A teardown has shown that the new iPad Air is internally almost identical to the iPad Pro with 10.5″ screen from 2017. Apple has replaced two of the four speakers with a metal element with no function.
The layout inside, with a two-cell battery and the PCB in between, is about the same as that of the iPad Pro with the same screen size. Where the old Pro has two speakers, the new Air only has a metal plate and presumably antennas in the 4g version, iFixit writes. Furthermore, the cameras differ, so the new Air does not have a camera that protrudes from the back.
The teardown also shows that Apple has not added tabs to the Air to pull the glue from under the battery, something that is the case with the Pro from 2017. Those tabs make removing the battery, provided they don’t break, much easier. The battery has more capacity than Apple claims. The specs state 30.2Wh, according to iFixit that is 30.8Wh, just like the iPad Pro from 2017.
The repair site gives the iPad Air a low score, because of the extensive use of glue and the difficulty of replacing the battery. The site came to the same conclusion with the iPad Mini 5 teardown that also came online recently.
Twins born two years apart: the iPad Air 2019 (left) and iPad Pro 10.5″ 2017