Apple iPad Air
Manufacturer: Apple Part number: MD785LL/A
- Bottom Line:
- Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.
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CNET editors' review
price range: $457.99 - $499.00
- Reviewed by: Tim Stevens
- Reviewed on: 10/29/2013
- Updated on:11/15/2013
- Released on: 11/01/2013
The good: The iPad Air delivers more performance and comparable battery life in an attractive and impossibly thin-and-light package. An improved front-facing camera makes FaceTiming look better, and the Retina Display still looks great.
The bad: The Touch ID fingerprint scanner, introduced on the iPhone 5S, is sadly absent here, meaning you’ll still have to type in a passcode with every unlock and a password with every purchase. Starting at $499 for 16GB, it’s still expensive compared with the competition.
The bottom line: Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.
Outstanding product for teachers
by Autonomousone on November 3, 2013
Pros: It is a perfect fit in the hands. It is very fast. It keeps the connection to wifi at work and home. PowerTeacher works great on it. The video recording quality and picture quality are better than I expected. The screen is outstanding.
Cons: I have been trying to find some cons since Friday. I just can't find any yet. The one thing I miss about my Note 10.1 is the dual screen. I used the dual screen function all the time. I wish that Apple would update and let us have true multi-tasking.
Summary: The apps that are available with the Ipad Air are the clear reason to own an Ipad over all the other tablet devices. It is disappointing to me that Samsung ...
Summary: The apps that are available with the Ipad Air are the clear reason to own an Ipad over all the other tablet devices. It is disappointing to me that Samsung tablets have such limitations with apps like Amazon Instant Videos and Power Schools.
This Ipad Air is faster than my Ipad 4 and the weight makes a big difference to me at work while walking around my classroom. The wifi worked much better too. The Ipad 4 I used at work lost connection to the school wifi network quite often. This device was perfect on Friday. I hope that this will be the case in the future.
I thought about the Ipad Mini Retina, but when holding the Air in portrait mode it is a perfect fit for me. I have larger than average hands, but I think most people will be surprised by how nice it feels in portrait mode. It also doesn't press into your hands like the Ipad 2 and Ipad 4 because of the edges.
Personal use at home has been outstanding. Next Issue magazines downloaded much faster than my other Ipads and my Note 10.1. Zite, Flipboard, Currents, AP, Google+ and all the other apps I use on a regular basis worked much faster and made smoother transitions. Netflix, Uverse, HBOGO, ShoAnytime, all the different media sites I use worked flawlessly. Audible and Kindle worked great too. Amazon Prime Instant Video was perfect. I also love how Rhapsody has updated for this device.
I loved using Garage Band, Imovie, iphoto and Iworks. I have never used them before so I can't compare them to any previous device. I did not know you had to buy extra features on Garage Band. That was not a big deal to me. The fact that they were free was very cool and I will be using pages and keynote for sure.
I bought a Zagg keyboard case on Saturday and have used it quite a bit. I have been using it to write this review and I honestly don't know why I am writing so much, but I think it has something to do with how much I like typing on this keyboard. As soon as I turned on bluetooth it picked up this keyboard case and every key on it works with my Ipad Air. I absolutely love the combo for getting things done. It has these two little slots where the speakers are in order to redirect the sound towards me. The sound is amazing on this Ipad Air. There is a very big difference between the speakers on this and the Ipad 4.
I am very pleased with my new Ipad Air. I hope to use this tablet for a few years. I can't think of anything that I would like for it to do better. It does what I need it to do. I have an HP Revolve that my school district gave us and I hate it. It collects dust. I had the Note 10.1 for a year and loved it but the apps limited my use of it at work so I ended up using a family members Ipad 2 for a while. I decided to buy an Ipad 4 and then took it back because it didn't seem that much better than the Ipad 2. The Ipad Air does everything I need and does it effortlessly. It makes my life easier. I highly recommend this device as the all around best device to purchase if you work in a district that uses PowerTeacher.
7 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
I could not work without it.
by Cterry877 on November 3, 2013
Pros: Much lighter than my ipad2. Much lighter and thinner than my ipad 2&3. Love it.
Cons: Nothing. Nadda
Summary: If you read anything negative about it, the submitters have not ever owned one. I am an IT Mgr of over 30 years with one of the largest computer user ...
Summary: If you read anything negative about it, the submitters have not ever owned one. I am an IT Mgr of over 30 years with one of the largest computer user companies in the world. Pcs are dead, thankfully.
6 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
A worthy upgrade from iPad Retina
by SirEddieCook on November 1, 2013
Pros: The e-reader on both iBook and Kindle is outstanding. Webpages pop with ultra fast loads and incredible detail and colors. It's very comfortable to hold. The sound quality is noticeably improved. Several hours in, I keep finding little improvements.
Cons: iPad Air could emphasize Air a bit better. I was expecting it to feel lighter. It does feel sturdy.
5 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
In a league of its own. The ONE!
by karma_rules on December 2, 2013
Pros: Amazing! A leagueA quality tablet with unmatched beauty and performance!
Cons: none with the caveat - a touch ID sensor would have helped. but pretty sure it would be incorporated next year!
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best iPad yet
by jrasero23 on November 8, 2013
Pros: Thinner & lighter
Updated iPhone & iPad Mini design
64 bit chip
Retina still great
Cons: 16 GB for $499
iOS 7 for iPad no different than iPhone
Meager spec upgrade
Same camera options
Why not get an iPad Mini Retina at $399?
Summary: Got the iPad Air 32 GB LTE for a present and after playing with it a few days I see why people are upset with Apple not being more price ...
Summary: Got the iPad Air 32 GB LTE for a present and after playing with it a few days I see why people are upset with Apple not being more price conscious, or adding more features, or just being a tad bit more revolutionary rather than evolutionary.
Yes, the iPad Air is thinner, lighter, has a faster 64 bit processor and to me the iPad Air/5 mirrors the iPhone 5 update, where Apple went thinner, lighter, and faster but people cried, what change? For an iPad 3 or 4 user I doubt you will be compelled to buy an Air unless your device is on its last legs. Weight wise there is a half a pound difference between generations which is noticeable but nothing game changing. What is more beneficial is how Apple eliminate a good portion of the iPad's bezel and make the iPad thinner. In consequence this makes typing and just wielding the 10" iPad to feel comfortable compared to past generations.
While the Air is running at the same speed (1.4 GHZ) as the iPad 4 with the A6X, it doubles its performance on almost all benchmarks. It also worthy to note Apple kept the same 1 GB amount of RAM from the iPad 4. What this says is Apple was really watching the iPad Air's costs. I can't argue that Apple managed some really great performance benchmarks but they did it with basically the same hardware besides the 64 bit processor. It would have been nice to see at least more GHZ and at least 2 GB of RAM, but if Apple did this they wouldn't have anything to release for the iPad 6.
Design wise the Air now matches the iPad Mini or iPhone 5 series, notably with its bezel and speaker cutouts. This makes the whole Apple lineup looking uniformed, modern, and classy.
Again another sign of Apple keeping the cost down for the iPad Air was keeping the same cameras as last year, which in all honesty are good but you would think at least getting the iPhone 5 camera with 8 MP would be standard at this point.
The 10" screen is still one of the best in the game. It doesn't have the best PPI anymore but the "Retina" display doesn't disappoint since it is the same screen found on the fantastic iPad 4. By now you probably see the pattern of Apple keeping the iPad 4 hardware mostly for cost/margin reasons, which defiantly is why some people think the iPad Air is marginal upgrade at best.
So if Apple kept basically the iPad 4 specs you think they give you more of something right? At $499 for 16 GB, storage is one area Apple could have gave more for the same price or less. I think it is time to phase out the 16 GB model since modern apps, people music, videos, and photos take many gigabytes. Instead, Apple kept the measly 16 GB for $499 and priced the 128 GB with LTE at over $900. Apple wants the iPad to be a good alternative to traditional laptops but at $900+ for the top of the line iPad Air why wouldn't you just get a Macbook Air?
Speaking about pricing, the new iPad Mini Retina is basically the same iPad Air but in a 8" screen, which is arguably a more desirable size for some people and it costs $399 for 16 GB. So my question is 2" worth $100? There is no right answer since it comes down to preference. It is a question Apple wants customers to ask themselves and a problem Apple has self induce to keep the iPad Mini from further cannibalizing the iPad sales.
My reaction to iOS is meh, yes it looks very nice and classy but power feature wise offers very little. Also, it has always bugged me that iOS never gave any inherent or special iPad feature. Also some apps like Newsstand were refreshed or Apps like Game Center still are poor. Apple does give you iWorks for free and while it is a nice gesture and is a semi answer to the Surface's Office proposal, iWorks just is too simplified and lacks the features Office does. Hopefully an update will fix this since the iPad has a great potential as a productivity tool.
The two things people were hoping to get but didn't: Touch ID, Gold Version, and a Surface Touch/Type Cover rebuttal. The Touch ID is nice on the iPhone 5S but nothing to write home about, so Apple omitting this isn't a big deal but again a sign of keeping productions costs down and maybe storing this feature for the next iteration. No Gold, no biggie, must I write more? The lack of a Touch/Type Cover is a bummer since they would have paired well with iWorks but I don't think Apple considers the Surface as a threat and I don't think they see the iPad as a productivity machine rather still a satellite device. Apple did come out with overpriced leather Smart Cases that come in many colors but are priced at $80.
So overall the iPad Air was about form not function and evolution not revolution. The iPad defiantly took production costs into account by keeping basically the iPad 4 specs besides the fast 64 Bit processor. I never have owned an iPad until this point and the two reasons were because of size and productivity issues. I believe Apple defiantly addressed the size concerns and semi answered my productivity needs. I still wish (Apple you still have a chance) Apple will come out with their own keyboard cover since other vendors solutions are heavy, unpractical, and useless. No doubt this is the best iPad to date and the best tablet in my opinion, but Samsung is stringing some competent tablets together and Microsoft keeps reminding people what the iPad isn't. I am excited to see what Apple does next because the new design and 64 Bit processor gives the iPads a ton of potential.
3 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
It gives me exactly what I need in a Tablet.
by keithianw on November 26, 2013
Pros: Very Light for its size and power, form factor, speed, apple ecosystem, screen, available apps,battery life, there is just nothing missing for me personally that makes me want to look elsewhere.
Cons: -I still feel like edges could be even flatter where the glass meets the side so that there would be zero ridge. Same issue on the phone.
-I still wish it could be even lighter which I'm sure they will be.
-I want even better battery life :-).
Summary: -Finally light enough so I don't feel I need a Mini with a smaller screen. When traveling and watching movies, Mini felt too small and some text on internet ...
Summary: -Finally light enough so I don't feel I need a Mini with a smaller screen. When traveling and watching movies, Mini felt too small and some text on internet and apps felt way too small.
-Great screen quality. I don't care if there are other tablets with screens with higher pixel density. To the naked eye, this is the perfect screen for reading and watching videos.
-Form factor is perfect for holding and doing all the things I normally want a tablet for (internet browsing, games, movies, news apps, apps in general across multiple categories, Facetime with family across the country, etc).
-Battery Life is excellent, but I still wish it was even better.
-I could care less about the fingerprint scan. I mean it takes one sec to put in a 4 digit pass code and when I'm at home I really don't need that at all.
-I've had a few apps crash, but that is iOS7 which continues to improve. It doesn't happen too often.
-To sum it up, it just feels like a premium device where you are not sacrificing anything and it does everything I want it to do that I wouldn't do on my heavy gaming laptop. Highly recommend if you are coming from an Ipad 2 or a Mini and miss a bigger screen...or if you are coming from an Ipad 3 or Ipad 4 and dont want a smaller screen but beg for something lighter.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
The best got better.
by ragweed on November 26, 2013
Pros: Thin, light, fast, great screen. Solid construction.
Cons: I can't put it down.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
The Air is fast, light, quick & display is the greatest
by Kdoug1 on November 24, 2013
Pros: Too on my pro list is assistance in reading newspapers, magazines and other written materials. I have macular degeneration in one eye and the iPad allows me to read what I could not otherwise read easily, if at all.
Cons: I sometimes miss Flash, and some websites do not seem to function as well with Safari as with Explorer. These "cons", such as they are, are a function of the Apple ecosystem and not iPad specific.
Summary: I love it.
Summary: I love it.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
The iPad I've always wanted.
by Skelly3030 on December 4, 2013
Pros: -Very quick, feels very polished. Everything always runs smoothly, as compared to my old iPad 2, which was getting quite chunky with the iOS 7 upgrade.
-I'm an avid Evernote user. The upgraded processor allows fluid searches even through 2000+ notes
Cons: -Get quite a bit hotter than my iPad 2 (but not too hot.)
-Sometimes if it's running full blast, even when plugged in, the power drops or remains even. This is with multiple bluetooth connections, playing a movie, full brightness.
Summary: Excellent device that has become an extremely useful part of my work and play life. Whatever you want to do with a tablet, you can likely do with the iPad ...
Summary: Excellent device that has become an extremely useful part of my work and play life. Whatever you want to do with a tablet, you can likely do with the iPad if you explore enough apps and figure out what you want. I'm a novelist and I work in law, and I use the iPad as a "red lining" tool with either iAnnotatePDF or Adobe Reader. This makes my editing process light-years more efficient than it was when I printed out pages and used an ink-pen.
Occasionally apps crash, or the iPad freezes. However, because the boot up is so fast, and the auto-save functions within the apps are so efficient, even a complete system lockup and crash amounts to about 5-10 seconds of downtime, after which I can return immediately to what I was doing.
I do game on my iPad Air quite regularly, and it runs anything on the App Store flawlessly.
I pair this device with a Logitech slim keyboard cover for note-taking in meetings and college courses. Because of its long battery life and immediate boot-up, it works excellent for notes. And because of the excellent Evernote app, everything I write is entered into my workflow and can be processed efficiently.
All in all, I love this device. If it was stolen, I'd buy a new one tomorrow.
1 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best all around tablet, with the most premium feel
by AshtonVibe14 on March 20, 2014
Pros: Design, speed, utility, light weight, durable, crisp design, great sound, portable, stable system.
Cons: Not an Android, limited customization options.
Summary: This is the best tablet hands down. It will support so many file types, and is the most capable device for just about anything. All in all, if you want ...
Summary: This is the best tablet hands down. It will support so many file types, and is the most capable device for just about anything. All in all, if you want an easy to use, expensive looking, fun device, gets the iPad Air. It's great, and just about the best in performance if you wanted to know.
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Part number: MD785LL/A
- Bottom Line: Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.
- Type 9.7 in
- Display Resolution 2048 x 1536 ( 264 ppi )
- Operating System Apple iOS
- Processor Apple
- Flash Memory 16 GB
- Color Dark gray
- Features Front camera ,
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 6.6 in
- Depth 0.29 in
- Height 9.4 in
- Weight 1 lbs