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John Ryan "One man and his Kat" (London, UK)
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EightOnes VR Kit - The Complete Google Cardboard Kit with 1-Year Guarantee, NFC, Exclusive Content and Head-strap - Inspired by Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift to Turn Smartphones into 3D Virtual Reality Headsets (Regular, Brown)
EightOnes VR Kit - The Complete Google Cardboard Kit with 1-Year Guarantee, NFC, Exclusive Content and Head-strap - Inspired by Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift to Turn Smartphones into 3D Virtual Reality Headsets (Regular, Brown)
Offered by EightOnes

5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable 3D Virtual Reality for iPhone and Android! Great, 23 Nov 2014
I have to say I was a little skeptical when I first heard of “Google Cardboard”, and now this kit by Eight Ones, but now I love it.

Here's why....

What is it?
--------------
You may have heard on the news about the “Oculus” project which for a couple of hundred pounds aims to bring Virtual Reality to masses, well this does a fairly good job for a lot less. It’s effectively a virtual reality headset kit built out (mainly) of, yes, you guessed it, cardboard.

The kit itself is is made primarily of cardboard, but includes two lenses you look through into an App on your Android phone to turn your smartphone into a Virtual Reality headset. It helpfully comes with a link to a web site which includes instructions on how to build your Virtual Reality glasses, and details of a few of the Apps available on Google Play plus three bonus apps. There’s also an additional 8 “apps” available via Google Chrome.

Once assembled you download the “Google Cardboard” App, and drop in your Android smartphone into the headset and attach the head strap (so you’re hands free), and off you go. This one comes with a built in NFC tag.

What's it like?
------------------
In a word - weird. I found myself getting really lost in the 3D experience produced by the two images on two different lenses. At one point I nearly fell over the dog, and in the end decided to put a swivel chair down in the middle of the room so I could spin around.

If I understand it correctly, the App makes use of the gyroscope in your phone, and therefore tracks your movement. This gives the appearance of moving around in the virtual world. Although not strictly part of the product - you can play with a number of VR worlds including:-

* A Photo app that looks like the photo is a 360 degree view
* Earth Flyover - very disconcerting but impressive too.
* Museum exhibits in 3D
* Street View tour
* An animated cartoon of a windy day
* You Tube videos on what seems a massive screen

Quick update! A bonus - it works with Apple Phones!
-------------------------------------------------------------
I thought this was just for Google Android phones. I spent so much time playing with my Nexus 5, but just realised there’s also iOS apps for it. Go to the web site for EightOnes slash startVR (details in the “Getting Started” card which comes with the glasses), there’s details of the iOS apps.

Go to “Choose your platform” and click on “iOS Get Started Guide”.

iPhone apps available are:-

* Dive City Rollercoaster - a Virtual Rollercoaster. Really weird being able to look around while on a roller coaster ride!
* Moorente - Shoot the ducks
* Stereoscopic Tunnel Effect - Very hypnotic
* The Height - Climb the scaffolding
* Tales for the Minus Lab
* Dive Zombie - Zombie game

Great News as it means you can also play this on iOS.

Conclusion
---------------
Part of my scepticism was the fact it was actually made out of cardboard. However, this appears quite well designed, and the results quite remarkable. This would make a great toy for Christmas day - it’ll have the entire family queuing up to try it out.

Highly Recommended.

Disclosure: I was kindly sent this by the manufacturer to give an independent unbiased review.


OZ Naturals Facial Toner- This Face Toner Is Considered The BEST Anti Aging Toner On The Market - Contains Glycolic Acid, Vitamin C, MSM & Ocean Minerals - This PH Balanced Face Toner Is A Crucial Base For Your Anti Aging Regimen - Dermatologist Grade Face Toner Calms Unbalanced Skin While Helping Diminish Fine Lines & Wrinkles For That Healthy, Youthful Glow
OZ Naturals Facial Toner- This Face Toner Is Considered The BEST Anti Aging Toner On The Market - Contains Glycolic Acid, Vitamin C, MSM & Ocean Minerals - This PH Balanced Face Toner Is A Crucial Base For Your Anti Aging Regimen - Dermatologist Grade Face Toner Calms Unbalanced Skin While Helping Diminish Fine Lines & Wrinkles For That Healthy, Youthful Glow
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £14.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Pump it up! Left my wife's skin feeling soft and refreshed!, 23 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’d never even heard of OZ Naturals before, but since my youthful looking 52 year old wife, and 21 year old daughter tested this for two weeks, and they're now new customers. The arrangement in our family, is my wife and daughters test the beauty products, and I write the review. This was provided for free in return for an unbiased opinion, and it's now costing a fortune, as everything I review will subsequently ordered from Amazon.

OZ Who?
-------------
Like many people I assumed this was from Australia, but It turns out that "OZ naturals" is one of the top US skin care specialists with a focus on producing top quality anti-aging and skin care products containing all natural organic ingredients. In fact this moisturiser is clearly a huge hit in the USA where it's the number one seller in facial toners with a 93% rating for 4 or 5 stars and 163 reviews.

Even a bloke like me can see it’s a quality product. Nicely packaged in a box, with very simple design. Inside there's a slim plastic bottle with a clear plastic top covering the pump action spray.

What my wife said about it?
----------------------------------------
"Sprayed on my face it's very refreshing. Initially there's a very light scent, (I'm not good at describing smells - except obvious ones), but it's very 'mineral' like. Sounds daft, but it almost smells of the ocean. The scent quickly dies away and leaves no lingering scent at all, but my skin feels fresh and clean. It'd be great to freshen up on a hot fuggy Summer day.

There's no sticky after-feel, and almost no scent at all.

I've been using this along with my Oz Natural eye gel and the Vitamin C Serum every day, and it's lovely"

Conclusion
----------------
A top quality beauty product which left my wife's skin beautifully soft and refreshed. This could cost me a fortune!

Highly Recommended.

Disclosure: I’ve been writing reviews on Amazon for years, and was approached by OZ Naturals to give an independent unbiased review of this product. Glad to say, it was a pleasure.


OZ Naturals - The BEST Retinol Moisturizer Contains 2.5% Retinol Cream, Vegan Hyaluronic Acid Serum & Vitamin E For The Most Complete and Highly Effective Retinol Moisturizer On The Market - This Facial Moisturizer Evens Out Your Skin Tone & Texture For An Incredibly Youthful Glow. This Retinol Cream Is Formulated To Work With Our 20% Vitamin C Serum
OZ Naturals - The BEST Retinol Moisturizer Contains 2.5% Retinol Cream, Vegan Hyaluronic Acid Serum & Vitamin E For The Most Complete and Highly Effective Retinol Moisturizer On The Market - This Facial Moisturizer Evens Out Your Skin Tone & Texture For An Incredibly Youthful Glow. This Retinol Cream Is Formulated To Work With Our 20% Vitamin C Serum
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £21.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Left my wife's skin feeling beautifully soft., 23 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’d never even heard of OZ Naturals before, but since my youthful looking 52 year old wife tested this for two weeks, and she's now a customer. The arrangement in our family, is my wife and daughters test the beauty products, and I write the review. This was provided for free in return for an unbiased opinion, and it's now costing a fortune, as everything I review is subsequently ordered from Amazon.

OZ Who?
-------------
Like many people I assumed this was from Australia, but It turns out that "OZ naturals" is one of the top US skin care specialists with a focus on producing top quality anti-aging and skin care products containing all natural organic ingredients. In fact this moisturiser is clearly a huge hit in the USA with 178 reviews and an astonishing 93% 4 or 5 stars.

Even a bloke like me can see it’s a quality product. Nicely packaged in a box, with very simple design. Both my wife and daughter commented on the fact it was provided in a tube instead of a pot. This meant it was much easier to use, and meant It was very easy to measure exactly how much to use.

What my wife said about it?
----------------------------------------
"Firstly I love the fact that it comes in a tube. Sounds a simple thing, but it means you can control the exact amount you need - and you don't need a lot. It sits nicely in the bathroom, and the top pops off easily so there's no messing around with screw top pots first thing in the morning. The moisturiser is white and has a soft almost silky feel, and is almost neutral with almost no perfume at all"

We then went on to discuss exactly how much you needed (not a lot - but what does that mean?). We finally agreed upon about the size of a pea or a bean (but not a kidney bean) for your face and again for your neck.

"I tried it every day for two weeks, and my skin feels lovely and soft. It's not greasy like some moisturisers I've used, and it's quickly absorbed so you could use it with make-up - although I personally don't wear any".

"I did see a reduction in crows feet around the eyes, but I'm also using the Oz Natural eye gel and the Vitamin C Serum every day, so it's hard to tell which was doing the trick".

Conclusion
----------------
A top quality beauty product which left my wife's skin beautifully soft, and is now costing me a fortune!

Highly Recommended.

Disclosure: I’ve been writing reviews on Amazon for years, and was approached by OZ Naturals to give an independent unbiased review of this product. Glad to say, it was a pleasure.


OZ Naturals Facial Mask - The BEST Moisturizing Face Mask Contains Complex Organic Herbal Blend + Amino Acids - This Anti Aging Face Mask Provides A Hydration Tsunami That Deeply Hydrates & Nourishes Your Skin Cells For That Dewy, Youthful Glow
OZ Naturals Facial Mask - The BEST Moisturizing Face Mask Contains Complex Organic Herbal Blend + Amino Acids - This Anti Aging Face Mask Provides A Hydration Tsunami That Deeply Hydrates & Nourishes Your Skin Cells For That Dewy, Youthful Glow
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £16.42

5.0 out of 5 stars My 21 year old daughter loved it!, 23 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’d never even heard of OZ Naturals before, but since my 21 year old daughter tested this for two weeks, and she loves it. The arrangement in our family, is my wife and daughters test the beauty products, and I write the review.

OZ Who?
-------------
Like many people I assumed this was from Australia, but It turns out that "OZ naturals" is one of the top US skin care specialists with a focus on producing top quality anti-aging and skin care products containing all natural organic ingredients. In fact this Hydration Mask is clearly a huge hit in the USA with 135 reviews and an astonishing 98.5% 4 or 5 stars.

What is it, and what's it like?
----------------------------------------
My only experience of “hydration masks” is those young women covered in pale white or green paste with cucumbers over the eyes. This is nothing like that!

Gently squeeze the white tube, and it comes out as a cloudy scent free gel like substance which turns clear when applied to the face. My daughter tried for a number of days after having a shower, and at first thought it wasn’t doing anything as it’s not coloured, and doesn’t dry or crack like other masks. However, when she rinsed her face after 30 minutes she found her skin was “amazing soft - it felt really great”.

Even a bloke like me can see it’s a quality product. Nicely packaged in a box, with very simple design. Both my wife and daughter commented on the fact it was provided in a tube instead of a pot. This meant it was much easier to use, and less like to be contaminated by bacteria. It was very easy to measure exactly how much to use.

What my daughter said about it?
-------------------------------------------
My daughter (aged 21) tested it once per day for five days, then took a break for a few days before resuming. This was her description:-

“I tried it on immediately after taking a shower, and was surprised it was colourless on the skin. I guess it’s an advantage, because you’d hardly know it’s there. After about 5 minutes, if I scrunched up my face I could feel it there, but otherwise it was invisible. I left it on for about 30 minutes, and didn’t expect much, but when I rinsed my face it was amazing. My skin felt so soft it was great."

“The packaging is great, very easy to use, and overall I liked it a lot. My only concern was after a couple of days I broke out in spots on my chin and forehead, so I took a break for a few days. I then re-started, and it cleared up, and as I say, my skin really is incredibly soft to the touch”.

My wife has a theory the mask was drawing out the impurities from the skin - hence the spots. But overall she loved it.

Conclusion
----------------
A top quality beauty product which (despite the reservations) left my daughters skin beautifully soft.

Highly Recommended.

Disclosure: I’ve been writing reviews on Amazon for years, and was approached by OZ Naturals to give an independent unbiased review of this product.


Apple 7.9-inch iPad Mini Retina - (ARM 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB Storage, Wi-Fi, iOS 7.0.4) APPLE CERTIFIED REFURBISHED (White Silver)
Apple 7.9-inch iPad Mini Retina - (ARM 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB Storage, Wi-Fi, iOS 7.0.4) APPLE CERTIFIED REFURBISHED (White Silver)
Offered by Online queen
Price: £195.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not sure which iPad to buy? This may help!, 22 Nov 2014
Not sure which iPad to buy? This might help.

Up until October 2014, this iPad Mini was the most recent model, and it’s an incredibly beautiful device.

The iPad comes in several sizes (and prices) now:-

Small (Paperback book sized, but incredibly thin)
* iPad Mini (with standard display)
* iPad Mini 2 - This one. The latest fastest Mini size iPad with an HD display.
* iPad Mini 3. Released October 2014 - with the “Touch ID” - fingerprint reader and faster chip

Having said that, personally I think the iPad Mini 2 (this model) is better value than the Mini 3. Not convinced the touch ID is worth the extra money.

Larger (Size of an A4 Pad of paper)
* iPad 2, 3 or 4th Generation - Full size iPads (probably best avoided)
* iPad Air - Release November 2013
* iPad Air 2 - Released October 2014. With the A8X chip and “touch id” fingerprint reader and faster chip

Oddly enough, it’s so beautifully easy to use (my one year old daughter loves playing with it), it’s almost doesn’t feel like a computer at all. I bought one for my 10 year old daughter and she absolutely loves it. We sold the previous Android tablet as it just sat in a drawer not being used.

A word of warning - this review is written for people who’ve never owned an iPad before - and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Don’t read this if you already own an iPad or Mini and are thinking about an upgrade - I’d recommend you simply buy a mini with Retina or an iPad Air.

Just what’s all the fuss about?
--------------------------------------
I used to own a laptop for work, and (very occasionally), it’d sit on my lap on the sofa, and I’d use it for pleasure (eMail, watching films or playing the odd game). Then I bought my first iPad, and the laptop became redundant, a boring “work device”. Hard to explain, but the fact the iPad is so small and light, and you navigate around with your finger by pointing and gently swiping the screen makes the whole experience a lot easier - a lot more fun.

Even my most “luddite” of friends have been won over.

It’s incredibly simple and easy to use (it only has one main button), and everyone from my one year old daughter to my 85 year old dad have taken to without problems. It’s size and shape also support using it like a book (literally to read a book or web page), but you can also watch TV and films.

Personally I’m also paranoid about my password getting “hacked”, and someone running up a huge Amazon bill or buying stuff with my credit card on eBay. Well one of the benefits of the iPad (and iPhone) is it’s “almost impossible” to get a virus - one of the most common ways to get hacked. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use strong passwords, (both Sony and Adobe got hacked), but it’s reassuring to leave the Windows world behind.

Finally, I love the way these devices (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Mac), increasingly work together. The fact you can start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it on your iPad, or take photos on the iPhone, and in seconds see them on the iPad or Mac and display them on the Apple TV.

The thing is, "it just works".

What would you use if for?
----------------------------------

* Shopping online. Obviously - you could be reading a review on Amazon about the iPad Air!
* Video Calling. With either “FaceTime” (to another Apple device) or Skype - you can make video calls to other people
* Reading web pages. As you can hold it like a book it’s great to read the news online (my wife loves the Daily Mail Online).
* Reading Books. It’s great for reading books from Amazon Kindle or Apple Books with the benefit of 1,000s of online book reviews
* Navigating web pages. Instead of clicking with a mouse, you gently swipe your fingers on screen to scroll around
* Watching Films. I use it to watch Netflix online videos (with an Apple TV you can send stuff to the telly)
* Watching TV. With the free BBC iPlayer app (in the UK) you can catch up or download BBC programs
* Reading and replying to mail. I use “mailbox” a great free app to read and reply to mails, but there’s a free one included
* Showing and organising photos. Any photos on an iPhone are automatically available within minutes in “the cloud”
* Playing games. From fun puzzle games like “Cut the Rope” to fully fledged first person shooters.
* Listening to the Radio. With “Tune in Radio” you can listen to thousands of radio stations world-wide.
* Listening to music. I stream mine to an Apple TV, but you can also buy portable speakers or just plug into the AUX socket
* The list goes on and on.

Which model should I buy?
----------------------------------

I can’t comment about Android tablets (apart from the Google Nexus 7 which is well regarded), but in terms of the Apple tablet line-up:-

iPad mini Size:-

* iPad mini is a lovely tablet. A 7.9 inch screen and astonishingly light and remarkably thin - it feels like a light-weight book.
* iPad mini 2. Again 7.9 inch screen, but with the blazingly fast A7 chip and a “retina” (high definition) screen. Worth the upgrade if you can afford it. The HD screen is amazing, and faster chip means it will be a bit more “future proof”.
* iPad mini 3. Again same size and A7 chip but with the “touch id” fingerprint reader.

Full Size iPad options. (much larger screen - makes a huge difference):-

* 1st Generation iPad. Seldom available new - best avoided - there’s better options available
* 2nd Generation. Avoid the Apple iPad 2, it’s a relatively old model, under-powered and with a lower resolution screen. If you really want an Apple but don’t want to spend the cash, buy a 16g WIFI 3rd or 4th generation iPad from Amazon or eBay. Avoid this one.
* iPad 3rd Generation. First iPad with the “Retina” (high definition) screen. A5X chip. Excellent iPad - highly recommended
* iPad 4th Generation. With A6X chip. In short, not quite as fast as the latest chip but pretty zippy. Biggest difference is the smaller power socket and slightly faster processor.
* iPad Air. Same fast (A7) chip as the Mini with Retina - the latest and fastest iPad available. This has been re-designed to be even smaller than the iPad 2/3/4 and with the new chip making it even faster.
* iPad Air 2. New A8X chip (even faster still) with the “touch ID” fingerprint reader. So no passcode to unlock it.

In terms of which to buy - if you want something REALLY small and light to read on the train, the iPad Mini 2 or 3 is your best bet. Otherwise, the iPad Air is your best option - depending upon your budget.

Me I’ve owned a 1st and 3rd generation full size iPad and most recently an Air. My daughter owns an iPad mini, and we’ve loved them all.

What are the Optional add-ons?
-----------------------------------------

Well, assuming you’ve dropped by the Apple Store or John Lewis (which I would highly recommend), and handled the iPad Mini (with/without retina screen), and iPad 2 and Air then your options are around memory size and cellular option.

Memory: Once bought, you can’t add memory (space for apps, films, books etc). However, the basic price goes up a huge amount (+£80 for the 16g to 32g iPad Air). But, having owned a 16g and then a 32g iPad - I can safely recommend the 16g unless you really want to store a huge amount of videos and downloads. Only you can decide, and if you’re lucky enough that money is no object then splash out. Otherwise, 16g should be fine for most people.

Celular: Allows you to connect to the internet while you’re out and about. This will add an additional +£100 to the price and means you can slip in a mobile phone SIM card. This means (for an additional £7-15 a month extra), you can access the internet on the move. Alternatively, you can opt for the WIFI option, and use it at home or at at “hot spot” (eg. Starbucks, most rail stations and hotels etc).

Personally I’d buy (and indeed did), the 16Gb iPad Air WIFI. But again, it depends upon your budget.

Do I need anything else?
-------------------------------

Most people (me included) buy a cover. Apple (and now several copy-cats) make a “smart-cover” which automatically shuts down the iPad when you close it, and switches it on when you open it. There’s versions which cover the back, or just the screen. Apple charge from £35 to £65 for their (admittedly) high quality fabric or leather covers, but there’s many available from £10. Be aware, you do get what you pay for.

Personally,I think it’s a pity to cover the beautiful aluminium industrial design of the iPad with a cover - but if you’ve spent hundreds of pounds you’ll want to protect it from scrapes and bangs.

I also invested in a keyboard (£25-80), as I tend to write a lot of mails and documents (remember it comes with a word processor). I’d recommend (for the iPad Air) the Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Greyand the ZAGG Keys iPad Air Case Folio with Backlit Keyboard - Black although these are strictly optional unless you want to use your iPad as a proper laptop.

Word of warning: If you’re looking for a case or keyboard be sure to buy the correct size (they’re all different):-

1. iPad mini size
2. iPad 2, 3 or 4th generation (full size iPad)
3. iPad Air size (full size but designed to be smaller)

Finally, if you have another Apple device (eg. an iPhone, Apple TV or Mac) you’ll find these work together beautifully. For example, you can create a reminder on your iPad and it appears on your iPhone. Equally, photos taken on your iPhone appear on your iPad, and you can stream music or videos from iPad, iPhone or Mac to an Apple TV.

One word of advice - make sure the entire family use the same “Apple iTunes Account” - but you all have a separate “iCloud Account”. This means, when you buy an App, Music or Film on one iDevice its available to everyone, but you each have separate “Cloud Storage” to backup your iPad or store documents independent of each other. Incidentally, creating an iCloud account means your iPad is automatically backed up (no wires, no fuss) every time you charge it up. A wonderful feature - one of many.

Overall Opinion
---------------------

It’s hard to believe the iPad version 1 was released just four years ago, and there’s a huge raft of “me too” tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad is still the one to beat. As “Which?” magazine put it about the iPad Air - “…the best tablet we’ve ever tested. Apple packs a beautiful screen and lightning fast processor into a slimmer-than-ever shell, and battery life is very impressive”.

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it’d be a top of the range Mercedes or a BMW. Looking at the iPad 3rd or 4th generation, you’ve not quite got the “latest version” - but it’s still a top end tablet computer.

Obviously, depending upon your budget, buy the latest iPad (full size or mini) available - but whichever one you buy you’re sure to be delighted.

Highly Recommended.


Apple MGYK2B/A - iPad mini 3 WI-FI 128GB GOLD
Apple MGYK2B/A - iPad mini 3 WI-FI 128GB GOLD
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £541.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Not sure which iPad to buy? This may help!, 22 Nov 2014
Still undecided which iPad to buy? This might help.

The iPad mini is probably the best small tablet computer on the market today - it’s certainly the most popular. It’s the top selling tablet computer on Amazon, and still an incredible device. This is a review of the iPad Mini 3 released October 2014, but is it worth the money?

About this review
-----------------------
OK. First a disclosure. I love the iPad range, and this review aims to explain why. There’s lots to say, so I’ve broken it up into sections to make it manageable, (just skip the bits you don’t need). Hopefully it will answer your questions, and by the end you’ll have decided if it’s worth the money, and perhaps which model you should buy.

What’s new about the iPad Mini 3?
----------------------------------------------
Sad to say, not a lot. Same beautiful design, incredibly fast A7 processor and 1GB of memory as the previous model - the “iPad Mini 2” (confusingly also known as “iPad Mini with Retina Display”).

It still has the amazing 326 pixels per inch (ppi) retina (2048×1536) screen, and is still a great device to read books, watch films and play games on. I say this, not to sell the device, but to soften the blow. In short, it’s disappointing the only difference between this and the previous mini is the “Touch ID” fingerprint sensor which means you can unlock it with your fingerprint, and potentially avoid using passwords.

As I write this review (November 1st 2014), this device costs £80-£100 more than the previous model on the Apple web site. I love the iPad, but that’s an awful lot of money to pay for a fingerprint reader.

Having said that, the iPad Mini (2nd Generation) is still for sale, and at a great discount here on Amazon or from Apple. Alternatively you could buy the iPad Air or Air 2. The same (or faster) device, with a bigger screen.

The remainder of this review describes the entire iPad range to help you to decide. I hope you find it useful.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
==========================
Q: Can I run all iPad Apps on this one
A: Yes. Every App available for the full size iPad (or iPhone) will run on this device.

Q: I want a “Mini” - Which model should I buy?
A: If you’ve got money to burn and you hate passwords, this one - the iPad Mini 3. Otherwise search Amazon for "iPad Mini 2". Same device (except “Touch ID”) for a lot less money.

Q: Is this covered by Warranty ?
A: Yes. Full 12 month Apple warranty, and 90 days free technical support. You can also extend the warranty with "AppleCare+" for £79 a year provided to take out the cover within 60 days of buying your iPad. This includes accidental damage insurance (up to two incidents per year subject to a £39 excess).

Q: Why are these cheaper on Amazon than at the Apple store? What's the catch?
A: No catch. You can buy in person from the Apple store (including free engraving), or from John Lewis, and get a free 2 year John Lewis warranty. Alternatively buy from Amazon with a 30 day NO QUESTIONS ASKED return policy. If you find this item is NOT as described, (eg. does not have a UK plug), return it immediately, report the issue to Amazon, and write a critical review.

Q: Is this a UK or USA model of the iPad?
A: UK model. It is illegal to sell an electrical device in the UK without a UK plug or a foreign plug and adapter. If it doesn't have a UK plug you're entitled to a refund. Otherwise there's absolutely no difference.

Q: Should I buy the Cellular option?
A: Read “Which model should I buy” below. You almost certainly don't “need” to - as ever it always depends. Many iPads never leave home, and even when they do you can store your videos/music on the device or connect to a coffee bar hotspot to get online. If you have a smartphone (eg. Android or iPhone) you can set up a "personal hot spot" or "tethering" and use your data plan on your phone. This effectively allows you to connect a WIFI only iPad to the internet via your mobile phone while you’re out and about. On an Android phone go to Setup --> Tethering & portable hotspot. On on iPhone go to Settings --> Personal Hotspot, and set up a personal WIFI network from your phone. Try it now, but be aware it may be an optional extra dependent upon your mobile phone plan.

Q: Is this the latest iPad?
A: Yes. (Provided your reading this before October 2015). Launched 16th October 2014. Likely to be superseded October 2015.

Q: How much storage aka "disk space" do I need?
A: It depends. If intend to buy lots of Apps or store lots of videos and photos then go for the 64Gb or 128Gb is you need. If it’s your first iPad, and you'll mainly be using it for accessing web pages and reading the odd book, then 16Gb will be fine. Be aware, you cannot increase the storaage - you can't add an SD card. You could buy a "wireless disk" - see "Accessoriess - What else will I need?" below.

Q: Is it easy to set up?
A: Yes - very easy. Be sure to be near a WIFI connection, and the iPad will carefully take you through the steps needed to set it up. No, there’s very little in the way of an instruction manual - which is a testament to the simplicity of this device. It’s so easy to use most people find they don’t need one. However, there are lots of books available on Amazon. Just search for “iPad” under books if you’re concerned.

Q: Does it have a USB connection?
A: No. This means you can’t connect just any old device, but also means you can’t accidentally get a virus. To help support this, all Apps (programs) are available “over the air” (downloaded from the Apple App Store) and vetted by Apple. You can buy a cable which means you can plug in an SD Card to download photos. Search Amazon for "lightning to sd card reader” to find these. Apple provide a free back-up service for upto 5Gb of data (or 20Gb for 79p per month). Just plug in your iPad to re-charge, and it will automatically be backed up to the Apple servers (the “cloud”).

Q: Do I need a computer?
A: No. All you really need is a WIFI connection. Whether an iPad could replace your laptop is another question. You can type (and print) letters, read eMails, view web pages, view photos or watch videos and listen to music on an iPad. You can even attach an external keyboard and type entire documents (this review was partly written on an iPad Air on a train). You can run MS Office or use the free Apple versions (Pages and Numbers). Personally, I find I use my iPad 90% of the time, only using a laptop to connect to the office. Whether you can get by with only an iPad is your decision based upon your needs.

Q: Does it run Microsoft Office?
A: Yes. Free for read only Word, Excel etc. Costs £59 a year for a single licence, £79 for 5 PCs or Macs plus 5 iPads.

Q: Can I print from the iPad?
A: Yes. Provided your running a relatively modern printer with a WIFI connection you can.

Q: Can I read books, watch films and listen to music on an iPad?
A: Yes. That’s what I use it for most of the time. Kindle or Apple books work beautifully. You can rent/buy films from Apple, Amazon and lots of others. You can watch catch up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV and Channel 4). You can load your music (MP3 files) on an existing computer to iTunes
and sync them with the iPad or stream unlimited music from music sites including Spotify. Finally, you can stream video to your TV using a set-top box from Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire) or Google (Chromecast)

Q: Do you work for Apple or Amazon?
A: A fair question that nobody has yet been brave enough to ask. No. Neither. I love the iPad, and I'm a great fan of Amazon’s customer service. Fantastic technology and great service at a terrific price. What's not to get excited about? ;-)

Which model should I buy?
====================
Skip this section if your familiar with the range, otherwise read on.

Firstly, there’s a confusing number of options available including the iPad 3rd or 4th generation, iPad Air, Air 2, Mini, Mini 2 and 3. We then have WIFI and Cellular options, all with different size storage. Bare with me, and I’ll take you through them.

Which model - Full size iPad or Mini?
------------------------------------------------
The “full size” iPad is slightly smaller than an A4 pad of paper whereas the Mini is more the size of an incredibly thin paperback book (comparable in fact to the Amazon Kindle). Both iPads have a colour touch sensitive screen, and largely the same functionality, although the iPad Air 2 is now faster than it’s smaller “mini” equivalent.

In short, the main difference is physical screen size. If you plan to read books or watch video standing on train or bus, the mini is your best option. If you want the bigger screen (or perhaps faster iPad Air 2 procesor), then the full size iPad is the best option.

What’s the storage options?
------------------------------------
Storage (for Apps, photos or videos) start at 16g which is fine if you plan to surf the web, read books or stream video. Personally I used a 16g iPad every day for four years - it’s a lot more space than many people will need. If however you intend to save lots of films or photos, then you’re better off with the larger storage options. Be aware once bought, you can’t add storage, so choose carefully.

Be aware, Apple have limited the storage sizes available for the “Mini” range (although you might find some old stock available on Amazon).

* iPad Mini - is available in 16g only
* iPad Mini 2 is available in 16 or 32g
* iPad Mini 3 is available in 16, 64 or 128g storage

Personally, I’d take a cue from Apple sizing:-

* 16g if you’re a first time iPad user or are unlikely to store lots of top-end games or video.
* 64g if it’s for a teenager or you plan to store lots.
* 128g if you’ve got really deep pockets.

Either way, if you’re going to buy a Mini tablet, I’d recommend the 2 or 3.

WIFI or Cellular?
---------------------
Firstly all iPads include a WIFI connection. You can pay extra for a “cellular” option which means you can (for an additional monthly fee) buy a data subscription from a mobile phone network, and use your iPad to surf the web when you’re out an about. If however like me you have a smartphone (Android or iPhone it doesn’t matter) then navigate to Settings —> Personal Hotspot and set up a password.

This means you can create a “Personal Hotspot” using your smartphone data subscription. Also known as “tethering”, you can then connect your WIFI only iPad to the web, and off you go.

Personally, I use this every day on the train and it’s just brilliant. Just as fast as a cellular iPad, but more flexible (two people can share the connection), and cheaper too. Just check your mobile contract supports tethering, and includes enough of a data allowance. Otherwise you’ll run up a huge bill as you’ll find your iPad uses data faster than than your smartphone.

Should I upgrade?
==============
A personal choice, so I’ve summarised the key differences below. Each iPad is slightly better, although each upgrade can appear a relatively small change, and you need to compare the “full size” and “mini” iPads separately.

* iPad Mini: The upgrade from iPad Mini 1 to 2 was to an incredible screen and faster processor. The upgrade to Mini 3 adds only the “Touch ID” fingerprint reader, and it’s questionable whether it’s worth paying for.
* Full size: I’d upgrade anything up to and including the iPad 4th generation without question. The Air and Air 2 are now up to twice as fast, 33% lighter and 1/3rd thinner than the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation device. If you already have an iPad Air it’s less clear cut, and probably not worth upgrading.

The iPad Mini Range:-

iPad Mini 1 (Launched November 2012)
-----------------------------------------------------
* Very first iPad mini is like an incredibly thin paperback book. Beautiful colour screen, but now a bit slow and now dated.
* 1Ghz A5 processor - same as the iPad 2nd generation launched in March 2011. Weight 310g. 7mm thin.
* 1024x768 (Non-retina) screen at 163ppi (pixels per inch). Good but not brilliant
* 1.2MP front facing camera (720p video) and 5MP still and HD Video camera.

iPad Mini 2 (Launched October 2013)
---------------------------------------------------
* Incredible screen improvement at double the pixels per inch (ppi). Faster processor and quad core graphics. Stunning!
* Improved A7 processor and motion co-processor with double the memory. Much faster than the previous device
* Retina display (2048×1536) is just amazing. Absolutely pin sharp screen at 326ppi it’s even better than the iPad Air at 264ppi
* Storage options include 16, 32, 64 and 128g. Weight 330g. 7mm thin.

iPad Mini 3 (Launched October 2014)
--------------------------------------------------
* Almost no improvement. Same processor, screen and camera. Only the Touch ID fingerprint sensor added.
* Nothing more to say here, and certainly not worth the upgrade from iPad Mini 2. Available in silver, grey and gold.

I’d even go as far as to say the iPad Mini 2 is much better value for money.

The “full size” iPad range:-

iPad (1st Generation - Launched April 2010)
------------------------------------------------------------
* 1Ghz A4 processor with 256Mb memory and storage at 16 to 64Gb. Weighs 680g. 13.4mm thin.
* 1024×768 screen, but no front or rear facing camera.
* The “Classic” iPad. Now a collectors piece - but still great to surf the web

iPad 2 (2nd Generation - Launched March 2011)
----------------------------------------------------------------
* Faster, lighter and 33% thinner than the first generation. A huge leap in performance and size.
* Upgraded dual core (2 processor) A5 CPU and 512Mb memory - a faster device. Weighs 601g. Just 9mm thin.
* Now includes a front and rear facing camera.
* Great device, but you’ll see a massive difference if you upgrade

iPad 3 (3rd Generation - Launched March 2012)
----------------------------------------------------------------
* A significant upgrade. Faster with the incredible “retina” (2048×1536) sharp screen.
* Uprated A5X CPU and quad core graphics and 1Gb memory - faster again. Weighs 650g. Still 9mm thin
* Huge screen improvement to 2048×1536 pixels at 264 ppi. Incredibly sharp and clear
* Upgraded cameras. 1080P (front) and 5MP (rear facing)
* The last iPad to use the wide (30 Pin) connector. My wife still uses hers daily for web surfing (Oct 2014)

iPad 4 (4th Generation - Launched October 2012 - just 7 months later)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Quite a small upgrade from the previous generation. Again you’d see a huge difference upgrading to the latest device
* Guess what? Upgraded dual core A6X processor. A faster device, with the launch date moved to catch the Christmas buying period. Weighs 650g. 9mm thin.
* Upgraded front facing camera (1.2MP still and 720P video)
* First iPad to use the smaller narrow (Lightning) connector.

iPad Air (Launched Oct 2013)
---------------------------------------
* Amazing upgrade. Twice as fast, nearly 17% thinner and shedding almost a 1/3 of the weight of the predecessor. It’s an incredible device.
* Blisteringly fast 64 bit A7 processor with faster memory, and a motion co-processor. Weighs 469g. (28% Lighter) and now only 7.5 mm thin.
* New iPads now come with a free licence for Pages, Numbers, Keynote (Apple’s version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint). Plus Garage Band, iPhoto and iMovie.

iPad Air 2 (aka iPad 6 - Launched October 2014)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
* Another incredible upgrade. Now 1/3rd lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 launched just 2 years ago.
* A8X Processor (faster variation on the A8 fitted to the iPhone 6) with M8 motion co-processor. Weighs 437g and only 6.1mm (18% thinner).
* Touch ID fingerprint sensor (the first iPad Air to have this). Means you can effectively avoid using passwords
* Improved screen now includes an “antireflective” coating.
* Improved 8MP rear facing camera (3264×2448) with 10 frames per second “burst” mode and slow motion. Front facing camera has improved f/2.2 aperture.
* Lock/silent switch has been removed (to save space), but you can mute your iPad by swiping up the “Control Centre”
* Battery is slightly smaller (7,340mAh) compared to the previous model, but the same 10 hour battery life
* WIFI now supports new “ac” standard and is dual channel 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Also built in barometer.
* Storage options are now Small, Medium and Large. 16g, 64g or 128g.
* Available in Space Grey, Silver/White and Gold.

Accessories - What else will I need ?
===========================
All you “need” is a WIFI connection - you don’t even need a computer. However, there’s a number of additional accessories/devices you could buy with your iPad, and it's worth doing a search on Amazon. These include:-

* An iPad cover or case - to prevent it getting scratched (definately worth buying). You can even get “Child Proof” cases - a must have for parents with toddlers.
* A wireless bluetooth speaker - to listen to music. A MUST HAVE for anyone who loves music. Sound quality incredible, and will also work with your smartphone or laptop.
* A "power bank" - as an emergency battery back-up. Also great for your smartphone - never run out of battery again.
* A separate keyboard - to turn your iPad into a virtual laptop. (I use mine every day on the train instead of a bulky laptop).
* An Apple TV, Google Chrome or Amazon Fire TV. Means you can stream photos/video from your iPad to your TV.

Most people (me included) buy a cover (or case) to avoid scratches and bumps.
Effectively you have two options:-

* Attached to the iPad by magnets, the “cover” protects only the screen from dirt or scratches
* A “case” encloses the entire device protecting back and screen. You can also buy “child proof” cases.

Both types automatically shut down the iPad when you close the lid (a lovely touch). You can pay £35-£65 for an admittedly top quality cover from Apple, alternatively buy one on Amazon for about £10-£30. The highest rated covers (by customer rating) seem to be produced by “Swees”, “Mofred” and “EasyAcc”. Just be careful to buy one that fits your device. You’ll find your existing “cover” (screen only) will fit almost any iPad (2nd generation to Air 2), but you’ll need to be careful to buy the correct “case” as the iPad Air and Air 2 are each thinner than previous models.

A "Bluetooth Speaker" is a fantastic way to listen to music or the radio streamed from your iPad or Smartphone, and sound quality is astonishingly good.
The best devices I've tested and reviewed at every price point are:-

* £25 - Lepow Modre - Really cute design, bright colours and impressive sound for the money.
* £40 - ADX Fusion - Stylish aluminium design and excellent sound quality. Great value for the money from a small UK based company
* £60 - Audio Dynamix Atom V2 - Solid build in a beautiful brushed aluminium design with an impressive sound stage. Incredible value.
* £90 - Audio Dynamix Pulse V2 - Quirky design, but packs a punch way above its weight. Incredible sound quality, amazing value.
* £129 - Soundblaster Roar - Fantastic design with tons of features and a great sound
* £160 - Bose Soundlink Mini - Beautifully stylish with a warm and full room filling sound
* £250 - Bose Soundlink V3 - Simple but stylish design with an incredible sound stage
* £400 - Bowers & Wilkins A5 - Mercedes top end HI FI in a bluetooth speaker
* £700 - Bowers & Wilkins A7 - Mercedes S Class. Absolute top end HI FI quality at a price to match

All of these are available on Amazon. Just “mouse over” the stars for these speakers. You’ll find in each case 90% of customers rated them at FIVE STARS. An incredible achievement. These really are the best speakers in their class as of October 2014.

You can also buy a separate keyboard which turns your full size iPad into a virtual laptop computer.
Again there's lots of options - the best I've tried, tested and reviewed are:-

* Zagg - a top quality "full” keyboard. Some models even have “back-lit” keys - great for sitting in bed late at night
* Logitec Ultrathin - a top quality "half depth” keyboard, but a pleasure to use
* Hoo Too - a budget version of the "Logitec Ultrathin”. Great functional keyboard

Again, take care to buy the keyboard which fits your particular iPad model.

Many people buy a "Power Bank" - effectively an external battery to charge your iPad or smartphone. Great for emergency power, there's hundreds available, with the better designed models from a company called "Lepow". Just search Amazon, and read the reviews.

How about Apps?
=============
Firstly, an App, is a small "application" (a program) that runs on your iPad, and there's literally thousands available from the "App Store", with the most important ones (web browser, mail, music player, word processor, spreadsheet etc) are pre-installed or free to download.
Many apps cost 69p, and loads are free (frequently advertising funded with the option to "add on" stuff - but beware you can run up a huge bill).

Here's my favourites:-

* Mailbox. Incredibly slick mail app (or use the built in Apple App) (Free)
* Photo & iPhoto. Built in apps to take/view/edit photos (Free)
* Skype or Apple Face Time. Chat to the family for free using a video call (Free)
* BBC iPlayer. Great way to catch up on BBC TV. Also ITV and Channel 4 and 5 have players. (Free).
* TVCatchup. Watch real time TV (the Freeview stations anyway). (Free)
* Netflix. For £6 a month watch a huge collection of films online. (Free)
* Evernote. Write and organise notes. Edit them on your Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac (Free)
* DropBox. Access your files, documents and photos on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. (Free)
* Tune In Radio. Listen to 1,000s of radio stations world-wide - or listen to Radio 4 like I do (£2.40)
* Spotify. Stream music for £5 a month (or free with ads). Brilliant! (Free)
* eBay. Buy and sell your stuff online. (Free)
* Garage Sale. Fantastic way to produce professional looking sales on eBay. (£2.99)
* Rightmove. Search for your next Flat or House or just gape at daft prices (Free)
* Zite. Online web magazine that learns what you like. Terrific! (Free)
* Movies by Flixter. Read reviews of films on cinema and DVD. (Free)
* Kindle. Read your books from Amazon Kindle bookstore. (Free)
* QuickOffice. Edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)
* Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Apple's version of MS Office. Edit/save documents in Word, Excel andPowerpoint format. (Free)
* MS Office. £80 a year subscription for 5 PCs, Macs or an iPad or "read only" for free. (Free)

Of course you could also use it to read web pages (my wife is addicted to the Daily Mail Online), or playing amazing games like “Real Racing” (Free) or "Cut the Rope" (69p). It's a wonderful surprise having come from a PC background to find the most expensive game in the top 100 cost £6.99 and most cost £2.99 or less.

Personally, I tend to use it for Mail, watching TV (BBC iPlayer, Netflix or Amazon Instant), or shopping using the built in browser - Safari. Having said that, I'm writing this review (using an external keyboard) on the free Apple word processing App, Pages - so it can (with a stretch) do "most" of what you can do on a PC or Mac.

Overall Opinion
============

It's hard to believe the first iPad was first launched in 2010, and there's a huge raft of cheaper tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad (or mini) are still the ones to beat. As "Expert Reviews" Magazine said: "Now at a new lower price, the iPad Mini 2 is the best value iPad in the entire range”.

Personally, I think, if you’re in the market for a tablet computer, the very best options are:-

* Small Size: iPad Mini 2. Same blisteringly fast processor and incredible screen as the iPad Air, but with even more pixels per inch. Perhaps the iPad Mini 3 if you’re feeling really flushed or need the fingerprint reader.
* Full Size: iPad Air or iPad Air 2. At more than twice the speed and over 30% thinner and lighter than the iPad 4 (released just two years before), both these devices are incredible. Now it’s just a matter of how much you want to spend.

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of these tablets just set them apart. If they were a car they’d be a top of the range Mercedes, BMW or Porsche.

I do hope this review was useful.


Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular - tablet - 32 GB - 9.7" - 3G, 4G
Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular - tablet - 32 GB - 9.7" - 3G, 4G
Offered by PreisCompany
Price: £614.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly light, fast and beautiful. Is it the best tablet for you?, 22 Nov 2014
While this is NOT the absolute latest iPad Air available, (an upgraded “iPad Air 2” was announced in October 2014), it’s still one of the slimmest and lightest “tablet computers” available, and a fantastic bargain. It's so beautifully easy to use (my one year old granddaughter loves playing with it), it's almost doesn't feel like a computer at all.

A word of warning - this review is written for people who've never owned an iPad before - and are wondering what all the fuss is about.

If however you want to compare models (including the very latest one), search again for “iPad”.

Just what's all the fuss about?
--------------------------------------
I used to own a laptop for work, and (very occasionally), it'd sit on my lap on the sofa, and I'd use it for pleasure (eMail, watching films or playing the odd game). Then I bought my first iPad, and the laptop became redundant, a boring "work device". Hard to explain, but the fact the iPad is so small and light, and you navigate around with your finger by pointing and gently swiping the screen makes the whole experience a lot easier - a lot more fun.

Even my most “technophobe" of friends have been won over.

It's incredibly simple and easy to use (it only has one main button), and everyone from my one year old granddaughter to my 85 year old dad have taken to without problems. It's size and shape also support using it like a book (literally to read a book or web page), but you can also watch TV and films.

Personally I'm also paranoid about my password getting "hacked", and someone running up a huge Amazon bill or buying stuff with my credit card on eBay. Well one of the benefits of the iPad (and iPhone) is it's "almost impossible" to get a virus - one of the most common ways to get hacked. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use strong passwords, (both Sony and Adobe got hacked), but it's reassuring to leave the Windows world behind.

Finally, I love the way these devices (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Mac), increasingly work together. The fact you can start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it on your iPad, or take photos on the iPhone, and in seconds see them on the iPad or Mac and display them on the Apple TV.

Equally, you don't "need" to buy into the Apple dream. I also run a Google Nexus 5 (Android) phone, and a PC. Lots of programs (see below) can be used on the iPhone, iPad, Android and PC.

The thing about the iPad is, "it just works”.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
==========================
Q: Is this covered by Warranty ?
A: Yes. Full 12 month Apple warranty, and 90 days free technical support. You can also extend the warranty with "AppleCare+" for £79 a year provided to take out the cover within 60 days of buying your iPad. This includes accidental damage insurance (up to two incidents per year subject to a £39 excess).

Q: Why are these cheaper on Amazon than at the Apple store? What's the catch?
A: No catch. You can buy in person from the Apple store (including free engraving), or from John Lewis, and get a free 2 year John Lewis warranty. Alternatively buy from Amazon with a 30 day NO QUESTIONS ASKED return policy. If you find this item is NOT as described, (eg. does not have a UK plug), return it immediately, report the issue to Amazon, and write a critical review.

Q: Is this a UK or USA model of the iPad?
A: UK model. It is illegal to sell an electrical device in the UK without a UK plug or a foreign plug and adapter. If it doesn't have a UK plug you're entitled to a refund. Otherwise there's absolutely no difference.

Q: Should I buy the Cellular option?
A: You almost certainly don't “need” to - as ever it always depends. Many iPads never leave home, and even when they do you can store your videos/music on the device or connect to a coffee bar hotspot to get online. If you have a smartphone (eg. Android or iPhone) you can set up a "personal hot spot" or "tethering" and use your data plan on your phone. This effectively allows you to connect a WIFI only iPad to the internet via your mobile phone while you’re out and about. On an Android phone go to Setup --> Tethering & portable hotspot. On on iPhone go to Settings --> Personal Hotspot, and set up a personal WIFI network from your phone. Try it now, but be aware it may be an optional extra dependent upon your mobile phone plan.

Q: Is this the latest iPad?
A: No. It was replaced by a newer version, the "iPad Air 2” in October 2015 - do a search on Amazon and compare prices and reviews.

Q: How much storage aka "disk space" do I need?
A: It depends. If intend to buy lots of Apps or store lots of videos and photos then go for the 32Gb, 64Gb or even the massive 128Gb. If it’s your first iPad, and you'll mainly be using it for accessing web pages and reading the odd book, then 16Gb will be fine. Be aware, you cannot increase the storage - you can't add an SD card.

Q: Is it easy to set up?
A: Yes - very easy. Be sure to be near a WIFI connection, and the iPad will carefully take you through the steps needed to set it up. No, there’s very little in the way of an instruction manual - which is a testament to the simplicity of this device. It’s so easy to use most people find they don’t need one. However, there are lots of books available on Amazon. Just search for “iPad” under books if you’re concerned.

Q: Does it have a USB connection?
A: No. This means you can’t connect just any old device, but also means you can’t accidentally get a virus. To help support this, all Apps (programs) are available “over the air” (downloaded from the Apple App Store) and vetted by Apple. You can buy a cable which means you can plug in an SD Card to download photos. Search Amazon for "lightning to sd card reader” to find these. Apple provide a free back-up service for upto 5Gb of data (or 20Gb for 79p per month). Just plug in your iPad to re-charge, and it will automatically be backed up to the Apple servers (the “cloud”).

Q: Do I need a computer?
A: No. All you really need is a WIFI connection. Whether an iPad could replace your laptop is another question. You can type (and print) letters, read eMails, view web pages, view photos or watch videos and listen to music on an iPad. You can even attach an external keyboard and type entire documents (this review was partly written on an iPad Air on a train). You can run MS Office or use the free Apple versions (Pages and Numbers). Personally, I find I use my iPad 90% of the time, only using a laptop to connect to the office. Whether you can get by with only an iPad is your decision based upon your needs.

Q: Does it run Microsoft Office?
A: Yes. And guess what? It’s now absolutely FREE on the iPad. Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You now only need pay for the PC/Mac version.

Q: Can I print from the iPad?
A: Yes. Provided your running a relatively modern printer with a WIFI connection you can.

Q: Can I read books, watch films and listen to music on an iPad?
A: Yes. That’s what I use it for most of the time. Kindle or Apple books work beautifully. You can rent/buy films from Apple, Amazon and lots of others. You can watch catch up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV and Channel 4). You can load your music (MP3 files) on an existing computer to iTunes
and sync them with the iPad or stream unlimited music from music sites including Spotify. Finally, you can stream video to your TV using a set-top box from Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire) or Google (Chromecast)

Q: Do you work for Apple or Amazon?
A: A fair question that nobody has yet been brave enough to ask. No. Neither. I love the iPad, and I'm a great fan of Amazon’s customer service. Fantastic technology and great service at a terrific price. What's not to get excited about? ;-)

How about Apps?
--------------------------
Firstly, an App, is a small "application" (a program) that runs on your iPad, and there's literally thousands available from the "App Store", with the most important ones (web browser, mail, music player, word processor, spreadsheet etc) are pre-installed or free to download.

Many apps cost $1 - or 69p in real money, and loads are free (frequently advertising funded with the option to "add on" stuff - but beware you can run up a huge bill).

Here's my favourites:-

* Mailbox. Incredibly slick mail app (or use the built in Apple App) (Free)
* Photo & iPhoto. Built in apps to take/view/edit photos (Free)
* Skype. Chat to the family for free using a video call (Free)
* BBC iPlayer. Great way to catch up on BBC TV. (Free).
* tv24.co.uk. TV Listings. See what you're missing on TV (Free)
* TVCatchup. Watch real time TV (the Freeview stations anyway). (Free)
* Netflix. For £5 a month watch a huge collection of films online. (Free)
* Evernote. Write and organise notes. Edit them on your Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac (Free)
* DropBox. Access your files, documents and photos on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. (Free)
* Tune In Radio. Listen to 1,000s of radio stations world-wide - or listen to Radio 4 like I do (£2.40)
* Spotify. Stream music for £5 a month (or free with ads). Brilliant! (Free)
* eBay. Buy and sell your stuff online. (Free)
* Garage Sale. Fantastic way to produce professional looking sales on eBay. (£2.99)
* Rightmove. Search for your next Flat or House or just gape at daft prices (Free)
* Zite. Online web magazine that learns what you like. Terrific! (Free)
* Movies by Flixter. Read reviews of films on cinema and DVD. (Free)
* Kindle. Read your books from Amazon Kindle bookstore. (Free)
* QuickOffice. Edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)
* Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Apple's version of MS Office. Edit/save documents in Word, Excel andPowerpoint format. (Free)
* MS Office. £80 a year subscription for 3-4 PCs, Macs or an iPad or "read only" for free. (Free)

Of course you could also use it to read web pages (my wife loves the Daily Mail Online), or playing amazing games like "Football Manager" (£2.99) or "Cut the Rope" (69p). It's a wonderful surprise having come from a PC background to find the most expensive game in the top 100 cost £6.99 and most cost £2.99 or less.

Personally, I tend to use it for Mail, watching TV (BBC iPlayer, Netflix), or shopping using the built in browser - Safari. Having said that, I'm writing this review (using an external keyboard) on Pages - so it can (with a stretch) do "most" of what you can do on a PC or Mac.

Which model should I buy?
----------------------------------
I can't comment about Android tablets (apart from the Google Nexus 7 which is well regarded), but in terms of the Apple tablet line-up in order of cost:-

1. Avoid the Apple iPad 2, it's a relatively old model, under-powered and with a lower resolution screen.
2. iPad 3rd or 4th Generation. Not quite as light, fast or thin, but if you're on a budget (and who isn't), a great alternative.
2. iPad mini is a lovely tablet. A 7.9 inch screen and astonishingly light and remarkably thin - it feels like a light-weight book.
3. iPad mini with retina screen. Again 7.9 inch screen, but with the blazingly fast A7 chip, and a "retina" (high definition) screen. Worth the upgrade from the "mini".
4. iPad Air. Much larger screen size (9.7 inches - doesn't sound much but it makes a huge difference). Same fast (A7) chip as the Mini with Retina - the latest and fastest full size iPad available.

If you want a small tablet (eg. to read one handed on the train), I'd go for the iPad Mini Retina or (at a push), the original mini.

In terms of a full size tablet, the Air is the fastest, lightest and thinnest, followed by the 3rd or 4th Generation iPad - and all are available on Amazon. It depends upon your budget.

What are the Optional add-ons?
————————————————————
Well, firstly I’d recommend you drop by the Apple Store, John Lewis or Curry’s, and handle the iPad Mini, and iPad Air. Once you’ve decided upon the “physical size” then your options are around memory size and cellular option.

Memory: Important! Once bought, you can't add memory (space for apps, films, books, photos etc). Only you can decide, and if you think you’ll need the space, then buy the bigger model. If it’s your first iPad and you’re unlikely to store lots of photos or videos, then 16g will be fine.

Cellular: Allows you to connect to the internet while you're out and about. This will add an additional £100 to the price and means you can slip in a mobile phone SIM card. This means (£7-15 a month on contract), you can access the internet on the move. Alternatively, you can opt for the WIFI option, and use it at home or at at "hot spot" (eg. Starbucks, most rail stations and hotels etc).

Note: If you have a "smartphone" (Android, iPhone or whatever), you may have the option of "tethering" your WIFI iPad to your smartphone. Effectively, this means using your smartphone's data connection to connect to the internet, and broadcast a local WIFI signal. You connect your iPad to this (password protected) signal, and then use your WIFI based iPad to connect when you're out and about.

Sounds difficult, but even tying your shoe-laces was difficult first time. If you need advice, drop by the Apple store or search You Tube and I'm sure you'll find some help.

Be aware, you may need to pay extra for tethering (eg. Three charge £5 a month extra), but a great option to avoid the additional cost of the "Cellular" option if you've aready got a smartphone.

Personally I'd buy (and indeed did), the 16Gb iPad Air WIFI, but these are key decisions.

Do I need anything else?
-------------------------------
Most people (me included) buy a cover. Apple (and now hundreds of others) make a "smart-cover" which automatically shuts down the iPad when you close it, and switches it on when you open it. There's versions which cover the back, or just the screen. Apple charge from £35 to £65 for their (admittedly) high quality fabric or leather covers, but there's many available from £10. Be aware, you do get what you pay for, but "Swees Ultraslim" (about £10), has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Personally,I think it's a pity to cover the beautiful aluminium industrial design of the iPad with a cover - but if you've spent literally hundreds of pounds, you'll want to protect it from scrapes and bangs.

I also invested in a keyboard (£25-80), as I tend to write a lot of mails and documents (remember it comes with a word processor). I'd recommend the Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Grey. Be aware, a keyboard is strictly optional unless you want to use your iPad as a proper laptop.

You can also buy a rechargeable wireless bluetooth speaker. It's a fantastic way to boost the sound quality and volume from an tablet, phone or PC. I'd recommend the JBL Flip (from £49), the Bose Soundlink Mini (£169) or the top end Bose Soundlink III (£259). Personally, I listen to music (Spotify or iTunes) or the radio on my wireless speakers every day. It's just brilliant.

Finally, if you have another Apple device (eg. an iPhone, Apple TV or Mac) you'll find these work together beautifully. For example, you can create a reminder on your iPad and it appears on your iPhone. Equally, photos taken on your iPhone appear on your iPad, and you can send music or videos from iPad, iPhone or Mac to an Apple TV.

Some people think this "locks you in" - but it's your choice.

What's great about the iPad Air?
-------------------------------------------
* Lighter (30%) and thinner than the previous version (469g from 650g)
* Even faster A7 chip. Blazingly fast!
* Improved sound (compared to the iPad 4)
* Software including
+ iMovie - edit and publish home made movies
+ Numbers - Fully functional Excel for the iPad
+ Pages - Word processor
+ GarageBand - Play a piano or a drum kit
+ iPhoto - Edit and organise your photos

What's not so great?
--------------------------
* The change in physical size means you'll need a new keyboard or replacement cover if you're upgrading from a previous model
* Pity Apple didn't include the "touch ID" to secure your passwords - but I’m pleased to say they did starting with the “iPad Air 2” and the new iPad Mini

Overall Opinion
---------------------
It's hard to believe the iPad version 1 was released in January 2010, and there's a huge raft of "me too" tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad Air is still the one to beat. As "Which?" magazine put it - "...the best tablet we've ever tested. Apple packs a beautiful screen and lightning fast processor into a slimmer-than-ever shell, and battery life is very impressive".

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it'd be a top of the range Mercedes or a BMW 5i.

Highly Recommended. Buy it.


Apple iPad Air Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB - MD794B/A - Apple
Apple iPad Air Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB - MD794B/A - Apple
Offered by Gizmofones
Price: £560.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly fast, thin and light, I love the iPad, 22 Nov 2014
While this is NOT the absolute latest iPad Air available, (an upgraded “iPad Air 2” was announced in October 2014), it’s still one of the slimmest and lightest “tablet computers” available, and a fantastic bargain. It's so beautifully easy to use (my one year old granddaughter loves playing with it), it's almost doesn't feel like a computer at all.

A word of warning - this review is written for people who've never owned an iPad before - and are wondering what all the fuss is about.

If however you want to compare models (including the very latest one), search again for “iPad”.

Just what's all the fuss about?
--------------------------------------
I used to own a laptop for work, and (very occasionally), it'd sit on my lap on the sofa, and I'd use it for pleasure (eMail, watching films or playing the odd game). Then I bought my first iPad, and the laptop became redundant, a boring "work device". Hard to explain, but the fact the iPad is so small and light, and you navigate around with your finger by pointing and gently swiping the screen makes the whole experience a lot easier - a lot more fun.

Even my most “technophobe" of friends have been won over.

It's incredibly simple and easy to use (it only has one main button), and everyone from my one year old granddaughter to my 85 year old dad have taken to without problems. It's size and shape also support using it like a book (literally to read a book or web page), but you can also watch TV and films.

Personally I'm also paranoid about my password getting "hacked", and someone running up a huge Amazon bill or buying stuff with my credit card on eBay. Well one of the benefits of the iPad (and iPhone) is it's "almost impossible" to get a virus - one of the most common ways to get hacked. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use strong passwords, (both Sony and Adobe got hacked), but it's reassuring to leave the Windows world behind.

Finally, I love the way these devices (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Mac), increasingly work together. The fact you can start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it on your iPad, or take photos on the iPhone, and in seconds see them on the iPad or Mac and display them on the Apple TV.

Equally, you don't "need" to buy into the Apple dream. I also run a Google Nexus 5 (Android) phone, and a PC. Lots of programs (see below) can be used on the iPhone, iPad, Android and PC.

The thing about the iPad is, "it just works”.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
==========================
Q: Is this covered by Warranty ?
A: Yes. Full 12 month Apple warranty, and 90 days free technical support. You can also extend the warranty with "AppleCare+" for £79 a year provided to take out the cover within 60 days of buying your iPad. This includes accidental damage insurance (up to two incidents per year subject to a £39 excess).

Q: Why are these cheaper on Amazon than at the Apple store? What's the catch?
A: No catch. You can buy in person from the Apple store (including free engraving), or from John Lewis, and get a free 2 year John Lewis warranty. Alternatively buy from Amazon with a 30 day NO QUESTIONS ASKED return policy. If you find this item is NOT as described, (eg. does not have a UK plug), return it immediately, report the issue to Amazon, and write a critical review.

Q: Is this a UK or USA model of the iPad?
A: UK model. It is illegal to sell an electrical device in the UK without a UK plug or a foreign plug and adapter. If it doesn't have a UK plug you're entitled to a refund. Otherwise there's absolutely no difference.

Q: Should I buy the Cellular option?
A: You almost certainly don't “need” to - as ever it always depends. Many iPads never leave home, and even when they do you can store your videos/music on the device or connect to a coffee bar hotspot to get online. If you have a smartphone (eg. Android or iPhone) you can set up a "personal hot spot" or "tethering" and use your data plan on your phone. This effectively allows you to connect a WIFI only iPad to the internet via your mobile phone while you’re out and about. On an Android phone go to Setup --> Tethering & portable hotspot. On on iPhone go to Settings --> Personal Hotspot, and set up a personal WIFI network from your phone. Try it now, but be aware it may be an optional extra dependent upon your mobile phone plan.

Q: Is this the latest iPad?
A: No. It was replaced by a newer version, the "iPad Air 2” in October 2015 - do a search on Amazon and compare prices and reviews.

Q: How much storage aka "disk space" do I need?
A: It depends. If intend to buy lots of Apps or store lots of videos and photos then go for the 32Gb, 64Gb or even the massive 128Gb. If it’s your first iPad, and you'll mainly be using it for accessing web pages and reading the odd book, then 16Gb will be fine. Be aware, you cannot increase the storage - you can't add an SD card.

Q: Is it easy to set up?
A: Yes - very easy. Be sure to be near a WIFI connection, and the iPad will carefully take you through the steps needed to set it up. No, there’s very little in the way of an instruction manual - which is a testament to the simplicity of this device. It’s so easy to use most people find they don’t need one. However, there are lots of books available on Amazon. Just search for “iPad” under books if you’re concerned.

Q: Does it have a USB connection?
A: No. This means you can’t connect just any old device, but also means you can’t accidentally get a virus. To help support this, all Apps (programs) are available “over the air” (downloaded from the Apple App Store) and vetted by Apple. You can buy a cable which means you can plug in an SD Card to download photos. Search Amazon for "lightning to sd card reader” to find these. Apple provide a free back-up service for upto 5Gb of data (or 20Gb for 79p per month). Just plug in your iPad to re-charge, and it will automatically be backed up to the Apple servers (the “cloud”).

Q: Do I need a computer?
A: No. All you really need is a WIFI connection. Whether an iPad could replace your laptop is another question. You can type (and print) letters, read eMails, view web pages, view photos or watch videos and listen to music on an iPad. You can even attach an external keyboard and type entire documents (this review was partly written on an iPad Air on a train). You can run MS Office or use the free Apple versions (Pages and Numbers). Personally, I find I use my iPad 90% of the time, only using a laptop to connect to the office. Whether you can get by with only an iPad is your decision based upon your needs.

Q: Does it run Microsoft Office?
A: Yes. And guess what? It’s now absolutely FREE on the iPad. Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You now only need pay for the PC/Mac version.

Q: Can I print from the iPad?
A: Yes. Provided your running a relatively modern printer with a WIFI connection you can.

Q: Can I read books, watch films and listen to music on an iPad?
A: Yes. That’s what I use it for most of the time. Kindle or Apple books work beautifully. You can rent/buy films from Apple, Amazon and lots of others. You can watch catch up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV and Channel 4). You can load your music (MP3 files) on an existing computer to iTunes
and sync them with the iPad or stream unlimited music from music sites including Spotify. Finally, you can stream video to your TV using a set-top box from Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire) or Google (Chromecast)

Q: Do you work for Apple or Amazon?
A: A fair question that nobody has yet been brave enough to ask. No. Neither. I love the iPad, and I'm a great fan of Amazon’s customer service. Fantastic technology and great service at a terrific price. What's not to get excited about? ;-)

How about Apps?
--------------------------
Firstly, an App, is a small "application" (a program) that runs on your iPad, and there's literally thousands available from the "App Store", with the most important ones (web browser, mail, music player, word processor, spreadsheet etc) are pre-installed or free to download.

Many apps cost $1 - or 69p in real money, and loads are free (frequently advertising funded with the option to "add on" stuff - but beware you can run up a huge bill).

Here's my favourites:-

* Mailbox. Incredibly slick mail app (or use the built in Apple App) (Free)
* Photo & iPhoto. Built in apps to take/view/edit photos (Free)
* Skype. Chat to the family for free using a video call (Free)
* BBC iPlayer. Great way to catch up on BBC TV. (Free).
* tv24.co.uk. TV Listings. See what you're missing on TV (Free)
* TVCatchup. Watch real time TV (the Freeview stations anyway). (Free)
* Netflix. For £5 a month watch a huge collection of films online. (Free)
* Evernote. Write and organise notes. Edit them on your Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac (Free)
* DropBox. Access your files, documents and photos on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. (Free)
* Tune In Radio. Listen to 1,000s of radio stations world-wide - or listen to Radio 4 like I do (£2.40)
* Spotify. Stream music for £5 a month (or free with ads). Brilliant! (Free)
* eBay. Buy and sell your stuff online. (Free)
* Garage Sale. Fantastic way to produce professional looking sales on eBay. (£2.99)
* Rightmove. Search for your next Flat or House or just gape at daft prices (Free)
* Zite. Online web magazine that learns what you like. Terrific! (Free)
* Movies by Flixter. Read reviews of films on cinema and DVD. (Free)
* Kindle. Read your books from Amazon Kindle bookstore. (Free)
* QuickOffice. Edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)
* Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Apple's version of MS Office. Edit/save documents in Word, Excel andPowerpoint format. (Free)
* MS Office. £80 a year subscription for 3-4 PCs, Macs or an iPad or "read only" for free. (Free)

Of course you could also use it to read web pages (my wife loves the Daily Mail Online), or playing amazing games like "Football Manager" (£2.99) or "Cut the Rope" (69p). It's a wonderful surprise having come from a PC background to find the most expensive game in the top 100 cost £6.99 and most cost £2.99 or less.

Personally, I tend to use it for Mail, watching TV (BBC iPlayer, Netflix), or shopping using the built in browser - Safari. Having said that, I'm writing this review (using an external keyboard) on Pages - so it can (with a stretch) do "most" of what you can do on a PC or Mac.

Which model should I buy?
----------------------------------
I can't comment about Android tablets (apart from the Google Nexus 7 which is well regarded), but in terms of the Apple tablet line-up in order of cost:-

1. Avoid the Apple iPad 2, it's a relatively old model, under-powered and with a lower resolution screen.
2. iPad 3rd or 4th Generation. Not quite as light, fast or thin, but if you're on a budget (and who isn't), a great alternative.
2. iPad mini is a lovely tablet. A 7.9 inch screen and astonishingly light and remarkably thin - it feels like a light-weight book.
3. iPad mini with retina screen. Again 7.9 inch screen, but with the blazingly fast A7 chip, and a "retina" (high definition) screen. Worth the upgrade from the "mini".
4. iPad Air. Much larger screen size (9.7 inches - doesn't sound much but it makes a huge difference). Same fast (A7) chip as the Mini with Retina - the latest and fastest full size iPad available.

If you want a small tablet (eg. to read one handed on the train), I'd go for the iPad Mini Retina or (at a push), the original mini.

In terms of a full size tablet, the Air is the fastest, lightest and thinnest, followed by the 3rd or 4th Generation iPad - and all are available on Amazon. It depends upon your budget.

What are the Optional add-ons?
————————————————————
Well, firstly I’d recommend you drop by the Apple Store, John Lewis or Curry’s, and handle the iPad Mini, and iPad Air. Once you’ve decided upon the “physical size” then your options are around memory size and cellular option.

Memory: Important! Once bought, you can't add memory (space for apps, films, books, photos etc). Only you can decide, and if you think you’ll need the space, then buy the bigger model. If it’s your first iPad and you’re unlikely to store lots of photos or videos, then 16g will be fine.

Cellular: Allows you to connect to the internet while you're out and about. This will add an additional £100 to the price and means you can slip in a mobile phone SIM card. This means (£7-15 a month on contract), you can access the internet on the move. Alternatively, you can opt for the WIFI option, and use it at home or at at "hot spot" (eg. Starbucks, most rail stations and hotels etc).

Note: If you have a "smartphone" (Android, iPhone or whatever), you may have the option of "tethering" your WIFI iPad to your smartphone. Effectively, this means using your smartphone's data connection to connect to the internet, and broadcast a local WIFI signal. You connect your iPad to this (password protected) signal, and then use your WIFI based iPad to connect when you're out and about.

Sounds difficult, but even tying your shoe-laces was difficult first time. If you need advice, drop by the Apple store or search You Tube and I'm sure you'll find some help.

Be aware, you may need to pay extra for tethering (eg. Three charge £5 a month extra), but a great option to avoid the additional cost of the "Cellular" option if you've aready got a smartphone.

Personally I'd buy (and indeed did), the 16Gb iPad Air WIFI, but these are key decisions.

Do I need anything else?
-------------------------------
Most people (me included) buy a cover. Apple (and now hundreds of others) make a "smart-cover" which automatically shuts down the iPad when you close it, and switches it on when you open it. There's versions which cover the back, or just the screen. Apple charge from £35 to £65 for their (admittedly) high quality fabric or leather covers, but there's many available from £10. Be aware, you do get what you pay for, but "Swees Ultraslim" (about £10), has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Personally,I think it's a pity to cover the beautiful aluminium industrial design of the iPad with a cover - but if you've spent literally hundreds of pounds, you'll want to protect it from scrapes and bangs.

I also invested in a keyboard (£25-80), as I tend to write a lot of mails and documents (remember it comes with a word processor). I'd recommend the Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Grey. Be aware, a keyboard is strictly optional unless you want to use your iPad as a proper laptop.

You can also buy a rechargeable wireless bluetooth speaker. It's a fantastic way to boost the sound quality and volume from an tablet, phone or PC. I'd recommend the JBL Flip (from £49), the Bose Soundlink Mini (£169) or the top end Bose Soundlink III (£259). Personally, I listen to music (Spotify or iTunes) or the radio on my wireless speakers every day. It's just brilliant.

Finally, if you have another Apple device (eg. an iPhone, Apple TV or Mac) you'll find these work together beautifully. For example, you can create a reminder on your iPad and it appears on your iPhone. Equally, photos taken on your iPhone appear on your iPad, and you can send music or videos from iPad, iPhone or Mac to an Apple TV.

Some people think this "locks you in" - but it's your choice.

What's great about the iPad Air?
-------------------------------------------
* Lighter (30%) and thinner than the previous version (469g from 650g)
* Even faster A7 chip. Blazingly fast!
* Improved sound (compared to the iPad 4)
* Software including
+ iMovie - edit and publish home made movies
+ Numbers - Fully functional Excel for the iPad
+ Pages - Word processor
+ GarageBand - Play a piano or a drum kit
+ iPhoto - Edit and organise your photos

What's not so great?
--------------------------
* The change in physical size means you'll need a new keyboard or replacement cover if you're upgrading from a previous model
* Pity Apple didn't include the "touch ID" to secure your passwords - but I’m pleased to say they did starting with the “iPad Air 2” and the new iPad Mini

Overall Opinion
---------------------
It's hard to believe the iPad version 1 was released in January 2010, and there's a huge raft of "me too" tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad Air is still the one to beat. As "Which?" magazine put it - "...the best tablet we've ever tested. Apple packs a beautiful screen and lightning fast processor into a slimmer-than-ever shell, and battery life is very impressive".

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it'd be a top of the range Mercedes or a BMW 5i.

Highly Recommended. Buy it.


Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular - tablet - 16 GB - 9.7" - 3G, 4G
Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular - tablet - 16 GB - 9.7" - 3G, 4G
Offered by PreisCompany
Price: £554.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly light, fast and beautiful. Is it the best tablet for you?, 22 Nov 2014
While this is NOT the absolute latest iPad Air available, (an upgraded “iPad Air 2” was announced in October 2014), it’s still one of the slimmest and lightest “tablet computers” available, and a fantastic bargain. It's so beautifully easy to use (my one year old granddaughter loves playing with it), it's almost doesn't feel like a computer at all.

A word of warning - this review is written for people who've never owned an iPad before - and are wondering what all the fuss is about.

If however you want to compare models (including the very latest one), search again for “iPad”.

Just what's all the fuss about?
--------------------------------------
I used to own a laptop for work, and (very occasionally), it'd sit on my lap on the sofa, and I'd use it for pleasure (eMail, watching films or playing the odd game). Then I bought my first iPad, and the laptop became redundant, a boring "work device". Hard to explain, but the fact the iPad is so small and light, and you navigate around with your finger by pointing and gently swiping the screen makes the whole experience a lot easier - a lot more fun.

Even my most “technophobe" of friends have been won over.

It's incredibly simple and easy to use (it only has one main button), and everyone from my one year old granddaughter to my 85 year old dad have taken to without problems. It's size and shape also support using it like a book (literally to read a book or web page), but you can also watch TV and films.

Personally I'm also paranoid about my password getting "hacked", and someone running up a huge Amazon bill or buying stuff with my credit card on eBay. Well one of the benefits of the iPad (and iPhone) is it's "almost impossible" to get a virus - one of the most common ways to get hacked. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use strong passwords, (both Sony and Adobe got hacked), but it's reassuring to leave the Windows world behind.

Finally, I love the way these devices (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Mac), increasingly work together. The fact you can start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it on your iPad, or take photos on the iPhone, and in seconds see them on the iPad or Mac and display them on the Apple TV.

Equally, you don't "need" to buy into the Apple dream. I also run a Google Nexus 5 (Android) phone, and a PC. Lots of programs (see below) can be used on the iPhone, iPad, Android and PC.

The thing about the iPad is, "it just works”.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
==========================
Q: Is this covered by Warranty ?
A: Yes. Full 12 month Apple warranty, and 90 days free technical support. You can also extend the warranty with "AppleCare+" for £79 a year provided to take out the cover within 60 days of buying your iPad. This includes accidental damage insurance (up to two incidents per year subject to a £39 excess).

Q: Why are these cheaper on Amazon than at the Apple store? What's the catch?
A: No catch. You can buy in person from the Apple store (including free engraving), or from John Lewis, and get a free 2 year John Lewis warranty. Alternatively buy from Amazon with a 30 day NO QUESTIONS ASKED return policy. If you find this item is NOT as described, (eg. does not have a UK plug), return it immediately, report the issue to Amazon, and write a critical review.

Q: Is this a UK or USA model of the iPad?
A: UK model. It is illegal to sell an electrical device in the UK without a UK plug or a foreign plug and adapter. If it doesn't have a UK plug you're entitled to a refund. Otherwise there's absolutely no difference.

Q: Should I buy the Cellular option?
A: You almost certainly don't “need” to - as ever it always depends. Many iPads never leave home, and even when they do you can store your videos/music on the device or connect to a coffee bar hotspot to get online. If you have a smartphone (eg. Android or iPhone) you can set up a "personal hot spot" or "tethering" and use your data plan on your phone. This effectively allows you to connect a WIFI only iPad to the internet via your mobile phone while you’re out and about. On an Android phone go to Setup --> Tethering & portable hotspot. On on iPhone go to Settings --> Personal Hotspot, and set up a personal WIFI network from your phone. Try it now, but be aware it may be an optional extra dependent upon your mobile phone plan.

Q: Is this the latest iPad?
A: No. It was replaced by a newer version, the "iPad Air 2” in October 2015 - do a search on Amazon and compare prices and reviews.

Q: How much storage aka "disk space" do I need?
A: It depends. If intend to buy lots of Apps or store lots of videos and photos then go for the 32Gb, 64Gb or even the massive 128Gb. If it’s your first iPad, and you'll mainly be using it for accessing web pages and reading the odd book, then 16Gb will be fine. Be aware, you cannot increase the storage - you can't add an SD card.

Q: Is it easy to set up?
A: Yes - very easy. Be sure to be near a WIFI connection, and the iPad will carefully take you through the steps needed to set it up. No, there’s very little in the way of an instruction manual - which is a testament to the simplicity of this device. It’s so easy to use most people find they don’t need one. However, there are lots of books available on Amazon. Just search for “iPad” under books if you’re concerned.

Q: Does it have a USB connection?
A: No. This means you can’t connect just any old device, but also means you can’t accidentally get a virus. To help support this, all Apps (programs) are available “over the air” (downloaded from the Apple App Store) and vetted by Apple. You can buy a cable which means you can plug in an SD Card to download photos. Search Amazon for "lightning to sd card reader” to find these. Apple provide a free back-up service for upto 5Gb of data (or 20Gb for 79p per month). Just plug in your iPad to re-charge, and it will automatically be backed up to the Apple servers (the “cloud”).

Q: Do I need a computer?
A: No. All you really need is a WIFI connection. Whether an iPad could replace your laptop is another question. You can type (and print) letters, read eMails, view web pages, view photos or watch videos and listen to music on an iPad. You can even attach an external keyboard and type entire documents (this review was partly written on an iPad Air on a train). You can run MS Office or use the free Apple versions (Pages and Numbers). Personally, I find I use my iPad 90% of the time, only using a laptop to connect to the office. Whether you can get by with only an iPad is your decision based upon your needs.

Q: Does it run Microsoft Office?
A: Yes. And guess what? It’s now absolutely FREE on the iPad. Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You now only need pay for the PC/Mac version.

Q: Can I print from the iPad?
A: Yes. Provided your running a relatively modern printer with a WIFI connection you can.

Q: Can I read books, watch films and listen to music on an iPad?
A: Yes. That’s what I use it for most of the time. Kindle or Apple books work beautifully. You can rent/buy films from Apple, Amazon and lots of others. You can watch catch up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV and Channel 4). You can load your music (MP3 files) on an existing computer to iTunes
and sync them with the iPad or stream unlimited music from music sites including Spotify. Finally, you can stream video to your TV using a set-top box from Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire) or Google (Chromecast)

Q: Do you work for Apple or Amazon?
A: A fair question that nobody has yet been brave enough to ask. No. Neither. I love the iPad, and I'm a great fan of Amazon’s customer service. Fantastic technology and great service at a terrific price. What's not to get excited about? ;-)

How about Apps?
--------------------------
Firstly, an App, is a small "application" (a program) that runs on your iPad, and there's literally thousands available from the "App Store", with the most important ones (web browser, mail, music player, word processor, spreadsheet etc) are pre-installed or free to download.

Many apps cost $1 - or 69p in real money, and loads are free (frequently advertising funded with the option to "add on" stuff - but beware you can run up a huge bill).

Here's my favourites:-

* Mailbox. Incredibly slick mail app (or use the built in Apple App) (Free)
* Photo & iPhoto. Built in apps to take/view/edit photos (Free)
* Skype. Chat to the family for free using a video call (Free)
* BBC iPlayer. Great way to catch up on BBC TV. (Free).
* tv24.co.uk. TV Listings. See what you're missing on TV (Free)
* TVCatchup. Watch real time TV (the Freeview stations anyway). (Free)
* Netflix. For £5 a month watch a huge collection of films online. (Free)
* Evernote. Write and organise notes. Edit them on your Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac (Free)
* DropBox. Access your files, documents and photos on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. (Free)
* Tune In Radio. Listen to 1,000s of radio stations world-wide - or listen to Radio 4 like I do (£2.40)
* Spotify. Stream music for £5 a month (or free with ads). Brilliant! (Free)
* eBay. Buy and sell your stuff online. (Free)
* Garage Sale. Fantastic way to produce professional looking sales on eBay. (£2.99)
* Rightmove. Search for your next Flat or House or just gape at daft prices (Free)
* Zite. Online web magazine that learns what you like. Terrific! (Free)
* Movies by Flixter. Read reviews of films on cinema and DVD. (Free)
* Kindle. Read your books from Amazon Kindle bookstore. (Free)
* QuickOffice. Edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)
* Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Apple's version of MS Office. Edit/save documents in Word, Excel andPowerpoint format. (Free)
* MS Office. £80 a year subscription for 3-4 PCs, Macs or an iPad or "read only" for free. (Free)

Of course you could also use it to read web pages (my wife loves the Daily Mail Online), or playing amazing games like "Football Manager" (£2.99) or "Cut the Rope" (69p). It's a wonderful surprise having come from a PC background to find the most expensive game in the top 100 cost £6.99 and most cost £2.99 or less.

Personally, I tend to use it for Mail, watching TV (BBC iPlayer, Netflix), or shopping using the built in browser - Safari. Having said that, I'm writing this review (using an external keyboard) on Pages - so it can (with a stretch) do "most" of what you can do on a PC or Mac.

Which model should I buy?
----------------------------------
I can't comment about Android tablets (apart from the Google Nexus 7 which is well regarded), but in terms of the Apple tablet line-up in order of cost:-

1. Avoid the Apple iPad 2, it's a relatively old model, under-powered and with a lower resolution screen.
2. iPad 3rd or 4th Generation. Not quite as light, fast or thin, but if you're on a budget (and who isn't), a great alternative.
2. iPad mini is a lovely tablet. A 7.9 inch screen and astonishingly light and remarkably thin - it feels like a light-weight book.
3. iPad mini with retina screen. Again 7.9 inch screen, but with the blazingly fast A7 chip, and a "retina" (high definition) screen. Worth the upgrade from the "mini".
4. iPad Air. Much larger screen size (9.7 inches - doesn't sound much but it makes a huge difference). Same fast (A7) chip as the Mini with Retina - the latest and fastest full size iPad available.

If you want a small tablet (eg. to read one handed on the train), I'd go for the iPad Mini Retina or (at a push), the original mini.

In terms of a full size tablet, the Air is the fastest, lightest and thinnest, followed by the 3rd or 4th Generation iPad - and all are available on Amazon. It depends upon your budget.

What are the Optional add-ons?
————————————————————
Well, firstly I’d recommend you drop by the Apple Store, John Lewis or Curry’s, and handle the iPad Mini, and iPad Air. Once you’ve decided upon the “physical size” then your options are around memory size and cellular option.

Memory: Important! Once bought, you can't add memory (space for apps, films, books, photos etc). Only you can decide, and if you think you’ll need the space, then buy the bigger model. If it’s your first iPad and you’re unlikely to store lots of photos or videos, then 16g will be fine.

Cellular: Allows you to connect to the internet while you're out and about. This will add an additional £100 to the price and means you can slip in a mobile phone SIM card. This means (£7-15 a month on contract), you can access the internet on the move. Alternatively, you can opt for the WIFI option, and use it at home or at at "hot spot" (eg. Starbucks, most rail stations and hotels etc).

Note: If you have a "smartphone" (Android, iPhone or whatever), you may have the option of "tethering" your WIFI iPad to your smartphone. Effectively, this means using your smartphone's data connection to connect to the internet, and broadcast a local WIFI signal. You connect your iPad to this (password protected) signal, and then use your WIFI based iPad to connect when you're out and about.

Sounds difficult, but even tying your shoe-laces was difficult first time. If you need advice, drop by the Apple store or search You Tube and I'm sure you'll find some help.

Be aware, you may need to pay extra for tethering (eg. Three charge £5 a month extra), but a great option to avoid the additional cost of the "Cellular" option if you've aready got a smartphone.

Personally I'd buy (and indeed did), the 16Gb iPad Air WIFI, but these are key decisions.

Do I need anything else?
-------------------------------
Most people (me included) buy a cover. Apple (and now hundreds of others) make a "smart-cover" which automatically shuts down the iPad when you close it, and switches it on when you open it. There's versions which cover the back, or just the screen. Apple charge from £35 to £65 for their (admittedly) high quality fabric or leather covers, but there's many available from £10. Be aware, you do get what you pay for, but "Swees Ultraslim" (about £10), has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Personally,I think it's a pity to cover the beautiful aluminium industrial design of the iPad with a cover - but if you've spent literally hundreds of pounds, you'll want to protect it from scrapes and bangs.

I also invested in a keyboard (£25-80), as I tend to write a lot of mails and documents (remember it comes with a word processor). I'd recommend the Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Grey. Be aware, a keyboard is strictly optional unless you want to use your iPad as a proper laptop.

You can also buy a rechargeable wireless bluetooth speaker. It's a fantastic way to boost the sound quality and volume from an tablet, phone or PC. I'd recommend the JBL Flip (from £49), the Bose Soundlink Mini (£169) or the top end Bose Soundlink III (£259). Personally, I listen to music (Spotify or iTunes) or the radio on my wireless speakers every day. It's just brilliant.

Finally, if you have another Apple device (eg. an iPhone, Apple TV or Mac) you'll find these work together beautifully. For example, you can create a reminder on your iPad and it appears on your iPhone. Equally, photos taken on your iPhone appear on your iPad, and you can send music or videos from iPad, iPhone or Mac to an Apple TV.

Some people think this "locks you in" - but it's your choice.

What's great about the iPad Air?
-------------------------------------------
* Lighter (30%) and thinner than the previous version (469g from 650g)
* Even faster A7 chip. Blazingly fast!
* Improved sound (compared to the iPad 4)
* Software including
+ iMovie - edit and publish home made movies
+ Numbers - Fully functional Excel for the iPad
+ Pages - Word processor
+ GarageBand - Play a piano or a drum kit
+ iPhoto - Edit and organise your photos

What's not so great?
--------------------------
* The change in physical size means you'll need a new keyboard or replacement cover if you're upgrading from a previous model
* Pity Apple didn't include the "touch ID" to secure your passwords - but I’m pleased to say they did starting with the “iPad Air 2” and the new iPad Mini

Overall Opinion
---------------------
It's hard to believe the iPad version 1 was released in January 2010, and there's a huge raft of "me too" tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad Air is still the one to beat. As "Which?" magazine put it - "...the best tablet we've ever tested. Apple packs a beautiful screen and lightning fast processor into a slimmer-than-ever shell, and battery life is very impressive".

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it'd be a top of the range Mercedes or a BMW 5i.

Highly Recommended. Buy it.


Apple iPad Air 2
Apple iPad Air 2
Offered by TEKOSH FROM ORE
Price: £499.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Not sure which iPad to buy? This may help!, 22 Nov 2014
It’s hard to believe that Apple could improve upon the iPad Air, but they managed it with this device, the "iPad Air 2" launched in October 2014. It’s even thinner and lighter than the astonishingly slim predecessor. It has the same remarkable all day battery life, but an even faster processor, anti-glare screen, and (my personal favourite), the “Touch ID” fingerprint reader which means I can avoid using passwords and pin numbers.

I’ve owned several iPads (starting in 2010), and they are “a thing of beauty”.

A word of warning, this is a very long review and describes the entire iPad range to help you decide the best model for you. It’s broken up into sections to make it manageable, so make a cup of tea, sit down and read on.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
==========================
Q: Is this the latest iPad Air?
A: Yes. (Provided your reading this before October 2015). Launched 16th October 2014. Likely to be superseded October 2015. Be aware, there’s several “generations” available (roughly one per year) on Amazon. Skip down to “Should I upgrade” for a description of each.

Q: Is this covered by Warranty ?
A: Yes. Full 12 month Apple warranty, and 90 days free technical support. You can also extend the warranty with "AppleCare+" for £79 a year provided to take out the cover within 60 days of buying your iPad. This includes accidental damage insurance (up to two incidents per year subject to a £39 excess).

Q: Why are these cheaper on Amazon than at the Apple store? What's the catch?
A: No catch. You can buy in person from the Apple store (including free engraving), or from John Lewis, and get a free 2 year John Lewis warranty. Alternatively buy from Amazon with a 30 day NO QUESTIONS ASKED return policy. If you find this item is NOT as described, (eg. does not have a UK plug), return it immediately, report the issue to Amazon, and write a critical review.

Q: Is this a UK or USA model of the iPad?
A: UK model. It is illegal to sell an electrical device in the UK without a UK plug or a foreign plug and adapter. If it doesn't have a UK plug you're entitled to a refund. Otherwise there's absolutely no difference.

Q: Should I buy the Cellular option?
A: Read “Which model should I buy” below. You almost certainly don't “need” to - as ever it always depends. Many iPads never leave home, and even when they do you can store your videos/music on the device or connect to a coffee bar hotspot to get online. If you have a smartphone (eg. Android or iPhone) you can set up a "personal hot spot" or "tethering" and use your data plan on your phone. This effectively allows you to connect a WIFI only iPad to the internet via your mobile phone while you’re out and about. On an Android phone go to Setup --> Tethering & portable hotspot. On on iPhone go to Settings --> Personal Hotspot, and set up a personal WIFI network from your phone. Try it now, but be aware it may be an optional extra dependent upon your mobile phone plan.

Q: How much storage or "disk space" do I need?
A: It depends. If intend to buy lots of Apps or store lots of videos and photos then go for the 64Gb or 128Gb is you need. If it’s your first iPad, and you'll mainly be using it for accessing web pages and reading the odd book, then 16Gb will be fine. Be aware, you cannot increase the storaage - you can't add an SD card. .

Q: Is it easy to set up?
A: Yes - very easy. Be sure to be near a WIFI connection, and the iPad will carefully take you through the steps needed to set it up. No, there’s very little in the way of an instruction manual - which is a testament to the simplicity of this device. It’s so easy to use most people find they don’t need one. However, there are lots of books available on Amazon. Just search for “iPad” under books if you’re concerned.

Q: Does it have a USB connection?
A: No. This means you can’t connect just any old device, but also means you can’t accidentally get a virus. To help support this, all Apps (programs) are available “over the air” (downloaded from the Apple App Store) and vetted by Apple. You can buy a cable which means you can plug in an SD Card to download photos. Search Amazon for "lightning to sd card reader” to find these. Apple provide a free back-up service for upto 5Gb of data (or 20Gb for 79p per month). Just plug in your iPad to re-charge, and it will automatically be backed up to the Apple servers (the “cloud”).

Q: Do I need a computer?
A: No. All you really need is a WIFI connection. Whether an iPad could replace your laptop is another question. You can type (and print) letters, read eMails, view web pages, view photos or watch videos and listen to music on an iPad. You can even attach an external keyboard and type entire documents (this review was partly written on an iPad Air on a train). You can run MS Office or use the free Apple versions (Pages and Numbers). Personally, I find I use my iPad 90% of the time, only using a laptop to connect to the office. Whether you can get by with only an iPad is your decision based upon your needs.

Q: Does it run Microsoft Office?
A: Yes. And guess what? It’s now absolutely FREE on the iPad. Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You now only need pay for the PC/Mac version.

Q: Can I print from the iPad?
A: Yes. Provided your running a relatively modern printer with a WIFI connection you can.

Q: Can I read books, watch films and listen to music on an iPad?
A: Yes. That’s what I use it for most of the time. Kindle or Apple books work beautifully. You can rent/buy films from Apple, Amazon and lots of others. You can watch catch up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV and Channel 4). You can load your music (MP3 files) on an existing computer to iTunes
and sync them with the iPad or stream unlimited music from music sites including Spotify. Finally, you can stream video to your TV using a set-top box from Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire) or Google (Chromecast)

Q: Do you work for Apple or Amazon?
A: A fair question that nobody has yet been brave enough to ask. No. Neither. I love the iPad, and I'm a great fan of Amazon’s customer service. Fantastic technology and great service at a terrific price. What's not to get excited about? ;-)

Which model should I buy?
====================
Skip this section if your familiar with the range, otherwise read on.

Firstly, there’s a confusing number of options available including the iPad 3rd or 4th generation, iPad Air, Air 2, Mini, Mini 2 and 3. We then have WIFI and Cellular options, all with different size storage. Bare with me, and I’ll take you through them.

Which model - Full size iPad or Mini?
------------------------------------------------
The “full size” iPad is slightly smaller than an A4 pad of paper whereas the mini is more the size of an incredibly thin paperback book (comparable in fact to the Amazon Kindle). Both iPads have a colour touch sensitive screen, and largely the same functionality, although the iPad Air 2 is now faster than it’s smaller “mini” equivalent.

In short, the main difference is physical screen size. If you plan to read books or watch video standing on train or bus, the mini is your best option. If you want the bigger screen (or perhaps faster iPad Air 2 procesor), then the full size iPad is the best option.

What’s the storage options?
------------------------------------
Storage (for Apps, photos or videos) start at 16g which is fine if you plan to surf the web, read books or stream video. Personally I used a 16g iPad every day for four years - it’s a lot more space than many people will need. If however you intend to save lots of films or photos, then you’re better off with the larger storage options. Be aware once bought, you can’t add storage, so choose carefully.

Storage options are 16, 32, 64 or 128g, however, the iPad Air 2 no longer has the 32g option.

Personally, I’d take a cue from Apple sizing:-

* 16g if you’re a first time iPad user or are unlikely to store lots of top-end games or video.
* 64g if it’s for a teenager or you plan to store lots.
* 128g if you’ve got really deep pockets.

The 32g option is available on the range up to the iPad Air, and is a good compromise.

WIFI or Cellular?
---------------------
Firstly all iPads include a WIFI connection. You can pay extra for a “cellular” option which means you can (for an additional monthly fee) buy a data subscription from a mobile phone network, and use your iPad to surf the web when you’re out an about. If however like me you have a smartphone (Android or iPhone it doesn’t matter) then navigate to Settings —> Personal Hotspot and set up a password.

This means you can create a “Personal Hotspot” using your smartphone data subscription. Also known as “tethering”, you can then connect your WIFI only iPad to the web, and off you go.

Personally, I use this every day on the train and it’s just brilliant. Just as fast as a cellular iPad, but more flexible (two people can share the connection), and cheaper too. Just check your mobile contract supports tethering, and includes enough of a data allowance. Otherwise you’ll run up a huge bill as you’ll find your iPad uses data faster than than your smartphone.

Accessories - What else will I need ?
===========================
All you “need” is a WIFI connection - you don’t even need a computer. However, there’s a number of additional accessories/devices you could buy with your iPad, and it's worth doing a search on Amazon. These include:-

* An iPad cover or case - to prevent it getting scratched (definately worth buying). You can even get “Child Proof” cases - a must have for parents with toddlers.
* A wireless bluetooth speaker A MUST HAVE for anyone who loves music. Sound quality incredible, and will also work with your smartphone or laptop.
* A "power bank" - as an emergency battery back-up. Also great for your smartphone - never run out of battery again.
* A separate keyboard - to turn your iPad into a virtual laptop. (I use mine every day on the train instead of a bulky laptop).
* An Apple TV, Google Chrome or Amazon Fire TV. Means you can stream photos/video from your iPad to your TV.

Most people (me included) buy a cover (or case) to avoid scratches and bumps.
Effectively you have two options:-

* Attached to the iPad by magnets, the “cover” protects only the screen from dirt or scratches
* A “case” encloses the entire device protecting back and screen. You can also buy “child proof” cases.

Both types automatically shut down the iPad when you close the lid (a lovely touch). You can pay £35-£65 for an admittedly top quality cover from Apple, alternatively buy one on Amazon for about £10-£30. The highest rated covers (by customer rating) seem to be produced by “Swees”, “Mofred” and “EasyAcc”. Just be careful to buy one that fits your device. You’ll find your existing “cover” (screen only) will fit almost any iPad (2nd generation to Air 2), but you’ll need to be careful to buy the correct “case” as the iPad Air and Air 2 are each thinner than previous models.

A "Bluetooth Speaker" is a fantastic way to listen to music or the radio streamed from your iPad or Smartphone, and sound quality is astonishingly good.
The best devices I've tested and reviewed at every price point are:-

* £25 - Lepow Modre - Really cute design, bright colours and impressive sound for the money.
* £40 - ADX Fusion - Stylish aluminium design and excellent sound quality. Great value for the money from a small UK based company
* £60 - Audio Dynamix Atom V2 - Solid build in a beautiful brushed aluminium design with an impressive sound stage. Incredible value.
* £90 - Audio Dynamix Pulse V2 - Quirky design, but packs a punch way above its weight. Incredible sound quality, amazing value.
* £129 - Soundblaster Roar - Fantastic design with tons of features and a great sound
* £160 - Bose Soundlink Mini - Beautifully stylish with a warm and full room filling sound
* £250 - Bose Soundlink V3 - Simple but stylish design with an incredible sound stage
* £400 - Bowers & Wilkins A5 - Mercedes top end HI FI in a bluetooth speaker. Unlike the others, this is mains only, not rechargable
* £700 - Bowers & Wilkins A7 - Mercedes S Class. Absolute top end HI FI quality at a price to match

All of these are available on Amazon. Just “mouse over” the stars for these speakers. You’ll find in each case 90% of customers rated them at FIVE STARS. An incredible achievement. These really are the best speakers in their class as of October 2014.

You can also buy a separate keyboard which turns your iPad into a virtual laptop computer.
Again there's lots of options - the best I've tried, tested and reviewed are:-

* Zagg - a top quality "full” keyboard. Some models even have “back-lit” keys - great for sitting in bed late at night
* Logitec Ultrathin - a top quality "half depth” keyboard, but a pleasure to use
* Hoo Too - a budget version of the "Logitec Ultrathin”. Great functional keyboard

Again, take care to buy the keyboard which fits your particular iPad model.

Many people buy a "Power Bank" - effectively an external battery to charge your iPad or smartphone. Great for emergency power, there's hundreds available, with the better designed models from a company called "Lepow". Just search Amazon, and read the reviews.

How about Apps?
=============
Firstly, an App, is a small "application" (a program) that runs on your iPad, and there's literally thousands available from the "App Store", with the most important ones (web browser, mail, music player, word processor, spreadsheet etc) are pre-installed or free to download.
Many apps cost 69p, and loads are free (frequently advertising funded with the option to "add on" stuff - but beware you can run up a huge bill).

Here's my favourites:-

* Mailbox. Incredibly slick mail app (or use the built in Apple App) (Free)
* Photo & iPhoto. Built in apps to take/view/edit photos (Free)
* Skype or Apple Face Time. Chat to the family for free using a video call (Free)
* BBC iPlayer. Great way to catch up on BBC TV. Also ITV and Channel 4 and 5 have players. (Free).
* TVCatchup. Watch real time TV (the Freeview stations anyway). (Free)
* Netflix. For £6 a month watch a huge collection of films online. (Free)
* Evernote. Write and organise notes. Edit them on your Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac (Free)
* DropBox. Access your files, documents and photos on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. (Free)
* Tune In Radio. Listen to 1,000s of radio stations world-wide - or listen to Radio 4 like I do (£2.40)
* Spotify. Stream music for £5 a month (or free with ads). Brilliant! (Free)
* eBay. Buy and sell your stuff online. (Free)
* Garage Sale. Fantastic way to produce professional looking sales on eBay. (£2.99)
* Rightmove. Search for your next Flat or House or just gape at daft prices (Free)
* Zite. Online web magazine that learns what you like. Terrific! (Free)
* Movies by Flixter. Read reviews of films on cinema and DVD. (Free)
* Kindle. Read your books from Amazon Kindle bookstore. (Free)
* QuickOffice. Edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)
* Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Apple's version of MS Office. Edit/save documents in Word, Excel andPowerpoint format. (Free)
* MS Office. £80 a year subscription for 5 PCs, Macs or an iPad or "read only" for free. (Free)

Of course you could also use it to read web pages (my wife is addicted to the Daily Mail Online), or playing amazing games like “Real Racing” (Free) or "Cut the Rope" (69p). It's a wonderful surprise having come from a PC background to find the most expensive game in the top 100 cost £6.99 and most cost £2.99 or less.

Personally, I tend to use it for Mail, watching TV (BBC iPlayer, Netflix or Amazon Instant), or shopping using the built in browser - Safari. Having said that, I'm writing this review (using an external keyboard) on the free Apple word processing App, Pages - so it can (with a stretch) do "most" of what you can do on a PC or Mac.

Should I upgrade my existing iPad?
==========================
Each iPad is slightly better, although each upgrade can appear a relatively small change, and you need to compare the “full size” and “mini” iPads separately.

* Full size: I’d upgrade anything up to the iPad 4th generation without question. The Air and Air 2 are now up to twice as fast, 33% lighter and 1/3rd thinner than the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation device. If you already have an iPad Air it’s less clear cut, and probably not worth upgrading.
* iPad Mini: The upgrade from iPad Mini 1 to 2 was to an incredible screen and faster processor. The upgrade to Mini 3 adds only the “Touch ID” fingerprint reader, and it’s questionable whether it’s worth paying for.

In my opinion, if you’ve got an iPad 4 or below, then upgrade without question - this is a much better device.

Word or warning - this section is fully of the techie statistics. Skip past if you’re not that interested.

The “full size” iPad range:-

iPad (1st Generation - Launched April 2010)
------------------------------------------------------------
* 1Ghz A4 processor with 256Mb memory and storage at 16 to 64Gb. Weighs 680g. 13.4mm thin.
* 1024×768 screen, but no front or rear facing camera.
* The “Classic” iPad. Now a collectors piece - but still great to surf the web

iPad 2 (2nd Generation - Launched March 2011)
----------------------------------------------------------------
* Faster, lighter and 33% thinner than the first generation. A huge leap in performance and size.
* Upgraded dual core (2 processor) A5 CPU and 512Mb memory - a faster device. Weighs 601g. Just 9mm thin.
* Now includes a front and rear facing camera.
* Great device, but you’ll see a massive difference if you upgrade

iPad 3 (3rd Generation - Launched March 2012)
----------------------------------------------------------------
* A significant upgrade. Faster with the incredible “retina” (2048×1536) sharp screen.
* Uprated A5X CPU and quad core graphics and 1Gb memory - faster again. Weighs 650g. Still 9mm thin
* Huge screen improvement to 2048×1536 pixels at 264 ppi. Incredibly sharp and clear
* Upgraded cameras. 1080P (front) and 5MP (rear facing)
* The last iPad to use the wide (30 Pin) connector. My wife still uses hers daily for web surfing (Oct 2014)

iPad 4 (4th Generation - Launched October 2012 - just 7 months later)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Quite a small upgrade from the previous generation. Again you’d see a huge difference upgrading to the latest device
* Guess what? Upgraded dual core A6X processor. A faster device, with the launch date moved to catch the Christmas buying period. Weighs 650g. 9mm thin.
* Upgraded front facing camera (1.2MP still and 720P video)
* First iPad to use the smaller narrow (Lightning) connector.

iPad Air (Launched Oct 2013)
---------------------------------------
* Amazing upgrade. Twice as fast, nearly 17% thinner and shedding almost a 1/3 of the weight of the predecessor. It’s an incredible device.
* Blisteringly fast 64 bit A7 processor with faster memory, and a motion co-processor. Weighs 469g. (28% Lighter) and now only 7.5 mm thin.
* New iPads now come with a free licence for Pages, Numbers, Keynote (Apple’s version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint). Plus Garage Band, iPhoto and iMovie.

iPad Air 2 (aka iPad 6 - Launched October 2014)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
* Another incredible upgrade. Now 1/3rd lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 launched just 2 years ago.
* A8X Processor (faster variation on the A8 fitted to the iPhone 6) with M8 motion co-processor. Weighs 437g and only 6.1mm (18% thinner).
* Touch ID fingerprint sensor (the first iPad Air to have this). Means you can effectively avoid using passwords
* Improved screen now includes an “antireflective” coating.
* Improved 8MP rear facing camera (3264×2448) with 10 frames per second “burst” mode and slow motion. Front facing camera has improved f/2.2 aperture.
* Lock/silent switch has been removed (to save space), but you can mute your iPad by swiping up the “Control Centre”
* Battery is slightly smaller (7,340mAh) compared to the previous model, but the same 10 hour battery life
* WIFI now supports new “ac” standard and is dual channel 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Also built in barometer.
* Storage options are now Small, Medium and Large. 16g, 64g or 128g.
* Available in Space Grey, Silver/White and Gold.

Now the iPad Mini Range:-

iPad Mini 1 (Launched November 2012)
-----------------------------------------------------
* Very first iPad mini is like an incredibly thin paperback book. Beautiful colour screen, but now a bit slow and now dated.
* 1Ghz A5 processor - same as the iPad 2nd generation launched in March 2011. Weight 310g. 7mm thin.
* 1024x768 (Non-retina) screen at 163ppi (pixels per inch). Good but not brilliant
* 1.2MP front facing camera (720p video) and 5MP still and HD Video camera.

iPad Mini 2 (Launched October 2013)
---------------------------------------------------
* Incredible screen improvement at double the pixels per inch (ppi). Faster processor and quad core graphics. Stunning!
* Improved A7 processor and motion co-processor with double the memory. Much faster than the previous device
* Retina display (2048×1536) is just amazing. Absolutely pin sharp screen at 326ppi it’s even better than the iPad Air at 264ppi
* Storage options include 16, 32, 64 and 128g. Weight 330g. 7mm thin.

iPad Mini 3 (Launched October 2014)
--------------------------------------------------
* Almost no improvement. Same processor, screen and camera. Only the Touch ID fingerprint sensor added.
* Nothing more to say here, and certainly not worth the upgrade from iPad Mini 2. Available in silver, grey and gold.

Overall Opinion
============
It's hard to believe the first iPad was launched in 2010, and there's a huge raft of cheaper tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad is still the one to beat. I can’t put it better than Wired Magazine who said: "Want the best tablet on the market? Then get the iPad Air 2. It's as near to tablet perfection as you're going to get"

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it'd be a top of the range Mercedes, BMW or Porsche.

I do hope this review was useful.


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