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Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

Last updated on: December 16, 2013 20:47 IST

Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

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Shruti Puri

Shut up, critics! Here's why Apple's iPad Air is a genuine innovation and not a mere upgradation of iPad 4.

Apple iPad Air, also referred to as iPad 5, has recently made its debut in the technology world and in no time, has become a major topic of discussion. Given the frenzy it generated in the market, should we call it a fancy product, an innovation or an upgradation remains to be seen.

It is an innovation from the point of view of it's 'out of the box' design, which is way ahead of its competing rivals. However, at the specifications level, it is very similar to its sibling iPad 4 (Cellular + Wi-Fi) wherein, you will spot lesser dissimilarities and more similarities.

So, can one say that Apple's iPad Air is a facelifted kin of iPad 4?

Let's take a look at the differences, similarities and some facts and figures that still makes this product an innovation.


Photographs: Apple.com
Tags: Apple

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Design

Apple iPad Air is just 7.5mm thick and weighs only 478gms making it the lightest and the thinnest full-sized tablet in the market. The design is such that it certainly feels different while holding as compared to any other tablet from Apple's armory. The iPad Air basically boasts of its of being light in weight.

You can hold it comfortably for hours and since it is very light, it sits easily in a bag without putting any extra pressure on your shoulders. The iPad 4 -- its predecessor -- is 9.4mm thick and weighs nearly 662gms.

Certainly, this is not much of a weight to carry but as soon as you hold iPad Air, you will feel the difference! Moreover, iPad Air sports a bezel that's 43 per cent thinner than that of fourth generation iPad, making it look even less bulky.

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Photographs: Apple.com
Tags: Apple

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Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

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Display

The display specifications for iPad 4 and iPad Air are almost the same. Both of the products feature a 9.7-inch LED backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels and pixel density of 264 pixels per inch (ppi).

Not only this, both the technologies offer the same scratch-resistant glass with oleophobic coating screen protection in collaboration with Retina display.

The major change seen in iPad Air is that it is slimmer and shorter -- from 9.5-inch x 7.31-inch x 0.37-inch to 9.47-inch x 6.67-inch x 0.3-inch.

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Photographs: Apple.com
Tags: LED , Retina

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Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

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Camera

Talking of the camera, iPad Air and iPad 4, both host the same 5MP autofocus camera. Some major features offered by both are geo-tagging, touch focus and face detection.

Along with these, both carry the same 1.2MP front-facing shooter. The difference in this section is that iPad Air houses few HDR features that are absent in iPad 4 and the sensor employed is also of an improved version.

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Photographs: Apple.com
Tags: HDR

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Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

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Processor

There is considerable change when we talk about the processor specifications and clock speeds.

iPad Air incorporates A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion co-processor that is designed to gather data from the Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Compass to offload work from the A7 chip.

This whole assembly of processors basically work in improving the power efficiency. This dual-core 1.47GHz Cyclone processor is much powerful than iPad 4's A6X 1.4GHz processor.

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Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

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Battery

Both the tablets are fuelled by non-removable Li-polymer batteries. However, a 32.4 watt-hour rechargeable battery powers iPad Air, which is smaller than iPad 4's 42.5 watt-hour battery. Here lays the innovation!

Though the battery and its dimensions are cut down as compared to its elder sibling's and other tablets, iPad Air still delivers up to 10 hours of web surfing time on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music, up to 9 hours of surfing the web using a mobile data network.

It can be charged via power adapter or using USB. This is surely an innovation, for a product that is designed in such a way that even in a smaller dimension with a smaller battery, it aims to deliver the same battery power.

The battery has been engineered in such a way that it consumes less power and thus prolongs its life to bring it at par with the batteries present in the previous models.

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Photographs: Apple.com
Tags: USB

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Wireless network performance

Along with all these features, iPad Air also offers MIMO Wi-Fi for better wireless network performance. This technology offers dual channels, that are, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which make your Wi-Fi experience smooth and seamless.

The MIMO Wi-Fi technology offers you the flexibility to carry out your work simultaneously on each band without interfering with the other, thus providing you a fast and better communication device in your hands.

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Tags: MIMO

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Apple iPad Air: An innovation or ugrade?

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Operating system

iPad Air runs on the most popular operating system, iOS 7, whereas, iPad 4 was initially launched with iOS 6, and is now upgradeable to iOS 7 platform. But, a survey reveals that iOS 7 works lot more better on iPad Air as compared to iPad 4. This, perhaps, is due to the hardware changes done at the architecture level.

It's not that iOS 7 update on iPad 4 is not worthy enough, but on iPad Air, it makes the apps open quicker and games work smoother.

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Photographs: Apple.com
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Conclusion

iPad Air is not only a step further but its 64-bit A7 processor also holds the potential to be a foundation for the future Apple tablets.

The innovation brought up by this product may not be explicit and most of the specifications may seem just like an upgradation of its predecessor, but certainly, Apple iPad Air is astonishing to touch and experience.

Moreover, innovation may not always introduce new fancy features. It basically means to bring breakthroughs in areas which are tangible to the customers and iPad Air completely matches this profile.

iPad Air is simply fast, light, and offers a better battery back-up along with other perks like MIMO Wi-Fi, HDR features of the camera, etc. There is only one line that summarises the performance of iPad Air -- 'Everything seems fast on Air.' Customers with iPad 2 and 3 should certainly consider moving to iPad Air as there are significant changes waiting for them to enjoy and appreciate.

The company's vision to target the most wanted needs of the customers is purely reflected in iPad Air and there is nothing to wonder if people become ready to sell iPad 1/2/3/4 to buy the new, thinner and lighter Apple iPad Air.

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