October 30, 2013, 1:57 PM — iPad Air Reviews Roundup
The reviews are in for Apple's new 64-bit iPad Air. Most critics seemed to love it. The new iPad Air goes on sale November 1 online and in Apple's retail stores.
Walt Mossberg at AllThingsD think it's the best tablet he's ever reviewed.
I’ve been testing the iPad Air for about a week and found it a pleasure to use. This new iPad isn’t a radical rethinking of what a tablet can be, but it’s a major improvement on a successful product. It is the best tablet I’ve ever reviewed.
The battery performance of the iPad Air simply blew me away. In my tough tablet battery test, where I disable automatic screen dimming and other power-saving features, and combine video playback from the device’s memory with leaving Wi-Fi on and email working at normal settings, the iPad has almost always met its claims and beat competitors by a wide margin.
But this new iPad Air just kept going, clocking a battery life of 12 hours and 13 minutes, which exceeded Apple’s claim by more than 20 percent. The company says its A7 chip, combined with the fact it controls its own operating system, gives the new iPad the ability to tailor under-the-hood processes so unneeded drains on the battery can be minimized.
Bottom line: If you can afford it, the new iPad Air is the tablet I recommend, hands down.
Engadget also think it's the best tablet they've ever reviewed.
Surprise: the iPad Air is the best iPad we've reviewed. In addition, though, it's also the most comfortable 10-inch tablet we've ever tested. Not every manufacturer can produce a thin and light device without also making it feel cheap or flimsy, but Apple nailed it. Factor in a sizable boost in performance and battery life, and the Air is even more compelling. The last two iPads served up relatively few improvements, but the Air provides people with more of a reason to upgrade or even buy a tablet for the first time.
AnandTech thinks that it's going to be very tough to choose between the iPad Air and the new retina iPad mini.
Two weeks ago I had all but written off the bigger iPad. It was too bulky and just no where near as portable as the iPad mini. Once the latter gets a Retina Display and equal hardware across the board, why would anyone consider the bigger model?
The iPad Air changed my perspective on all of that. It really does modernize the big iPad. While I suspect there are still going to be a lot of users who prefer the smaller form factor of the iPad mini with Retina Display, I do feel like there are those users who will continue to appreciate all of the benefits that go along with having a larger display. Text is easier to read, particularly on desktop versions of websites. Photos and videos are larger and thus more engaging as well. In the past there was this complex matrix of tradeoffs that you had to make between iPad and iPad mini. This generation, Apple does away with all of that.
The iPad Air is the most significant upgrade to the 9.7-inch iPad in its history. It’s lighter, more portable, more usable and faster than any previous iPad. It doesn’t fundamentally change what you can do with a tablet, but if you’re in the market for one the iPad Air really is the best iPad to date. Competition is definitely more stiff among the smaller tablets thanks to the Nexus 7, but in the nearly 10-inch tablet space it seems like Apple is going to continue to enjoy a great position there.
CNet loves the iPad Air, but still longs for Touch ID.
The good: The iPad Air delivers more performance and comparable battery life in an attractive and impossibly thin-and-light package. An improved front-facing camera makes FaceTiming look better, and the Retina Display still looks great.
The bad: The Touch ID fingerprint scanner, introduced on the iPhone 5S, is sadly absent here, meaning you’ll still have to type in a passcode with every unlock and a password with every purchase. Starting at $499 for 16GB, it’s still expensive compared with the competition.
The bottom line: Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.
TechCrunch loved going from an iPad mini to the iPad Air.
Having used primarily an iPad mini for the past year, there’s no question that coming back to the 9.7-inch Retina display was an uplifting experience. It felt a little like getting your prescription adjusted and realizing you’ve been seeing everything poorly for a long time. Video shines on the iPad Air, as does image-rich content like comic books and photos.
Not to mention that all that extra space makes for a much more comfortable browsing experience, and offers a lot of benefits when it comes to content creation. It doesn’t feel arduous doing work on the iPad; you can start to remember why people touted the iPad as a PC-killer when it debuted, and it edges ever closer to being able to truly replace notebooks for the majority of everyday users.
Pocket Lint thinks that Apple has created an experience that transcends the technical specs of the iPad Air.
Apple has done it again: the iPad Air is a tablet better than the last iPad. Simply put the iPad Air is the best iPad the company has ever made. It's light, it's thin, it's fast, it's amazing.
But make no mistake: if you buy the iPad Air you'll be very happy. Apple has created an experience that far outweighs specs on a spec sheet and that will be hard for the competition to match. That in itself makes it the best tablet on the market in terms of performance, apps, and desirability, until the iPad mini with Retina display comes along, and then the fight over which iPad to get really starts.
Jim Dalrymple at the Loop loves the smaller size of the iPad Air.
It's very hard to describe how good the iPad Air feels in your hand without actually picking one up. It’s kind of like the first time you saw a Retina display for the first time—shock.
This smaller size is great. If you have decent sized hands you can type with two thumbs on the iPad in portrait, something I wasn’t really able to do with the last generation iPad without a lot of stretching. Clearly a full-size iPad is not something you will be thumb typing with all the time, but it does give you an idea of how much smaller the iPad Air is.
It sure looks like Apple has a major hit on its hands with the iPad Air, given all the raves by reviewers. I'm looking forward to the detailed reviews of the new iPad mini to see if it matches the kudos earned by its big brother.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.