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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Light as Air, Just as Fast

A Smaller bezel makes iPad Air lighter but is it really thinner?

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Published: January 5, 2014 5:14:23 am

I have been a dedicated iPad user since the middle of 2011 when the second version of the world’s first tablet was launched. Over the past two years,it has become my primary computing device,especially when it comes to consumption. Though a couple of years old,the iPad 2 is still a great device,as I am reminded every time I test a new tablet.

Since then,three new versions of the iPad have been launched. Despite the superb Retina display screen that debuted with the third version,I have never been really tempted to upgrade my old iPad. That was until Apple decided to come out with the iPad Air — much thinner and lighter.

The iPad has always been an amazingly thin computing device. How much more thin could the guys in Cupertino make it? That was question at the back of my mind,before I got my hands on the iPad Air.

Holding the iPad Air for the first time,there was no doubt that this tablet was lighter than my old tablet. In fact,at 469 grams,it has become almost 150 grams lighter in comparison to my iPad 2,and is lighter by almost 200 grams when compared to the fourth generation iPad. That is quite substantial.

But has it become thinner? I couldn’t quite make that out in a single glance. On paper,the iPad 2 is 9mm thick,and the iPad Air is thinner at 7.5mm. But it is hard to spot the difference,even though 1.5mm has been shaved off in comparison to the last three versions of the tablet. Keep the two devices side by side and it is almost impossibe to find a difference in height,at least to the naked eye.

However,the iPad Air is smaller for sure. One can tell,because now the bezel is much thinner. Keep the two iPads one on top of the other and you can easily see that the iPad 2 is much larger. That could be the reason behind the iPad Air’s weight.

The design is also a bit different. For along with the curved sides,there is a diamond cut edge that gives it a chrome finish. The other difference is the volume button,of which there are now two,instead of the earlier singe rocker.

As always,the Retina display is wonderful. Just keep the iPad 2 and iPad Air adjacent to see the difference. But that is an old story. The processors,too,are different. While the iPad 2 has an Apple A5 chip,the new version has A7,which is much faster. You just need to play around with a couple of apps that you use on the older version to see that difference. It is almost like upgrading to a Ferrari from a Hyundai i10. Yes,it is that fast.

For gamers,the iPad Air offers superior performance. Real Racing 3,the only game that I have ever managed to get hooked on to,is a completely different experience on the Air.

The camera is amazing. In fact,it is as good as the one on the new iPhone 5S. The kind of detail it gives was impossible on the iPad 2. It is also faster,the iPad 2 camera has a significant lag which has almost been eliminated here.

If you are looking to pick up your first iPad,then look no further. If you own one,and are thinking about an upgrade,do it for the faster processing and the lighter body,and not necessarily for a thinner device.

Price: Starting at Rs 28,500.

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