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Apple iPad Air

£369.99
compatibility
performance
graphics
features

4.5

5

Overall

The Apple iPad Air is a Goldilocks tablet. It's just right, whether that's in terms of size, performance or even (gasp!) price. If you're picking through the tablet orchard, this is the Apple for you.

User Rating (73 votes)

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16GB Air 1 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£279.00

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£369.99

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 19th November 2017.

32GB Air 1 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£319.95

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£399.99

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 19th November 2017.

64GB Air 1 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£339.95

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£659.00

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 19th November 2017.

16GB Air 2 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£354.55

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£380.00

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 19th November 2017.

64GB Air 2 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£354.55

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£549.99

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£579.00

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 19th November 2017.

128GB Air 2 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£354.55

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£399.00

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£485.00

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 19th November 2017.

32GB Air 2 - Apple iPad Air Price Comparison

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£354.55

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£379.00

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£384.95

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Please note that in order to provide a fair price comparison, eBay prices are for new (buy it now) items only. Cheaper second-hand options or auction items may exist. We recommend that you visit eBay to see all the buying options available. Data last updated: 18th November 2017.

Apple iPad Air Price History

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Charlotte Taylor

11th July 2016

By Charlotte Taylor

Full time working mum of a teenager and 7 year old


I recently purchased an iPad Air, this was to replace an old iPad2 that was giving up on life (the battery was failing and the device had received a few knocks from my children using the tablet).

I purchased the device from Amazon for just under £250, as a Prime member my tablet arrived next day and was well packaged (both the Apple packaging and Amazon's external packaging).

Apple iPad Air

My first impressions were very good, as always Apple's packaging is excellent; sleek, stylish and very sturdy. Inside the box you get the tablet, charger, cable and instructions. It didn't include headphones, which was a little disappointing given the price paid for the device.

I have had iPad's before so knew what to expect, one of the main reasons for sticking with an iPad is how easy I find it to set up the tablet, from taking it out of the box to being set up and ready to go is literally a matter of minutes. This remains true for the iPad Air so from out of the box to ready to use in under 10 minutes, what's more once you've completed the set up and added your Apple account you are in sync with any other Apple devices you may own (Apple TV, iPhone etc). I think the device is suitable for any age, from young children to grandparents. If you are looking to purchase a tablet for any generation the iPad Air is ideal as most people will be able to set this up themselves it is so easy, if not a parent could set it up quickly to avoid having an excited and impatient child waiting for their new tablet! Although the cost may be prohibitive to some, especially children.

Apple iPad Air

The iPad Air does feel considerably thinner and lighter than the iPad2 but still feels solid enough to withstand heavy usage, having said that I will be purchasing a screen protector and case to protect it (I would recommend this to anyone having had a previous screen damaged and footing a bill of over £50 for a repair). One of the main reasons for purchasing a new device to improve the battery life and performance of my previous device I am definitely not disappointed with this aspect of the iPad Air, the battery lasts for a couple of days with reasonably frequent usage (and I do tend to forget to switch it off completely).

The camera on the iPad Air as with all other Apple devices is excellent, the camera on this device is 5MP, I know you can get better but for the purposes you are likely to use a camera on a tablet for I think this is more than sufficient. It has all the features of other Apple devices including iTunes and FaceTime.

Apple iPad Air

Summary

At around £250 it is far from the cheapest tablet on the market but would I recommend it, absolutely. I am a busy working mum who doesn't claim to be an IT expert so anything that makes my life easier is only a good thing. The iPad Air is quick and easy to set up and easy to link to existing devices, it is lightweight enough to transport around in a handbag and the battery will last for a whole day without desperately trying to locate a source of power to plug into.

The only negative thing I have to say about Apple devices is once the battery starts to deteriorate it does downhill to a state that makes it almost unusable quite rapidly, I am hoping this will not be true of the iPad Air but this remains to be seen.

Haydn Fisher

28th June 2015

By Haydn Fisher

I am a teenager who likes reviewing products.


The iPad Air, is it really that light?

Yes. Yes it is. It's so thin. Coming in at only 7.5mm and only 1 pound. Yes, one single pound. That's pretty much nothing. Just like a regular Apple product it is not cheap feeling at that thickness either. It feels just as sturdy as the previous products by Apple. I feel like the internals could keep up over 10 years the body certainly could.

Apple iPad Air

It's fast, like, seriously fast. At least it appears to be fast. It doesn't seem to hold up too well in benchmarks against other competing devices, but as the usual thing with Apple products is that it's smooth, like butter. Benchmarks mean nothing though, as this proves that.

Battery life is brilliant. In-fact it comes in pretty high against other tablets that are on the market. I can get around 12 and a half hours with HEAVY HEAVY usage.

The Air comes with all the regular stuff you'd expect, such as a charger, cable as well as some manuals. The internals of the iPad also feature the regular stuff, A7 processor, Wi-Fi B/G/N/AC , etc.

There is an option for a more connected one that can connect up to mobile networks, but in a world with so many free Wi-Fi access points, what's the point?

Apple iPad Air

It uses lightning cables, which at this point you probably should have accepted into your life if you're in the Apple eco-system.

I do have to complain about one thing though, where is the Touch ID, Apple!? Your flagship iPhones have them, why not your flagship iPad? Okay, you put it into the second iPad Air, but still.

Positives

Lightweight and thin - The iPad Air is seriously lightweight. It weighs only 1 pound. It probably wouldn't be that bad to just throw into your bag for the day and use it instead of your phone to keep your battery charged up or something. A massive improvement over the past devices. At only 7.5mm thick, it's almost paper.

Fast - It's seriously fast, as explained above. Even when the second device is out, it keeps up just fine. Let's just hope Apple continues support for the device as long as they should. Apple are known to alienate devices after a few years due to forcing the public to purchase the newer, "better" version.

Battery life - This thing lasts ages. Longer than my devices with MASSIVE extended batteries on them. It takes me over a day to kill this thing, if only phone batteries were as good. Over 12 hours, that's seriously impressive.

Accessories – There are thousands, literally thousands of accessories available for this thing. You can find cases at every turn, in stores that you wouldn't expect to have cases for it. I'd recommend having a case on this thing though, it's so thin, it wouldn't surprise me if it's easier to crack this one than all the others.

Apple iPad Air

Negatives

No Touch ID - Seriously Apple? I know this was probably a feature to be missed on the first, and put into the second like you usually do, but it's such a pain to type in my password every single time I wish to download an app, or even just leave it on my bed.

Cameras - I know a tablet is not the best way to be taking photos, but for the price this thing costs, a 5 MP camera is not really the best to have. It should be better.

Cost - It's expensive. Much more expensive than the competition for better specs. I'm not going to mention the price because it's always changing, but even used it's still a hefty price.

Screen - While large and vibrant, the resolution doesn't hold up to the rest of the competition. It's okay, that's all there is to say about it. It's average. It's a massive fingerprint magnet, as seen in in the photos.

Conclusion

Overall the iPad Air is a brilliant tablet, while it has a few flaws there is certainly a large amount of people who can feel at home using it. I'm sure there is a high chance you will find that you enjoy using it. Check eBay for a used one, you may be able to get a great deal!

Sam Applegate

21st October 2014

By Sam Applegate

I like bacon sandwiches.


It's probably fair to say that Apple hasn't produced a new category of product that's entirely blown our minds for a couple of years, but does that really matter? If you've been past an Apple store recently, there's a reasonable chance that it was rammed full of people. Queuing to get into a shop... I don't get it.

The Apple iPad Air, however, is the kind of product that it's worth waiting for. Not because it does anything revelatory or astounding, but because every aspect of it is so finely honed, tuned down to the Nth degree. It's crafted. It's engineered. It's not just a bunch of plastic that's been thrown together in a rush. This is the tablet that you want to own.

Plucked From The Top Of The Tree

The iPad Air is a bit bigger than the mini range and a bit smaller than the full blown iPad at 9.7 inches, and it's extremely light. Although it's probably just that little bit too wide to use with one hand for extended periods, at 467 grams it's certainly airy enough and as a consequence it's a joy to hold. Apple have narrowed the bezels on the side so that less space is lost to black edges, making the screen seem larger. At the same time, they've also developed an algorithm to figure out whether your stray digits are pressing or merely resting on the touch screen so that the reduction in the size of the bezel doesn't end up compromising your experience thanks to accidental contact. Nice work.

That minimal amount of weight is also finely balanced, so that even if you're holding it at the very bottom you're not having to make a big effort to hold it in place. For all of its slenderness, the Apple iPad Air is a still a well constructed, finely made machine. There's the robust aluminium back panel we expect, the buttons all feel firm and on the whole it's a sturdy tablet.

In purely aesthetic terms, there's not a great deal to say: it's a slate. Available in typically muted Apple shades like space grey and silver, you're best off getting a nice cover if you want to give it a bit of added va-va-voom.

Juicy and Succulent

Once you've turned the Air on, the screen looks very respectable indeed. With a resolution if 2048×1536 and a PPI (pixels per inch) of 264, the screen is very good. Even if its numbers don't match up to some other tablets on the market, in practical terms the screen looks about as good as anything else out there. Colours are good.

With 1GB of RAM, a 1.4GHz processor, and a 64bit A7 chip, the Apple iPad Air has plenty of power in the engine room to perform tasks with no noticeable slowdown. As usual, there are WiFi only models that will save you a lot of cost, but lightning fast 4G options are available if you need that functionality.

One of the more unusual things about the iPad Air was its initial pricing point... In that it isn't significantly more costly than all of the other top-end tablets on market. It makes a pleasant change! The caveat to that is that is that if you intend to fill your new slate up with fancy HD apps, it's possible that you'll find that the 16GB version of the Air simply isn't big enough, and there's no SD card slot, of course. If that sounds like you, you're advised to plump for the 32GB version or above. If you're using it mainly for films and surfing, stick to the cheaper model.

Compounding that challenge (admittedly in a good way!) is that Apple have thrown in a bunch of apps that previously you had to pay for. iWork, iTime and a number of other impressive and useful bits of software are available, gratis. They all take up a fair bit of space, though. It's your call whether you want to take up the offer.

Whatever you think of Apple's guarded approach to their products, I'd argue that IoS is a cleaner, friendlier UI than that offered by many Android skins. Although versions 7 and indeed 8 have their critics, IoS does a great job of letting users get on with what they really want to be doing, rather than faffing around with settings and eliminating bloatware. Set up is effortless.

The Apple iPad Air's battery life is very solid without being spectacular. As always, how you use it will have a significant impact on its longevity, but in practice you're likely to fall a little way short of being to achieve the Californian company's claimed lifespan of ten hours. If you're pragmatic about the functionality you have enabled, you could get 7-8 hours of web browsing or film time. That's pretty good. What's more, whatever they've done to the battery, it seems to lose very little charge when left to its own devices for a couple of days.

Missing From The Apple Basket

The quibblers of the world are legion, so let's not disappoint them.

On its launch, some complained that there was no biometric finger scan security included with the Apple iPad Air. I guess that's a loss if you're a fan of science fiction films, can't keep a code in your head or are paranoid, but for most people I suspect that this isn't an issue.

Another complaint is that the rear-facing camera hasn't been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP. Again, this seems a bit like nitpicking. After all, tablets are fairly naff cameras anyway, so does it really matter if it's no better than previously? If it's contributed to keeping the price down, it's a fair trade off. On the other hand, the front camera is now HD ready for Facetime conversations, and you'll be able to record videos in 1080P. So the carpers should shut their mouths!

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To read more on this model, check out the Apple iPad Air homepage here (opens new window).

Images

  • Size: 1536 x 2048 pixels, 9.7 inches (~264 ppi pixel density)
  • Video: 1080p@30fps
  • Chipset: Apple A7
  • CPU: Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)
  • GPU: PowerVR G6430 (quad-core graphics)

Model

Cpu

Processor

Storage (gb)

Size (in)

Rating

Price

Apple iPad

A9

Multi-Core

32/128

9.7

£312.98

Apple iPad Air

A8X

Dual-Core

16/32/64/128

9.7

£369.99

Apple iPad Mini 4

A8

Dual-Core

32/64/128

7.9

£349.99

Apple iPad Pro

A9X

Dual-Core

32/128/256

12.9/9.7

£480.00

Apple iPad Pro 2017

A10X

M10

64/256/512

10.5/12.9

£1.00

Asus Google Nexus 7 16GB

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz

Quad-core

16

7

£N/A

Asus Google Nexus 7 32GB

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz

Quad-core

32

7

£N/A

Kindle Fire HDX

Adreno 330

Quad-core

16

7

£N/A

LG G Pad

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600

Quad-Core

16

8.3

£N/A

Nvidia Shield Portable

NVIDIA® Tegra® K1 192 Core Kepler GPU

Quad-core

16

8

£N/A

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

TI OMAP 4430

Dual-core

8

7

£N/A

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

Cortex-A9

Dual-core

8

7

£N/A

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

Marvell PXA1088

Quad-core

8

7

£N/A


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