Now that Apple unveiled their new products, we got our hands on them right away. This time, let’s talk about the new iPad, called iPad Air.

iPad AirIt does look ingeniously simple

First thing everyone should notice is the name change.  It’s not called the iPad 5, it’s not even called just the iPad, it’s the iPad Air. The new name comes with a redesigned exterior, it’s a whole lot lighter and thinner, and while the bezels got smaller too. We can expect better performance, but still the same battery life of its previous models. With more competition than ever, even from its own iPad Mini with Retina screen, the iPad Air will have to be better than it has ever been. Let’s break it down, and see if it really is.

This year’s iPad has an all new exterior design. As previously stated it’s thinner, lighter and the bezels are smaller on the left and right (portrait mode) . The iPad Air is only 7.5mm ‘thick’, which is  a staggering 1.9mm less than the previous iPads (yes, that’s a huge difference, considering how small we are going these days). It just weighs 1 pound, 0.4 pound less than before! You really do feel the difference, it’s great. What’ s surprising is that there is no Touch-ID to be found on the Home Button. It was to be expected they would incorporate their fingerprint scanner in their latest iPad devices, but no such luck (maybe – probably – next year?).  The speakers are on the bottom this time around, next to the lightning connector. A better position than last models, you’ll less likely cover them up while holding the device.

iPad Air
You won’t even feel it’s with you. That’s horrible!

The new iPad has the 64-bit, dual-core A7 chip, which is also found in the iPhone 5S. It has 1GB of RAM inside. We’re pleased to say the iPad Air is extremely fast, it handles everything you throw at it without any problems. The new M7 motion co-processor is here too, but since consumers probably won’t go jogging with their iPads, it’s being used for power saving. It  gets data from the gyroscope, accelerometer and the built-in GPS (for the cellular model). With this power efficient co-processor, the main A7 chips won’t have to wake up, which is a tremendous difference in power consumption overall. Now that the iPad is even thinner, you can indeed feel it getting a bit warm while doing heavy tasks, but it’s never too extreme. As we said in a previous article, apps aren’t yet optimized for the 64-bit CPU, but they are already loading and running faster than before. It’s expected that this will get even more noticeable when apps will be optimized for this new architecture inside the latest iOS devices. The camera is still 5 megapixels, without a flash. The new camera features of the iPhone 5S are also absent, like the burst or slow-motion mode.

iPad Air LineThe patience I had to put up with for a peek

The iPad Air is definitely an excellent device, and it finally got its updated look. Too bad it doesn’t have Touch-ID yet, but they have to have something new next year, right? The iPad Air starts at $499 (16GB). If you don’t mind paying a little more for the best of the best, this is probably the tablet for you!

As always, special thanks to Kevin for his all his support and everything he does to help me going, and Alex for the proofread. Stay tuned for more tech reviews from Brad and me. Until next time –

Amaya Ai, Tech Webcast
Gifu, Japan