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on 21 August 2017
excellent product
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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 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 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.

Pros:
+ 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!

Cons:
- 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 19 February 2017
No
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on 8 January 2014
When my wife had a rush of blood to her head and said she would like to buy me the latest iPad I was over the moon. I first had an iPad1 which was fine. I then upgraded to an iPad2 which was a good improvement. This latest iPad it is superb, much lighter, the screen is the same size but the overall dimensions are smaller. I won't go into all the technical benefits, they are already available to view on line but would just say that, in my limited experience this is a fantastic product and I'm looking forward to many hours of enjoyment using it.
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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. If you can afford it though, the 64G will offer you all the memory you're likely to need.

You'll also 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.
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on 5 January 2014
I bought this when it was handsomely reduced and I could not be happier. It's an incredibly light and responsive device that has rendered ALL of my books and comics obsolete and very nearly made me question owning a laptop.

When the first iPad came out I was pretty intrigued but felt it didn't offer anything that either a netbook or classical laptop already did thus I was not interested enough to purchase one. Now, however, with the retina screen coupled with the light form factor and gorgeous design I felt it was a good time to buy. The processor and internals didn't interest me very much since I wasn't going to be doing processor heavy tasks on it. I basically wanted something I could read and work on that was easier on the eyes than my MBP.

The typing is very responsive, I find having the sound turned on helps with feedback and It's surprisingly accurate to touchtype on it.

The battery life is more than adequate, the first cycle where I charged/discharged I had it on standby for 5 days and got 12.5 hours of use out of it (the amount of time the screen was on with someone using it).

I also played GTA San Andreas and it's very enjoyable with graphics that look far better than I remembered on the PS2.

There are a number of neat tricks you can do too, for instance apps that allow you to stream high quality video to your ipad, or even stream comic books or to browse your filesystem using a remote connection.

This, however, has 64GB so for myself I don't feel they're necessary other than for the convenience value, ie not having to connect to iTunes whenever I need to get media onto my iPad.

All in all, I don't have any complaints. I'm 100% satisfied with this product and would encourage anyone who was dithering as to whether an iPad or tablet generally was right for them to purchase one. If you can wait, then maybe you should since I believe the next iteration will feature more RAM, 1GB is rather parsimonious for a device that's supposed to be 64-bit.

Also, you may read there are screen quality issues but I've not noticed any on my device and in any case with the standard Apple warranty they'll give you a replacement device should yours prove to be defective down the line.
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on 11 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!

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

CONS:
- No rear camera improvement
- No Touch Id

OVERALL:
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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on 6 May 2014
So many of my friends and family have tablets they use all the time but I'd resisted up to now as I didn't feel the need to have one but eventually I went for this as I was starting to travel more and wanted to be able to pick up emails etc while away. It performs brilliantly and is proving so useful in so many ways, I really can't fault it, the build quality and function is excellent as far as I'm concerned
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on 10 August 2014
Excellent in all aspects. Price, delivery and performance. Use it far more than desktop PC. Was forced to buy it because of reducing support for the iPad series 1 so delighted to have saved so much compared to Apple store, PC World etc. This is a brand new device at a brilliant price.
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on 8 September 2014
absolutely brilliant. i use it all the time. %100 worth the extra for the 64gig memory. dont have to worry about anything.
the screen is beautiful, bright, clear and the most detailed i have ever seen on a tablet of any make or type. (clash of clans has never looked better!) and amazon instant video works smoothly and lightning fast with it...now all amazon has to do is stop taking off series and films you have stored in watchlist. 4 series now you have taken away while i was in the middle of watching! come on! your such a monster company, you must be able to sort it out.

thanks. matt
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