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5 Major Features of the 11-Inch and 13-Inch iPad Air 2024 Models

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Landscape Front-Facing Camera

Apple updated the mid-range iPad Air lineup at its “Let Loose” event in May 2024, and this offers more than just a hardware refresh. You now even have multiple options to choose from. Here, we’ll discuss all the noteworthy changes.

1 Two New Screen Sizes

Previous iPad Air models came in one size—both the 2020 and 2022 iPad Air models featured a 10.9-inch display. And if you wanted a larger screen, you had no choice but to go for the far more expensive 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Fortunately, the 2024 iPad Air comes in 11-inch and 13-inch screen sizes, so you can choose your preferred size depending on your use case. For instance, if you’re a budding artist who needs a larger canvas, you can opt for the 13-inch iPad Air instead of the 13-inch iPad Pro.

The 11-inch iPad Air has the same physical dimensions as the outgoing model, but Apple has shrunk the bezels to increase the display size by 0.1 inches.

2 The M2 Chip

Apple M2 chip

If the M1 chip in the outgoing iPad Air wasn’t powerful enough for your workflows, the M2 chip in the 2024 iPad Air models should meet your expectations. Apple says the M2 iPad Air is roughly 50 percent faster than the outgoing model for various productivity and creative tasks.

As you may have learned from our comparison of the M2 chip against the M1, the former packs two additional GPU cores and offers a faster 100GB/s memory bandwidth. Besides creative workflows, these improvements help the 2024 iPad Air perform a lot better in GPU-intensive games.

3 Landscape Front-Facing Camera

iPad Air with the landscape front facing camera focused

I’ve always found the top-mounted selfie camera on iPads a bit weird for video calls. Most people use their iPad in landscape orientation during video calls, especially if they have a Magic Keyboard or a Smart Folio case. For the person on the other end, it seems like you’re looking to the side, and the camera angle is unflattering.

Thankfully, Apple has finally moved the front-facing camera to the landscape edge on the 2024 iPad Air models. Coupled with the Center Stage feature, this new camera position is better for one-on-one calls as well as group calls, as it can keep everyone in the field of view automatically.

4 Double the Base Storage

The base model M1 iPad Air came with 64GB of storage space, which isn’t adequate for even casual users. However, Apple has bumped the base storage to 128GB for the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air models while maintaining the same $599 starting price.

So for the same money, you’re not only getting a better iPad, but also more space to store all your photos, downloaded media, games, and apps.

5 Apple Pencil Pro Support

Person holding Apple Pencil Pro

If you already have an Apple Pencil (1st or 2nd generation) you use with your current iPad, it won’t work with the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air models. You’ll need to buy the Apple Pencil Pro for $129 or the Apple Pencil (USB-C) for $79 to draw, scribble, or take notes.

I recommend getting the Apple Pencil Pro, especially if you’re a digital artist, due to all its new features. For starters, you can squeeze the Apple Pencil to open a contextual menu on the screen or rotate the barrel to change the orientation of drawing tools. The built-in haptic engine also provides gentle feedback for specific actions.

Additionally, it supports the Apple Find My network, allowing you to locate your Apple Pencil easily if you ever misplace or lose it.

We’re used to seeing minor hardware upgrades with each new generation of the iPad Air, but Apple offers a bit more than just a spec bump this time. Besides the standard space gray and starlight options, the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air are available in new purple and blue colorways. If they fall within your budget, you can order one now from Apple Store Online.

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