Sunday, November 3, 2013

The iPad Air Review

October has now become the month of the iPad, and this year is no exception. Apple has unleashed 2013's models and I have been waiting to upgrade my iPad 3 for some time.

You see, the iPad 3 was the first ever Retina iPad/tablet but the problem was that the GPU was grossly underpowered to run smoothly for a lot of graphic intensive tasks.

The iPad 4 was a very quick and unexpected upgrade in the matter of 6 months, and it was obvious they needed to produce a more graphics capable tablet to the previous model.

And the move to the smaller lightning adapter/charger. And then, they released the iPad Mini, which was such a beautiful design based off the iPhone 5 design. Boy, did I want a full sized tablet with the power and the sexy looks.

For the most part, the big brother iPad has not seen a redesign for 3 generations, and that is a heck of a long time. 2 and a half years in fact. That, in itself, is one of the longest period between a major Apple overhaul for a design change in their products. Outside of the Mac Pro, of course.

This major change comes with a name change as well. Dubbed the iPad Air, it fully lives up to its monicker with its incredible slim and svelte look. Taking after the Mini, it has chamfered  edges now taking a look of a luxury jewellery look. Classy, beautiful and sexy.

It also spots a faster clocked A7 chip that is now 64-bit just like the iPhone 5S and comes preloaded with iOS 7, which utterly flies. Going from screen to screen, transitions and animations all whizz by without any issue.

Opening apps is also significantly faster and loading times are so reduced that you will be amazed if you have any iPad 3 or below. The screen is still the same 2048 by 1536 resolution and it still looks as crisp and print like as ever. The color seems even better and closer to the vividness of the iPhone 5 series.

Battery life is the same at 10 hours, and what's better, it does not feel as hot as my older 3rd gen. That is cool, considering they used a smaller battery in the Air.
The only thing that is missing from the recent iPhone 5S is the Touch ID home button. It is no big loss, but it is slightly surprising that this is not included, but you probably won't miss it that much.

From a gamer's perspective, the iPad Air is now the best iOS device to play the large library of iOS games. Games like Infinity Blade III really shines and comes ever closer to PS3/XBox 360 levels.

Beyond IB3, other games simply run smoother with little or no lag and the best is yet to come. I suspect in the coming year, there will be tons of new games that will take advantage of the better GPU and 64 bit processing that will blow gamers away. The graphics is supposed to be twice as fast as the iPad 4 and it really feels so.

Another improvement is the speakers. They are noticeably better placed and sound much more clear and louder than the previous models. And this baby is light. It is similar to how the iPhone 4 went to iPhone 5 and you almost felt that it was flying off your hand. It is almost similar here.

So, should you get this? If you are on any non-retina iPad, this is a no brainer. If you are on iPad 3 like I was, you will certainly enjoy the boost in speed that may have haunted you for more than a year. And  you will enjoy the lightness of the tablet more.

As for those who have a 4th gen iPad, it is harder to make a call. That iPad is already powerful and does most apps without issue. I will say if you really want the extra reduction in weight, then yes. That will the most compelling reason for 4th gen owners.

The final summary? The iPad Air is, as ever, the best iPad yet. Until October 2014 anyway. It is still priced similarly to last year's. There is also the issue of the iPad Mini, which is slated to come out in late November, and has retina this year with the same A7 chip. So, for those still looking for a smaller tablet, wait.

For everyone else who is looking for a full sized tablet, the iPad Air remains top of its class. Another masterpiece from Jony Ive and a beautiful work of technology.

No comments:

Post a Comment