On September 9, 2014, Apple Co., may or may not be announcing a new iPad. Whatever they call it (the iPad Air’s name was a surprise, people thought it was going to be the iPad 4), here is still my review of the current flagship tablet of Apple.

Just to be clear, the iPad I am reviewing and using right now is office issued. As well as this 13” Macbook Pro I am typing this review on. My personal iPad’s battery died and what happened to it is for a separate article. By the way, my personal unit is the 1st generation version of the iPad and its three-years-old.

The model I am reviewing is a 32Gb, WIFI only iPad Air. 

ipad-air-white-for-web

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Apples makes one of the best boxes, ever. Clean and minimalistic. Even before you turn on the iPad Air, the first thing that will be obvious is the weight. From the original’s 1.5lbs weight, its now down to 1lb. The half pound difference is HUGE! This alone is worth the upgrade for me.

The size of the bezel at the top and bottom did not change but the sides did and I like it. Much like the iPad Mini’s form factor. I’m not too crazy with the space grey model I have. I liked the aluminium shade of the first iPad up to the 3rd generation, but its this or the white version so there’s no argument there.

Back to the weight. Because it is a lot lighter than the 1st gen version, I can now hold it with one hand! Its a significant difference. I can now, although not practical, make a call on my iPhone while holding the iPad. Now I need to find a case that is as light so that the weight will not be adversely affected.

Once I turned it on, I was able to restore some of the data I backed-up in my computer.  I said some because not all the apps installed in my old iPad came with the restore so I had to download them again. The only consolation to the download is that the apps get updated at the same time.

The restoration process did not take a long time but my old settings, bookmarks, folders and data were transferred to the Ipad Air without a hitch. Our office’s firewall was also blocking some of the sites so not all my apps are still with me as I write this.

This iPad also came with iOS 7 already and its a beauty. The additional gestures inherent with this OS will be a plus on how I use it.

PERFORMANCE

Performance-wise, the iPad Air is, obviously, a few times faster than my 1st gen iPad. The iPad comes with an A7 chip versus the A4 of the first gen. Onboard memory is now 3 times greater, from 256Mb to 1Gb. Halelujah! 

The retina display is gorgeous! Its very bright too so my settings are set to medium thus conserving battery life. I still need to test its video playback capabilities by playing higher resolution videos. I will update this post when I get to do it.

The battery performs very well too! During my normal routine, I only had to charge it once. Since the power cord uses the same Lightning cable as my iPhone, I only have to bring one. 

Oh, by the way, there is a back and front-facing camera which the 1st gen did not have. I’m not too crazy on this because I have a DSLR for my photography and I really feel weird using it to take photos. I do have to point out the back-facing camera of the latest generation iPhone and the iPad Air are better than I have seen from any other smartphone or tablet.

CONCLUSION

Upgrading from the 1st gen iPad to the iPad Air is a no brainer. It obviously trumps the 1st gen in almost all aspects so there is really noting much to say. If I were upgrading from the iPad 3 then my accolades would be far less as its a one version upgrade. My experience was from a 3 version difference.