iPad air review: Philip Thompson
Since the launch of the original iPad people have viewed it as one of the best tablets around. So when they launch a new version it has a lot to live up to.
Thinner, lighter, faster, are words that are almost always thrown around when a new version of a tablet is launched and the iPad air is no exception. The thing is that this time it is really noticeable.
Weighing in at just over 450g it really is a surprise when you hold the new iPad air for the first time. At this weight you really can hold the new iPad in one hand for a period of time without feeling fatigue in your wrist which is something that did used to happen with the old version, so I can happily say that the new diet that iPad has been on is well worth it.
Meh it’s a couple of mm thinner do you really notice that….and let’s be honest most people (including me) will throw it in a case.
The iPad screen is the same size as it has always been but they have been able to trim a little of the sides which is really nice as it does make it a little smaller. Now with the narrower bezel on the sides of the screen there was a worry about triggering screen presses by accident but apple have been cleaver and manager to do some software voodoo which prevents this happening and it really does work.
Now the iPad air has the new A7 chip with the new M7 co processor which we first seen in the new iPhone 5s, but in the iPad it has a slightly higher clock speed (well 100Hz faster). Weather this means a higher speed over the 5s I can’t comment on, but what I can say is that the A7 gives the air a speed that is really noticeable over the older models.
The battery size in the air is smaller than in the older model iPads which should mean less battery life, but with the new processors and some software trickery in iOS 7 you should get the same amount of life out of the battery. In my use I do get on average about a day out of one charge with normal use. Be warned though I have been able to kill the battery in 4 hours by playing a resource intensive game. Also due to some complicated reasons for the first couple of days that I had the new iPad air I didn’t have a SIM card to put in it, so it was basically a wifi only model for a while and battery life was so much better to a point where I got 2 days out of one charge.
One of the new long over due additions to the air is stereo speakers. Before you start celebrating it’s not all good. Both of the speakers are on the bottom of the device just either side of the lightning port so you can’t really tell that it is stereo at all. One plus to it though is that when you are holding the air in landscape mode you don’t block all of the audio like you use too no matter which way round you hold it. As for the quality off the sound you get from those speakers it’s reasonable not too tinny but not a massive amount of bass but good enough to watch a film.
So has the new air lived up to expectations and should it be allowed to call it self an iPad. In my opinion yes and then some, I do hold the same opinion that a lot of the tech press is saying in that the air is the best iPad ever. Should you by one? Yes I believe so if you can afford it and you can get it for free on orange at £36 per month 24 months with 1GB of data from the carphone warehouse.