iPad Air with LTE on the way

iPad Air with LTE on the way

Summary: I said I was in no hurry to trade in my iPad 4 for the new iPad Air but the speed increase and weight loss got to me.

TOPICS: Mobility, iPad, Tablets
iPad Air on the way
(Image: Apple)

When Apple unveiled the light iPad Air I was impressed, but in no hurry to pick one up. My iPad 4 with LTE has served me well, and there was no need to trade it in for the new Air. Even so, my gadget lust soon got the better of me and a new iPad Air will be here soon.

Regular readers of this column know that I have used the iPad 4 with LTE heavily since the purchase. I have used it for work, writing over 100,000 words with it with one external keyboard or another. It worked well in every way and I've had no complaints with it.

See related: Lure of the iPad AiriPad Air: Color me surprisediPad Air: No Apple keyboard needed2 keyboards for iPad Air: ZAGGkeys Folio and ZAGGkeys Cover5 good office apps for the iPad

So why buy an iPad Air? Two reasons: the big speed increase with the 64-bit processor Apple has put in it and the smaller size and weight. I'm on record stating how important a 1 pound weight is for the iPad Air and that has been a draw for me.

The iPad Air that is on the way is configured like my iPad 4: 64GB of storage and LTE on the Verizon network. When it gets here I will put it on my Verizon Share Everything plan to replace the iPad 4.

I will use the iPad Air much the same as I have the iPad 4. It will assume tablet duties, and probably many of those now done on the first iPad mini. It's barely heavier and has the larger Retina Display, something the first iPad mini lacks.

When I find a good keyboard case for the iPad Air it will assume work duties previously done with the iPad 4. I expect it will become a fantastic writing machine and can't wait to try it.

Whatever you feel about Apple and its iPad products, you cannot deny how they retain much of their value for resale when a new model arrives. I sold my iPad 4 shortly after letting my friends know it was on the market, and got almost $500 for it. That's what put the high price of the iPad Air within my reach. No tablet from any other vendor would have gotten anywhere near that price.

Topics: Mobility, iPad, Tablets

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  • Maybe one day in its devices and services future

    MS will make touch and type covers for it. Seriously though James baaah baaah, I can't believe you allowed yourself to be sucked in like a raccoon finding something shiny. That's no excuse for overpaying so much. What's that about 1000% above market value for the extra ram. Just giving you a hard time, congratulations I'm sure you will enjoy it and get lots of use out of it. And while I don't care about weight much in smartphones I agree an extra third or half pound makes a big difference in a tablet or laptop. I was disappointed to see that the surface 2 was still such a battle tank.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Yes, Johnny...

      He got 500 bucks back for his last device. So he ended up shelling out 329 bucks for it. Makes the rest of your argument pathetic.
  • I'd like to hear more about this.

    "...the big speed increase with the 64-bit processor Apple has put in it…"

    Specifically where do you expect to see benefits of the faster, 64-bit processor? I suspect, at least for the time being, the speed of your iPad 4 is not holding you back.
    • That is what I was thinking.

      I'm not sure how a faster CPU is going to benefit someone who blogs on a tablet. For that matter James doesn't even have a good keyboard case for it, but is already talking about how much of an improvement it will be.

      I'm guessing that other than the lower weight, the vast majority of people will not notice any difference between the iPad4 and the iPadAir.
      • I'd say weight and display

        We get a little too caught up in pixel densities sometimes - there's no gettingg around the fact that the display colours do look richer on the air than the previous models.

        I'm with you on performance - unless you do gaming, you won't notice much difference with most mobile apps from an ipad 2! And lets be honest; the air, the mini and the 5s gain nothing from being 64bit... For now. It would seem to me that apple are gearing up to move ios towards 64bit native in a few generations, so you may get longer support.

        In reality the biggest win is form factor - i ditched ipad at the two and held no love for the heavy third and 4th gens. Only the mini tempted me back from my nexus 7, and having played with an air in store, i already want one... I have no need for one, but i wanted it instantely - it feels like a stretched mini rather than a slimmed 4 (plus the games they were playing on it easily looked PS2 comparable in terms of frame rate and graphics....

        Is it worth the extra money? Just personal preference; i learned from my nexus that there is some amazing hardware at low prices, but that a good quality feel comes in at the higher end. If you're an ios person it'll be tough to decide air or mini, if you're an android person, then the premium samsung offerings have a better feel than the nexus ones... I don't see any tablets that'd male someone shift from their prefered eco system at the moment.
        • Re: gearing up to move ios towards 64bit native in a few generations

          Don't know where you get your tech information from, but iOS 7 is already 64bit native on the new generation Apple devices (iPhone 5S, iPad Air, iPad mini Retina).

          These devices already do run 64bit apps (all the apps Apple supplies, and some more) and any app that is simply recompiled with the iOS 7 profile gets faster and more efficient, because it can make use of the better ARMv8 architecture, even if the app itself is "32bit".
      • Re: I'm not sure how a faster CPU is going to benefit

        Not simply faster CPU. But a more efficient *and* faster CPU.

        It all boils down to the CPU being able to complete the task in shorter time and then idle, consuming much less energy. The end result? Less power hungry tablet. From there, reduced battery size. From there, less weight and bulk.

        All of this, while retaining the higher resolution display and having at your disposal much faster device. You know, computers exist in order to serve people, not the other way around. Your computer should be waiting for your commands, not you for your computer's tasks to complete. No matter what you do.

        As for the difference: I have both the iPad 2 and the iPad 3. While the display was a huge improvement over the iPad 2, bulk and weight were not welcome. I understand at the time Apple did not have access to better tech, so they were forced to make the device bulkier. But now they have designed their own CPU to do just what is needed: better performance in smaller package. This is what makes the iPad Air so much "different".
  • Device Agnostic

    I tend towards non-Apple solutions because I value lower costs and open systems compared to what Apple sales. But I read this article, went off for a bit and used my iPad Mini, and thought about use cases and how I use my iPad.

    I think for the average everyday user, they can get by with an iPad and it would meet 95% of their computing needs. Facebook, email, web surfing, a few apps like iWorks, etc. I like Android over iOS as a more flexible and feature rich device but the Android UI is just all over the place depending on manufacturer and if you buy via a carrier, not even considering version of the OS. The mass consumer craves consistency even when they want UI updates, they want just a few at a time (regardless of what they actually say they want). Apple gives them this, other then iOS7, which is a milestone OS update.

    Personally I like my Surface RT over all other devices I have. I am getting a Dell Venue Pro 8 next month and I have a feeling that will replace my iPad Mini's spot on the utra portable device. But I get why people like iOS devices. They are simple, fluid, and stable. Just like children, most people want boundaries regardless of the fits they throw. Apple provides these.
    Rann Xeroxx
    • Rann, you are waaaay too objective and truthful for this forum. ;)

      But I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thanks.
    • Amen

      Excellent post. I agree with all of that, esp. the boundaries part. Boundaries, of course, are socialism.
  • I am noticing a trend

    You seem to only use your mobile devices to write about the next one you are gonna purchase.
    • Probably because...

      A few articles such as this pays for the next device. Keep writing. Keep upgrading. Sounds like a plan to me,
      • On the other hand

        If a tech writer does not have access to the tech about they write... we will only read fanboy articles based on wishful thinking and no facts.
  • It's a nice improvement

    Even better, James, is going from an iPad 2 to the new Air (I just did). Besides your upgrades, I added the retina display and LTE speed improvements to my new pad. I consider the Lightning connector a win too - no more "is the connector right side up?" question.

    My old one is still active - passed on to another family member. That says a lot about the longevity of products in the Apple ecosystem.

    Enjoy your Air; I am enjoying mine immensely.