We’re now three months on from the announcement of the release Apple’s newest tablet – the iPad Air – and after a short wait time of just ten days we got our hands on the Air. The question is how does this thinner and lighter version of the iPad stack up to the other tablets on the market after a quarter of a year on sale?
The iPad Air was announced during a keynote speak at the end of October in conjunction with the new iPad Mini 2. Both of these devices had their own key selling points with the Mini 2 being the first to utilise the retina scan, while the Air being thinner and lighter, thus being more manageable during usage, piqued the interest of many people.
The Air has an overall decrease of 24% volume on previously released iPad models with the weight of the device sitting at less than 0.5kgs and with fractions of millimetres shaved off many parts of the device it stands at just 7.5mm thin. They managed this by reducing the touch sensor by 70% as well as removing a quarter of the depth of both the battery and the casing, while still leaving the durability and solid built feeling of sturdier models. Top this off with being released with iOS7 and Apple doubling the power of the last generation with their newest A7 chip seeing twice as fast speeds in both CPU and graphics performance. This is boosted even further with the M7 coprocessor which aids the A7 and allows the iPad Air to hold a battery charge of up to ten hours.
Despite all of this being on offer, it was slightly overshadowed by the release of the iPad Mini 2, something that was predicted by industry experts, but despite a slow first day sales soon picked up as highlighted by the Hong Kong market selling out after just two hours of it becoming available online for purchase. While the October – December sales figures are not due for release for another week there is nothing concrete about the volume sold yet, but the industry insiders believe that the iPhone and iPad sales for this period were at least 78m, with the iPhone 5s and the Air the biggest selling devices.
It is an impressive device and those are impressive figures, and the iPad Air has received many positive reviews with Anand Lal Shimpi, writing for AnandTech, stating that the Air “hits a balance of features, design and ergonomics that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in the iPad.” and TechRadar UK Editor in Chief Patrick Goss saying “It’s hard to put into words how much Apple has improved the iPad, offering a stunning level of detail and power with a build quality that’s unrivalled.”
There are several versions of the device available starting at the 16GB Wifi only version at £399 and going all the way to the 128GB version with both Wifi and Cellular at £739. If you’re looking to get your hands on an iPad Air but don’t have this level of cash lying around after Christmas then visit our friends at ButlersBingo.com who are giving away four free iPad Air devices this January. Sign up now to stand a chance of winning one!