Apple iPad Air 3 256GB LTE in the test


The iPad Air 3 256 GB LTE is expensive, but proves in the test as an excellent tablet in almost all respects. The performance, display quality and features are excellent, only the battery life and charging time could be better. Real innovations compared to the predecessors, but one looks in vain.


  • Great fast performance
  • High quality workmanship
  • Great display


  • Large surcharge compared to basic model
  • Long loading time
  • Missing IP certification

Apple iPad Air 3 256 GB LTE in the test: Old design of high quality processed

Already after unpacking makes the Apple iPad Air 3 the usual high-quality impression: Just over six millimeters thick and completely wrapped in metal, the iPad is comfortable to hold. On the front there is a fingerprint sensor and the front camera next to the display. The display margins are however quite wide. On the back are the main camera and a microphone in addition to the big Apple logo and the plastic strip for the mobile modem. If you hold the device in portrait orientation, the bottom of the tablet contains the Lightning connector and dual speakers. On the top of the power button, another microphone and the headphone jack are placed. On the left is the docking connector for the keyboard, and on the right are the volume buttons and the slot for the SIM card.

The display of the iPad Air 3 comes on a screen size of 10.5 inches. The IPS screen in the Apple known 4: 3 format dissolves with 2,224 x 1,668 pixels and thus achieves a pixel density of 265 ppi. The image resolution is good and gives no reason for criticism in everyday life.

The maximum brightness of the screen is 520 cd / m². Thus, the panel is pleasantly bright and easy to read in almost all situations. However, the brightness of the big brother iPad Pro does not work out. Also, the refresh rate of 120 hertz of the large model brings the iPad Air 3 not.

Performance sprint as usual

Inside the iPad Air 3 is the current Apple A12 Bionic processor. This clocks with a maximum of 2.49 gigahertz and works with six cores. This CPU is paired with three gigabytes of RAM. Through the clever interaction of hardware and software from Apple, the iPad plays in terms of performance at the top.

The operation is consistently smooth and smooth, as you would expect from current iPads. Both everyday tasks as well as elaborate games and the editing of high-resolution video masters the iPad with ease. The device will never get uncomfortably warm at any time.

Camera not comparable to smartphones

The iPad Air 3 captures images and videos via a single camera on the back or a single front camera. The main camera resolves with eight megapixels and is optically stabilized. An LED flash is missing, however. Videos snaps the main camera with a maximum of 30 frames per second at a resolution of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080). The front camera resolves with seven megapixels and records videos as well with maximum Full HD and 30 frames per second.

The pictures of the main camera have a fairly decent quality. Only if the lighting conditions diminish, the iPad is also difficult to record low-noise and detailed images. Selfies are fine and can also be posted on social media channels, but set no records in terms of image quality. The iPad Air 3 can not match the quality of top cameras in today’s smartphones – and this also applies to any other tablet we’ve tested so far.

LTE shortens the runtime

The battery capacity of the iPad Air 3 is 8,134 mAh. Thus, the iPad achieved in our test a running time of about 10.5 hours with constant video playback. In a typical operation, the tablet creates about 11 hours. Unlike the iPad Air 3 Wifi , the power consumption through the power module is slightly higher. Since the battery is not grown, the runtime is shortened.

Included is a power supply with an output of about 11 watts. With this power adapter, the iPad needs to recharge from 0 to 100 percent for a full 4:26 hours. Accordingly, it is not surprising that after half an hour charging time only 13 percent are charged. This definitely takes too long. Who wants to achieve a faster charging time, must buy a more powerful power supply separately to Apple.

Lush equipment without novelties

IOS 12.4 is preinstalled on the iPad Air 3. This will soon be replaced by the first version of iPad OS. The rest of the data sheet is largely identical to previous iPads, except that one or the other hardware part has been improved: 256 gigabytes of storage space, of which initially about 251 gigabytes are available and are not expandable. A headphone jack and a Lightning port are available as well as the latest WLAN ac and Bluetooth 5.0. NFC has not been installed, as well as the iPad is not waterproof and dustproof. In addition, the classic home button still Touch ID, where Face ID has not yet found its way to the Air 3.

Otherwise, the iPad Air 3 offers all the usual specifications and meets all expectations. Only those who have really wanted something new, should be a bit disappointed. The performance is beyond any doubt.

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