Apple's iPad Air drops to $500 at Amazon

All color options have hit record-low prices.

Dana Wollman/Engadget

While Apple's entry-level iPad is ideal for those with strict budgets, we consider the iPad Air to be the best tablet in the company's lineup for most people. Those on the fence about shelling out $800 or more for an iPad Pro may find all their needs met by the $599 iPad Air. And now, thanks to a sale on Amazon, the tablet is cheaper than ever before. All five color options of the iPad Air are down to $500, or $100 off their normal price. We've seen this discount before a couple of times, but it's rare to see all colors on sale at once. While some like the rose gold model have the $100 discount outright, others like the silver and blue models are priced at $539, but an automatically applied coupon will bring the final price down to $500.

Buy iPad Air at Amazon - $500

The iPad Air earned a score of 90 from us when it came out in October last year. Apple revamped the design to make it look more like the iPad Pros, featuring flat edges, a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display, a USB-C port for charging and a side button with TouchID technology built in. Inside is Apple's A14 Bionic chipset, which includes a six-core CPU and a four-core GPU, as well as WiFi 6 technology. Both of these things help the iPad Air feel much zippier than previous models, and you'll be able to reap the benefits for a long time each day as the Air's battery lasted between 10 and 12 hours in our testing.

Like the iPad Pro, the Air is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard. While those accessories drive the price of your whole system up, it also means that you could use the Air as a laptop replacement if you wish. However, there are some notable differences between the Air and the latest iPad Pros, namely the M1 chipset found in the latter. If you're going to push your machine to its limits on a regular basis, or just want a device that's slightly more future-proof, one of the new iPad Pros may be the way to go (the base 12.9-inch model is $100 off right now, too). But most people will find that the iPad Air hits a sweet spot — it's speedy, lightweight and versatile, with just the right number of pro-level features for the price.

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