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Does the iPad Air (2024) have a 120Hz display?

An official photo of the 2024 iPad Air.
Apple

During its “Let Loose” event, Apple announced two new iPad Air models, with one featuring an 11-inch screen and the other boasting a 13-inch screen. But those weren’t the only upgrades. The slates also come with a new placement for the 12MP front-facing camera, beefed-up Spatial Audio thanks to landscape speakers, and double the bass for the larger model, among other additions.

But one of the biggest requests Apple fans have been making for years now is a 120Hz screen. With premium Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, S9+, and Tab S9 Ultra boasting a rich, high-refresh OLED display at 120Hz, the iPad Air series has long felt like it’s a few hardware steps back compared to the top-tier Android tablets. So, does this new iPad Air for 2024 have a 120Hz display?

Does the iPad Air (2024) have a 120Hz display?

An official photo of the 2024 iPad Air.
Apple

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but the iPad Air (2024) still does not have a 120Hz display for either the 11-inch or 13-inch model. In fact, the screen is entirely unchanged from 2022’s release. You get the same Liquid Retina (IPS) display, True Tone, and laminated, anti-reflective coating. The 11-inch iPad Air has a 2360 x 1640 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), and the 13-inch model comes in at 2732 x 2048 and 264ppi. They have 500 nits and 600 nits of peak brightness, respectively.

That’s not to say the screen is bad. When Digital Trends reviewed the previous iPad Air, we thought the screen was good overall despite there being an obvious jump in quality when going to the iPad Pro.

Why doesn’t the 2024 iPad Air have a 120Hz display?

An official photo of the 2024 iPad Air.
Apple

At this point, it’s increasingly odd that Apple hasn’t brought a 120Hz refresh display to the iPad Air to compete with Samsung. There could be a few reasons for this.

The new iPad Air models are priced at $599 and $799, respectively, for the 11-inch and 13-inch sizes, making them quite a bit more affordable than the iPad Pro. For reference, Apple’s newest iPad Pro comes in at $999 for the 11-inch model and $1,299 for the 13-inch version.

We hesitate to call the iPad Air midrange, but it’s more in line with the pricing of middle- and upper-tier Android tablets. Keeping these products differentiated is also probably an aspect of this. With the iPad Pro getting an OLED screen and an adaptive refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz, there isn’t much reason for Apple to bring this feature to downstream products since most people will go for the Air rather than the Pro based on price. Apple clearly wants to keep the iPad Pro as the premium model with all the latest bells and whistles like ProMotion, with the iPad Air following in the middle and the iPad on the more affordable end.

Both the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Air models are available to preorder now and are expected to ship starting May 15.

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Ajay Kumar
Ajay has worked in tech journalism for more than a decade as a reporter, analyst, and editor.
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