New iPad Air 6 gets a big-screen option and a major sound boost

Apple iPad Air (6th Generation) displaying a colourful image of a man in a field
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has confirmed the details of the new iPad Air, which comes in two screen sizes for the first time ever.

For this 6th generation of Apple's most affordable tablet, users will be able to choose between a redesigned 11-inch version or an all-new 13-inch design – a decision Apple says was inspired by the iPad Pro, where 50% of users opt to go bigger. 

The result is 30% more screen real estate, giving users more room to "work, learn and play".

Unlike the iPad Pro, there's no OLED display here – the iPad Air uses the same Liquid Retina Display as the previous generation, with no further upgrades to picture quality mentioned during the presentation.

There are, however, some helpful upgrades elsewhere. New landscape stereo speakers with support for Apple's spatial audio promise better built-in audio than the previous generation, with the 13-inch version packing double the bass of its smaller sibling.

The iPad Air in landscape mode showing lots of people on a video call

(Image credit: Apple)

The front-facing camera has also been moved to the landscape edge of the Air, making it much better for video calls and conferences.

This is all powered by Apple's more powerful M2 chip, which makes the new Air 50% faster than 2020's M1 Air, and three times faster than the fourth-generation iPad Air, with the A14 Bionic processor.

This helps to push the iPad Air further with Apple's growing AI offering, including features like Visual Look Up, for identifying popular landmarks or objects in your photos and giving you more information on them, and Live Text for copying, sharing and translating any text within a camera frame. It also enables Apple Pencil's Hover feature, for previewing your actions before committing.

The iPad Air is available for pre-order now in a choice of four colours – Blue, Purple, Starlight and Space Grey – and will cost $599 for the 11-inch and $799 for the 13-inch version. It'll be available next week.


Check out all the details on the new iPad Pro

Read our pick of the best tablets

Read our review of the iPad Air (5th Generation)

Verity Burns

Verity is a freelance technology journalist and former Multimedia Editor at What Hi-Fi?. 

Having chalked up more than 15 years in the industry, she has covered the highs and lows across the breadth of consumer tech, sometimes travelling to the other side of the world to do so. With a specialism in audio and TV, however, it means she's managed to spend a lot of time watching films and listening to music in the name of "work".

You'll occasionally catch her on BBC Radio commenting on the latest tech news stories, and always find her in the living room, tweaking terrible TV settings at parties.

  • Friesiansam
    The iPad Air is not Apple's entry level tablet, the basic iPad 10 is currently the most affordable Apple tablet.