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So I'd decided that my laptop was taking too much hammer and I was especially concerned that it seemed increasingly susceptible to malware. I wanted to keep my laptop for "office" type stuff and have something else for fast internet access and also portability, for preference. Obviously I was starting to think about a tablet; but which tablet? There are lots out there if you hadn't noticed.
The word was that androids were fine, but that the ipad was simply the best. I didn't want it for reading books, so dismissed the Kindle et al. However, I did want the bigger screen, so dismissed the mini versions. I started to think about an ipad 2 with 16 gb. 16gb was ok for me, I thought, as I was unlikely to want to download films or keep lots of music on it. It was still expensive, at just over £300, but brought me the Apple experience, with its safer, closed system, its speed and intuitive interface. Then someone pointed out that if I was going to pay that much anyway, why not go the extra yard and get the Air, with the latest operating system, the faster processor and the retina display? Unlike cars, ipads keep their value very well, so if I didn't like it I could probably recoup most of my outlay on resale. Tesco direct were doing an offer that meant I could get £30.00 off, meaning it would cost £369 instead of £399 and I'd get clubcard points as well. Get in! So I did it. I actually did it. I went and bought myself an ipad Air!!
But Did I Make The Right Choice?
Let me tell you why. (without too much technical stuff)
What You Get
You get the iPad (a thing of beauty in itself - slim, sleek, light and in white or grey); there's a two-part plug plus lead and a very slim "getting started" leaflet.
There's a "home" button, a sleep/on/off button, a switch to lock orientation and two buttons for volume. Not over-laden with controls.
It comes charged up already, so all you do is switch on and it takes you through the set up. That doesn't take long, so soon you're looking at the home screen, which has a number of applications (apps) already loaded, including Face Time, which is like Skype, but better, calendar, notes, camera and, among others, an app for the Apple Store where you can find lots of other apps to download - many of them free.
There's an icon that links you to Safari, which allows you to search the web, and another that takes you to whichever email account you want to set up on it - so, for instance, I have a hotmail account and this button gives me immediate access to it.
What Are The Advantages?
It's obviously very handy. I'm not sure that the extra thinness and lightness really makes a lot of difference to the experience, but the reduced bevel and the retina display certainly give you a full, clear screen. The picture is sharp. The speed is highly impressive. It isn't just the speed of browsing, but, for me, the fact that I can go from off to app or website almost immediately, whereas my laptop could take several minutes.
Taking pictures or video is as straightforward as it would be on your smart phone, but you've got a bigger screen and the quality is high.
Watching films or videos (say on YouTube) is superb. One of the first apps I downloaded was the BBC iPlayer. Now I effectively have a high definition mini portable tv. I can watch live tv, catch up tv, or download programmes to watch offline. If you have Sky, you could, of course load Sky Go onto it and watch all your favourite stuff on the move. Even though I only have 16gb, I could still download enough content to keep me occupied for quite a while (as an example, a ninety minute film took up about 500mb).
The battery will give you about ten hours of activity, which I think is impressive and it takes only a few hours to recharge. Using it while it's charging is as simple as it would be with your mobile phone, so no problem there.
Facetime is a joy. When I was a kid this was the stuff of science fiction - a phone where you could see the person as well, and they could see you. Making or receiving a Facetime call is as quick and easy as making a normal telephone call - easier if anything as you don't have to punch in the number, - it saves your contacts' email addresses, and you simply tap a name to make the call. You don't have to have the camera on if you don't want it -and of course it's up to you what you point it at, anyway.
I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that it doesn't need any antivirus software, but I'm certainly not complaining. And in the three months I've had it I've seen no problems of any kind.
Mine is WiFi only, but you can get versions (at a higher price) that also work on the cell phone network. That's handy, of course, but you'd have to watch that you didn't exceed your download limits, which could easily be done!
Do I Recommend It?
You bet I do. I know several people who bought an Air at about the same time as me and they are all equally thrilled. I use my laptop far less and the tv too, actually. Possibly the most exquisite pleasure is that I can use it in bed - even under the duvet, if I want! In the middle of a miserable winter, that is no small thing. Whether you want to mail, browse the web, watch tv or play games, this is a fabulous helpmate. I can't tell you that it's better than an android, because I haven't used one, but I can tell you that I do not begrudge one penny of the money I spent.
The iPad Air is unbelievably thin and light. And yet it's so much more powerful and capable. With the A7 chip, advanced wireless, and great apps for productivity and creativity - all beautifully integrated with iOS 7 - iPad Air lets you do more than you ever imagined. In more places than you ever imagined.
iPad Air is impossibly thin but incredibly solid thanks to its aluminum unibody design. It dropped almost a quarter of the volume of the previous-generation iPad. So it weighs just one gravity-defying pound. But what makes iPad Air truly remarkable is that it packs so much more power and capability into its sleek enclosure. So you can do even more with it, while carrying even less with you.
iPad has always been about the display. And that's even truer with iPad Air. Because Apple reduced the width of the device, along with the bezels on the sides of the display. But the size of the stunning Retina display is exactly the same. So your content fills your view more than ever.
The Apple-designed A7 chip brings 64-bit desktop-class architecture to iPad. That means up to twice the CPU speed and graphics performance for everything you do. And still long hour of battery life to study, play, build, and create whatever you want, all you want.
The A7 chip takes iPad to heights of power and speed. Thanks to the A7 chip, apps run faster. Games are more responsive. And everything you do with iPad Air feels quicker, because it is quicker. Up to twice as quick, in fact. And the A7 chip features 64-bit architecture, opening the door for even more robust and powerful apps. Which means even more possibilities for what you can do with iPad Air.
iPad Air was designed to be on the move. That's why the M7 coprocessor makes so much sense. It measures motion from your iPad Air by pulling data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. So your apps can give you a better experience based on the movement of your iPad Air. It's a task that would normally fall to the A7 chip. But M7 is more efficient at it, which saves on power.
iPad Air is powerful, but not power hungry. Even though it's 20 percent thinner and up to twice as fast as the previous-generation iPad, it still gives you the same incredible long-hour battery life. That's because the A7 chip isn't just more powerful, it's also more efficient. So no matter where you go with iPad Air, you'll have the battery power to go even further.
iPad Air gives you up to twice the Wi-Fi performance thanks to two antennas and MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. With dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and MIMO, download speeds can reach up to 300 Mbps - double the data rate of the previous-generation iPad. So now when you want to download a movie, share photos or documents with AirDrop, or just browse the web, your connection is even faster than before.
|Product Description:||Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi - tablet - 16 GB - 9.7"|
|Display:||9.7" IPS TFT - LED backlight - 2048 x 1536 ( 264 ppi ) - Multi-Touch|
|Processor:||Apple A7 - 64-bit|
|Wireless Connectivity:||802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Camera:||5 Megapixel rear + 1.2 Megapixel front|
|HD Video Recording:||1080p|
|Battery Run Time:||Up to 10 hours|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||16.95 cm x 0.75 cm x 24 cm|
|Localisation:||English / United Kingdom|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||1 year warranty|