iPad Air, iPad Mini, and Bose’s QuietComfort 45 – Ars Technica

Sixth generation iPad mini with Smart Folio case and Apple Pencil 2, lying flat with case open.
Enlarge / The 6th generation iPad mini.

Andrew Cunningham

If you’ve got an upcoming trip planned, today’s Dealmaster can save you a nice chunk of change on some loyal travel companions. Bose’s super-comfortable noise-cancelling QuietComfort 45 headphones are currently available for $280 ($330), while Apple’s two most recommended iPads, the iPad Air (10.9-inch, 64GB) and the iPad Mini (8.3-inch, 64GB), cost $500 ($560) and $300 ($400), respectively Both iPad deals correspond to the lowest prices we’ve tracked for these models. Note that you receive the discount at checkout on Amazon’s iPad Air deal.

Apple iPad Air, 10.9-inch 64GB for $500 ($560)

Apple’s iPads are the best tablets you can buy and the latest iPad Air is the best for most people. In our testing, we found that the M1 processor, in addition to the beautiful screen for media consumption, also offers more power than it has when you need to do a bit of work. It’s also a well-equipped video calling device that uses a 12MP front camera with Apple’s Center Stage technology to digitally help you focus on the video. Combine that with Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard compatibility, and it becomes harder to spend hundreds more on an iPad Pro.

The iPad Air 2022 with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
Enlarge / The iPad Air 2022 with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

Samuel Axon

Apple iPad Mini, 8.3-inch 64GB for $300 ($400)

The iPad Mini plays a similar role at its price point, and with a $100 discount off the typical price, that value only deepens. It uses USB-C for charging, supports the latest Apple Pencil, and has Touch ID built into the power button. It doesn’t have a matching Magic Keyboard, but you can always pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard. As we note in our review, it feels good to emulate a mini version of the latest iPads and their newest features. Just note that an 8.3-inch screen can be a bit cramped for multitasking or working for hours. Otherwise, it’s a great device for consuming media, sketching, or jotting down notes.

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Bose QuietComfort 45 Noise-Cancelling Headphones for $280 ($330)

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are the most comfortable noise-cancelling headphones we’ve tried. They also do a commendable job of keeping noise out. Apple’s pricier AirPods Max may have best-in-class noise-cancelling, but if comfort is paramount then the QC 45s are worth a look. They fit larger ears better and have a more neutral sound signature, but they lack an EQ tool to make adjustments. The QC 45 is also equipped with more reliable physical playback buttons compared to touch controls commonly found on other headphones in this class. A full charge will give you around 20 hours of listening time, which should be enough for most trips.

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