The new iPad Air and Microsoft 365 extra cost

The latest iPad Air is interesting but, like many iPad’s there’s a hidden extra cost because of Microsoft 365 licence rules.

The new iPad Air has the usual changes, a faster processor and slightly better screen. The big changes are:

  • Fingerprint login is combined with the Power button
Source: Apple
  • USB-C connector instead of Apple proprietary Lightning sockets.  USB-C cables are widely available and should be cheaper.

Screen Size trap

The hidden trap is the screen size.  The Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office) require a Microsoft 365 subscription to work for any device with a screen over 10.1”

iPad Air (fourth generation) is quite large, 10.9” is way over the Microsoft 365 limit.

All new iPads are over 10.1” (iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro) except for the iPad Mini (7.9”).

Pencil extra

The Apple Pencil is great for digital ink in the Office apps. We were dubious about the ink and drawing features in Office until we used them with an Apple Pencil on an iPad.

But boy is it expensive at US$129 for the second-generation model.

The earlier ‘first generation’ Pencil is $99.

If you’re buying an Apple Pencil, check the exact iPad model you have and which Pencil (first or second gen) is compatible.

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