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Editor's Choice

iPad Air review

Apple lays down the gauntlet for 2014's tablets with a stunning effort

The internet browser on the iPad Air needs to be impressive, as otherwise one of the key functions for this device is really negated. While you might not be seeing much of an upgrade over older iPads in terms of functionality, the speed in overall use of the device is definitely something to be lauded.

The main difference over the iPad 3 / iPad 4 (out of the box) is that iOS 7 makes everything a little cleaner and less obtrusive. For instance, the URL bar won't dynamically retreat like it does on the iPhone range, but with 9.7 inches of space to play with, I can't say that I blame it too much.

The bar is actually chock-full of functionality in the same way as its Android counterpart, although there's perhaps a spot more relevance to everything that's run with the Air. For instance, the reading mode is just a simple icon of text lines in the URL bar, allowing you to easily switch to a more text-friendly mode.

iPad Air review

It's a little irritating that you can't sync this with Pocket, as although you might be fine using the 'Saved for Later' function of Safari on the iPad, if you're not using an iPhone as your smartphone then there's no central repository for all the articles you want to read later.

At least if you copy the URL of the site you're reading the app can intelligently work out that you might want to save it to Pocket - but when you can share links over Facebook and Twitter with such ease then it doesn't seem fair that other popular apps aren't supported.

Of course this is completely subjective, and something we would have expected from Apple a few years ago. It's become more relaxed about working with partners recently, however, so perhaps the functionality will come.

In reality, all these reading modes don't mean much when you've got such a speedy and responsive browser. Apple is touting the fact the iPad Air is one of the first tablets to use MIMO wireless connectivity, (although many on the market, Samsung Galaxy Tab S included, now do the same thing) allowing for a stronger and faster Wi-Fi connection. In reality this means that you can wander further from the router and still get access to the internet when you've decided against shelling out for the cellular version of the iPad.

iPad Air review

The text looks supremely clear on this larger screen, which might have the same resolution as previous iterations of the iPad but in side by side comparisons looks a little clearer and brighter. It's no surprise that Apple would make strides in this area, although text wrapping when zoomed in could still do with some work.

However, the internet browser on the iPad Air is one to be rather respected, as it does what it needs to do with considerable aplomb. Whether you want to see a list of shared links from Twitter (which is a rather underrated feature, drawing only the tweets from your friends that contain links) or save articles to check out when you don't have connectivity, there's little the iPad can't do.

If you're in a family home with a number of Apple devices then you can easily share links using AirDrop, and this will be useful for those that hate doing the same over messaging or Facebook - although with iMessage, it's hardly a chore.

But Apple has kept things simple on both functionality and the interface on the iPad Air's internet browser, and that makes a lot of sense to me.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerApple
Graphics Controller ManufacturerImagination Technologies
Graphics Controller ModelPowerVR G6430
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time10 Hour
GPSNo
Backlight TechnologyLED
WimaxNo
Product FamilyiPad Air
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformiOS
ColourSpace Gray
Operating SystemiOS 7
Brand NameApple
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.30 GHz
Processor TypeA7
Screen Size24.6 cm (9.7")
Screen Resolution2048 x 1536
Weight (Approximate)453.6 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Retina Display
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Height238.8 mm
Width167.6 mm
Depth7.4 mm
Screen ModeQXGA
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMD785LL/A
Product NameiPad Air Tablet
Product LineiPad Air
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberMD785LL/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

All-new design. A ton of advanced technology. In just one pound. You have to hold iPad Air to believe it. It"s just 7.5 millimeters thin and weighs just one pound. The stunning Retina display sits inside thinner bezels, so all you see is your content. And an incredible amount of power lies inside the sleek enclosure. So you can do so much more. With so much less.

Limited Warranty1 Year