There can’t be many people who are interested in Tech, most especially Apple Tech, who haven’t heard or read somewhere about Apples newest iPad model the iPad Air? Since it was launched here in Ireland recently I’ve noticed that I happen to be walking past a certain computer store more frequently, ah sure I may as well have a look inside and see whats new 😉 cue 15-30mins, depending on the amount of people waiting behind me, of me using and admiring the iPad Air on display. This way of using an iPad can be very limiting so I was delighted when a family member received a birthday present of an iPad Air 64G, wifi & cellular model! She very kindly allowed me to have her new “precious’ for a morning so that I could see its full potential. So what follows is my own honest review.
On first picking up the iPad Air, I was surprised how well balanced it felt (up to now I had only used one with a security device on its back). I was also expecting the device to be heavier than it actually felt! It really is light as a feather. The space grey finish on the rear feels great. It has all the usual iPad connectivity ports – headphone jack, Lightning connector and on this model a SIM Card slot. The other usual buttons are present – Sleep button at top and Home button.
One thing I did notice immediately was how far out the silence switch protrudes! As an iPhone user it reminds me of the iPhone 3G switch and these were constantly snapping off.
Apart from that the iPad Air just looks and feels amazing, the narrower bezels really make a difference.
Ah the retina display, where do I start? beautiful crisp, clear images. Fantastic colour accuracy, all thanks to the 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology 2048-by-1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi) and the fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. (being honest I copied that from the Apple webiste).
I don’t think the camera, a 5 megapixel really cuts it!! Its ok but surely for this money Apple could have at least brought in an 8 megapixel camera or even added a flash? In normal light or outdoors, photos taken are passable but in a dark situation forget it. The front facing camera is ok for FaceTime but again needs to be used in a well lit situation.
Due to the A7 processor the iPad Air is amazingly fast to use. But use it with apps optimised for the 64 bit chip, iWork and iLife and just be prepared to be blown away! Really the iPad Air is just a joy to use. Battery life has been very impressive, as its a new toy it has rarely been put down and does indeed live up to Apples claim of up to 10 hours use! Sound from the built-in stereo speakers is also very impressive.
I’m not sure if it comes across but I do in fact really like the iPad Air! So much so I might just be putting my purchase of an iPhone 5S on hold for a while. Everything about it just feels so slick and intuitive. Like all things there are downsides, No touch ID!! Not a biggie for me but why Apple didn’t include this has me flummoxed, if they can fit it into an iPhone surely they could have squeezed it into the iPad AIr? Yes the iPad Air is thin but I think most people will be putting it in some kind of protective covering? This one is enclosed in an Apple Smart Case, therefore bulking it up quite considerably and loosing the thinness effect.
Almost forgot the obligatory “pencil” comparison picture 🙂
Pricing from Apple-