In many ways, 2014 is going to be a lot like 2013, tablet-wise. Android tablets will continue to sell well, overly sensitive techie types will still cling to the idea that Windows 8 is simply ‘misunderstood’ (wilfully ignorant of the general consensus that it is complete and utter arse) and tablets will spring from the most unlikely of places (keep an eye out for the Co-Op ‘Tumblewumblebum’ and the Play.com ‘Zworfnik’). However, the trend least likely to change is that of an iPad leading the pack. We know this because Apple have just released the iPad Air…And it kicks major ass.
Design wise, the iPad Air is all beautiful futurism and intelligent layout. The emphasis here is to make everything smaller, lighter and more travel-friendly, without losing the tablet’s most popular aspects. For starters, the bezel is 43% thinner than ever before and, as such, the overall device is now 28% lighter.
An Apple A7 chip bestows 64GB of pure power on the Air, thus ensuring that absolutely everything runs smoothly for the user. In short, this thing is all-but perfect.
Ask someone who isn’t a bitter Microsoft crony what the worst thing about Apple products is and they’ll inevitably say the same thing as everyone else; “they’re too effing expensive!”
This is absolutely true.
However, Apple are taking steps to remedy this problem. Don’t believe me? The iPad Air, very probably the best tablet computer in the world right now, will be available at about £399 – £740. For Apple, this is pretty impressive.
The top-end iPad Air is able to store umpteen million songs, as well as more apps than you can fling an Angry Bird at. In fact, you can use it for anything; books, movies, the lot.
But how does it handle? Well, to put it into technical terms, the iPad Air is smoother than an industrial sander on the pull.
However, there are still problems (I did say “all-but perfect”, after all). The 16GB version is completely inadequate for the download of apps, or general use, in fact. The 16GB iPad Air is a lot like the singers you see on those crappy TV talent shows, you know, the ones who attempt to croon along to all-time classic hits by warbling and trembling throughout the audition. Great material, oh yes indeedy, but frustratingly shortsighted execution. Still, as an overall flaw, it isn’t a biggie, it just means that I have to recommend a slightly more expensive version (oh, Apple!)
Were we reviewing the 16GB version, the following verdict might be slightly different, but we aren’t, we’re looking at this new iPad as a whole, with ALL versions under the spotlight. With that in mind, we can confidently say that the iPad Air is, at the time of writing, the best tablet in the world. ‘Nuff said!