79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Apple really know how to work an audience thanks to their marketing hype and by limiting supplies at launch date. Thankfully they are now readily available and prices are creeping down.
I am no Apple iOS diehard fan. In fact I have several android tablets (including the Nexus 7, which I love). Yet there's no denying that the iPad has revolutionised the computer industry by triggering the tablet era.
This review focuses solely on the iPad Air.
Having owned two other iPads: iPad 1 and iPad 3, I am no novice to the iPad, and have followed the incremental upgrades since it was first introduced .... just 4 years ago!
When my iPad Air finally arrived (had it on pre-order for several months) I thought that the store had made a mistake and got me the iPad mini instead!
I opened the usual premium Apple packaging and was greeted by a lovely, super slim and lightweight gem of a tablet. The side bezels are so much thinner too, no wonder it could be mistaken for a Mini at first glance.
The iPad Air is no incremental upgrade, but a total redesign around the existing iPad 4 screen. (albeit offering better viewing angles)
It really is a pity that I had to buy a protective case, which covers the beautifully crafted aluminium body. Yet it means that your investment will still look like new for years.
Case options: Skip this part if not interested.
When it comes to cases there is quite a choice. I call these necessary evils, yet one should not skimp on a quality case offering the best protection possible.
I have the original Apple, Invision and the Veo cases for the iPad Air. I cannot comment on cases I do not own which might prove to be actually better.
They weigh 148.7g, 208.5g and 230.7g respectively.
The Apple case is expensive, and the volume and sleep buttons are a nuisance to operate as they are covered in the thick premium leather. The other cases offer easy access to the buttons. However this case offers the best protection and looks great. It takes a lot of patience to remove this cover once it is in place.
The Invision is a very cheap case and a best seller. It looks sturdy and the stitching is top notch, yet I do not particularly like the shiny finish. The iPad is held in place by 4 corner tabs which tend to pop out of place fairly easily.
The Veo is probably the nearest to the Apple as far as looks go. It comes in a mat finish and the iPad is held in place via a plastic strip along the right and 4 corner tabs.
DOES THE iPad Air LIVE UP TO THE HYPE?
A quick answer is "Yes"! The new zippy 64 bit A7 processor and crisp "Retina display" are the best I've seen on any 10" tablet so far! And even though it sports the same display as the iPad 4, the viewing angle is far superior, probably thanks to the closer proximity of the display to the scratch proof glass.
The Apps further contribute to making this the best iPad to date, as they have been optimized to take full advantage of the powerful 64bit processor. These include iPhoto, iMovie, Numbers, Pages and Keynote which are bundled for free!
Apps written for the iPad are virtually virus free and generally superior to the android version. There are various reasons for this:
○ iPad is also targeted for professional environments
○ Stable and reliable iOS platform
○ Applications are only available through the App Store, thus guaranteeing income to the developer.
○ Other platforms have new tablets springing every other day, sporting different screen sizes and processors.
✓ Blazing fast, low consumption A7 (64bit) processor. The fastest to date
✓ Premium build quality with ever so stylish looks thanks to the precision engineered aluminium housing
✓ 30% lighter than iPad4, weighing only 469g for Wi-Fi, and 478g Wi-Fi + Cellular versions
✓ Retina display. Great colour saturation producing stunning images
✓ iWork and iLife software included for free
✓ Vast choice of apps that can mimic laptop/desktop programs
✓ Awesome battery life. No other tablet manufacturer can match as yet
✓ Is widely used in the Aviation industry by pilots*: This gives the iPad the ultimate seal of approval for reliability, performance and stability.
*Jeppesen, the leading Airline chart manufacturer, has been officially endorsed by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to provide digital navigation charts on the iPad for use in flight decks by pilots, and is being used by major airlines. This is a first, and truly revolutionary!
- Proprietary hardware required. ie: Bluetooth GPS, Airprint printers..
- No expandable memory
- No touch ID
I would have loved to see an improved version of the iPhone's touch ID.
Probably the most difficult task is choosing the version which best suits your needs and budget:
I will first start with the common denominator. All flavours offer the same A7 chip, retina display and Wi-Fi.
So the options are colour, storage size and cellular:
♦ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet I do suggest a side by side hands on comparison.
♦ Given the fast processor I would say go for the largest available storage you can afford. This might easily be a laptop alternative, given the new 128GB SSD version.
♦ Many think that cellular versions only offer data. This version also sports a GPS chip which works as good as the best GPS receivers. So this has to be taken into consideration when factoring the price difference.
Highly recommend to anyone seeking a versatile, fast and reliable alternative to a laptop.
I hope you find this review helpful. Any comments or queries are welcome, and I will try my best to address.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2014
I use an Apple iPad just about every day for 5-6 hours a day.
I own an iPad 2 and 3 and now this new iPad Air version. My main reasons for updating were that I literally fill up my 64 GIG iPad every day or two with videos and photos that I shoot. Having this larger version at 128 GIG allows me to work longer and add more to my iPad. In addition this new version is much lighter and easier to use all day long. Even though the battery is smaller in capacity than my iPad 3 the battery life is longer and it is very noticeable. This is because the faster A7 CPU and the motion chip actually use less power.
I immediately noticed the increase in speed. The unit connects to the WIFI faster, synchs with iTunes faster, downloads emails faster and speeds up your web browsing. The differences are very noticeable and enjoyable as a user. The dual speakers are a nice change but I also use a lot of Bluetooth speakers to enhance the sound of the iPad.
The iPad 2 weighs 1 pound 5 1/8 ounces, the iPad 3 weighs 1 pound 7 1/8 ounces, and the iPad Air weighs 1 pound and ¼ ounce. The iPad Air is narrower but has the same screen size. The left and right edges of the iPad are thinner on the sides of the useable screen.
Here are the key improvements for me:
* Much lighter in weight
* Thinner, smaller design with the same screen size
* Much faster when synching with iTunes
* Much faster when browsing the web
* Much faster when downloading emails
* Stronger WIFI connection and faster WIFI synching
* A more powerful AC wall adapter with 5.2 VDC and an output of 2.4 Amps. It charges at 12 watts of power. It operates at 100 to 240 VAC and 50/60 Hz and it is UL approved. It features folding AC wall plugs for easy packing when traveling.
* Lower CPU and motion chip power consumption that makes the smaller/lighter internal battery last longer! This is very noticeable!
* As usual a beautiful high resolution retina screen with 2048 by 1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. You can see the difference in the photos, videos and reading quality of the screen.
* Dual speakers in the bottom
* Free high quality Apps
* Remember to download these from Apple!
Overall this is a superior product that really outperforms the older iPads that I have. I was disappointed that the new iPad Air did not have the home button with the fingerprint sensor built in. Since I have used it with my iPhone 5S I have really become attached to it and it just seems like a way to cheapen the unit and be more competitive instead of showing and using the enhanced technology. I would have paid a little more for the iPad Air with that sensor.
This is still a 5 star tablet
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2014
Love it. No more noisy, cumbersome and hot laptop on my lap whilst hubby watching sci-fi on TV. Extremely portable with a mega lightweight finish considering the size of the memory. I'm not into the technology side of it all so cannot tell you about that but I love the music quality through my headphones compared to my iPhone. It also was a necessity as I used to spend all my time using my iPhone to access emails, Facebook and photos etc but I have finally succumbed to wearing glasses for reading and now I don't need them with the iPad 😄 and my photos are great to look at now! husband is jealous too! Looking forward to taking it away this weekend on a flight; something to do!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
I have been changing my mind a few times, do I really need an iPad, the honest answer was no. But then I went for it, the 64 GB version (in for a penny, in for a pound) and I have to say, best decision ever. I really can't imagine how I managed my life before the advent of the Apple iPad Air. I run my life now with my iPad and iPhone. I honestly can recommend both as both are superbly made and function flawlessly. They are not cheap but buying quality always is the more economical choice in the long run.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2014
Like the other few million or so people who already have these, I can't praise the IPAD air enough - I love it! Never had one before (which might seem strange as had a Mac for a number of years) and it already love it. Do I wish I'd bought one before? No actually as previously was quite happy with my Kindle fire but this is so much better with the larger screen and its complete integration with the Mac which had now for a few years. If you are umming and arring over size then getting the 64GB is frankly a no brainer - additional space is so vey useful for films etc especially if you travel a lot.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2013
This is my second ipad having had the 3rd gen and this is far superior it's faster and lighter and even thoe it states the same battery life it does seem to last longer and charges quicker than my old one.it is an expensive piece of kit but your paying for the quality.
I would recommend this tablet if your looking the best out there !!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2014
I cannot fault it, everything went smoothly, no problems.
I would definitely use them again , so cannot really say fairer than that.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2014
Very prompt delivery, effectively next-day. However, the iPad refused to power up despite various attempts using different methods including reset. Left on charge for 24 hours but suspect that it did not accept the charge. To be returned