iPad Air Review For Normal People
I’m not an engadget or a tech gadget blog – so I am really not an authoritative source for an iPad review if you are hoping to get the number of microns the display thickness was decreased from the 4th gen to the 5th gen. That’s not how I roll. But if you are thinking about getting the latest release of Apple’s revolutionary tablet and would like a normal Joe’s perspective there might be a few things of interest here for you. I have been using an iPad since almost day one, and have owned several different versions (1, 3 & now 5). So if you are looking for an experienced user perspective on the new device then you may want to keep reading.
(Above I have stacked the Air on top of my 3rd Gen. If I had lit the 3rd Gen you would see that the screen sizes are the same, but the borders are significantly different.)
Picking up a new iPad the day of release was a whole heck of a lot easier than getting my 5S, which was like pulling teeth. (To get my iPhone 5s, just think long lines before the store opened, bribes back to the Business Representative contact, the works. I am not kidding about working the back office guy. And chaos. It was crazy.) But to get this Air, all I needed to do was to walk in over my lunch break. And 22 minutes later (yes, I counted. I had a meeting at 1:00 I was running and was certain I was going to be late.) I walked out with the new device. To setup the new Air, all I had to do was to synch and backup the old one, and then restore it to the Air. It took about fifteen minutes to do. Extremely pain free.
The single biggest change in Apple’s fifth generation iPad is without a doubt the form factor. If you’ve seen an iPad Mini you’ve seen the iPad Air… just bigger. And I mean that literally. I was fiddling around with the minis yesterday when I picked up the Air, and I was shocked by how similar they were.
The screen size is the same. But the border around the screen is tighter. Which makes a significant difference to the feel of the device. Compact-er. Compact-er-er. Or something. Denser too. It has a feel like it was squished a bit, significantly thinner in your grasp, and yet more substantial at the same time? That’s as good as I can do for the feel of the device. It isn’t a single hand device, and yet the middle of the screen is more accessable with your thumbs. I found it difficult to go fast on the middle keys on previous generations due simply to the width. But now there is no such limitation. Which is a huge bonus.
My biggest negative… and this is an enormous one for me… my #1 draw back of the Air is simple. When I got the iPhone 5S, the quickest thing you learn to do quickly (accidentally even) is login via your thumbprint. It becomes so ingrained, so fast, and so automatic that I began to find myself doing it on my Gen 3 iPad as well. “COME ON, LOG ME IN!” Nothing. Well, duh Sherlock. Its not your 5S. Oh, right. But in a month, I would think… in a month, they’ll have the new iPads out, and OBVIOUSLY, it’ll have a thumbprint scanner as well. So, no worries self. It’ll be ok. Just hold on tight.
Yeah, not so much.
I have no idea what the guys running the iPad division were thinking when they whiteboarded that particular feature set exclusion. “I have an idea… let’s tease them with a super simple way to login to their devices on the 5S and then 1 month later, let’s just bypass that whole feature. I mean, it is a newer device after all.” It may sound like whining (wait, this is whining, never mind) but at the same time, it makes NO SENSE whatsoever. Zero.
Yeah. Still expensive. But, compare it to the Surface 2? Yeah, even at half the price? Its not a comparison. iPad is the reigning tablet on the planet.
The pricing model that Apple has played for the duration of the iPad’s life so far is that 16 gigs of ram costs 100 dollars. And its been that way for more than 5 years? Seriously? No. No no no. But its a pricing model the marketers love. And people will pay for more storage. So it still stands. I inadvertently went backwards 32 gig from 64 gig to 32 gig on my new Air, and so I am already feeling the pains of the limited storage. But that is manageable. It just means that I can’t keep every single Breaking Bad episode on the thing at the same time. Oh, and my Downton Abby’s. Oh, and Exit Through the Gift Shop. Oh, and Primer, Prestige & Inception. Hehehe. Oh well.
The first 24 hour test drive of the new Air has been a beauty to behold. The new A7 chip, that is also running the iPhone 5S, is quick quick. My few test runs in Asphalt 8 and The video is very tight, and has left previous iPads in the dust. As a side note, if you want to push your new iPad Air, here are a few amazing games that will really push it, would include; Infinity Blade 3, Asphalt Adrenaline 8, Injustice, Wild Blood (actually any game using the Epic Unreal Engine will do it.) And yet, not having any sort of biometrics is just silly. Regardless, it is still a very strong release from Apple. Which basically means its by far and away stronger than any other tablet entry on the market.
So this iPad Air Review For Normal People says the bottom line is that it’s hands down worth the coin. Promise.