[아이뉴스24 서민지 기자] In the midst of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), there are products that have once again received attention from the market. It is a ‘tablet PC’. The tablet PC market has remained stagnant due to the expansion of smartphones, but is reviving as telecommuting and remote classes are revitalized amid COVID-19.
In particular, Apple, which is called a ‘tablet powerhouse’, maintains an overwhelming position in the market by expanding sales. According to market research firm IDC, Apple ranked first in the global tablet PC market with a 34.2% share last year. It was followed by Samsung Electronics (18.3%), Lenovo (10.5%), Amazon (9.5%), and Huawei (5.7%).
Apple is expected to focus on solidifying its position by introducing various new tablet PCs this year as well. Recently, the company launched the ‘iPad Air’ and is actively attacking the market.
What kind of appeal will the 5th generation ‘iPad Air’ released after 2 years appeal to consumers? If I could sum up my impressions of using the iPad Air for a week in one sentence, it was ‘smart and pretty, but ambiguous’.
First of all, I liked the first impression of the iPad. The product I tried was a ‘blue’ color, and the pastel-toned matte blue and angled edges felt luxurious.
The power button has a built-in Touch ID sensor, so when you press the power button, it automatically recognizes your fingerprint and unlocks it quickly. When the Apple Pencil is attached to the side of the body, it is automatically recognized and charged, which is convenient.
Above all, the strength of the 5th generation of iPad Air is its ‘smart brain’. The iPad Air is equipped with the M1 chip applied to the ‘iPad Pro’, the top lineup, and improves CPU performance by up to 60% and graphics processing unit (GPU) by up to 2 times compared to its predecessor.
As a result of running the benchmark program ‘Geekbench’, the single-core score was set at 1,718 points and the multi-core score was set at 6,936 points. It is similar to the top model iPad Pro released last year.
Because of this, I felt that it runs smoothly even when running high-end apps. I was able to enjoy it without any lag when running the high-end game ‘Dungeon & Fighter’.
With the iPad OS 15.4 update, the usability of Apple Pencil has improved as Korean is added to the ‘handwriting input’ function that converts handwriting into text when inputting it. When I turned on the notepad and wrote with a pen marked with an ‘A’, it was automatically converted to text. Even if the writing was messed up, it was relatively well recognized and converted.
Another advantage is that you can search by writing with an Apple Pencil in the search bar on Naver or YouTube. It was convenient to be able to write handwriting directly with a pencil without activating the keyboard.
Apple’s unique strong ecosystem was also felt as a weapon. The Apple Pencil, as well as other Apple products such as AirPods and AirPods Max, were connected to the iPad Air, so it was easy to use. In particular, in the case of AirPods Max, spatial sound cannot be performed when connected to other brands, but when connected to iPad Air, differentiated performance can be experienced more diversely.
The price felt a bit vague. As the price of the iPad Air has risen from the 4th generation, it has become an ambiguous position to be called an entry-level model. Up to the 3rd generation, it was possible to purchase at 600,000 won, but from the 4th generation, it has risen by about 150,000 won.
The price of the 5th generation iPad Air starts at around 700,000 won. For 64GB, the Wi-Fi-enabled model costs 779,000 won and the cellular model costs 979,000 won. For 256GB, the Wi-Fi model costs 979,000 won and the cellular model costs 1,179,000 won.
In the case of the third-generation iPad Pro released last year, the 11-inch cellular model (256GB) is priced at 1,329,000 won. The price difference based on cellular support for the same capacity is only 150,000 won.
In the case of the iPad Pro, the screen brightness is brighter and the performance is higher, such as supporting a 120Hz refresh rate. The premium is burdensome and can be a good option if you want higher performance than the entry-level model, but its position in Apple’s tablet PC lineup seems a bit vague./Report Minji Seo ([email protected])