Some fifth-generation iPad Air users are complaining about a purported downgrade in build quality, according to posts on social media (via iMore).
The complaints claim that the iPad Air has a noticeably thinner aluminum enclosure, resulting in creaking, a hollow sensation in the hand, and light pressure on the back of the device warping the display. A thread on Reddit contains a large number of complaints from iPad Air users who say they have build quality concerns about the device. The opening post on the thread states:
I ordered and received two blue iPad Air 2022 today and I’m a bit shocked. The aluminum backplate is a lot thinner than on the iPad 4 which I also have. You can almost feel the battery through the plate when you hold the device. Both iPads have the same feeling and are making creaking noises when you hold them. This did not happen on the iPad Air 4…
A multitude of responses on the thread agreed and expanded upon the issues, suggesting that it is not an isolated case, and some users have even posted videos of creaking noises coming from gentle taps on the device’s display to highlight some of the problems. Some replies said that the iPad Air “feels very low quality” compared to its predecessor, noting that there is a detectable difference on the rear of the device. It “feels like I can feel the inside from the back,” one reply claimed.
The first reviews of the fifth-generation iPad Air were shared earlier this week, but no reviewers mentioned any downgrade in build quality, and other than new color options, the iPad Air is externally identical to the previous-generation model. Key new features of the iPad Air include the same M1 chip found in the iPad Pro, 5G connectivity on cellular models, an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera with support for Center Stage, up to a 2x faster USB-C port for data transfer, and new color options. Pricing continues to start at $599 in the U.S. for 64GB of storage.