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Apple iPad Air: Hands-on and first impressions

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Apple launched the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display in India over the weekend. The iPad Air, in particular, marks the biggest upgrade to the iPad line-up after the iPad 3 with a new design drawing on the cues from the iPad mini and a new 64-bit A7 processor. We went hands-on with the iPad Air and here are our first impressions.

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The first thing about the iPad Air is how light it feels. Though it is about 480 grams (depending whether you pick up the Wi-Fi or cellular variant) it feels lighter than the iPad mini with Retina Display that weighs around 340 grams – the weight is spread across a larger surface. It is certainly far lighter than the earlier full-sized iPads that weighed a little shy of 700 grams. I’m assuming that being lighter, there would be less fatigue while using the iPad Air over longer durations.

Another thing that impresses is how thin Apple has managed to make the iPad Air – at 7.5mm thin, it is much thinner than the iPad 4 that it replaces. The only Apple device slimmer than the iPad Air is the first-gen iPad mini, which comes in at 7.2mm. Despite being 20 percent thinner than the iPad 4, Apple has managed to retain the same battery performance, which again is an incredible feat.

Then there is the overall footprint of the device itself. The iPad Air’s bezel is much thinner, which makes it narrower than the earlier full-sized iPads. During the limited period I held the iPad Air, it felt much better to hold and type on it. The new aluminum finish feels much better and only increases the gap with other tablets when it comes to design and build quality.

Before checking out the iPad Air and the new iPad mini with Retina Display, I was leaning towards the new iPad mini owing to the size. But now, given the new design and overall feel, I am tempted to go for the iPad Air.

While we take the iPad Air through its paces, you can read the review from our colleagues at BGR Classic.

Camera Courtesy: All photos were shot using the Nokia Lumia 1020.

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  • Published Date: December 9, 2013 3:13 PM IST


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