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Size: iPad Air 16GBChange
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on 27 December 2013
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).
* 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.
7070 comments1,157 of 1,194 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.


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 available for the iPad are generally of a very high standard and virtually virus free. 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.

+ 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.
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on 9 November 2013
Since Apple announced the iPad Air and the new iPad mini I trully wanted to get my hands on these. Unlike the new iPad mini, the Air is available for anyone who wants to upgrade from the previous generations iPads or get an Apple tablet for the first time. I already own the 4th gen iPad , but I couldn t miss the newer edition for anything in the world, now that I knew it was lighter and more powerful.

No offence to the Android community, this iPad is hands down the best tablet in its category. Continue reading below and some of you may agree with me. :)

The latest generation of iPad, the iPad Air, took its name because of its weight and its form factor in general. Apple decided to reduce the weight and the bezel around the screen, managing to create a bigger...ipad mini. A sleek design of aluminum, packs a 9.7 inches display with the same retina resolution as the previous ones. The colours look alive and the photos look crispier as ever. The screen is responsive in every command without glitches or lagging; after all i can t remember of any Apple touchscreen product that ever had lagging issues.

Rear camera remain the same while the front camera is packing a 1.2 MP lens recording in 30fps. For some the same rear camera and the lack of a flash is a drawback while for others it doesn t matter at all. Personally, I would enjoy a flash on the iPad Air since there are moments I use it in darker environments where I want to take photos or record a video. Also, the lack of the slow motion recording that the iPhone 5s camera packs is a thing that its missing and will be probably added in the next gen.

In terms of audio quality, Apple added stereo speakers on this device, although you won t enjoy stereo surround when you hold the tablet in landscape since both of the speakers are located on the bottom side of the tablet. I think that not only iPad Air but tablets in general didn t do huge leaps improving sound quality.

Apple claims that iPad Air is twice as fast as the previous generation and believe me, it is! The new 64 bit A7 is really fast! Before I sell my beloved and long used iPad 4th gen I had the chance to compare them side by side. The difference in terms of speed is huge, while the battery holds the same 10 hour efficiency. iOs is operating beautifully under this new beast and free iWork & iLife apps is a welcome addition for any new owner of iPad air.

One of the biggest let downs is the lack of the touch id that is supported in iPhone 5s. Why do tablet owners always have to wait for next generation to get features which already exist in the latest smartphones? The technology is there and they can use it. For the money that iPad Air cost, they should have packed Touch id! Period!

+ Lighter & smaller
+ New faster 64 bit A7 chip
+ Free iLife & iWork suite

- No rear camera improvement
- No Touch Id

Besides the drawbacks, this is the best tablet available in the market at the moment. If you love Apple's ecosystem, go for it. If you ve never been a part of it, this is your best chance!

*Forgot to mention: iPad Air is available in 16 flavors in total -> wifi & wifi + 4g X 2 colours (silver & space grey) X 4 storage options (16,32,64 & 128 GB ). Personally, I prefer the space grey colour and for my needs the 16 GB - wifi + 4G. What about you?
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 23 November 2015
*** What can I do with the iPad? ***

With an iPad, you can do pretty much anything you can do on a laptop/Desktop computer. With the added benefit of it being much more portable.

You can:

✓ Shop online
✓ Create and edit documents
✓ Do online Banking – pretty much all of the main banks have their own apps for iPad's making it even easier to do your day to day banking from your tablet
✓ Read and reply to emails from the comfort of your sofa
✓ View and organise photos – useful for when friends and relatives come around and you want to show off those holiday photos!
✓ Video call using Skype or Apples own Facetime (similar to Skype for use with another Apple Device)
✓ Read or research online
✓ Read books – you can purchase books from Apple's iBooks, the Kindle store and any other book stores which have an app in the Apple Store
✓ Watch films – you can watch Netflix, LoveFilm or any other subscription services which have an app in the Apple Store
✓ Watch TV – there are several apps available for iPad's which will allow you to catchup on TV. There's TVCatchup, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Demand 5, you can even order TV shows on demand from iTunes
✓ Play games – there are over 1 million apps in the Apple App Store and many of these are games
✓ Listen to the radio / music – either by streaming music from the internet or playing music stored locally on your iPad

*** What are the cons? ***

- Not all printers are 100% compatible with iPads – ideally you will need a printer that supports AirPrint. However this is becoming more of a standard feature with newer printers.
- You probably won't have as much storage as you would on your PC – however lots more information is now stored online rather than locally on your device, meaning you don't actually need all that much local space
- You can't play CD's/DVD's – so before you scrap your old PC, you may want to convert all those old CD's to mp3's!
- Can't read information from USB sticks – Although you can get around this problem by storing files on cloud storage.

*** How do I know which iPad to get? ***

Picking an iPad can be ridiculously difficult when you consider there are over 50 different variations of the iPad. You've got several different models, memory configurations, colours and different screen sizes.

For the purpose of this review, I'm not going to include the older iPads (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Generation). Although you can still pick them up, they are relatively old models as a result you will often find they have a lower performance and especially with the 1st and 2nd generation iPads, a noticeably lower quality screen.

For that reason, I would personally recommend one of the models mentioned below.

Step 1 – Pick a Size

First step is to pick a size. Either the 7.9” Mini or the 9.7” Air.

Which would you benefit from most? Large screen or portability? Do you want it mainly for using at home to read, watch videos and play games on the sofa, or are you planning on using it on the move, maybe while travelling to work, etc.

You can pay about £80 more for the larger screen. So think carefully!

Step 2 – I've chosen the Mini

There are 3 iPad Mini Models to choose from (The iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3).

- iPad Mini 3 -

This is the latest iPad Mini. This device is essentially the same as the iPad Mini 2, but with a feature called TouchID. For those fairly new to iPads, you're probably asking yourself what TouchID is, I know I did at first.

Touch ID is Apple's biometric fingerprint authentication technology. With it, the Home button can now unlock your device and authorize your purchases on the iTunes Store, making it impossible for purchases to be made if your device is stolen or if you kids get hold of your tablet!

- iPad Mini 2 -

This is last years iPad Mini, formerly known as the Retina iPad Mini is essentially the same device as the iPad Mini 3 but without the TouchID feature. Don't care about TouchID? Why not save yourself a few quid and go the iPad Mini 2.

A major point of differentiation between the original iPad mini and the iPad mini 2 is the display. Both are glossy, use IPS technology, and are LED-backlit, but the original model has a non-retina 7.9-inch 1024x768 display at 163 ppi and the 2 model uses a much higher resolution 7.9-inch 2048x1536 display at 326 ppi.

- iPad Mini -

If you just want an iPad and the slightly improved screen or TouchID don't matter to you, you can pick up the original iPad mini at a more affordable price. Maybe if this is your first iPad purchase, an original iPad mini might suit your needs more than one with several features you probably won't use.

Step 2 – I've chosen the Air

If you've selected the air, its even more straight forward to pick as there are just 2 models (iPad Air & iPad Air 2)

- iPad Air 2 -

The iPad Air 2's performance has been improved - the Air 2 has 12x the processing performance of the original iPad and 180x the graphics performance.

Now has an 8Mp rear facing camera, where as the original Air only has a 5Mp camera.

The Air 2 is just 6.1mm thick, an 18% reduction on the already skinny Air, making it the thinnest tablet in the world.

The Air 2 comes with touchID (the finger printer scanner mentioned earlier in the review).

- iPad Air -

If you're not bothered about the TouchID feature, having an ever so slightly thinner tablet and can cope with a 5Mp camera, then the original iPad Air could be worth considering if you want to try and save a little money.

Step 3 – Need 3G/4G?

This really depends again on how you plan on using your iPad. If think you're going to want internet access on the move and you're not likely to have access to WiFi, this is worth considering, however you will pay extra for this feature.

3G/4G is essentially wireless broadband for your tablet. You will pay a set amount monthly and this will enable you to use the internet on your tablet even when you are not connected to a WiFi network.

Remember that you can often turn your Mobile Phone into a wireless hotspot and piggy back off that anyway. So for some, this feature might not actually be necessary.

Step 4 – Picking how much memory you need

Memory on an iPad is essentially storage space. This will be used to store all your pictures, videos, music, etc. Keep in mind that once you have decided how much memory you need, it can't be updated like a PC, so if its not a lot more money for that extra space, its definitely worth considering!

Also keep in mind that in the future, music and video files will probably become larger and larger as the quality improves. So if you want your tablet to be a little more future proof, you'll probably find more memory is better!

Step 5 – Pick your colour (the easy bit)

This is a personal choice really, so little advice I can give.

With the older models you will only be able to pick between Black/Grey and White/Silver.

With the newer models, you can still have the classic colours, but you also have the choice of White/Gold if you wish.
0Comment16 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2014
My Niece complained about her lap top being so slow even with 6gigs of memory and running disc clean up didn't seem to improve things much. She said an IPad would be the answer in her line of work so I bought her this one. Not something that I would have a use for as I use a good old fashion (These days) Desk top.

Have to say when she set it up it is very quick, touch an icon and its an immediate response. I was very surprised to see you can down load MS Word and excel plus tons of other Apps as well. It is probably twice the speed of my desk top at about half the size of my key board. Looks like this may eventually replace the lap top in the future. Big thumbs up from my niece she is over the moon with it. Excellent quality well made and a whole lot of IPad for the money.
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on 3 September 2015
This was a gift for my Dad's 80th birthday and was a bit of a gamble as to whether he would finally embrace modern technology. Thankfully he was thrilled with it and is now a daily IPad user. :-) The ease of use is the key and I have guided him carefully in its use.
0Comment4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 November 2013
It arrived 3 days after placing order. Was factory new, never been opened. Easy to set up; when switched on and in range of WiFi; the Router was automatically identified on screen. All you had to do then was type in password on keypad which you flick over between letters and numbers. The rest is very user friendly. If you can switch on a light and one finger type, you can do it.
Worth getting the ipad book for seniors as back up later for next stage.
0Comment95 of 109 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The iPad has established itself in four short years as Tablets of choice to which all others are compared, and the Air is the newest and coolest in the family.

First of all, the good news. At 467g the Air redefines computer portability and is so lightweight it's hard to tell whether you're carrying it in your bag or have in fact forgotten it, without looking to check. The Air has a fast A7 chip and the screen is a useful 9.7 inches; it's a breeze to use. The design of the graphics is so intuitive that any child or technophobe can master it and feel at home in a few minutes, which makes it the perfect entry-point into IT for someone who has so far avoided computers.

One of the clever things Apple have done is the creation of the individual `Apple ID' which means once you enter your ID & password your iPad, iPhone, iPod and Mac immediately share all their files, and everything you created or stored on one device becomes available on them all: photos, music, reminders, address book, documents are all shared. This is probably the most brilliant idea ever in the IT mass market to create brand loyalty among consumers and `locks you in to the corporation for the duration'.

Now, the bad news: the software crashes from time to time necessitating a reboot, which is annoying and inconvenient. This fault is acknowledged by Apple, as the software has a few bugs. Also the wireless reception is not all it might be, as it sometimes (mysteriously) fails to connect to even a moderately strong signal.

Apple's pricing structure does not reflect the cost of manufacture but is driven by a market segmentation strategy, so the price really cranks up if you want an iPad with more memory or which can use the GSM phone network. The best value is the 16G Air without Cellular, which only connects to the internet via WiFi. 16G is a lot of memory by the historic standards of portable computers and you'll only find it insufficient if you want to store a lot of big files like films or powerpoint presentations.

You'll need a carrying case to protect it (scores of different designs are available) and maybe a keyboard, which if you're doing a lot of writing and document creation rather than just surfing the internet is the one essential accessory, as without a separate keyboard the usable screen area is reduced in size. Around one million downloadable apps for Apple devices means you can personalize your iPad and make it into more or less whatever you want. The Air design is aesthetically a work of beauty in its simplicity, cleanness of lines and proportion, and despite some irritating niggles is a pleasure to own and use.
0Comment14 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 November 2013
Well I used to be a confirmed Apple user a few years ago and had an iPhone and Macbook.

But I gradually become an Android user for prety much everything over the last 2 years due to the value for money being so much better than Apple. I bought a cheap Andriod tablet (less than £150) which was perfectly adequate (and still is).

However I've just tried an iPad Air and I wish I wasn't impressed but this tablet is far and above anything else I've ever used (and that includes my sisters iPad 4). Everything is just so smooth and elegant when you use it.

So much so that I just had to order one on the spot (32GB Space Grey).

It just feels, looks and performs like nothing else on the market - having used my Android table for 6 months it just feels like a toy compared to the Air. I'll give it to my son once my Air arrives.

All I can say it go and try one and you'll see what I mean. And as the title of my review says I really wish I could knock it but I can't - it's just brilliant.

I'm not an Apple fan at all (still won't be going iPhone as I think that's way over-priced) but for tablets there's not
0Comment122 of 143 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 March 2014
I bought this product for xmas as a gift as couldnt get it anywhere else. The Apple Air is a nice size (especially for ladies handbags) and is light in weight. It does everything that was needed, an excellent product. Delivery was very fast considering i only ordered a few days before christmas. Would highly recommend
0Comment7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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