The last word on...the Apple iPad Air

·Assistant Editor

Apple unveiled its latest iPads and all their shiny, new features last week. And since the iPad Air is scheduled to hit stores Friday, reviews of Apple's new tablet have begun to surface.

With so many opinions and perspectives on this device spread out all across different sites on the web, we've compiled the best of the best all in one article right here on Yahoo Tech. This is your one-stop shop for iPad Air reviews.

We call it THE LAST WORD.

iPad Air

"Surprise: the iPad Air is the best iPad we've reviewed. In addition, though, it's also the most comfortable 10-inch tablet we've ever tested. Not every manufacturer can produce a thin and light device without also making it feel cheap or flimsy, but Apple nailed it. Factor in a sizable boost in performance and battery life, and the Air is even more compelling. The last two iPads served up relatively few improvements, but the Air provides people with more of a reason to upgrade or even buy a tablet for the first time."
Brad Molen, Engadget

"If you found yourself tuning out the last few generations of iPad thanks to their extreme familiarity, it’s time to get yourself dialed back in. The iPad Air is worth getting excited about. Though it brings no new functionality to the table, and we can’t help being disappointed about the lack of Touch ID, the performance increase and solid battery life show that progress is still being made on the inside. It’s the new exterior design, however, that really impresses. The iPad Air is thinner than any tablet this size deserves to be, and lighter, too. The old iPad always felt surprisingly hefty. This one, compellingly lithe."

Tim Stevens, CNET

"Two weeks ago I had all but written off the bigger iPad. It was too bulky and just no where near as portable as the iPad mini. Once the latter gets a Retina Display and equal hardware across the board, why would anyone consider the bigger model?

The iPad Air changed my perspective on all of that. It really does modernize the big iPad. While I suspect there are still going to be a lot of users who prefer the smaller form factor of the iPad mini with Retina Display, I do feel like there are those users who will continue to appreciate all of the benefits that go along with having a larger display. Text is easier to read, particularly on desktop versions of websites. Photos and videos are larger and thus more engaging as well. In the past there was this complex matrix of tradeoffs that you had to make between iPad and iPad mini. This generation, Apple does away with all of that."
Anand Lal Shimpi, AnandTech

"The iPad Air is a huge improvement  over the iPad 4th-gen, or the iPad 2, pictured in the gallery. Its form factor is the best currently available for a 10-inch tablet, and it provides a great blend of portability and usability that leans towards the media device end of the spectrum.

When Apple introduced the iPad mini, I feel in love and felt that I’d never be swayed back to the other side. The iPad Air makes the argument anew that there’s still room for big tablets in people’s lives, and it might just help usher in an era of computing where households own more than one kind of iPad, and PCs are harder and harder to find."

Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch


"Is the Apple iPad Air a major innovation in tablets? No. Heck, it doesn’t even have the cool, or oddball, Mayday 24/7 video-chat customer service found in the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX devices. Time will tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. For me, though, the question is not which tablet offers the most whiz-bang features. It’s which one serves as the ultimate consumer device.

Yes, I know, tablets live and survive in the workplace. iPads started showing up in my meetings almost as soon as they were introduced more than three years ago. The iPad Air is up for the corporate challenge, and is, obviously,
lighter than any Ultrabook (so it's easy to carry around the office). That said, it’s also an excellent content-consumption, entertainment and connectivity device. So, too, is the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. I like that tablet quite a bit, though I still think the iPad Air has the design edge over it and all other tablets on the market.

Yes, it’s true, the iPad Air is essentially a larger iPad Mini Retina. For some, that’s a disappointment. For me, the new iPad Air is close to everything a consumer tablet should be: Light, fast, fun, beautiful and a little bit like the future."
Lance Ulanoff, Mashable

"No longer alone in the marketplace, no longer the only

right choice, no breakthrough new features. But it’s smaller, lighter, and faster than ever, with a much bigger catalog of apps—and much better ones—than the competition. If you want a big tablet, this is the one that will make you happiest.

Put another way, there really is something in the Air."

David Pogue, Yahoo News

"The iPad

Air is the no-compromise tablet. Beautiful display, crisp design, premium build quality: it’s the gold-standard by which tablets are judged, and rightly so. If Apple’s full-sized slates had fallen into the shadow of their mini brethren over the past twelve months, the iPad Air brings the larger tablet right back into the spotlight.

...For some, the more compact iPad mini with Retina display will be the more portable iOS tablet of preference. For others, the wider range of Android tablets, often more affordable will hold greater appeal. Yet, for its combination of connectivity, longevity, power, app selection, and relentlessly pared-back design, the iPad Air ticks the boxes that make it the tablet for the everyman."

Vincent Nguyen, SlashGear

"I’ve been testing the iPad Air for about a week and found it a pleasure to use. This new iPad isn’t a radical rethinking of what a tablet can be, but it’s a major improvement on a successful product. It is the best tablet I’ve ever reviewed.

That isn’t just because of its slimmer, lighter design, but because Apple boasts 475,000 apps optimized for tablet use — far more than any other tablet platform. (The iPad also can run all of the million or so apps available for the iPhone.) By contrast, the vast majority of apps available for rival Android tablets are just stretched versions of phone apps.

...Bottom line: If you can afford it, the new iPad Air is the tablet I recommend, hands down."

Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD

"Apple has done it again: the iPad Air is a tablet better than the last iPad. Simply put the iPad Air is the best iPad the company has ever made. It's light, it's thin, it's fast, it's amazing.

For die-hard Apple fans we can see how you would be disappointed in terms of wow factor, there is no standout feature here that you will want to show your friends the moment they walk through the door in the same way you can with the iPhone 5S and Touch ID, however this is Apple creating the ultimate experience rather than focusing on specs for specs' sake.

...But make no mistake: if you buy the iPad Air you'll be very happy. Apple has created an experience that far outweighs specs on a spec sheet and that will be hard for the competition to match. That in itself makes it the best tablet on the market in terms of performance, apps, and desirability, until the iPad mini with Retina display comes along, and then the fight over which iPad to get really starts."

Stuart Miles, Pocket-lint

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