Apple iPad Air 3 (2019) Review UK

apple ipad air 3 review uk

Apple iPad Air 3 Review: Overview & Price

So you’re interested in the Apple iPad Air 3 2019? Perfect because in this review we go over everything you need to know about the tablet.

We go over the design, specifications, battery life and everything in-between. We even showcase the best iPad Air 3 2019 deals here in the UK.

This 2019 tablet doubles the performance power of the older Apple iPad 9.7, which makes it one of the best tablets on the market to date.

The Apple iPad Air 2019 was released on March 18th of 2019, and as most Apple products do it sold incredibly well.

Currently priced at £479 here in the UK, the iPad Air 2019 is certainly not a cheap tablet, but the value for money here is huge.

Here are some of the iPad Air 2019 specs;

  • 3GB RAM
  • 8134mAh battery
  • 10.5-inch display
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 64GB internal storage

This tablet really is a step up for the rest, and if you’re looking for a new tablet in 2019 that has it all, then chances are this is the one for you.

Let’s take a closer look at what this tablet has to offer…

Apple iPad Air 3 Review: Design & Display

When pulling the Apple iPad Air 3 out of the box you will find the getting started guide, along with the legal information, charger (USB-C), some sticker and of course the iPad.

So when looking at the Apple iPad Air 3 design you will notice that it doesn’t look much different at all to the previous Apple iPad Air which was released way back in 2014.

This tablets design isn’t going to blow your socks off and make you think “wow I need to go out and buy that”.

That being said the design certainly isn’t bad, and the reason Apple has not changed it for so long because it works.

So the iPad Air 3 is the thinnest non-Pro iPad at 6.1mm, and weighing in at 456g it makes the tablet easy to put into a bag or a laptop bag without taking up too much space.

You will be glad to know that the iPad Air 3 does have a 3.5mm headphone jack which the Pro models have now got rid of, this allows you to plug in external wired headphones without the need to purchase Apple Airpods.

Another feature that this iPad has that the Pro models do not is the Touch ID home button, granted the Pro models have a more reliable Face-ID but the security from your fingerprint is stellar.

It ensures that nobody can gain access to your tablet without placing your finger on the device, perfect for those who use online banking from their tablet or who store passwords in a note doc.

The iPad Air 2019 comes in three colours, you have Silver, Gold or Space Grey to choose from.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Space Grey colour to conduct this iPad Air 2019 review.

The Space Grey has a black front whilst the Gold and Silver have a white, we did find that the Gold looks more like a Rose Gold colour which matches up with their Gold iPhone range.

Down at the bottom of the tablet is the lightning port charger, this allows you to charge the device up with the same charger you use for your iPhone, making it convenient as you don’t need to carry a lumpy tablet charger in your bag with you when taking this device out.

ipad air 3 2019 design
Image: 9to5mac

Either side of this you have the speaker set up, which is not quite as good as the quad speakers found on the Pro model, however, this dual speaker set up still manages to produce some clear and quality audio.

You may be wondering is the Apple iPad Air 3 2019 waterproof?

Well no it is not, and so definitely recommend investing into a waterproof or thick case and screen protector for this device to keep it in tiptop shape.

On the side of the tablet, there is a smart connector, which appears for the first time on a non-Pro iPad.

This allows you to connect a Smart Keyboard, which doesn’t need battery’s and is great for transforming this device into a laptop, more on that shortly.

The biggest difference between the iPad Air 2019 and the previous-generation iPad Air is the display.

Apple has taken the display from a 9.7-inch to a 10.5-inch, which is almost in the same footprint because of the smaller bezels.

The 10.5-inch laminated retina LCD display now makes use of a wide colour p3 palette.

This makes for much brighter colours and a better experience overall when using the tablet for design purposes.

The iPad Air 2019 display is not an OLED, so you won’t find the deep blacks and incredibly vibrant colours like you will on the Pro model, however it is very close and to the untrained eye the differences are minute.

Now the laminated display means that there is an extremely thin layer between the glass of screen and the LCD panel underneath.

This is incredible when using the Apple Pencil, as it allows for incredible accuracy and precision when drawing.

The Apple Pencil is pressure sensitive and really enhances the use of the iPad Air 2019 if you happen to be someone who loves to draw then we would definitely recommend investing in the pencil.

See Related:

*Apple iPad Mini 5 Review*
*Apple iPad Pro 10.5 Review*
*Apple iPad 9.7 Review*

The display has an anti-reflective coating, which works well to stop light bouncing off the glass and going into your eyes, the reflectivity of this display is almost none.

This is great as it means you are able to use the tablet in almost direct sunlight without having to place a hand over the sun.

The iPad Air 2019 also uses ‘True Tone’, which dims the brightness of the display to match the setting you are in.

So if you are outside on a sunny day you will find the brightness levels shoot up, but it has a slightly blue tint to the display.

This tint is protecting your eyes from being damaged by the brightness levels, it works the opposite way too so if you’re in a dark environment, the screen will dim down so it doesn’t damage your eyes.

As a whole the iPad Air 2019 display is impressive, it has everything you would want out of a display at this price point, making it perfect for viewing content from Netflix and YouTube.

Thanks to it having small bezels this gives more real estate too, which fits more on the screen when using the likes of Instagram and other social media applications.

Apple iPad Air 3 Review: Performance

So what are the Apple iPad Air 3 specs like?

Well they are impressive! The iPad Air 2019 comes with some serious horsepower hidden behind that laminated LCD display.

It actually doubles the performance from the entry-level iPad 9.7 that was released back in 2018.

The reason for this is that it is equipped with Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset that is the same used in the powerful iPhone XS and XS Max.

As well as being backed up by 3GB of RAM this gives the tablet everything it needs to breeze through anything you throw at it.

This may not mean a lot to you but it translates into lightning-fast speeds for applications with no latency or fps drops, easy multi-tasking and smoothly navigating through the UI.

These levels of performance really future proofs this iPad, and purchasing a tablet with this level of performance means you don’t need to purchase something better for a very long time.

The iPad Air 2019 comes in either a 64GB storage model or a 256GB.

This is a little disappointing as we feel 128GB would have been just right for this 2019 tablet, Apple seems to be forcing people that use their device for work to need to pay a lot more money for the bigger storage model.

We did test the tablet out on one of our favourite games Fortnite; we have to say the game ran beautifully without any latency or fps dropouts.

This is not only great for gaming but movies too, as it allows you to export movies much faster than you could on the previous generation of iPad Air.

Apple iPad Air (10.5-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Silver
  • 10.5-inch Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone and wide colour
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Four-speaker audio

As mentioned previously one of the great benefits of having a smart connector on the side of the device is to connect up the Smart Keyboard.

This is a keyboard designed by Apple that clips onto the side of the tablet without any wires or batteries.

Perfect for those that write or are in education, as taking this into a lecture is easy and with the tablet being extremely thin, it’s a lot easier than carrying a laptop with you.

This is what Apple has designed the tablet for, to replace laptops in the future, we took the iPad Air 3 with us to a local library to work with it for a while and have to say it really is great for writing.

That being said one of the biggest downsides of using this combination, as a laptop is that the Smart Keyboard has no backlighting, so using this in low lighting is as good as useless.

apple ipad air 3 specs
Image: 9to5mac

Another great benefit of the iPad Air 3 is that it is compatible with the Apple Pencil, the first generation that is so it won’t snap on the tablet and charge wirelessly, unfortunately.

However, this pencil is still fantastic for those that have a creative streak and like to draw and use Photoshop, with its pressure-sensitive tip it really does feel like drawing on a sheet of paper.

Allowing you to create super-realistic drawings and take your artistic talent into the digital world.

Throughout this Apple iPad Air 3 review we found the specs to be the most impressive, it is hard to pick fault with such a complete tablet.

The iPad Air 2019 runs on iOS 12 that allows for extremely easy navigation around the tablet.

One of the main benefits of this software is the multi-tasking functionality, which enables you to use multiple applications at the same time.

So you can be watching a YouTube video as well as texting your friends, or playing a video game and watching a tutorial at the same time.

We loved using this feature on the Apple iPad Mini 5 but due to that tablet being a lot smaller, the multi-tasking feature couldn’t be used to its maximum potential.

IOS 12 also allows you to take screenshot and immediately mark it up, so you can take a snap of a piece of text and highlight the main sections before sending it over to your friends or family.

This feature sounds basic but it actually works very well, it’s a little like how Snapchat allow you to take a photo then mark up over the top of it.

However, the iPad Air 3 does lack some of the more impressive features, which the Pro model does have.

The first being ‘Pro Motion’ which automatically adjusts the refresh rate of the display based on what it happening on the screen.

This allows for much smoother scrolling and enables you to be able to read the text at the same time as scrolling.

It also helps to reduce latency when using the Apple pencil.

Overall the iPad Air 3 software is impressive, it has lots of new features that give a much better experience when using the tablet.

Although it is not quite as good as the Pro model iPad, but this is to be expected as they are much more expensive.

Apple iPad Air 3 Review: Camera

So the camera on a tablet tends to be the piece that people care least about, as most of us just use the high-powered camera we have on our smartphones.

But what if you need to snap a quick picture whilst at home, and your phone happens to be on charge in your bedroom.

Well, the iPad Air 3 camera has got you covered, it has an 8-megapixel f/2.4 lens which is the same used in the previous model Apple iPad 9.7.

This is still capable of capturing some decent images especially in low light, as it lacks True Tone flash, which is seen in the Pro models.

That being said the camera is capable of taking Live photos and shoots images in HDR which means it’s easy to capture the best shot the tablet is capable of without altering the settings.

One thing we do love about the iPad Air 2019 camera is that it sits flush into the design, meaning there is no camera bump whatsoever.

This allows you to place the tablet down on a flat surface without it wobbling and falling off the table.

Unfortunately, it is not a True Depth camera so your missing out on the portrait mode options and Animoji, these features are rarely used on our iPhone anyway so your not missing out on too much.

ipad air 3 camera
Image: 9to5mac

Around the front is where you will find the biggest camera upgrade; the iPad Air 3 has a 7-megapixel selfie cam, which is a huge step up from the 1.2-megapixel found in the previous model.

This camera can actually take some pretty impressive selfie, but we will definitely be sticking to our smartphone to handle that, as the quality is still much less than found in the iPhone XS.

The iPad Air 2019 also records video footage in 1080p, which is fine for most people but there is no 4K video here, just on the Pro model.

Overall the iPad Air 3 camera is decent, it’s not going to blow you away with incredible photos and super clear colour, however it is more than capable of producing some emergency shots when needed.

Apple iPad Air 3 Review: Battery Life

The iPad Air 3 has an 8134mAh battery which is more than enough to get you through a full day of use, this, of course, depends on how you are using the tablet but we found we would consistently get around 10 hours of power.

This was with us watching YouTube videos, gaming and surfing the web on Wi-Fi.

We love how little power the tablet uses when in standby, we found it uses little to no power at all which vastly increases the time you get out of one charge.

Apple iPad Air (10.5-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Silver
  • 10.5-inch Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone and wide colour
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Four-speaker audio

The same can be said for the iPad Mini 5, which again is super conservative with its battery when in standby mode.

We did notice when using the Smart Keyboard with the iPad Air 3 that the power drained faster than usual, as well as when multi-tasking too but this is to be expected, as there is a lot more power expenditure.

The iPad Air 2019 is the first iPad Air that now supports fast charging, which has been exclusive for Pro model iPads for some time now.

IPads are notoriously bad for there charging speeds, but we found when using a lightning-to-USB-C cable this iPad to be much faster than the older iPads we have used.

We were averaging around 50% charge in 40 – 45 minutes.

As a whole the battery life on the iPad Air 3 is impressive, it is much better than its predecessor the iPad 9.7 and we love that thanks to the new chip when it standby there is hardly any juice being used at all.

Apple iPad Air 3 Review: Summary

So should you buy the iPad Air 3 2019?

Well if you are looking for a tablet with thin bezels and an incredibly thin LCD display that works exceptionally well with the Apple Pencil, then yes.

The Apple iPad Air 3 is not going to blow you away but it is more than capable of producing some decent images if your smartphone is not around.

We do feel like this tablet is a great purchase for those that love to play games like Fortnite, or love to design and draw on their tablet.

As the performance that the iPad Air 3 provides is second to none, it really is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor and that is evident by the speed in which applications run and load.

This is by no means the cheapest iPad on the market, so we understand it won’t be for everyone.

Apple iPad Air (10.5-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Silver 

We don’t feel that this iPad can replace a laptop yet either, although it is compatible with the Smart Keyboard it still doesn’t have the software that allows for lightning-fast multi-tasking.

If you are an occasional user of tablets then you may be better of with the iPad Pro 10.5 or iPad 9.7 as these are cheaper alternatives.

We hope you have enjoyed our Apple iPad Air 3 review, feel free to leave a comment and check out the best iPad Air 3 deals here.

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