Apple iPad Air

It's functionally similar to last year but faster, better designed and, simply put, the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.


9.0
CNET Rating

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It's been a long time since Apple delivered unto us a proper redesign of the iPad. The original, boxy first-gen tablet lived for about 11 months, replaced in 2011 by a far slinkier version. The tapered design language survived, more or less unchanged, for a further two and a half years — a lifetime in the consumer electronics world. That period was punctuated by two updates, bringing faster chips and a better display, but it's a full refresh we've all been waiting for — something to make the good old iPad look and feel truly new.

And here it is: the iPad Air. With this, the fifth generation of the iPad line, Apple has delivered a proper exterior redesign, crafting a substantially thinner and lighter tablet that finally eliminates the chunky bezels handed down since the first generation — at least on the left and right. But despite this significant exterior reduction, the iPad Air maintains the battery life of its predecessor and offers significantly better performance.

You could think of the iPad Air as a 20 per cent scaled-up version of the mini. Impressively, though, the iPad Air isn't 20 per cent thicker than the mini. In fact, at 7.5mm, it's only 0.3mm deeper — a massive 1.9mm thinner than the previous full-size iPad. Despite that, the tablet feels just as sturdy and rigid as before, not flexing a bit, even under rather aggressive attempts at twisting.

The iPad Air's weight is also closer to the mini than to its fourth-gen predecessor. Pick up an Air and you'll be reminded of the first time you held a mini: it's a "wow" moment.

Conclusion

If you found yourself tuning out the last few generations of iPad thanks to their extreme familiarity, it's time to get yourself dialled back in. The iPad Air is worth getting excited about. Although it brings no new functionality to the table, and we can't help being disappointed about the lack of Touch ID, the performance increase and solid battery life show that progress is still being made on the inside. It's the new exterior design, however, that really impresses. The iPad Air is thinner than any tablet this size deserves to be and lighter, too. The old iPad always felt surprisingly hefty — this one, compellingly lithe.

However, there is one tablet that's thinner and lighter still and yet holds the promise of great performance and build quality: the upcoming iPad mini with Retina display. At over AU$100 cheaper, it could prove the stiffest competition the full-size iPad has seen yet. Time will tell on that front (the new mini won't ship for a few weeks), so we'll withhold judgment for now.

If you're willing to consider a smaller tablet, hold off clicking "buy" for just a little while longer. If you're looking for a full-size tablet and don't mind paying a premium to get the best, this is it.

Read the full version of CNET's iPad Air review. We'll have local impressions after it is available in Australia.

Via CNET.com



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PaMan posted a comment   
Australia

It's still an Apple product. The people who buy this ;
1- A user who does not have a clue about technology. (Just like a dumb blond).
2- A frustrated user who just technically so so because they do not know the functionality of iTune and a computer.
3- A frustrated user who has a tight pocket that do not want to pay for apps.
Even after you pay, it does not guarantee to work well and there is no refund.
4- A user that willing to spend but still does not have a clue how to use it properly and the potential of the ipad.
5- A technically savy user that getting bored soon after they hacking into it.
6- A user that can afford it but only for a show because of fashion. A must to have.
7- A user that class division is very important. Mostly comes from upper middle class up.

This is the company who encourage class division in the society between the have and the have not.

 

trebor83 posted a reply   
Australia

You forgot:

8- A user that want a known quantity that is going to see them get what they pay for.
9- A user that wants a best in class product.

 

Will1505 posted a reply   

Best in class at what?

Price point in respect to specs - No
Screen resolution - No
Memory - No
RAM - No
LTE speed - No
Processor - Nothing that the user would experience.

 

The guru posted a reply   
Australia

Wrong. My son has Autism, partially deaf, speech issues and other disabilities. The iPad has the most apps for him to help him communicate, use his fingers and learn how to do things. He has 40 apps on his iPad. There are very few Android apps for autism, OT / speech or other. One of his apps cost $200, this app is also used by adults that have disabilities be it speech or other.
My son is 5 1/2.
So your just making generalizations statements above do not hold water. Everyone has their own reasons to by a tablet be it Apple or other.
I am not an Apple / Samsung or any other fan boi, just someone that needs an item that has specific purposes.

 

SimonM4 posted a comment   

Apple did a good job but just didnt go far enought. 120GB Internal HD would be a great starting point, wit the expansion of an ssd mini card, to still not offer this is just plain stupid. A stylus intergraed wouls be good butnot essetial. USB3 on the other hand is a must.

 

The guru posted a reply   
Australia

USB3 why. I have USB3 external drives with USB3 pc and the transfer rate is about the same as USB2. When they test USB do they use 5400 / 7200 / 10 800 rpm drives or SSD? The claims made about transfer speeds vary depending upon main board etc.
Thunderbolt is the future, just pc makers want to stick with an old technology that needs to die like the serial port, lol why do some main board makers still supply boards with VGA or serial ports?
The reason SSD are not used is due to weight and thickness also heat issue?




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User Reviews / Comments  Apple iPad Air

  • PaMan

    PaMan

    "It's still an Apple product. The people who buy this ;
    1- A user who does not have a clue about technology. (Just like a dumb blond).
    2- A frustrated user who just technically so so bec..."

  • SimonM4

    SimonM4

    "Apple did a good job but just didnt go far enought. 120GB Internal HD would be a great starting point, wit the expansion of an ssd mini card, to still not offer this is just plain stupid. A stylus ..."

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