When the first Apple iPad entered the market, people were amazed at the technology this small device offered. No tablet could beat the technology, and most products were several steps behind Apple’s tablet. With the new iPad Air, Apple still produces an impressive tablet; however, other companies have caught up and surpassed the iPad. It's still the most popular on the market, but it's not necessarily the best tablet anymore.

Retina display is one of the most advanced features available on this computing device, and it’s one of the things Apple is most proud of. When comparing the iPad Air to other top rated tablets, the difference is noticeable, but it’s really not so astounding that you couldn't live another day without it. This new display makes text and photos incredibly crisp with rich color saturation and 3.1 million pixels. If you need a comparison, that's a million more pixels than your average HDTV. With that many pixels packed so tightly, your eyes will see a whole picture rather than individual pixels.

For such a thin device, the new iPad provides up to 10 hours of battery life on a single battery charge. This tablet features the iOS 7 operating system. This OS allows you to multitask and open several programs at once. This would be more impressive if every other Android tablet hadn’t had that capability for years. On the plus side, you also can choose from more than 375,000 applications to download from the Apple App store.

There are several applications pre-loaded and ready to go when you first pick up your iPad Air. Your basic email, internet browsers, photo capturing and editing features are a few of the applications instantly available. You can also watch movies or TV shows in HD, making it possible for you to enjoy all types of entertainment on the go, wherever you are.

There are several advanced features available on this device, including AirPlay. AirPlay lets you wirelessly connect your iPad to an HDTV so you can view your desktop on a larger screen. This feature is ideal if you want to watch a movie stored on your iPad or if you want to share photos or recorded videos from your iPad on a larger screen. This feature is wireless with no additional cables or equipment required; you just need a TV with Wi-Fi capabilities. If you are a student or businessperson and need to give a presentation, you can use the Apple Digital AV Adapter and plug your tablet into an HDTV or projector to view your presentation on large screens.

There is a 64-bit A7 chip in the new Apple iPad Air. This chip makes the device over two times faster than the original iPad and lets you enjoy a much faster computing experience. The faster chip is ideal for browsing the internet, sending emails and even downloading documents or applications. Along with the fast processing speed, the graphics are over nine times faster than the previous model. The graphics are clear and detailed, making this tablet ideal for playing games or even just watching videos and TV shows or viewing images.

Another advantage of using the new Apple iPad is the available memory. There is a 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and even a 128GB model available. The model you choose all depends on the amount of content and data you plan on storing. The iPad offering 16GB of memory will provide ample room for apps, music and movies, but if you don’t want to worry about storage, particularly if the iPad will be used for business purposes, the 128GB may be the ideal size for you. We're glad Apple finally made an iPad with such large amounts of storage. Though 64GB is a lot, many music and movie lovers find it simple to quickly fill up that amount of space. Since Apple doesn't include expandable storage on any of their devices, it only makes sense that they have at least one model with 128GB.

There are built-in speakers and a built-in microphone available on this device. These two pieces of hardware not only make it possible to have video chats using FaceTime, you can also watch movies and TV shows or capture audio for your full HD video recordings. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to audio, as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G LTE capabilities. Unfortunately, there is not a USB 2.0 port, which we found to be one of the biggest drawbacks on this computing device. However, this tablet features AirPrint, so you can send your documents to a printer wirelessly using a Wi-Fi connection. The disadvantage here is that not all printers will work with the AirPrint feature, and the printer must be AirPrint-enabled to receive the Wi-Fi connection.

As we mentioned before, the Retina display on this 9.7-inch touchscreen features resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, and images crisp and clear. The screen offers LED backlighting, which improves the clarity and brightness of the screen, regardless of the screen’s pixilation.

For a tablet to be easy to use, the display screen must be responsive and have very little lag time. In our testing, we saw no lag time in the Apple iPad, and it was responsive to our touch. The screen does offer multitouch capabilities, meaning your fingers do it all without the help of a stylus. You can make images larger or smaller with the pinch-and-zoom function, and you navigate around the device using taps and swipes.

iPad Air Summary:
8.4/10

The new iPad is an impressive device with a large selection of features available for entertainment and business purposes. The iOS 7 operating system and the A7 chip make this device fast and easy to use. The Retina display is stunning, and there is no lag time with the virtual keypad or opening programs and applications. The thin size increases the portability of this device and makes it comfortable to hold. If you exclusively use Apple products, you won't have any issues with this tablet. If you mix brands, though, it can be a bit of headache having a device without a USB port and a microSD slot, not to mention that it uses a completely different operating system.

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iPad Air

Pros
The new iPad Air features the iOS 7 operating system and the A7 64-bit processor chip.

Cons
There is no USB port on this tablet nor an option for expandable storage.

The Verdict
: 8.4/10

The thin design, fast processor and long battery life are a few reasons why this tablet is the most popular on the market.