iPad Air (2020) Owners Thread

DaveF

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After some consideration, I decided that the single biggest tech quality of life upgrade I could make world be a new iPad. If I were to buy just one toy - iPad, iPhone, 4K TV, 4K projector, PS5 - iPad seemed the biggest bang for my buck. I play on my iPad in the evenings and weekends all the time. And the 2GB RAM of the 2018 iPad is proving to be a big annoyance in 2020. Apps constantly reload after multitasking. The 9.7” screen is feeling more cramped lately. The pandemic upended my professional plans so I just don’t need the luxury of an iPad Pro with Keyboard. And the iPad Pro 2020 “upgrade” leaves it looking two years antiquated combined with the “real” upgrade looking to be 2021 at a $900+ starting price.

I’ve been a big fan of the iPad the past three years. At $300 or cheaper, it was a super device. And the Air for nearly double but the same big bezel screen and dated processor made no sense to me.

But here’s the 2020 iPad Air. Price jumped to $600, alas. But it’s everything I really wanted from the Pro: A14, 11” min bezel screen, 64GB storage, 4GB RAM, stereo speakers in landscape. It looks and is specced like a machine that’s really double the iPad, finally.

I checked BestBuy on Friday. They had base models in gray, shipping immediately to arrive Tuesday. So, I bought two. One for me. And one for the wife, upgrading from her iPad Air 2(!) :) Got them tonight. Set mine to transferring, ran back to the office for a late night meeting, and got home to a ready to go new iPad. :)
 
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DaveF

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I didn't realize how much taller it is than the base iPad! This is taking some getting used to. It's approaching too tall to use laying in bed; though it might just be me not used to its taller, skinnier screen.

It gets darker than the older ipad, which is good. And the Assisstive mode is still available, via triple click the "top button" (power / touchid)

The stereo sound in landscape is *soooo* much better than the mono speaker of the base ipad!

Web page loading and rendering, in my quick not well controlled tests ranges from no faster to a little faster. It's not night and day, telling me that it's more about all the data files being downloaded than CPU processing of the complex pages. But, TheVerge definitely renders faster on the A14 iPad Air than my A10 iPad.

Swapping apps feels faster. Haven't done enough to try and directly compare the multitasking RAM limits I experience on the old iPad. But initially, it feels a lot better in that regard.
 

DaveF

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Wow, the on-screen keyboard is so much easier to use on the 10.9" screen vs the 9.7"! The pretty aspect ratio still makes landscape a bit hard to use with the keyboard covering half the screen, but it becomes a almost full size keyboard in that orientation and is super easy to type on.

And I found that the keyboard in portrait mode can be undocked into a "pocket" keyboard that supports swiping, also handy.
 

DaveF

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Case recommendations? Not sure I need a case, but leaning that way. I might get the keyboard eventually, but that's not a priority.
 

Sam Posten

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Awesome @DaveF I hope it serves you well. All I will say about cases is that having had the very similar iPads pro they would be useless to me personally without the Create case or new Smart Keyboard. The smart doubly so because the iPad detaches for those rare instances where I want it outside the case. Your uses seem vastly different tho so dunno how well that translates.
 
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DaveF

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I mostly tote my ipad around the house and browse the web sitting on the couch or in a recliner in the media room and at night in bed. Adding an extra couple pounds and a bunch of bulk to that lightweight use doesn't seem good. (Having the keyboard as an option eventually to make it more usable, I'm interested in.)

For my previous iPad, I had a cheap $12 smartcover case just to protect it (especially on my travels) and because I like the mag cover as a convenient way to lock and unlock the screen.

I also like having the ability to prop it easily. I use that once in a while for watching a video or using the ipad as cookbook on the kitchen island. (Used it bunches on airplanes, but that's moot.)
 

DaveF

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Create Case for iPad Air (2020)
No knocks against this, but I don't understand why Create over Apple: look identical and Create is a buck more expensive.

Smart Folio for iPad Air (2020)
I've had two cheap smart folios from Amazon and they both started cracking in a year or so. $80 is a lot for this, but I'm getting tired of cheap cases that start to break in six months. Will consider

Apple Keyboard Folio for iPad Air (2020)
I like the idea and middle-ground price. But based on reviews, maybe not a good fit for me. It would be great to demo in a store. Will read some more.

Magic Keyboard for iPad Air (2020)
This is on my wishlist. But not buying it right now, as I prioritize my tech upgrades in Fall and Winter.
 

DaveF

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I need to understand the iPad Air charging requirements. It won't charge off my USB hub I have on my iMac, which would charge (albeit slowly) my iPad 6th Gen. It also won't charge from my Nintendo Switch Pro Controller charger, which also charged my previous iPad.

It's not the cable per se. I tested it with a 10W Apple iPad charger (former iPad) and it worked.

I'm going to be bummed if I the USB outlets in my theater chairs no longer charge my iPad. I can work around it, but that's been a great convenience to have.

But more practically: what minimum power supply does the iPad Air need? What USB hub do I need for my iMac to charge my iPad Air?
 

JohnRice

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I use a dedicated usb charger with the various cables attached to charge devices. They’re pretty cheap.
 

DaveF

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I found I have to use the "high power" port on my USB hub, so that's solved. Didn't want to deal with the chaos of shopping for a new USB hub.

I use a dedicated usb charger with the various cables attached to charge devices. They’re pretty cheap.
I don't charge in a single location.

For me, it's figuring out if all my existing chargers will charge my iPad or not. I have the included 20W charger in my bedroom, which is the normal charging location. But i sometimes charge off my computer hub because that's more convenient. And sometimes I need a little charging while in the movie room off the chair's integrated USB ports. And sometimes, my wife needs to charge her ipad in the car on a drive.

I'm figuring which of my household charging locations work with the new iPad, and which if any I need to upgrade of find a workaround.
 

JohnRice

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I found I have to use the "high power" port on my USB hub, so that's solved. Didn't want to deal with the chaos of shopping for a new USB hub.
To be honest, I thought you would have known that. ;)
 

DaveF

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To be honest, I thought you would have known that. ;)
Wasn't necessary for my previous iPad.

Apple doesn't appear to document minimum charging requirements for their devices. I can't find what's needed to charge the new iPad Air.
 

DaveF

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I think 20W is needed for fast charging. I'm also trying to also find minimum power capable of charging.
 

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