iPad Air Is The Full-Size iPad You’ve Been Waiting For [Review]

ipad-air

[Editor’s note: This review has been stickied to the top of Cult of Mac. Scroll down for more news.]

Let’s face it, we’ve been waiting for Apple to make drastic changes to the iPad since it released the third-generation device in early 2012. While it did introduce a high-resolution Retina display with that model, and it has made nice improvements in speed and other areas since then, we’ve all been clamoring for improvements to its design.

We’ve got those with the iPad Air — and a whole lot more. The new slate looks just like a larger version of the iPad mini. It maintains its 9.7-inch Retina display, but it has narrower bezels, a substantially thinner design — it is now just as thin as the iPad mini at 7.5mm — and it’s 28% lighter than its predecessor at just one pound.

In addition to that, we get Apple’s incredible 64-bit A7 processor that promises up to two times the power and graphics performance of the A6X, the new M7 motion coprocessor that made its debut in the iPhone 5s last month, and two W-Fi antennas with MIMO technology. And all of this will cost you just $100 more than the iPad 2.

Table Of Contents

Introduction & Table Of Contents
Design & Feel
Display
Performance
Camera
Conclusion

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

  • Gadget

    The best tablet ever. Could have been even better with TouchID which people are now saying they can’t live without. Entering a password or drawing a gesture to unlock your phone is so 2012. Might have to wait for the 2014 iPad Mini with Retina, 64GB and TouchID.

  • RyanTV

    quite/quiet… same thing.

    seriously, do you guys even bother reading back the shit you write?

    WRITING IS REVISION. learn it. live it.

  • eddietec

    Thx for the nice review!!!

  • CharilaosMulder

    What I’m missing: Touch ID, 32GB for the base model, 2GB of RAM (I don’t like spec sheets but 1GB wasn’t enough on the iPad 4, kicked out apps way too soon, let alone 64bit apps will consume more RAM on average), and I’ve heard the display isn’t laminated and has no anti-reflective coating like most of apple’s recent displays (iPhone 5, rMBP, thin iMac).

    These are huge letdowns, but overall its a great product. I’ve always thought of the older iPads as being clunky, to the extend that I never bought one. But the thinness and lightness of the Air make it so much more usable, I’ll go get one.

  • JimGramze

    I’ve ordered the iPad Air but I have not received it yet. My iPad 3 has always been a bit heavy in bed, digging into my chest as I lay reading over time. I expect the lighter weight to correct that. On the couch it has never been an issue.

    Another reason I’m upgrading is the charge/sync port. Since I’ve had an iPhone 5 it has been a nuisance going from one cable to another and I will very much like unifying that into one cable.

    The increased speed of 4-5 times faster will be welcome as well. Some HD videos I’ve downloaded would stutter and the comic book reading app I use (Comic Zeal) unpacks archives of pages and resizes them if they are too big and there are noticeable delays I expect to be lessened or eliminated. These speed issues have always been there.

    So for weight, unified cable, and drastically increased speed I justify the upgrade, all of which will affect my experience profoundly.

    The hardware ecosystem of iMac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV is truly a marvel that keeps getting better as time goes on. I don’t think enough is written about how each makes the others better. Case in point is the iPad working with Logic Pro X, not only echoing features and acting as a remote but also adding features — I hope this extensibility moves forward, adding a separate visual touch interface and additional features to other apps as well. I would like to see an article comparing other hardware ecosystems from Android and Windows and how they match up to Apple’s unified system.

  • claudio24012

    What I’m missing: Touch ID, 32GB for the base model, 2GB of RAM (I don’t like spec sheets but 1GB wasn’t enough on the iPad 4, kicked out apps way too soon, let alone 64bit apps will consume more RAM on average), and I’ve heard the display isn’t laminated and has no anti-reflective coating like most of apple’s recent displays (iPhone 5, rMBP, thin iMac).

    These are huge letdowns, but overall its a great product. I’ve always thought of the older iPads as being clunky, to the extend that I never bought one. But the thinness and lightness of the Air make it so much more usable, I’ll go get one.

    What I’m missing: Touch ID, 32GB for the base model, 2GB of RAM (I don’t like spec sheets but 1GB wasn’t enough on the iPad 4, kicked out apps way too soon, let alone 64bit apps will consume more RAM on average), and I’ve heard the display isn’t laminated and has no anti-reflective coating like most of apple’s recent displays (iPhone 5, rMBP, thin iMac).

    These are huge letdowns, but overall its a great product. I’ve always thought of the older iPads as being clunky, to the extend that I never bought one. But the thinness and lightness of the Air make it so much more usable, I’ll go get one.

    What I’m missing: Touch ID, 32GB for the base model, 2GB of RAM (I don’t like spec sheets but 1GB wasn’t enough on the iPad 4, kicked out apps way too soon, let alone 64bit apps will consume more RAM on average), and I’ve heard the display isn’t laminated and has no anti-reflective coating like most of apple’s recent displays (iPhone 5, rMBP, thin iMac).

    These are huge letdowns, but overall its a great product. I’ve always thought of the older iPads as being clunky, to the extend that I never bought one. But the thinness and lightness of the Air make it so much more usable, I’ll go get one.

    I agree. Anyway I’ll waiting for 2 GB of RAM, touch ID and a better screen.

  • Steven Quan

    The best tablet ever. Could have been even better with TouchID which people are now saying they can’t live without. Entering a password or drawing a gesture to unlock your phone is so 2012. Might have to wait for the 2014 iPad Mini with Retina, 64GB and TouchID.

    Wow, that would be quite a device indeed! I would LUV LUV LUV!!! <3<3<3!!!!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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