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iPad Air 5 tipped to come with M1 power

Apple is expected to announced the iPad Air 5 tonight, and it could sport the same M1 power as the latest iPad Pro.

Apple’s Peek Performance event kicks off at 6pm GMT tonight, and promises to feature a whole raft of announcements, from the iPhone SE 3 to a brand new MacBook Studio.

It could also feature a meaningful boost to Apple’s enduringly popular mid-range tablet line, the iPad Air. According to 9to5Mac, the iPad Air 5 will switch to Apple’s improbably powerful M1 chip, rather than the A15 Bionic chip that currently powers the iPhone 13 and iPad Mini 6.

This would represent a significant 50% boost in performance over the A15 Bionic, and a whopping 70% over the iPad Air 4’s A14 Bionic. It would also close the gap further on the iPad Pro after the iPad Air 4 emulated its big brother’s sharp-edged design.

If Apple is indeed going with an M1-powered iPad Air, it would mean the availability of a device that carries iMac power in a £600(ish) tablet form factor. That’s a serious bangs-per-buck ratio.

This would also seemingly serve to confirm a revamp of the iPad Pro later in the year with an even more powerful desktop-class processor, as Apple’s current range-topping tablet is going to be left looking like poor value.

Elsewhere, the iPad Air 5 is expected to feature 5G connectivity, like last year’s iPad Pro and iPad Mini refreshes, as well as an upgraded front camera with Center Stage support.

We’ll be covering all of the unfolding announcements at Apple’s Peek Performance event later today. Stay tuned.

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