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12 reasons to love the iPad on its 12th birthday

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12 reasons to love the iPad on its 12th birthday
There are so many reason to love the iPad — here are 12 of them.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac/Dan Prado/Pexels license

Apple launched the iPad in stores exactly 12 years ago today, and the device has evolved enormously since then, in both capabilities and hardware. Today’s devices can do so much more than their forbearers. Tablets have lived up to Steve Jobs’ vision … and exceeded it.

Here are a dozen reasons to love what Apple’s tablet has become.

Mac Studio, Studio Display and iPad Air reach customers around the world

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Mac Studio and Studio Display launch
Are you getting new Apple devices today?
Photos: Joe Dawson and Pawan

Apple’s new Mac Studio, Studio Display, iPad Air and iPhone SE officially go on sale today. That means customers who preordered early (before shipping dates slipped) are beginning to receive the first deliveries around the world.

If you, like me, are disappointed not to be reveling in the same delight as they are, here are a whole bunch of photos that highlight what we’re missing out on.

iPad Air 5 is every bit as fast as iPad Pro

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iPad Air 5 has the same performance as fast as iPad Pro
iPad Pro does not have better performance than iPad Air 5.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Early benchmark scores for the soon-to-be-released iPad Air 5 show the tablet has approximately the same performance as the iPad Pro models that cost much more.

That’s not a surprise considering the new Air has the same M1 processor as the Pro.

You can now preorder iPhone SE 3, iPad Air 5 and iPhone 13 in green

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iPad Air 5
Secure yours before delivery dates start slipping.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Store is live again after several hours of downtime on Friday morning, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time to place your preorders for the third-generation iPhone SE, the fifth-generation iPad Air, and iPhone 13 in green.

All three devices are scheduled to make their official debuts one week from today — on Friday, March 18. But initial stock is likely to sell out fast, so if you want one on launch day, you’d better secure your preorder quickly.

Why iPad Air 5 is a better choice than 11-inch iPad Pro

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Why iPad Air 5 is a better choice than 11-inch iPad Pro
These two tablets are almost identical in most important ways. But one costs $200 more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Apple M1 processor inside the newly announced iPad Air 5 makes the tablet as powerful as the similarly sized iPad Pro. Given the price difference, the new Air is a better option for most people.

The iPad Pro has advantages. And it’s still the right device for some folks. But think hard before putting down an extra $200 that might be unnecessary. Here’s why the iPad Air 5, which Apple unveiled during Tuesday’s Peek Performance event, comes out ahead in many ways.

You’ll need to upgrade your iPad Air to use it with Apple Studio Display

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Here's why devices are officially compatible with Studio Display.
Photo: Apple

It requires a lot of bandwidth to drive the super-sharp 5K screen in Apple’s new Studio Display, and some devices just don’t cut it. Those hoping to use one with iPad Air will be disappointed to learn that a big upgrade is necessary.

Studio Display is only compatible with the fifth-generation iPad Air, announced during Apple’s big Peek Performance event on Tuesday. The fourth-generation model, released in October 2020, is left out in the cold — like iPad mini.