Apple held an event recently on October 22, 2013 to unveil some new products in the market. The product namely was the next generation iPad and the iPad mini as well. We had expected this to be the usual iPad 4, but Apple for the first time in so many years surprised us by using a new name this time around and the new iPad is named the iPad Air. What is more interesting about this event is that Apple held this event at the very same day when Nokia held their World Event where they also launched a tablet in the market to compete with the like of Samsung and the other including the iPad. Well, the rivalry has heated up but that is for some other day. We are here to review the iPad Air from Apple.
When we look at the iPad Air for the first time, you really don’t see much difference in that and the other earlier versions. But when you hold it in your hand you will realize that it is lighter and thinner than before. It still has the same 9.7” Retina Display screen which was a bit of a disappointment because we were expecting a bigger screen, maybe a 10”+ one and about 4k resolution considering that Retina display was already there on the previous iPad. But still it is not at all bad. Also the current iPad Air does stand true to its name as it is pretty light and thin as well. If sources at Apple are to be believed, the current iPad is even thinner than your average pencil. Now that is something isn’t it?
On the hardware front also we were expecting Apple to come up with something more than the usual iPhone specs. It has the same A7 processor coupled with the M7 coprocessor to handle the graphics which makes it equivalent to holding a larger version of the iPhone 5S. But even that can be accepted considering that the iOS 7 which runs on the iPad does not need much heavy horsepower to handle the tasks. On the memory front too Apple disappoints with the absence of expandable memory. It does come with big internal memory options, but still and expandable slot is much preferred.
The iPad Air does come in 16/32/64/128 GB versions, but I guess the reason they are not providing the expandable memory is because it does not have the option for simple plug and play to any device. To move or transfer files you always require their iTunes software which frankly speaking is a huge hassle and a lot frustrating. Apple makes great products and then also makes sure they annoy you with small things like this. But I think if you need loads of memory you can always opt for the 128 GB option.
Coming to the camera, the tablet sports a 5MP iSight camera which uses the feature of larger pixels. This technology works in a way that since the pixels are large, so a single pixel captures more details and light than the default or original pixel would capture. This allows for a small MP count camera to capture great images which are equivalent to say a 12 MP camera. It is capable of capturing some amazing stills and also record Full HD 1080p videos at 30 fps. It also has a 1.3 MP FaceTime camera on the front that is capable of 720p HD videos for video chatting. Now that is cool.
Now coming to the features, we were actually expecting a lot from the new iPad it seems. Why can’t Apple listen for a change? Anyways, Apple did not put in the fingerprint scanner in the iPad like in the iPhone 5S. iOS 7 is not going to win the race for them all the time. But still, the iOS 7 is a pretty good, light and zippy operating system and it works on the 64 bit architecture that Apple has moved on to with the A7 processor. This means the efficiency and processing power has increased, but that is still useless unless more apps arrive with the 64 bit base; Apple we tell you!
Apple also has reduced the bezel of the tablet, which means gone are the thick borders from the screen, thus reducing the overall size of the iPad as well. Actually that is great, but we really could not have minded at all if Apple would have used the extra space for a better battery in the device. The current 32.4 Watt-hour battery lasts for about 10 hours of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi and 9 hours over Cellular network. This is not at all bad by any standards, but we would have loved some more juice in there as it no one really likes to stay hooked to the power outlets.
Lastly the iOS 7 running on the iPad Air provides some amazing features on the tablet. For starters it lets you access you iCloud with much more ease now. Also now there are new features like AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint, Facebook and Twitter integration and also our very own ‘Siri’. There are Apple maps as well, but we all know how great they had turned out to be, so I guess users are going to end up using Google maps since even that is available on this device.
The iPad Air comes in 2 variants, the Wi-Fi only and cellular. The cellular version supports all bands of LTE which is really great. So all in all the iPad Air with its minor stuff here and there still is an impressive tablet. So if you are looking for a good tablet then this could be it. But with the non-expandable memory, you might want to think hard as to which version you want to get depending on your usage. The full detailed specs are given below.
- Display: 9.7” Retina Display
- Resolution: 2048×1536
- Processor: Apple A7 Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone
- GPU: Quad core PowerVR G6430
- RAM: 1 GB
- Storage: 16/32/64/128 GB
- Battery: 32.4 Watt-hour
- Camera: 5 MP rear, 1.3 MP front
- OS: iOS 7