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Apple iPad Air review

9.3/10 AVG.
RATING



9.3/10
Informr score
The Apple iPad Air currently has an Informr score of 9.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 47 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Fast performance
  • High-quality design
  • MIMO support
  • Beautiful display
  • Plenty of model options

What's bad

  • Price
  • 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.”


Operating system
iOS
Processor
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
9.7"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TechRadar

Make no mistake - Apple has finally nailed the tablet with a great combination of specs, power and a decent OS.It's a joy to hold the iPad Air. From the clever construction to the fast processor to the improved user interface, Apple has found an answer to every criticism we had of the device and the...

- Gareth Beavis, TechRadar
Tech Advisor

In many respects a triumph, the iPad Air also introduces compromises to hit the low-weight/thin-case targets. Sound quality through the new stereo speaker has deteriorated, and although a matter of taste we found the iPad mini-style case loses the premium feel of preceding generations of iPad. The i...

- Andrew Harrison, Tech Advisor
UnleashThePhones

If you buy the iPad Air, you definitely wont be disappointed. It follows along the same footsteps as previous iPads, and while it might not do anything dramatically new over the last iPad, it’s still commendable that Apple has managed to make it thinner, and lighter, while still solid, making...

- Clinton Jeff, UnleashThePhones
BGR

From the design, materials and display to performance and app ecosystem, the iPad Air is the best. Not everyone wants to buy into Apple’s ecosystem and for those users, there are plenty of great Android options out there. A few Android tablets might even manage to rival the iPad Air in some ar...

- Zach Epstein, BGR
MobileBurn

The lighter size and new materials alter the way that someone uses an iPad, which makes the iPad Air something worth holding onto. An iPad with Retina display (iPad 4) owner will be content to continue using the device until next year, but everyone else should consider upgrading. Thanks to its light...

- Andrew Kameka, MobileBurn


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Quick view

Screen Size
9.7"

The Apple iPad Air's screen size is 9.7 inches with 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.3 GHz

There is a Apple A7 Dual core 1.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the iOS 7 (Update Available: 12) operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/32/64/128 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
32WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 32 WHr battery. Apple's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

iPad Air Specs

Overview
Release date November 1, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
variations
Networks
No
variations
SIM card size
No
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 7 (Update Available: 12)

Compare iOS Tablets

Processor Apple A7 Dual core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64/128 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 1.19 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 32 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 30 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Space Gray, Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 23.9 x 16.8 x 0.7 cm (9.4 x 6.6 x 0.3 in)
Weight 478 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1536 x 2048 pixels
Pixel density 264 pixels
Size 9.7 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HID, HFP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Exposure, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AIFF, Apple Lossless, eAAC, MP3, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, RTF, PPT, PPTX, JPG, TIFF, GIF, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

Wi-Fi only version does not have GPS feature

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPad Air Reviews
Where to buy Apple iPad Air
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