The iPad Air is thinner, lighter, and faster than the previous generation, and those three aspects are extremely key when it comes to the iPad. The instant you pick up the iPad Air, you can tell that lighter isn’t just a claim, and dropping the device to one pound overall is a major achievement. I have used the iPad 3 since it launched back in March 2012, and the difference is indeed night and day. While it’s only a 0.4 pound change, that feels like a lot when the entire device was just 1.4 pounds to begin with. Everything you do on the iPad revolves around holding it, so you will alwyas feel and notice the weight. The iPad Air is also thinner front to back, and the width is reduced with the bezels shaved down. It’s so much more convenient to hold in one hand, and now tilt based gaming is much more comfortable. Whether you’re reading the news, watching videos, using Pages, editing in iMovie, or playing games, you’re always holding the device, and now it just takes up less space.
The main takeaway from the iPad Air is that it’s really close to feeling like you’re just holding a 9.7″ high resolution screen. It makes the iPad more enjoyable, and now you’re more prone to use it for extended periods of time, worry less about stands, and even take it out and about. In addition to the size changes, there’s also the new 64-bit A7 chip, and while we don’t have an iPad 4 to directly compare how much faster it is, you can just tell everything runs smoother. Deluxe games launch faster, iMoves runs without hesitation, and the entire device feels like it’s begging for more powerful software. Also, since this is a brand new device, the first time you open the App Store, you’re greeted with a pop-up to download Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and iPhotos for free alongside other free Apple apps. Inside the box itself, there’s the typical Apple packaging including the lighting cable, and I picked up the Black/Space Grey 16GB model.
In terms of the actual journey to the iPad Air, the process couldn’t have been smoother, which is quite a difference from Apple products in years past. I was able to order a 32GB black iPad Air just after midnight this morning using the Apple Store app. The best part was that personal pick-up was an option at my local Apple Store, so I was ready to go down, and pick it up in the morning with no lines. I planned to head down around 9:30 after the initial traffic died down a bit, but found out that Wal-Mart was selling the 16GB for $479. To further the point, other stores were price matching, which includes Target, who offers 5% off with the Target Red card. I then confirmed that I could cancel my Apple Store order in case everything went smoothly at Target.
I made it to Target around 10AM, and there was no one in Electronics, and they did have the iPad Air in stock. In fact, they said they got 30 in this morning, and I signed up for the Target red card. The discount was only on the 16GB model, not 32GB, so after a little finagling I got the 16GB Black iPad Air for $20 off, plus 5% off. The total came to $505.57 out the door with tax, which is exceptionally high here in LA county. Getting a $499 device for just $6 more is a great deal in my book, and I can make due with 16GB, as I alway have before. Apple should really make the 32GB the new entry level at $499. I then cancelled the Apple Store order with a couple of clicks, and was able to unbox my new iPad Air from Target, and create the following video for you with initial hands-on impressions. Apple claimed the iPad Air was thinner, lighter, and faster, and all three factors are effortlessly noticeable to a major degree as soon as you power on the device. The iPad Air was effortless to get from multiple sources, and I hope you can get one too, if you’re interested. Enjoy our hands-on video where we compared the device to the original iPad, run iMovie, play Asphalt 8, and simply show off the new device