Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The iPad Air Reviews Are Rolling In

If you want the best straightforward review, you’ll probably like Ben Bajarin’s:

My kids use the iPad to play games, read, create movies, make music, paint and draw, and a host of other things they would never be able to do on a PC with its mouse and keyboard input. The iPad is not computing dumbed down; it is powerful computing simplified. And simple solutions require sophisticated technology. That is exactly what the iPad and the new iPad Air is–powerful computing. For many consumers the iPad Air will be the most empowering personal computer they have ever owned.

But because you’re reading this site, I anticipate you’ll want to know how the iPad Air fares on the Sunspider Javascript benchmark, and how calibrated the display is. Luckily, Anand Lal Shimpi’s got your back:

In fact it’s the first tablet of this size to really feel right. The first iPad looked great but needed improvement on so many vectors. The second gave us a size and weight reduction but lost some of the luxury feel in the process. We know the story of numbers 3 and 4 which amounted to a set of tradeoffs in order to accommodate a Retina Display, but with the iPad Air Apple hits a balance of features, design and ergonomics that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in the iPad.

Despite the thinness of the iPad 2, 3, and 4 industrial design, I’ve always preferred the original’s flatter edges for inexplicable and probably strange reasons. Lal Shimpi has a photo on the first page which shows that the new design is much closer to that original. It looks stunning.

This year’s iPad lineup is exceedingly simple, despite having the most SKUs Apple has ever offered. Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do I want a big one or a little one?
  2. Do I want a retina display?

Easy, right? Then pick your colour, your storage, and whether you want another cellular bill.

You wanna know what I’m buying? I’m holding out for a black — excuse me — slate grey iPad Mini with a retina display, in a 16 GB WiFi-only configuration. That seems like a sublime combination.