Summary: Apple's iPads have generally been synonymous with high-end tablet performance, but the current generation of tablets considerably narrows the performance gap between the iPad Air 2 and the competition. Increasingly, buying a large tablet doesn't mean having to compromise on performance or portability.
Pros: The Apple iPad Air 2's upgraded A8X chip provides high-end tablet performance.
Cons: The Air 2 still relies on the same Retina display used in past iPads.
Summary: We've got to hand it to Apple. The Air is the best iPad yet: not only is it super speedy, it looks gorgeous and it's extremely light to hold. Apple's championing the Air with the tagline 'the power of lightness', and we have to agree. It's a powerful tablet, one that's light enough to pick up effortlessly with one hand, and its mammoth battery life just keeps on trucking.
iPad Air review: a heavyweight contender for the best tablet ever made
8 March 2014
Conclusion: The consensus is that this is the first, real successor since the last major iPad, the iPad 2. And that consensus is correct. The iPad Air not only feels different (lighter, faster, less calories) but it is different, from the way it has been designed, to the hardware lurking inside it, to iOS 7 itself. Everything Apple has been working on up until this point has culminated in the creation of the iPad Air.
Summary: This is truly the new iPad we've wanted for a long time, at least as far as the design and form factor is concerned. With the iPad Mini, it was clear that Apple’s focus would be on improving the portability and use comfort. The only drawback is that the thinner aluminum on the back does not feel as solid as the previous generations. But, without doubt, the best tablet in the market is now even better.
Pros: Weight shed makes a lot of difference, Very sophisticated design, Good battery life, Retina Display still rocks
Cons: Pricey proposition, for the higher storage versions, No TouchID
Summary: Love is in the air. The fifth generation of Apple's big seller is now available for purchase. Finally, the California-based company unveils a thinner device -- and at a height of a mere 7.5 mm (~0.3 inches), it has certainly earned the name "Air". The new A7 processor, familiar from the iPhone 5s, is at work in the newest iPad as well -- and it even clocks at a higher frequency than in its pocket-sized sibling. How did the iPad Air fare in our test laboratory?
Pros: Bright, high-contrast display, Excellent color reproduction, Good touchscreen, High-performance SoC, First-class manufacturing, Very long battery life, Fast browser performance, Fit for VoIP audio/video calls, Very good speakers..., The iPad Air is thin and lightweight. Even just its appearance makes it stand out from the crowd. Also, the Retina display is still an excellent piece of equipment. Its color accuracy is especially fantastic.
Cons: ...which are unfortunately poorly positioned, High surface temperatures under load, No current data transfer standards, No Flash support, The iPad's connectivity options are still somewhat meager. Apple should work on this in the future.
Conclusion: The display on the iPad Air is no longer the highest resolution panel found on a tablet but it continues to look as good as ever. I have zero complaints with the IPS display as colors and text were sharp and vivid while brightness remained a strong point. The 4:3 aspect ratio will still cause some to gripe compared to 16:9 offerings that are more suited to video and the outdoor performance isn’t anything to write home about.
Summary: As we indicated in our introduction, the iPad Air is very similar to the iPad 4, but slimmer and lighter. The only other significant difference is that the A7 processor is faster. It's a shame that the iPhone 5s's fingerprint sensor wasn't included. But these benefits are definitely worth having and they make what was already arguably the best tablet even better than ever. If you're an Apple fan we have no wish to persuade you that there are better options than this.