Apple has done it again—released a product that tops its predecessor and pulls them back to the top of their market. With the Microsoft Surface tablet commercials taking a direct jab at Siri, and the iPad’s lack of functionality by comparison to the new MS device, it looked like the iPad was going down. However, Apple’s made a comeback and the Surface 2 is going to have to put in some serious work if it’s going to top the new iPad Air.
Look and Feel
The fifth generation iPad Air is a mere ¾ of the volume of the fourth generation. It’s 28% lighter, 20% thinner, weighing in at only 1 pound (1.05 with cellular, if we want to get super technical). They’ve reduced the width and bezels on the sides of the display, but maintained the 9.7”, 2048x1536 resolution Retina display, with 3.1 million pixels.
What it’s Packing
The iPad Air boasts an A7 chip paired with an M7 coprocessor, which is one of the biggest aspects that launches it ahead of the Surface in the race for #1 tablet. The A7 chip is faster and more efficient, allowing the iPad Air to run up to twice as fast as the 4th generation. It also supports OpenGL ES v 3.0, which enables graphic performance that was previously only possible on desktop systems and game consoles. Its 64-bit architecture expands the possibilities even further, allowing for even more powerful apps, and leaves the Windows 32-bit in its dust. The M7 coprocessor improves user experience with apps, by pulling motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.
Power without Compromise
Battery life hasn’t been compromised by the processing upgrade; by distributing the processing load between the A7 chip and the M7 coprocessor, the device is able to save power. The iPad Air still has the same 10-hour battery life as the previous iPad, but it’s more powerful and efficient.
The iPad Air also has ultrafast wireless capabilities, thanks to its two antennas and MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. The download speed has doubled in the iPad Air from the 4th generation device, reaching up to 300Mbps. Additionally, the device that’s also equipped with Cellular has access to even more LTE bands, which allows you to connect to even more cellular data networks worldwide.
The FaceTime HD Camera now includes a backside illumination sensor with larger pixels, which makes all the photos, videos, and FaceTime chats that use this camera brighter in situations with low-lighting. The 5 MP iSight camera uses the retina display to frame your perfect shot. You can swipe quickly between shooting stills and 1080p HD video. Automatic adjustments are made by the image signal processor in the A7 chip every time you take a photo or video so that you get the best image possible. All you have to do is point and shoot at the moment you want to capture, and the iPad Air does everything else for you.
Can You Hear Me Now?
The iPad Air has dual microphones to capture sound from all angles. This allows the device to suppress background noise. Now when you’re recording video or making FaceTime calls, your audio is clearer because the microphones are focused on the sounds you mean to capture. The dual microphones have even improved Siri’s hearing.
Streaming Made Even Easier
Apple has introduced AirPlay, a feature that allows seamless streaming from the iPad Air to any HDTV via Apply TV. When you turn on AirPlay Mirroring, you can share photos from trips, play games with friends, or give impressive presentations all by blowing up your iPad Air display on a bigger screen. AirPlay even allows you to stream your iPad playlist over Wi-Fi to a speaker set.
Protecting Your Device
Smart Covers and Smart Cases have been fully redesigned to accentuate the slim profile of the iPad Air, and to perfectly fit its stylish new frame. When closed, both the Smart Cover and the Smart Case put the iPar Air to sleep and protect the screen, and wake the device right back up upon opening. Both also come in six great colors, to give your device the custom look to fit your personality. The Smart Case offers all-around protecting, featuring rich, premium leather to give the case not only a great look, but a fantastic feel.
Pricing and Availability
|Wi-Fi 16 GB | $499
Wi-Fi 32 GB | $599
Wi-Fi 64 GB | $699
Wi-Fi 128 GB | $799
|Wi-Fi + Cellular 16 GB | $629
Wi-Fi + Cellular 32 GB | $729
Wi-Fi + Cellular 64 GB | $829
Wi-Fi + Cellular 128 GB | $929