carriers without a hassle. Many carriers in the U.S. and other countries support the Apple SIM, but for those that don’t, like Verizon, a physical SIM card is still required.

With the eSIM, customers can sign up for international data plans when traveling.


Apple Pencil

Apple first introduced the Apple Pencil alongside the first 9.7-inch iPad Pro in 2015, and while it was once limited to the most expensive tablets, every iPad in Apple’s lineup now works with an Apple Pencil.

The iPad Air is compatible with the original, first-generation Apple Pencil and it does not work with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil is a stylus that’s designed to offer unparalleled precision and integration with the iPad while also offering a natural feel that’s similar to the sensation of using a pen or pencil on paper.

There are pressure and positioning sensors built into the Apple Pencil to allow it to detect a range of forces for pressure-sensitive drawing and writing. Two tilt sensors in the tip of the Apple Pencil determine the orientation and angle of the hand holding it, enabling shading techniques.

The Apple Pencil offers a 12-hour battery life and it charges through the built-in Lightning connector at the bottom of the device. A 15-second charge delivers a half hour of power, so it’s always going to have juice when needed.

For more on the Apple Pencil, make sure to check out our full Apple Pencil guide.

Smart Keyboard

The iPad Air features an on-screen keyboard, but Apple has also designed a hardware-based solution, the Smart Keyboard, that works with the Smart Connector on the side of the device.

The Smart Keyboard’s keys are covered in a woven fabric that’s laser ablated to the shape of each key, so they have a soft feel. The fabric on the keys provides the tension, allowing Apple to keep the keyboard thin (4mm) because there’s less need for traditional hardware.

There are no wires or standard keyboard components inside the Smart Keyboard. Instead, there’s a thin sheet of nylon etched with metal inside the two outer layers of the accessory, which serves as the base conductive material for a two-way flow of power and data provided by the Apple Smart Connector on the iPad Air. Since it’s powered by the iPad Air, there is no battery and no need to charge the Smart Keyboard.

When not in use, the Smart Keyboard serves as a Smart Cover for the iPad Air, so it’s always handy and easy to transport. When used as a keyboard, the Smart Keyboard has a portion that folds into a triangle like a traditional Smart Cover for the iPad to rest on. The keyboard can also fold up behind the iPad Air to let Smart Keyboard serve as a stand for watching videos.


Silver, Space Grey, Gold


64 Gb, 256 Gb


Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi + Cellular

Tech Specs




LAUNCH Announced 2019, March 18
Status Available. Released 2019, March 18


BODY Dimensions 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm (9.87 x 6.85 x 0.24 in)
Weight 456 g (Wi-Fi) / 464 g (3G/LTE) (1.01 lb)
Build Glass front, aluminum back, aluminum frame
  Stylus support (1st gen only)


DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 10.5 inches, 341.4 cm2 (~78.3% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1668 x 2224 pixels, 4:3 ratio (~265 ppi density)
Protection Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating


PLATFORM OS iOS 12.1.3, upgradable to iPadOS 13.4
Chipset Apple A12 Bionic (7 nm)
CPU Hexa-core (2×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6 GHz Tempest)
GPU Apple GPU (4-core graphics)


MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 64GB 3GB RAM, 256GB 3GB RAM


MAIN CAMERA Single 8 MP, f/2.4, 31mm (standard), 1.12µm, AF
Features HDR
Video 1080p@30fps


SELFIE CAMERA Single 7 MP, f/2.2, 31mm (standard)
Features HDR
Video 1080p@30fps


SOUND Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack Yes


COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, EDR
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS (3G/LTE model only)
Radio No
USB 2.0, proprietary reversible connector


FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, compass, barometer
  Siri natural language commands and dictation


BATTERY   Non-removable Li-Po 8134 mAh battery (30.8 Wh)
Talk time Up to 10 h (multimedia)



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