TechRadar Reacts: iPad Air

TechRadar Reacts: iPad Air
Everyone's got an opinion

The iPad Air may not have shocked us in terms of its specs, but the name change and some of the design alterations went to show that Apple can still withhold some secrets.

Powered by the iPhone 5S A7 chip, the iPad Air is just 7.5mm thick and weighs just 1lb (469g). That makes it lighter than any other full-sized tablet on the market, so says Apple.

But as a group who have witnessed their fair share of Apple events, what did the TechRadar team make of the iPad Air? Has Apple knocked it out the park again or are things starting to feel a tad stale?

Patrick - Editor in Chief (UK)

I spent some time with the iPad Air and I was utterly thrilled at the changes. I actually prefer bigger tablets, and I've been a big fan of the iPad 4 despite it being a little unwieldy and uncomfortably heavy for long periods. So basically Apple has fixed the things that I wanted to and then chucked in a faster processor to boot.

Knee-jerk score: 5

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John - Phones and Tablets Writer (UK)

In the immortal words of R Kelly, "I believe I can fly." Sadly, despite its name the iPad Air is unable to aid my pursuit to the sky but it is lighter and thinner than its predecessor - and to be honest it's about bloody time.

All in all the iPad Air fails to bring anything groundbreaking to the table. It still sports the same screen, the design isn't anything overly new and the omission of TouchID - possibly Apple's only real innovation in the past couple of years - is almost criminal. What you can be sure of though is incredibly smooth operation, an impressive app selection and premium build quality - which almost justifies the sky-high price.

Knee-jerk score: 4

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Kate - News Editor (UK)

Tim Cook spent a good three minutes deriding everyone who ever questioned the necessity of tablets as a product because the iPad is amazing and great and does all this neat stuff and guys, look, doesn't it make me look really cool when I hold it?

Sure, I know you can do loads of cool things with tablets but most people don't. So, yeah, congrats Apple, the iPad Air is probably the nicest of the pointless devices available. And if handing over £400 to have one is going to make you feel better about everything then please do. It looks nice, it's probably really good at what it does and iOS 7 is a decent OS. But you still don't really need one.

Knee-jerk score: 4

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Hugh - Staff Writer (UK)

I could hear the haters smugly mumbling to themselves the minute the iPad Air showed its face: "Wow, it's slightly smaller. Way to innovate, Apple." But when you've got a winning formula - and yes, Cook spent plenty of time bragging about just how much of a winner it was - then these incremental upgrades are all you'd expect. The lighter design is a biggie, but as a serial multitasker it's the speed boost that I'll be benefiting from most of all. No Touch ID? Do we even need it on a tablet? I think it's debatable.

Knee-jerk score: 4.5

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Marc - Deputy Editor (UK)

Apple is the king of incremental upgrades and once again it has done just enough to sate the need of the baying public. What Apple has done is target the biggest bugbear we all had with the iPad – it was just too damn heavy. Making it lighter and that little bit thinner means it once again shows why 81% of all tablets sold are made by Apple.

Knee-jerk score: 4.5

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Total knee-jerk score out of five: 4.4

We're reacting all over the place, and here's the evidence:

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.