This strange accessory did something amazing to my iPad

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Person alive on iPad Pro with Xreal Air 2 connected.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Apple has been aggravating to advertise the abstraction of application an iPad — the Pro model, accurately — as a accepted accretion apparatus for a while. It started with putting a Mac-borrowed M-series silicon central the tablet, followed by bringing Stage Manager to the tablet.

Then came desktop-grade abundance apps like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Da Vinci Resolve, preceded by Microsoft 365 and Adobe’s alteration tools. The adeptness to bung in an alien adviser is additionally accurate for a tablet, but that restricts you to a table.

But all the firepower in the apple can’t accomplish up for a awning that has you squinting at it or affective in close. I apparent that altercation and still adored myself money after jumping from the 11-inch iPad Pro to the 12.9-inch version. That band-aid was the latest AR glasses from Xreal.

Staying abutting to the fundamentals

New widgets for iPadOS 17.Apple

The Xreal Air 2 not alone gave me a abundant bigger awning to comedy with but additionally offered a added desktop-like aspect arrangement that is bigger ill-fitted for assignment than the square-ish awning on the Apple tablet.

Here’s an archetype of how altered it looks. Notice the aspect arrangement of the home awning on an iPad Pro in the angel below:

Home awning of iPad Pro.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

And this is how the home awning pans out on the Xreal Air 2’s display, a architecture that is added desktop-like and accessory for split-screen multitasking:

iPad Pro home awning on Xreal Air 2.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Now, afore I go into capacity with specific examples, I appetite to explain the Xreal Air 2 briefly. These are AR glasses that put a 1080p micro-OLED affectation assemblage in advanced of anniversary eye. The affectation units on these glasses abutment a 120Hz brace rate, so you will get the aforementioned bland acquaintance that Apple serves with its ProMotion awning tech.

There is no blinking aftereffect to be apparent here, and you additionally get TUV Rheinland acceptance for eye ache and blue-light filtering. Think of them as a carriageable adviser that sits on your face but lives in a anatomy that looks like glassy atramentous Wayfarers.

What I like the best about the access is that there is no acquirements ambit complex here. You bung the AR glasses into the iPad Pro’s USB-C port, and it instantly boots into Stage Manager appearance with an alien affectation setup.

There is no janky cursor movement, and boring app windows above both screens is a bland ride. But it’s the all-embracing awning acquaintance that affairs here. I, for one, absolutely adopted application the Xreal Air 2’s awning over the iPad’s.

This awning works

Person cutting Xreal Air 2 glasses.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

First, it saves me the agitation of hunching over while alive on the iPad Pro natively. With the Xreal acquainted in, I sit beeline and boring at the Sony-made micro-OLED affectation units after accepting to sit in an awkward posture.

But it’s absolutely the beyond and added awning absolute acreage on the Air 2 affectation units that makes it a joy to use. I can fit four app windows ancillary by ancillary or align them in added accustomed block-like windows alternating anniversary awning division with a slight overlap. This is how you can fit four apps on the awning and resize them to your liking:

Using four apps on Xreal AirNadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends / Digital Trends

For me, the angel below describes my workflow abundant bigger (because I am a man of tidy agenda culture):

Multitasking on XR affectation of Creal Air 2.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

I decidedly admired how I could convenance DaVinci Resolve or Adobe software while active a YouTube tutorial video or accounting adviser in a abstracted window ancillary by side. When application the Air 2 glasses as the capital awning for work, I commissioned the iPad Pro’s affectation to handle beneath accessory tasks like authoritative music playback or befitting an eye on my Twitter lists.

The bearings is additionally bigger for agreeable consumption. Once again, the iPad Pro’s anarchistic awning aspect arrangement is to accusation here. You either see letterboxing with atramentous bedfast or some allocation of the agreeable is chopped off.

Gaming is no different, irrespective of whether you are arena on-device amateur installed from the App Store or application billow alive services. PC games, in particular, coursing that advanced view, but the iPad Pro’s awning doesn’t action that convenience.

With the Xreal Air 2 advancing into the picture, you don’t accept to anguish about borderline chopping or atramentous pillar-boxing. I delved into the gaming side, acquisitive for a sub-par experience. But acknowledgment to the M1 chip’s firepower and the lag-free wireless affiliation with the GameSir Cyclone T4 Pro controller, the acquaintance was smooth. Once again, abutment for a 120Hz brace amount on the Xreal Air 2 accepted to be a acceptable beheld perk.

Xreal Air is failing and adequate abundant for hours of use.Xreal Air is failing and adequate abundant for hours of use. Photo by Tracey Truly

Another accurate accessibility is that the affectation units sit a little up on the frame, which agency the cellophane alien bottle lets you booty a blink at the iPad Pro’s awning or the keyboard by artlessly blurred your boring and not accepting to about-face about your head.

For best immersion, back you appetite to aloof lay bottomward and watch a TV show, I artlessly put on the artificial clip-on awning to get a aphotic accomplishments for the basic screen. This not alone blocks the appearance of what’s about you but additionally helps with the perceived assimilation of on-screen content.

At aloof 72 grams, these glasses don’t absolutely aggregate to a conditioning for your cranial and facial muscles. I could calmly abrasion the Xreal Air 2 as a accessory affectation for two to three hours. It’s aloof an unaccounted account that these glasses can additionally bang directional music into your ears.

The iPad Pro (2022) sitting in the Magic Keyboard.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Apple’s Magic Keyboard additionally lends a allowance duke here. The Xreal Air 2 glasses abridgement a processing accessory or ability accumulation assemblage of their own, which agency they’re absolutely codicillary on the accessory they are acquainted into. In this case, it’s the iPad Pro. But acknowledgment to the additional USB-C anchorage on the Magic Keyboard’s ridge, I don’t accept to anguish about the book clarification all its abstract with a brace of XR glasses acquainted in.

Another account that I can’t accent abundant is privacy. For addition who hops amid cafés and co-working spaces, accepting a behemothic 130-inch agnate awning that alone I can see is a advantage that needs to be accomplished to absolutely appreciate.

My iPad is bigger than ever

Xreal Air 2's close affectation units.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Apple’s eyes of the iPad Pro acceleration as a computer isn’t absolutely outlandish, alike admitting the development accent could use some pace. However, the iPad Pro is no bargain computer. For the 11-inch Pro model’s everyman accumulator and keyboard combination, you still absorb a candied $1,100, which puts it in the aforementioned amount bracket as the accomplished M2 MacBook Air.

But the best axiological botheration with the iPad Pro and its accretion accreditation is the screen, which banned alike centralized apps such as Stage Manager. Following some refinements in iOS 17, I can run three apps ancillary by ancillary — or four in amphibian window format.

Unfortunately, the app windows, admitting actuality partially adjustable, are still too baby to get allusive assignment done. Unless you address for a active and bisected of your apperception lives in browser tabs, app ascent in amateur window approach will leave you with an abnormally inconvenient, occasionally advantageous experience.

Xreal Air 2 AR Glasses and Beam accessory.Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

If you are bent about accepting assignment done on the Apple tablet, the alone added advantage is to get the 12.9-inch version. But if you put that and the Magic Keyboard in your cart, the amount aberration would be abundant to buy the Xreal Air 2.

In fact, if you’re eying annihilation aloft the 512GB accumulator configuration, you could alike end up extenuative money admitting splurging on the Xreal glasses. Also, brainstorm acceptable yourself — and your accompany — that you spent about $2,000 on an iPad instead of accepting a “Pro” Mac.

Let’s accept you can blemish the hit on your wallet. Even with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro on your desk, you would still run into the aforementioned aspect arrangement hassles you would appointment on the 11-inch version. Of course, if your workflow involves stylus-based awning input, the Xreal Air won’t be of abundant use. In fact, cutting them would be annihilation abbreviate of an impediment.

But for my affectionate of assignment that relies on keyboard and abrasion input, I can calmly acclaim the Xreal Air 2 over spending a affluence on advance to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, abnormally if a beyond awning is your primary concern. It’s one of the added abnormal iPad accessories you can buy, but depending on your workflow, it could additionally be one of the best.

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