Apple’s new iPad Air is on sale from today. Here’s my early thoughts.
As always, these aren’t intended to take the place of a full review; these are merely early thoughts. A full review will follow when I’ve had proper time to put an iPad Air through its paces.
The biggest issue that I’ve hit with tablets has been working out when to upgrade. I’m not so much thinking of when you’ve broken the previous model as I am looking at the issue of upgrading the power inherent in a tablet.
Apple’s stuff is generally quite well built, and I can’t be the only person with a still-quite solidly performing original generation iPad, can I?
On that basis, from a quick hands-on, the iPad Air certainly seems like a nippy little device for either production or consumption chores, although the accent is still rather more tilted towards content consumption than production.
It should be; the underlying chip is the same one as found in the iPhone 5s, and I’m sure that iFixit will be along shortly to show exactly what an iPad Air’s innards look like for those who like to have a perve.
The drop in weight is quite welcome, and easily a standout feature. I’m pretty used to the heft of a 10″ tablet, and the issues inherent in holding one up for extended periods of time. Apple haven’t done anything to deal with the lactic acid in your arms, but lowering its weight at least means you should be able to prop it up (if it’s not in a case) that bit longer.
The reduced thickness also (and arguably for the first time) makes me appreciate the use of the Lightning connector. Not that it’s not an interesting bit of engineering, but up until now I’ve always looked at it and thought that while handy, there didn’t seem to be a real thickness reason why a 30-pin old-school dock connector shouldn’t fit on there. With the iPad Air, I can see why Lightning is a necessary step.
Apple certainly seem to have developed a fine premium tablet product, but it’ll be especially interesting to see how well it stacks up against the retina version of the iPad Mini, due out later this month. It has the same feature set as the full-fat Air, but in a smaller and lighter frame, and at a lower outright cost.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a whole lot of testing to do…