Top positive review
481 people found this helpful
on 6 November 2013
My family and I liked our iPad 4 so much the only problem was sharing it among 5 people so I decided to get another iPad but waited for the "Air" so can now compare side by side.
Weight savings are very noticeable with the Air at 469g compared to the 652g of the iPad 4. That's 28% lighter. The difference feels more pronounced though because in truth the iPad 4 was a tad too heavy. The Air is much more manageable in the hand and feels somehow more like half the weight. The difference is actually between "a little too heavy" and "quite light". The Air is nearly 2mm thinner and whilst this is pleasing I think the weight drop is the more noticeable change.
When working off the same wireless network, same distance away, the Air opens websites slightly quicker, perhaps up to 1 second quicker. That is not a lot but when surfing it speeds things up somewhat. If you stream an HD video then not only does it open faster but the buffer on the Air establishes a greater margin than on the 4. In other words the Air is less likely to stall and more able to stream higher definition content.
The speakers on the Air are noticeably better. They are less tinny in general and have more bass than the 4 although neither are exactly Hi Fi.
The Air looks smaller than previous iPads as when in landscape, the outer upper and lower border is narrower making it 16mm smaller than the iPad 4. Same actual screen size though.
The screen images are the same quality on the Air and the 4. Same screen so not very surprising. I cannot detect a snappier or smoother response, both screens seem to be the same. Cameras appear to be the same also.
About a year ago after much musing and hesitation I bought an iPad 4. This has been in high demand with all family members ever since and is great. The Air is even better and will no doubt get heavy use. If you are wondering about needing a tablet and which one to get I would say that either the 4 or the Air are great tablets and are fun and useful tools. I tend to use MS Windows for general computing but somehow Apple has definitely won me over on the tablet front. I am actually surprised by my own statement at some level. I would recommend you try.
The downsides are the lack of Adobe Flash and camera flash, the ridiculous cost of extra storage and no SD/micro SD slot and the fact that the charger for the Air is not compatible with the 4. Personally I can overlook those issues but for the sake of balance they are worth a mention.
These are my initial impressions and I may add once I have played with the Air some more.