Following the highly anticipated iPad media event last week, many lucky tech journalists were given iPad Air review units from Apple. Now that we approach launch day on November 1st, the embargo has been lifted, and the reviews are in. The bulk of the reviews are mostly positive, with a big emphasis on the reduced size and weight of the new tablet. Below you will find my iPad Air review roundup from some of the key tech journalists from across the web.
Walt Mossberg – AllThingsD
“In a feat of design and engineering, Apple has slashed the iPad’s weight by 28%, made it 20% thinner and 9% narrower, while increasing its speed and retaining the brilliant, 9.7-inch Retina display.
The new iPad weighs just 1 pound, down from 1.4 pounds for the previous top-of-the-line model, the iPad 4, which is being discontinued.
And it has done all this while maintaining the iPad’s industry-leading battery life. In my tests, the iPad Air far exceeded Apple’s claim of 10 hours of battery life. For over 12 hours, it played high-definition videos, nonstop, with the screen at 75% brightness, with Wi-Fi on and emails pouring in. That’s the best battery life I’ve ever recorded for any tablet.”
Ed Baig – USA Today
“As it happens, though, this latest full-size Apple tablet is the most tempting iPad yet, better than its already best of breed predecessors, superior still to each and every rival big screen slate that I’ve tested. Apple dominates the tablet apps ecosystem. Its tablet remains the easiest to use.
In a side-by-side comparison against its immediate predecessor, the new iPad indeed opened apps more quickly and booted up and shut down slightly faster, though not to such a degree that I expect most people to notice.”
Brad Molen – Engadget
“Yes, as strange as it may sound, the latest iPad is actually just a larger version of the 7.9-inch mini. It’s as if the smaller device — which launched at the same time as the fourth-gen iPad — was a pilot test for Jony Ive’s new design language. Calling it the “Air” was fitting indeed, since it’s ridiculously small and light compared to previous models.
It measures 7.5mm thick and weighs only one pound (1.03 pounds, to be exact), making it 1.9mm thinner and 0.43 pound lighter than the iPad 4. Apple’s also trimmed the left and right bezel by roughly 8mm on each side. If that doesn’t sound significant, just hold the Air for a minute and then pick up an older iPad; the difference is immediately noticeable. Simply put, the iPad Air is the most comfortable 10-inch tablet we’ve ever used.”
Jim Dalrymple – The Loop
“The good news is the iPad Air lives up to all of those expectations and more. When I first picked up the iPad Air, I noticed how light it was. I mean really light. In reality, Apple shaved about half a pound of weight off the new iPad compared to the previous generations. That may not seem like much, but when the old iPad only weighed approximately 1.5 pounds, knocking off half a pound is significant.
I must admit, at first I was wondering if the new iPads Apple had on display at the event were prototypes—empty fakes that didn’t actually work, but showed what the form-factor would be like when they were released. I’m pleased to say that they were the real thing.”
Other notable iPad Air review sites:
The iPad Air will be available in 2 colors (silver or space gray) starting this Friday, with the 16GB WiFi base model starting at $499. As I was not one of the lucky tech bloggers to receive an iPad Air last week, expect my full iPad Air review (with hands-on video) in the coming weeks right here on The Horn.