Apple’s new iPad Air is a big upgrade and the one most people should get

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I’ve been testing Apple’s new iPad Air for the past several days. Its new design is an awful lot like my iPad Pro, which I spent more than $1,000 on a couple of years ago. But it starts at $599, a considerable discount from Apple’s Pro models and offers more than what you’d get from the “regular” $329 iPad.

If you want an iPad that you can use for work (depending on what you do, of course), with cameras that are better for video chats and an optional keyboard accessory with a mouse, the new iPad Air is the one to get. If you just need an iPad to read the news and listen to music, you’re still perfectly fine with the regular $329 iPad.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has cost millions of Americans jobs, Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Mac sales increased during the fiscal third quarter. People are buying gadgets to help with school, stay in touch with family, work and relax.

I expect the new iPad Air, which hits stores Friday, to be a popular choice since it gives you many of the high-end features found on the Pro model for hundreds less.

What’s good

The iPad Air is an upgrade in pretty much every way from the normal $329 iPad. It has a new design this year, with flat sides and sharper corners, bringing it more in line with the iPad Pro and Apple’s new iPhone 12.

The iPad Air is easy to hold, the screen is a large 10.9 inches and there’s a fingerprint reader that sits right in the power button for quick unlocking. Apple also launched new colors, including blue and green, though I tested a plain silver one.

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