Apple’s full-size iPad got a make over towards the end of last year, shedding 1.3 millimetres of thickness, 16mm of width and gaining a new ‘Air’ suffix.
Those reductions may not sound like much, but they’ve allowed Apple to knock an impressive 132g off the weight of the standard WiFi only model compared to the iPad 2.
The Air moniker, borrowed from Apple’s popular lightweight MacBook, is well deserved – the Air is the lightest, most comfortable to hold full-size iPad to date and allows users who might otherwise have settled for the smaller iPad Mini to enjoy a lightweight device without compromising on screen size.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of typing using the on-screen keyboard you’ll appreciate the Air’s larger screen over the Mini’s 7.9”.
The Air features Apple’s ‘Retina’ HD 9.7” display which offers sharper pictures and text than screens used in early models as well as the thinner bezel first introduced with the Mini.
It also comes with Apple’s new A7 processor which also powers the iPad Mini with Retina display which gives a speedy, smooth performance to iOS7, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Disappointingly Apple hasn’t upgraded the front or rear cameras so you’re still stuck with measly 1.2 megapixels for video calls and ok but not special 5MP on the rear.
Battery life is claimed as an impressive 10 hours on WiFi, using the iPad Air for a mixture of browsing, games playing and video over a period of days seemed to supported Apple’s boasts.
As with earlier models, the Air supports 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi connectivity and there’s also some good news for those looking at the 3G/4G version because, unlike the iPad 4, the Air will work with all of the UK’s 4G networks.
Accordingly it’s available from most of them with a data tariff but be sure to check how much you’ll pay over the life of the contract and be sure to check out our simple guide on how to get online without paying more for a 3G/4G model.
While superficially the iPad Air is merely a refinement of a tried and tested product, the refinements are so precise and so improve portability and usability that they take an already successful product to a whole new level of greatness.