iPad Air reviews

Those outlets blessed with early iPad Air review units by Apple have now posted their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and if our iPad Air preview didn't do it for you, these had better!

The Loop's Jim Dalrymple:

From the minute I picked up the iPad Air at Apple's event in San Francisco last week, I knew it was going to be different. Apple set expectations very high by simply using the "Air" moniker for the new iPad, giving users thoughts of a lightweight, powerful, professional device, similar to how they think of the MacBook Air.

The good news is the iPad Air lives up to all of those expectations and more.

Fox News's Clayton Morris:

At 1 pound, the new iPad Air is impressively light, barely heavier than the iPad mini. My toddler can waddle around the house with it a lot more easily, and I can now use it in bed without worrying that it will smack me in the forehead if I doze off while reading Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns." Which has been known to happen with the previous generation iPad.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber:

To me, the comparison that is most interesting is to that of my MacBook Air. In exactly three years, Apple has produced an iPad that outperforms a then-brand-new MacBook. Three years is a decent chunk of time in this industry, and the MacBook Air has made great strides since then, but this (a brand-new iPad Air versus a late 2010 MacBook Air) is a credible comparison. In many ways the iPad Air is not just the superior device, but clearly so — it has a retina display, the MacBook Air does not; it gets 10 hours of battery life, the MacBook Air was advertised at just 5 hours back then (and as an old and much-used device, my personal MacBook Air gets significantly less than 5 hours of battery life today).

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi:

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.

Techpinions's Ben Bajarin:

With the iPad Air, Apple has created the world's thinest and lightest full size tablet. By adding their 64-bit A7 processor, they have made it extremely powerful as well. After using the iPad Air for the past week I'm convinced that the iPad Air is the perfect personal computer for the masses.

CNet's Tim Stevens:

Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year's model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It's the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.

Slashgear's Vincent Nguyen:

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.

AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg:

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

Times's Harry McCracken:

Designwise, this iPad is so much svelter that it almost feels like a new class of Apple tablet, but it remains an iPad — and for now, at least, that continues to be the most important bragging right that any tablet can claim.

Engadget's Brad Molen:

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.

TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington:

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.

Pocket Lint's Stuart Miles:

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.

New York Times's Damon Darlin:

I am not sure making the iPad Air lighter will be enough to persuade people who have never felt the need to buy one to race to the Apple store. But I bet that even without a beach-reading, dream-catching upgrade, many do.

The Telegraph's Matt Warman:

Its light weight and thin form mean it gets out of the way – you don't notice it, but you notice what you're doing on it. That, potentially, unleashes a new generation of tablet-based productivity. The fact that Apple is now giving away even more software means that perhaps the rebranding is, therefore, more than simply a marketing exercise. Air may yet be the oxygen for a new wave of uses for the iPad.

USA Today's Ed Baig:

In sticking close to the status quo, the iPad Air won't have the seismic impact of the original iPad. But the thin design only enhances what is already the best and most successful tablet on the market.

Associated Press' Anick Jesdanun:

You do pay more for an iPad than most of its rivals, but you get better app selection, ease of use and, with the new Air, an elegant design.

David Pogue, writing on his Tumblr blog:

So that's the iPad Air for you: 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.

Seems like Apple has another - albeit lighter, thinner, and much, much faster - hit on their hands. And in ours. Any of the reviews change your mind, or did Apple have you at Air?