Critics verdict: Apple's iPad Air is best and fastest iPad ever

Reviews for Apple's latest iPad, the iPad Air are out and the tech critics have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the device, marvelling at how much thinner, lighter and faster the new product is.

We take a quick roundup of all the key reviews:

First up, AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg writes that the new iPad is the best tablet he's ever reviewed.

He says, "This new iPad isn't a radical rethinking of what a tablet can be, but it's a major improvement on a successful product. It is the best tablet I've ever reviewed. That isn't just because of its slimmer, lighter design, but also because Apple boasts 475,000 apps optimized for tablet use-far more than any other tablet platform. (The iPad also can run all of the million or so apps available for the iPhone.) By contrast, the vast majority of apps available for rival Android tablets are just stretched versions of phone apps."

Mossberg also highlights Apple's faster processor, better WiFi and longer battery life and says in the end, "If you can afford it, the new iPad Air is the tablet I recommend, hands down." You can read the full review here.

Apple's iPad Air is seen in this file photo. AP

Apple's iPad Air is seen in this file photo. AP

TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington is also blown away by the design and form factor of the iPad Air.

He writes, "The iPad Air is a huge improvement over the iPad 4th-gen, or the iPad 2... Its form factor is the best currently available for a 10-inch tablet, and it provides a great blend of portability and usability that leans towards the media device end of the spectrum."

He also points out that the iPad Air is much more comfortable to hold, but states, "This isn't strictly a one-handed device, but it's as close as you can get with a tablet that still has a gorgeous, expansive 9.7-inch Retina Display." Read the full review here.

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi writes that the iPad Air is ""smaller, lighter and faster with absolutely no tradeoffs made in the process. The iPad Air feels like a true successor to the iPad 2. "

He too talks about the design factor and how the new iPad Air seems to match the iPad mini and iPhone 5s in design. He says, "Apple's insistence on marrying glass and aluminum continues to work, as the iPad Air looks great. The new thinner bezel brings a modern feel to the front, continuing throughout the rest of the device. You now get the same diamond-cut chamfered edges from the iPhone 5/5s and the iPad mini, and the same subtle curve around the sides rather than the steep rake from the iPad 4." Read the full review here.

Engadget's Brad Molen says that this is the best iPad they have reviewed and they are surprised at that. He writes, "it's also the most comfortable 10-inch tablet we've ever tested. Not every manufacturer can produce a thin and light device without also making it feel cheap or flimsy, but Apple nailed it. Factor in a sizable boost in performance and battery life, and the Air is even more compelling."

And yes the new A7 chip does blow away the competition, according to the reviewer. You can read the full review here.

CNET's review however acknowledges that, "Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year's model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It's the best full-size consumer tablet on the market. "

It also adds that the iPad Air is fast, stating, "The iPad Air is ridiculously fast. Interestingly, it's slightly faster even than the latest iPhone, which also has the same amount of RAM (1GB). Apple seemingly turned the wick up a bit here."

All in all the reviewers seem to be very impressed with the iPad Air's new design and speed. The question is, are these factors enough for you to want to upgrade?

Published Date: Oct 30, 2013 08:28 am | Updated Date: Oct 30, 2013 08:28 am