iPad Air Review

Yesterday, Apple released the newest member of the iPad family; the iPad Air. It comes in a smaller package but so far I haven’t seen anything reduced other than size. So what’s it like?

New Size

The developers decreased the size of the bezel, (or border) on the sides. At first glance it could actually be confused for an iPad mini because is now shares a very similar frame design. I love it. When holding the iPad, your thumb can sit closer to the actual touch interface and can actually navigate the screen instead of just holding the iPad in one hand and using the other. +1 on the user friendliness for the new size. Also the Air is thinner than it’s predecessor and about a half pound lighter. Obviously no complaints there.

Internal Upgrades

You don’t have to say much past 64-bit architecture to know that the Air is all about performance. It’s fast. I decided to restore my Air to the settings of my 4th gen iPad. It took about 6 minutes total in complete the restore AND install all of the (34) apps I had on my last iPad. When you launch on the Air, they’re ready the moment they appear on the screen. I was expecting the usual few seconds of hesitancy when loading the app store but I didn’t wait at all. There was no loading time at all, as with every other app I launch on the Air.

Camera

The camera has all of the great iOS7 features but is still on 5MP. I was hoping that Apple would finally start matching the iPad camera to the iPhone. Perhaps it’s to deter tourists from hauling their iPads around as their vacation camera, but it would be nice to have the bumped up resolution. Nevertheless, no other complaints about the camera which again, launches much faster with the new processor.

Battery Life

Jony Ive tells no lies. Even though they decreased the size meaning a decrease in battery size, the life span is still there. I’ve logged about 4 hours total use on my iPad Air across various uses, (Music, Internet, App use) and have only lost 24% from the charge. I charged my 4th gen about every 3 to 4 days and don’t think that will be changing with the Air.

The Negatives

So with all these great things about Air, is there anything to be said to the negative? For starters, I was always a fan of the Poly SmartCase for iPad. I had one for every one of the 4 iPads I’ve owned. With the release of the Air, Apple changed those to leather cases with a thirty dollar price jump up to $79. The SmartCover is still available in the Poly material for $39 which I ultimately ended up getting.

Also Apple still thinks 16GB is a reasonable amount of storage for devices and starts their base models there. I was hoping with this release the 32GB would be the new base line but instead we’re still shelling out an extra $100 to get an iPad with storage worth having.

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