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iPad Air review

Very early thoughts. Upgraded from the iPad 4 because that was too heavy. Almost went with the new iPad Mini, but reading magazines is a primary use case for me and I wanted something that more closely matched a real magazine in size. Also, the Mini isn’t shipping yet while the Air is sitting on my lap.

Air is an appropriate name. It’s lighter and thinner. Of course, this is far more noticeable because I have a full case on the old model, pushing the combined weight up to about two pounds. The Air is exactly half that. (I bought a case not so much to protect the back from scratches, but to protect my house from the iPad. The iPad may be made of indestructium, but the many mostly glass surfaces I leave it on are not.) Now I’m in a quandary. A similar case will increase the weight of the iPad Air out of the comfortable one hand territory.

Looking beyond form, there’s not much to say about function. Whatever sweet advantages the A7 has, I haven’t had a chance to notice them in thirty minutes of web browsing.

In short, same sentiments as everybody else’s much longer reviews. It’s the iPad I’ve always wanted. The iPad 4 with cover became deceptively heavy over time. Light enough to toss around, but wearisome to hold for too long. Sans case, the Air is light enough perhaps I’ll just always hold it without needing to set it down.

Miscellaneous: Now I have the whole iWork suite, too, though I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Factoring in the resale value of the old iPad on Amazon, total cost was around $250.

My screen protector came in the mail today. I trimmed one of the cover sheets down a bit and slapped it on the back of the iPad. Looks a little weird because it’s printed with “remove layer” over and over (I’m unwilling to sacrifice an entire clear screen protector), but it does the trick. I can rest the iPad on my glass desk without scary grating sounds.

Update after a week: the 64-bit OS definitely seems like it’s handicapped by the meager 1GB of RAM. Safari is constantly unloading background tabs to reclaim memory. Switching between two sites, for instance to compare an Ars Technica article to an Anand Tech article, results in both tabs reloading very time.

Posted 05 Nov 2013 21:40 by tedu Updated: 14 Nov 2013 15:33