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Review: Apple iPad Air

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ipad-air

We have been waiting patiently for the chance to be able to review the new iPad. Our team is divided evenly when it comes to Apple fans vs Non-Apple, so these reviews are always fun to put together as the initial testing comes with hours of colorful debates and opinions from both sides.

The new iPad Air comes with an impressive 9.7-inch retina screen that really pops out.  It’s resolution is 2048×1536 at 264 pixels per inch (ppi). It is much thinner than it’s predecessors, and lighter as well.

Inside you will find an A7 CPU which is much faster and requires less power which saves on battery life. That last part is good as the battery is smaller than the previous iPad (to accommodate the thickness and weight of the tablet).

The iPad Air comes with a built-in 32.4-watt-hour (Wh) rechargeable lithium-polymer battery (vs iPad 3’s 43Wh battery), yet still provides up to 10 hours of use. The new power adapter charges with an output of 2.4 amps. This is great as the battery will charge quickly. The disadvantage is you’re old spare USB to Wall (Edison) adapters will either have to be replaced else they will cause a slower charge (most aftermarket USB to Wall adapters have an output of 1 to 2 amps).

WiFi connections are much stronger and sync times have improved. Setup is very simple and retrieving everything from iCloud happens in a flash. Streaming movies online was also instant and smooth without any noticeable hiccups.

It comes with 2 stereo speakers at the bottom, and all the typical input/outputs. It does not feature the fingerprint sensor that the iPhone 5S introduced (there have been some mixed opinions about that).

The iPad Air feels good in the hands and we didn’t feel that it could be easily dropped (however a case is always recommended as you can never be too safe). The screen looks great, although we didn’t feel that is a massive improvement compares to what’s already available on the market. Sound is average at best and comparable to the past iPads. There are tablets on the market that feature better speakers so it doesn’t appear Apple was trying so hard when it came to sound.

When comparing this to the iPads of past, the new iPad Air dominates the previous options and brings a lot of improvements to the table. The only problem is that it is so expensive. iPads have always been expensive, but imagine how quickly they would squash the competition if they lowered the price a little. There are too many tablet solutions available now that can compete performance-wise, so it would be wise for Apple to punch back a little harder. Until that happens, a lot of buyers will be leaning more towards the cheaper alternatives. On a positive note however, the release of the Air also means the older models have fallen in price.

Our Conclusion

As stated, the new iPad Air dominates the previous generation models, feels good, looks amazing and has a lightning fast WiFi connection. The only thing holding it back in our eyes is price. There are too many alternatives on the market that offer a better price tag. So until the price comes down, we have to give it a 7/10. We can confidently say though, that Apple fans will quickly fall in love with the new iPad.

7 / 10 stars           

AmazonBuy-Button

 

Product Specs:

All-new design

iPad Air weighs just one pound, and it’s 20 percent thinner.2 But even though it’s extremely light, it has a refined aluminum unibody enclosure that feels solid and durable in your hand.

9.7-inch Retina display

Photos and videos look incredibly detailed and text is razor sharp on the stunning Retina display, which features over 3.1 million pixels — a million more than an HDTV.

A7 chip

The powerful and power-efficient A7 chip with 64-bit architecture makes everything remarkably responsive — while still delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.3

Ultrafast wireless

Now you can get up to 2x faster Wi-Fi performance using 802.11n with MIMO.4 And the Wi-Fi + Cellular model supports more LTE bands for fast connections the world over.1

Powerful apps included

iPad comes with great apps for sending email, browsing the web, and making video calls. It also includes apps that let you do amazing things with your photos, movies, music, documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

Over 475,000 apps on
the App Store

No matter what you love to do, there’s probably an app for that. And because these apps are made specifically for iPad, they take full advantage of its
advanced technologies.5

What’s in the box

  • iPad Air
  • Lightning to USB Cable
  • 12W USB Power Adapter

iOS 7

iOS is even easier to use with features like Control Center, AirDrop, and smarter multitasking. And because it’s designed for iPad, everything not only looks beautiful, it runs beautifully.

Dimensions

  • Height: 9.4 inches (240 mm)
  • Width: 6.6 inches (169.5 mm)
  • Depth: 0.29 inch (7.5 mm)
  • Weight: 1 pound (469 g)

Wireless

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and MIMO
  • Bluetooth 4.0 technology

Cameras

FaceTime HD Camera

  • 1.2MP photos
  • 720p HD video
  • FaceTime video calling over Wi-Fi or cellular10
  • Face detection
  • Backside illumination
  • Tap to control exposure for video or still images
  • Photo and video geotagging

Video Recording

  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Video stabilization
  • Face detection
  • Tap to focus while recording
  • Backside illumination
  • 3x video zoom

iSight Camera

  • 5MP photos
  • Autofocus
  • Face detection
  • Backside illumination
  • Five-element lens
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Tap to focus video 
    or still images
  • Tap to control exposure for video or still images
  • Photo and video geotagging
  • HDR photos

External Buttons and Controls

Home, On/Off, Sleep/Wake, Silent/Screen rotation lock, Volume up/down

Connectors and Input/Output

Dual microphones, 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack, Lightning connector, Built-in speakers

Input/Output 

  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
  • Built-in speakers
  • Dual microphones

Sensors

  • Three-axis gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor

iOS 7

With an all-new design and all-new features, iOS 7 is the world’s most advanced mobile OS. In its most advanced form. 

iOS 7 includes

  • AirDrop
  • AirPlay
  • AirPrint
  • Control Center
  • Notification Center
  • Siri
  • Spotlight Search
  • iTunes Radio
  • Facebook Integration
  • Twitter Integration
  • iCloud
  • iCloud Keychain
  • Multitasking
  • Passbook

Audio Playback

  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
  • User-configurable maximum volume limit

TV & Video Plaback

  • AirPlay mirroring and video out to Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)
  • Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p through Lightning Digital AV Adapter and Lightning to VGA Adapter (adapters sold separately)
  • Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High Profile level 4.2 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

 

Are you a manufacturer or vendor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.

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About Author

James

Designer, Editor and Reviewer for Poc Network, ProAudio and Mobile Nations. James enjoys spending most of his time as an audio engineer and technician for the live music industry when he isn't running around the office here juggling an intense workload. He can also be found frequently in the nearby mountainous ranges, scrambling rocks and rappelling down large sections.

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