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Apple iPad Air Review

Apple iPad Air 9.2

Apple iPad Air Review

Amazingly, even with its slimmer body and all, the iPad Air puts out the same battery life as its predecessor. In our experience, it’s able to pump out a solid one-day of heavy usage, which is pretty much the standard mark we’ve comfortably become accustomed to expect with today’s tablets. Okay, we’ll admit that it’d been nice to get more out of it, but when it’s packing such a slim body, it’s something we’re forgiving about.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Apple iPad Air
8h 38 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
5h 59 min (Average)
View all

Apple iPad Air Review

The iPad Air follows in the same footsteps as its predecessor, where it’s a fantastic tablet that has a fine balance with everything it has to bring to the table – so you won’t be disappointed by what you get! First and foremost, we can’t deny the obvious here, as it continues to be a stunning looking thing with its updated design. It’s the thinner and lighter, which are the hallmarks of any outstanding successor, but at the same time, we get an updated iOS 7 experience that complements the new looks. Better yet, it’s a speed demon too with its performance – which is something we’ve come to expect with all iPads.

However, we have this nagging feeling that it’s not trying to push the envelope hard enough to widen the gap between itself and the competition. We’ve come to appreciate all the things that come along with the iPad Air, but as a whole, it doesn't necessarily offer tremendous amounts of innovation outside of its industry-leading design and A7 chipset.. That's not really a bad thing per se, since it’s exceptionally equipped in dealing with all of our needs and wants in a tablet.

We do have to mention some of its notable rivals, like the Google Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, and Microsoft Surface 2. It's worth noting that the Nexus 10 and Surface 2 are cheaper than the iPad Air, plus they have bigger base storage capacities. The Nexus 10 seems to be a better alternative than the Surface 2 at the moment, though, due to its richer application catalog and lower price ($399 versus $449). The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition retails for $549 for its base 16 GB variant, which is $50 more expensive than the iPad Air, but it does sport an S Pen for those who want to have the ability to draw and take hand-written notes. Like we said, you won’t be disappointed by the iPad Air, but it’s hard not to at least consider the other options that are available.

Software version of the review unit: 7.0.3


  • Thin & light metal design
  • Solid construction
  • Unsurpassed catalog of tablet-optimized apps


  • Base option is just 16 GB
  • Poor low-lighting performance with its camera
PhoneArena rating:
9.2 Excellent
User rating:
8.4 10 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:12 11

1. HASHTAG (unregistered)

"Poor low-lighting performance with its camera," which 9/10 users would actually give a dam*.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 07:01 10

9. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

Especially because most Apple users love to talk about their camera and take pictures with their iPads.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 11:28

41. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Every tablet review here has the token "the camera could be better" con.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:15 7

2. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Great tablet, I'm waiting for the mini 2 though. The air is sooo tempting man, I just want a smaller form factor.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:24 14

3. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Do you have to buy every new Apple products? Don't you feel happy for what you have? Next year, when the iPhone 6 going to launch, you will say "Bring it on Apple, I'm gonna sell my iPhone 5s on eBay and line up with my wife to buy the iPhone 6 for me and my wife, with two new iPads for me and my wife."

I know it's your money, but you should feel happy for what you have.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:28 3

4. pokedude750 (Posts: 28; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)


posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:37 4

5. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

are you really bashing on someone for upgrading on a site that banks on upgrades to run??? per your logic the companies should just stop making products unless you are ready to buy em

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:44 12

7. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Can you see what he post on Apple articles? All I can say is that he is showing off. Yes, we can express our opinions, but why would you even mention where and when you will buy it, how many you're gonna buy, who will you buy for? This is not Facebook.

I'm not bashing him, I'm just telling him to feel happy for what he have.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 08:52 3

18. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)

Ooo..I smell jealousy.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:14 2

33. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

So do I quad +1. All of a sudden I'm a show off on a site where all we so is brag about what we have, and diss others for their choice, but I'm a show off oooooookayyyyyyy...

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:27

22. Sakeem (Posts: 607; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)

Is this really about him being happy with what he has already or just annoyance over him posting the same thing on every Apple article? Or is there a hint of jealousy? Just asking. Not bashing.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:15 3

34. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

You post on every Apple article as well as I do, but your posts are always negative and bashing other people for their choices. Why don't you get a life get some maturity and let people simply enjoy what they want to enjoy. Pointblank plain and simple you are now worse than Troll was

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:09 1

29. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

His post made absolutely no sense bro. It's like I'm being greedy and unappreciative for wanting to upgrade. How many people on here couldn't wait to upgrade to the note 3(which is a helluva device BTW) and now brag about it? C'mon dude get real. +1 man

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:56 1

38. Sakeem (Posts: 607; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)

Jedii, there was only one thing you did on this site that made me raise an eyebrow and say to myself "what is he doing?" That was when someone, dont remember who, was trolling you super hard, relentlessly hard. You went on to say how much you make in a year, what your wife does for a living, things about your son....etc....just to prove a point. I thought at the time that there was no need to share that info with people that i'm sure you could care less about. Other than that, do you. Sometimes the best response to a troll is no response. Starve em.......then they will eventually die off.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 11:50 1

42. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

That's true, I've learned that bro +1

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:45 8

8. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

Darkkjedii can spend his money on whatever HE wants not what other people think...simple as that

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 07:12 3

12. Miracles (Posts: 560; Member since: 31 Aug 2013)

Yes he can spend it on whatever he likes cuz its a free country. But the point is that he should be happy with what he owns already, cuz you never know something's value until its gone. So xperiaDROID just gave him some advise to not spend his money for useless things..I mean what can the previous iPad not do, which is in the Air.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 08:39 7

17. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

i don't think a grown up married man needs money advice from a teenager...

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:05 4

20. Sauce (unregistered)


posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:11 3

31. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

+1,000,000,000,000 WH1 thank you

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 16:09

47. Miracles (Posts: 560; Member since: 31 Aug 2013)

Its meaningless to change devices when the old one does the same job as the new one. If his old iPad was broken, then totally different situation. Its a stupid misconception that your old iPad is now worth less because a new one came out. Its not.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:38 1

24. greathero1 (Posts: 575; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)

Well if XperiaDroid would go around calling everybody else out about what they are going to purchase then maybe I would say he was being consistent. Fact is, he is singling out one person who was upgrading a device for himself and his wife. Considering Darkkjedi is still rocking the iPad 3, what's wrong with upgrading a device after 20 months of use? Saying you are going to buy a device for you and your wife does not equate to bragging. IMO it shows that he is excited about this year's crop of fruit products. No different than my excitement for the HTC One, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5. All of which I own now with the Nexus 5 expected to arrive in 2-3 weeks.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:41

25. Sauce (unregistered)

Well said. Well said.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:18 2

35. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Well said. I simply want a mini2. Is that a crime lol? It's just not what he likes so there lies the problem. +1 gh1

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:06 2

26. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

How can I put this as respectful ad possible? First off I upgrade my phone every year, but not my tablet. I still have my iPad 3, so I'm looking forward to an upgrade. I go to work everyday, provide for my family, and take care of business so what's the issue with spending a little and enjoying things? I don't drink gamble, or use drugs, so my vice is technology. After my family is taken care of, it's tech time. Oh and FYI, I'm not buying it the mrs. is. Thanx for your concern.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:22

36. greathero1 (Posts: 575; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)

Im surprised that you even replied back. If you were buying Android stuff then this wouldn't have been an issue. What he really has an issue with is you spending your hard earned money on what he doesn't want you to. It's bragging when you want to upgrade but all is peachy when us Android folks speak of upgrading to numerous phones per year. I think he failed to realize that this is a tech site and these phones and tablets are all of our vices. I buy 3 to 4 phones a year so he probably thinks I am loco lol.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:47 2

37. darkkjedii (Posts: 24329; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Lol +1 tech out dude. I do...

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 12:23 1

64. vanquished (Posts: 11; Member since: 15 Apr 2012)

It's in their nature. Spending 3 times more than needed. Buying phones without an upgrade. Getting an ipad every year. Apple banks on never getting any new customers. Just relying on the iSheep to come back for more each quarter.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 06:38 4

6. alaw.14 (Posts: 227; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)

If this has a 9.2 the galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition should at lease had the same score

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 07:08 4

11. joey_sfb (Posts: 6533; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

The reviewer seem bored and his write out seem "yeah.. Its a iPad 10 hours battery life with acceptable camera quality for a tablet. It a last resort kind of thing... "

Score, Tat.da!.. 9.2 lol...

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Display9.7 inches, 2048 x 1536 pixels (264 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Apple A7, Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone processor
Size9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches
(240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm)
16.86 oz  (478 g)

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