Gadgets

iPad Air: Apple’s made the best 10-inch tablet ever — again (review roundup)

The iPad Air comes in white (with silver) or black (with space gray).

Above: The iPad Air comes in white (with silver) or black (with space gray).

Image Credit: Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat

Apple’s media event last week made a pretty compelling case for why your next tablet should be the iPad Air.

But in case you weren’t brainwashed convinced, we’ve gone through the early reviews of the device to give you a sense of what everyone’s saying. Because there’s nothing better than a second, third, and fourth opinion, right?

First, let’s talk about weight. If you’ve ever used a 10-inch tablet (including previous iPads), you’re probably aware of the form factor’s biggest problem: Somehow, it’s still too darn heavy. Has Apple fixed this with the iPad Air? Yes!

Here’s The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple:

When I first picked up the iPad Air, I noticed how light it was. I mean really light. In reality, Apple shaved about half a pound of weight off the new iPad compared to the previous generations. That may not seem like much, but when the old iPad only weighed approximately 1.5 pounds, knocking off half a pound is significant.

Still, in spite of all the weight Apple shaved off the new iPad, the company didn’t sacrifice the tablet’s battery life, which is still pretty impressive.

Says Engadget’s Brad Molen:

In our standard video rundown test, the Air stayed alive for a whopping 13 hours and 45 minutes. Under heavy use, the device kept us going for a little more than a day and a half (admittedly with a few hours of sleep during this time).

So, Apple’s got the iPad Air’s weight and battery life right. Is there anywhere where they messed up? Most reviewers point to a few minor things — the lack of the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner and, of course, the price — but the general consensus is that the iPad Air isn’t a device that will change your life.

Here’s The New York Times Damon Darlin:

But do you need to plunk down $500 or more for an Air if you already have an earlier version of the iPad? Notice I used the word “need.” Even though I love shiny new objects, I really can’t tell you to replace your old iPad; the improvements on the new one are incremental, not revolutionary.

In other words, the iPad Air is most worth it if you don’t own any of its recent predecessors. Though that’s not a criticism unique to this device.

You see where this is all going. While the iPad Air won’t blow you away if you’ve used an iPad before, the reality here is that Apple has one again managed to create the best tablet ever. And just about every reviewer agrees.

Here’s gadget Odin Walt Mossberg:

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.

And here’s Engadget again:

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.

Annnnnd CNet’s Tim Stevens:

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.

And there’s the bottom line. The iPad Air is the best tablet ever. At least until the next one.


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