When it comes to sheer quality, design and user experience - including over a million apps - there really is only one iPad Air.
When it was released, the iPad Air changed the tablet market. Although the original iPad Air is no longer the king of the tablets, it has remained one of the longest-lasting purposeful devices on the market since its launch in 2013. With its exceptional (and trail-blazing) design, powerful engine and impressive suite of free apps, it's no surprise that the original sits on the throne as the winning iPad Air.
While the original iPad Air may no longer be the king of the tablet market, this device certainly retains a seat at the top table. In fact, it has remained one of the best and most purposeful tablets on the market ever since its initial launch in November 2013. With its exceptional (and trail-blazing) design, powerful engine and impressive suite of free apps, it boasts an eye-catching spec that has remained competitive to this day. Incredibly, more than six years has passed since the release of this iconic device, with its unique design and purposeful engine undoubtedly placing a refurbished iPad Air ahead of the curve in the fast-growing tablet market.
In many ways, the iPad Air was the first Apple tablet to almost defy the laws of physics. Combining a 9.7-inch screen within a sleek frame that weighs just 469g, you're presented that seemingly large but deceptively slim device that's almost ghost-like in the hand. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the iPad Air remains one of the most balanced tablets on the market, and one that manages to combine both form and function in equal measure. The smooth aluminum back is also a sight for sore eyes, adding to the premium aesthetic of the iPad Air and incredibly stylish design.
The iPad Air was released in tandem with the iOS7 iteration, equipping it with a number of cutting-edge apps and features. These include the so-called parallax effect, which may sound like something out of The Matrix but actually describes a feature that causes the wallpaper to move fluidly with the motion whenever you tilt your screen. This creates a genuinely eye-catching 3D effect, and one that retains more than mere novelty value whenever you're browsing apps, checking emails and clicking through notifications.
Apple has refrained from reinventing the wheel with the camera app on the iPad Air, and while this may come as a disappointment to some it at least provides a level of performance and features that users can rely on. More specifically, the iPad Air features the same, 5MP iSight camera from previous tablet iterations, guaranteeing impressive levels of illumination and more than acceptable performance in low light. With this camera, you can even take a square snap for those moments when you require a portrait picture, making the iPad Air a great choice for anyone who likes to capture and immortalise their most important memories.
When reviewing the iPad Air, it's important to remember that this device was launched more than six years ago. I mean, Manchester United were the defending Premier League champions in November 2013, and we all know how much has changed at Old Trafford in the 74 months since. The iPad Air features a Li-Po battery unit, for example, which is essentially last-generation technology that has since been superseded by Lithium Ion power packs. Despite this, the tablet's 8,820mAh battery offers an average of between nine and 10 hours use on a single charge, losing an estimated 2% every 10 minutes on a day-to-day basis (which is pretty good going by anybody's standards).
In addition to a reliable battery, Apple has also equipped the iPad Air with it's advanced A7 chip and 64-bit processing power. These components combine to create power, performance and efficiency in equal measure, enabling you to multitask and undertake range of different jobs throughout the course of the day. So, whether you're required to sift to hundreds of emails in a single sitting or fancy watching a 720p looping video at the optimal brightness, you can do so comfortably without unwanted buffering or placing a significant drain on your battery.
Although this device has since been superseded by the iPad Air two and the tablets in the coveted iPad Pro range (amongst others), it can more than hold its own in the contemporary market and remains a genuine favourite amongst Apple users.