- Lack of Touch ID
- Mediocre camera
As the fifth release in the iPad lineup, many reviewers are noting that this is the best tablet to date. Nate Lanxon to Wired UK thinks that it “feels like a milestone” and Jay Yarow of Business Insider said the iPad Air is “the best iPad Apple has ever made.” By reducing size and weight while increasing power, it seems that Apple might have once again taken the lead in the tablet market.
Reviews state that the device is between 25 and 30% lighter than the previous model. This brings the Air in at right around 1 pound depending on your specific model. This allows all the portability of the Mini with all the productivity and enjoyment of the larger 9.7-inch Retina display. Neil Hughes and Mikey Campbell of Apple Insider state that its “a joy to hold. It's light, thin and the construction just feels fantastic.”
The new device features the same 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion processor as the iPhone 5S and the performance and battery life shows in most reviews. Wired UK notes that even though both are 1.4GHz chips, the A7 is “almost twice as fast at the previous model. On the iPad Air you can see the difference immediately.” Reviews from Jonathon Bray of PC Pro noted similar increases, with a single core of the new model outperforming both cores of the original mini or the iPad 4.
With a reduction in size and notable increase in performance, you might suspect the battery life of the new tablet. Wired UK used the tablet throughout a weekend conference and notes that “Apple rates the Air as having ten hours of life for continued usage under general conditions. We can certainly believe this, and perhaps claim Apple's number is on the modest side.” This brings it in line with previous models and should provide most users with plenty of power to make it through the day.
If there was an area to criticize the device, it would be the camera. While it uses the same chip and lens from the iPhone 5S, it lacks many of the new features and refinements. Many reviews note that while the pictures are not awful, there is noticeable room for improvement. Apple Insider stated “cameras have never been the iPad's strong suit, and that trend continues with the Air.” Then again, taking snapshots with a 10-inch tablet isn’t the most ideal situation anyhow.
In all, the Air has received rave reviews across the board. Both Apple Insider and Business Insider say its the best iPad to date with Apple Insider saying anyone in the market for a tablet “can buy an iPad Air with confidence. This is the new standard.”