1 Store26 Reviews
Pros: New Speaker
Cons: Repairing and upgrading
Heat Still an issue
No Touch ID
The iPad Air, one of the two new upgraded iPad, has raise a lot of questions as to whether people should consider buying it or not.
Since the iPad Air is thinner and lighter than the previous iPad, is it a good tablet for most people? The iPad Air is almost as light as the iPad Mini. In fact, it actually used the same design and the same thinnest of the iPad Mini. If you tried to hold it, you will be amazed by how portable this thing is. Inside this iPad Air is an Apple A7 64-bit chip and M7 Motion chip. The downside would be the apps. There are some apps that don’t support 64-bit processor. In terms of daily usage, the iPad Air can still get most of the job done.
When I first saw this new iPad Air at the October 2013 WWDC, I was thinking about replacing my iPad 4 with this iPad Air because of the new A7 64-bit chip. My biggest concern is the amount of graphic intense apps because the iPad 4 can get really hot and really laggy when you use on gaming apps.
My iPad 4 has only 32GB which is no longer enough for storing some videos. I went with the iPad Air because I want the 64-bit processor and Apple also claimed that the new Apple A7 Chip allows users to play Graphic Intensive games. I was somehow worried that the new iPad Air might suffer some heat issues just like the previous iPad with Retina Display.
Since I purchased this iPad Air, my experience with the iPad Air has been tremendous, and I will tell you some features that you might like as much as I do.
Here are the things I really love about the iPad Air
- Speakers: One little change I notice on this iPad Air comparing to the previous iPad 4 is the speaker. Instead of using a single speaker, the iPad Air has a dual speaker. This thing can produce sounds way better than the previous version. Listening to some songs has never been better on this new iPad Air. If you compare the new speaker with other previous generation iPad, you will notice the differences in sound quality.
- Weight: To be honest, the iPad Air is very light comparing to its predecessor. The iPad 4 was around 650g but the new iPad Air weighs only 469g. Even though this lightness doesn’t mean much in terms of the way it was used, it does mean something to me. In terms of feeling, it is hard to describe but if you got a chance to try the iPad Air, you can feel the lightness of the Air.
- The Retina Display: The Retina Display is still one of the best features of the iPad. It is good to see that ultra-high pixel display on the new iPad Mini. The iPad Air has a pixel resolution of 2048 x 1536 which 264 pixel per inch. With the Retina Display, you also have a great viewing angle and great color contrast.
- Design: I really don’t know why Apple decided to use the same design as the iPad Mini but for sure, the designing quality of this device is second to none. People who are used to the iPad 2 – iPad 4 might find it hard to get used to the new design. This new design offers a good holding experience. It really gives me a good grip when I hold it with one hand.
- Performance: The iPad Air used the same A7 chip as the iPhone 5S. This A7 chip gives the iPad Air 1.39GHz of 64-bit processing power. The M7 Motion Coprocessor is also a great plus to the iPad Air if you want to use the physical apps. It has a 1GB of RAM and a Flash Storage ranging from 16GB to 128GB. The ability to load application and switch between applications is definitely faster. Gaming on the iPad Air is definitely much better than any other iPad.
Here are the things some people might not like but I don’t need it.
- Touch ID: After the debut of the Touch ID on the iPhone 5S, I heard a lot of people were expecting the Touch ID sensor on the iPad Air or the Retina Display iPad Mini. Unfortunately both iPad Air and the Retina iPad Mini have the traditional home button. Some people were used to the Touch ID sensor and they would prefer that on the iPad. For me, I prefer the traditional home button because I'm really worried that if I pressed the Touch ID button way too much, I might damage the sensor. I don't like the Assistive Touch app because I have to move the white dot around if I want to click on something.
- WIFI: For people who have been using the Haswell MacBook Air, you probably know how good the 802.11ac is. It is definitely unfortunate that Apple doesn’t give the super fast 802.11ac WiFi to the iPad Air. However, since I don’t really use the iPad to download HD videos, 802.11n is still OK for me. Besides, for researching on hardware and some other stuff, the current WiFi is more than enough to get the job done.
- Camera: The 5-megapixel camera isn’t extremely terrible but it isn’t the best. If you are a photographer, you definitely won’t be using the iPad Air’s camera to replace your professional camera. When I shot some images, I did notice that it failed to provide some level of detail such as color and focus. However, with proper lighting, some images can have a great contrast and a great white balance. I compare this with the iPhone 5S, which has a true tone flash, and that flash allows the iPhone 5S to take pictures without relying on some extra lighting. Although the iPad Air doesn't have the True Tone Flash, it isn’t a big issue since I just shoot pictures for fun.
- Battery Life: The iPad Air has a 10 hours of battery life which is the same battery life as the previous generation. However, when I play some games like Minion Rush or Subway Surfer for an hour, I notice the battery life went down from 100% to 80%. I believe that some power on the battery are being used to drive the Retina Display. Fortunately I use the battery on apps like Numbers or Pages, listening to some songs, watching some videos, and surfing website. I play games when I charge my iPad Air's battery.
- Heat Issue: I really expect it would be a little bit better than the iPad 4 and it really is a bit better. The heat is still coming out but it is a little better than the iPad 4 where the heat would kick in after an hour of gaming. After playing Minion Rush for an hour and a half, the heat started to kick in but the iPad is still usable. Comparing to the iPad 3, this iPad Air is way better in terms of heat control.
Things I really don't like about this iPad Air
- Repairing and Upgrading: Getting inside this new iPad Air is even worst than the previous generation because it is strongly sealed. First, you need to use the Heat Gun to get rid of the glues that are being used to seal the display and the chassis together. This is painful for some people because the glue that was used to seal the display on the iPad Air is more solid than its predecessor. When I first took it apart, I was surprised by how hard it really is. If you ever need to replace the battery, this can be a big pain because the glue that was used to seal the iPad Air’s chassis and display is now being used on the battery.
I would love it if Apple could have some sorts of doors or anything that allowed users to manually upgrade the battery or the storage if possible.
Overall, this iPad Air is an interesting iPad considering the Apple A7 chip that provided the iPad with a 64-bit processor. Although there are some apps that won’t be able to take advantage of the 64-bit Processor, the graphic inside the iPad Air is more than enough to handle some graphic apps. When I compare the iPad Air with the iPad 4, I do notice some differences in term of performance. I still hope for an easy way to change the iPad Air’s battery because the display is glued to the chassis, but comparing to the iPad 4, the glue in this iPad Air is way stronger making it more difficult to open up the device.