With just over two days to go for the iPad Air launch, it looks like Apple has lifted the embargo on reviews for its 5th generation iPad as we’ve started seeing some of the well known tech writers and critics publishing reviews of the new iPad.
Here’s what some of them had to say about the new iPad Air:
Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD:
Bottom line: If you can afford it, the new iPad Air is the tablet I recommend, hands down.
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:
I must admit, at first I was wondering if the new iPads Apple had on display at the event were prototypes—empty fakes that didn’t actually work, but showed what the form-factor would be like when they were released. I’m pleased to say that they were the real thing.
It’s very hard to describe how good the iPad Air feels in your hand without actually picking one up. It’s kind of like the first time you saw a Retina display for the first time—shock.
Anand Shimpi of AnandTech:
Two weeks ago I had all but written off the bigger iPad. It was too bulky and just no where near as portable as the iPad mini. Once the latter gets a Retina Display and equal hardware across the board, why would anyone consider the bigger model?
The iPad Air changed my perspective on all of that. It really does modernize the big iPad. While I suspect there are still going to be a lot of users who prefer the smaller form factor of the iPad mini with Retina Display, I do feel like there are those users who will continue to appreciate all of the benefits that go along with having a larger display. Text is easier to read, particularly on desktop versions of websites. Photos and videos are larger and thus more engaging as well. In the past there was this complex matrix of tradeoffs that you had to make between iPad and iPad mini. This generation, Apple does away with all of that.
Tim Stevens of CNET:
The bottom line: Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.
Brad Molen of Engadget:
Surprise: the iPad Air is the best iPad we’ve reviewed. In addition, though, it’s also the most comfortable 10-inch tablet we’ve ever tested. Not every manufacturer can produce a thin and light device without also making it feel cheap or flimsy, but Apple nailed it. Factor in a sizable boost in performance and battery life, and the Air is even more compelling. The last two iPads served up relatively few improvements, but the Air provides people with more of a reason to upgrade or even buy a tablet for the first time.
Damon Darlin of The New York Times:
While I laud the engineers at Apple for shaving ounces from the iPad without any noticeable sacrifices like battery power or sturdiness, there are a couple of things I wish they would turn their creative minds to.
I would like to be able to read the screen in direct sunlight while wearing polarized sunglasses. If ever there was a device made to use outdoors in a park or a beach, this is it. (That’s when I haul out my old black and white E Ink Kindle.) Apple says it is working on it.
I would also love to see a customizable keyboard that lets me move the @ and # characters permanently to the most-used keyboard. Sure, there are shortcuts, but even casual users of Twitter and Facebook need those symbols to be more accessible.
Oh, and a way to record dreams on an iPad would be supercool.
I am not sure making the iPad Air lighter will be enough to persuade people who have never felt the need to buy one to race to the Apple store. But I bet that even without a beach-reading, dream-catching upgrade, many do.
Now that the iPad Air reviews are in (in case you were waiting for them), let me know if you plan to buy it. I can’t wait to get my hands on one on Friday.