I received my iPad Air this past Monday, and as promised, here is a little review.
I’ve had every generation of the iPad up to the 3rd Generation. When the 4th Generation came out, I could not justify the speed bump ad the only benefit. Nor could I justify the mini, since it was not Retina. So when the new iPad Air came out, and not only was significantly faster, but also included a significant weight decease, and the M7 chip, it was time to upgrade to a new device.
The iPad Air does not disappoint. The first thing I noticed is that it does feel incredibly light compared to the iPad 3rd Gen. The reduction from 1.46lbs to 1.054lbs is a major improvement. I read in bed at times, and the 0.406 lbs makes a huge difference when you are prone. The challenge with shaving off this weight means that once again older cases and stands may not work. When I went from the iPad 2nd Gen to the iPad 3rd Gen, most of my cases started getting a little lose. Now that the iPad Air is noticeably thinner both in depth and width, prior cases no longer work. I’ve always liked having a case with a keyboard built into it for writing blog posts, but due to Apple’s secrecy the supply chain has not caught up with the new design and new cases with keyboards are not yet available.
So what about the speed differences? For most people, you may not notice the significant speed update. Most people use the iPad to read emails and to surf the web. While page rendering is faster, it is not noticeable on most sites. If you are a gamer, the speed difference is amazing. Load times are noticeably faster, and game play is smoother. The new UI introduced with iOS7 is also much more fluid than on the iPad 3rd Gen.
Are there any other things that are noticeable? To me, not really. I don’t use the camera much, so I don’t notice that improvement, even though I understand it has been improved. The battery seems to be just as solid as before, and the fit and finish I decidedly Apple.
So should you upgrade? If you have a 4th Gen, I can’t think of any reason that makes makes it a critical upgrade. If up have a 3rd Gen, you will notice improvements, but even with selling my old one to Gazelle this was a $500 upgrade so if you are cash strapped I would say hold off. If you have a iPad 2nd Gen, I think it’s definitely time to upgrade. Apple is doing well with upgrade cycles, new phone every two years is a must, iPad every three is a must, and I would say if you keep your laptop to every four years up are in a perfect cycle. So what is the one device that Apple can put out that requires you to upgrade each year, now that their software is becoming free? Perhaps we will find out next year!