It’s official: we’ve reached peak iPad. Yesterday, we tore down the iPad Mini 5 and found a couple of minor design updates with a smidge of new silicon. Today, we took apart the iPad Air 3and found that it’s basically built like an iPad Pro 10.5” on the inside, minus the surround sound and camera bump. These days, the non-Pro iPad lineup is just frankensteined components and designs from other iPads. Too bad all this mishmashing manages to leave out almost all the good stuff, like modularity and battery pull-tabs.
Inside, it looks rather different from Airs past, instead featuring the central logic board seen in Pro models. The battery connector is still trapped under the board, making disconnection—and repair—much tougher.
The newly dual-celled battery takes after its 10.5″ cousin with a 30.2 Wh battery climbing back from a 27.6 Wh battery in the Air 2.
With a repairability pedigree coming from the dismal Air 2 and the lousy 10.5” Pro, it’s no surprise this Air 3 earned a 2/10 on our repairability scale. Our hopes of a repair-friendly iPad, raised by iPads Pro of the past, are once again dashed.