iPad Air 9th Generation Review: A Powerful and Versatile Tablet

Design and Build

The Ninth-Generation iPad: A Glimpse into the Past

Apple’s iPad lineup has evolved significantly over the years, characterized by edge-to-edge screens and the absence of a physical home button. However, the Ninth-Generation iPad stands out as a nod to the past with its substantial forehead and chin, reminiscent of older Apple designs. Whether this design exudes retro charm or appears outdated depends on personal preference. If you’re not a tech enthusiast following the latest trends, the Ninth-Generation iPad’s classic appearance may suit you perfectly.

Apple’s Signature Build Quality

When it comes to build quality, Apple maintains its reputation for excellence. The iPad’s rounded metal back offers a sleek and comfortable feel, while the tactile buttons are robust and functional. Using the device is a luxurious and manageable experience, as expected from Apple’s craftsmanship.

A Rare Find: The Return of the Headphone Jack

One noticeable feature of the Ninth-Generation iPad is the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rarity among Apple’s modern handheld devices. If you rely on wired headphones or audio accessories, this iPad is the exception in Apple’s current lineup, making it a standout choice for those who still prefer this traditional audio connection.


A Dependable Screen

The Ninth-Generation iPad sports a reliable display. While its successor might offer a slightly more refined viewing experience, this iPad’s screen is no slouch, particularly with the larger size. On paper, it matches the pixel density, responsiveness, and brightness of its newer counterparts. In practical terms, it looks quite good.

Size Matters

Although the size difference amounts to just 0.7 inches, it can make a significant impact. Newer iPad designs, with their edge-to-edge screens, often feel more immersive. However, this largely depends on how closely you follow the latest tech trends. Notably, the display is set slightly below the front layer of glass, a feature that’s somewhat nostalgic, especially for those accustomed to more recent tech. While this may be a minor point, it’s essential to mention.

Minor Quibbles

In reality, these are minor quibbles that most users won’t dwell on. The Ninth-Generation iPad is perfectly suited for various tasks, whether you’re streaming an episode of your favorite show, reading magazines with ease, or browsing the web comfortably. It gets the job done, and that’s the main takeaway here.

Battery Life

Consistent and Reliable

Apple’s iPads are known for their consistent and reliable battery life. According to Apple, you can expect around ten hours of usage, whether you’re surfing the web or watching videos. While actual battery life can vary slightly depending on usage patterns, this variation is generally negligible.

Good Battery Life

In essence, iPads offer good battery life that meets the needs of most users. While they may not be considered exceptional in terms of longevity, they certainly don’t present any issues. The Ninth-Generation iPad adheres to this pattern, ensuring that you can go about your tasks without constantly worrying about running out of power.


Impressive in Everyday Tasks

The ninth-generation iPad’s performance is a crucial consideration. It features the A13 Bionic chip, which is undoubtedly capable, but it’s important to note that this chip is nearly four years old. While it performs well for most daily tasks and basic apps and games, its long-term capability may be somewhat limited compared to newer iPad models, especially those equipped with Apple’s M-chips.

Slick for General Usage

For typical daily use, such as web browsing and running basic apps, this iPad performs smoothly. It embodies that characteristic Apple quality where everything works seamlessly and hassle-free.

Limitations with Heavier Apps

However, when dealing with more resource-intensive applications and multitasking, you may encounter some limitations. For instance, running Logic Pro, which is available on every base iPad from the eighth generation onwards, may face occasional crashes, particularly when dealing with complex plug-ins. Notably, Final Cut Pro, another Mac app that Apple brought to the iPad, is not compatible with this model as it’s exclusive to M-chip iPads.


The ninth-generation iPad, with its timeless design and impressive build quality, offers an entry point into Apple’s tablet ecosystem. It may not feature the latest chip, but it provides a slick performance for everyday tasks. The familiar user experience and long-lasting battery life make it a reliable choice. However, for more demanding applications and future-proofing, one might consider higher-tier iPad models. If you’re not obsessed with having the latest tech and need a dependable tablet for browsing, media consumption, and light productivity, the ninth-gen iPad is a cost-effective option. It’s all about your priorities and where you stand on the tech enthusiast spectrum.

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