With the release of the iPad Air, Apple has also released an updated lineup of their Smart Case for iPad Air. The new Smart Case has been essentially re-thought and the new look and feel of this leather case is impressive. While it is certainly not the least expensive case on the market for your iPad Air, if you want a case that fits snuggly around your iPad Air without adding large amounts of weight and girth to this ultra light tablet, The Smart Case for iPad Air should do the job for you.
The first thing you will notice about the new Smart Case is its construction. Previous generations of Smart Cases were
made of polyurethane with a microfiber lining on the inside of the case’s cover to clean and protect your iPad’s display. The new Smart Case for iPad Air is made of leather and you immediately notice the look and feel difference when you touch the case for the first time. It feels more luxurious than the older cases and doesn’t have the “shiny” plastic look of the previous generation. The inside of the case – both the cover and the iPad Air holder itself – is lined with microfiber to prevent scratching
and to act as a display cleaner. On the surface there are not massive changes between the Smart Cases for previous iPad generations and this new one for the Air. Both were designed to add minimal bulk – which is even more important on the iPad Air – and to protect your investment. But the construction and overall feel of this new case is superior to the previous generation in my opinion.
With little struggle or fanfare I walked into my local Apple store and asked for a new iPad Air and within 10 minutes walked out with a Space Grey, 32GB, WiFi only unit along with the new iPad Air Smart Case. Having unboxed it and having used it this afternoon it can only be summed up in one word.
I would contend that the iPad Air is the biggest change to the iPad lineup since the design breakthrough from the original iPad to the iPad 2. This new iPad Air is stunningly slim and light. It is hard to describe how comfortable the unit feels to hold when compared to my iPad 3rd Generation. It is as easy to hold as an iPad Mini and this evolutionary step forward by Apple is amazing. Simply and utterly amazing. Here then is my quick review of the iPad Air.
The iPad Air comes in the same size box as the previous generation of iPads so there isn’t really anything new to report
from that perspective. It comes with all of the standard parts you would expect in the box:
- Power Adapter (in my case for UK)
- Lightning Cable
- User Guide
- The obligatory Apple decal – two of them in fact
When I powered up my iPad Air it had about 95% battery charge on it and I was immediately able to begin an iCloud restore from my old iPad to this one.
The power adapter is a 12w version which has been the standard for the iPad unlike the smaller 10w for the iPad Mini.
Look and Feel
The first thing you notice about the iPad Air is the thinness of it. It is the same 7.5mm thin as the iPad Mini which frankly is one of the things I love about the Mini. With the iPad Air you now have the same feel in your hands. It is easy to hold. The bezel surrounding the 9.7″ display of the iPad is much thinner than the previous generation so the display “look” bigger when you hold it. This is clearly a design borrow from the iPad Mini and on this larger version it looks fantastic.
The other thing that makes the iPad Air easy to hold is the weight. It weighs just 469 grams, nearly half the weight of the
iPad 3rd Generation. You notice this immediately when you pick up it up. It feels feather light in your hands and unlike the previous versions, you can hold this comfortably for much longer while reading from it. Overall the iPad Air is smaller than previous generations, coming in at 6.6″ wide versus the 9.5″ previously. Again, this makes holding the iPad Air much easier.
I freely admit that when I went to my local Apple store I had intended on buying a White/Silver unit but they did not have any left in the configuration I wanted (32GB, WiFi only) so I decided to get the Space Grey. I like it but personally I liked the black versions of old over the Space Grey. That’s just my personal opinion – and clearly it isn’t a strong opinion as I opted to get it rather than go to another Apple Store to try to find a White/Silver unit.
The 9.7″ Retina display is the same as previous models so nothing new here but it is stunning as ever while the volume controls, mute and power buttons are all identical to those of the iPad Mini.
The camera of the iPad Air is a 5MP unit and photo quality is better than the iPad 3rd and 4th Generation. In snapping a few photos with it there is a marked improvement in the photo quality and with HDR enabled it helps that much further. The iPad Air still won’t be the first device I think of when it comes to camera
One of the most common questions I’ve gotten with the launch of the iPad Air – a question I don’t recall getting that often before now – is “Can I use this as my main computer?”
The answer is yes. I use my iPad as my main computing device about 80% of the time. The only time I’m on my Mac is when I’m doing some intense work in Keynote or Numbers but mostly that has come down to a keyboard being needed for my own comfort. I solved this problem with my ZAGG Folio Keyboard for my current iPad and they have just updated it for the new iPad Air.
The ZAGG Folio Keyboard is a black leatherette case with a super thin, island-key style keyboard built into the front cover.
The keyboard is designed for comfort and has a blue tinted backlight so you can type easily in low light situations. ZAGG has designed the case with a 130-degree viewing angle so it is easy to share and view your iPad Air screen from just about any where. The really impressive part of this case however is the battery life. ZAGG claims that if you use the keyboard for two hours per day (a reasonable number in my estimation) that the built-in LithiumION battery charge will last for 3 months between charges.
The new ZAGGkeys Folio is a mere 7.6mm thin, just more than a quarter of an inch, and only 17.7mm, or about two-thirds of an inch, when holding your iPad. This makes it one of the thinnest keyboards available. But while it is smaller and easier to carry, it actually offers 30% more typing room than the competition. In addition, it features a pivoting hinge that allows you to place your iPad at virtually any viewing angle, just like a laptop screen. Open it up, set it to your preferred angle, and off you go typing in comfort.
If you are looking for a keyboard case for your new iPad Air that won’t add a huge amount of bulk then the ZAGG Folio Keyboard is for you. It is $99.99 and available now from ZAGG.
Editor Note: This poll will remain at the top of the AlliOSNews page throughout 31 October – 1 November. Newer articles and updates can be found directly below.
Tomorrow is the big day!
Starting tomorrow you can order your new iPad Air or go to your local Apple store or reseller and pick up it up. All indications are there will be plenty of stock so finding the one you want should not be overly difficult. Which leads to our poll of the day!
Coming from the Apple Special Event last week, Apple has released the new Mac Pro video and iPad Air video that they debuted at the event. These two videos are two of four Apple released related to the event and all four of them can be viewed right here on AlliOSNews.
The first video is the Apple production video of the iPad Air featuring Sir Jony Ive. This is classic Apple as Ive discusses the design thoughts and principles behind the making of the newest iPad. Apple does this type of video for every event and to date has been the only way we get to hear the genius behind Apple’s design speak.
For those who missed the Apple Special Event, there are now two ways for you to view the special event video from your PC, Mac, iPad or iPhone.
First, you can stream the video directly from your AppleTV by going to the Apple Special Events section. This will allow you to stream the video directly from Apple without having to actually download it. Likewise, you can stream the video in HD from YouTube on the Apple YouTube channel. For Apple fans, this is a channel to subscribe to as you can see all of the Apple special events and adverts in one place.
Second, you can subscribe to the Apple Special Events podcasts in iTunes. This will allow you to download the SD or HD version of the broadcast to your PC or Mac then use iTunes to copy it to your iPhone or iPad for viewing on that device. Likewise, you can setup the Podcast app on your iPhone or iPad to automatically download the latest videos Apple posts to the podcast straight on your device and bypass iTunes synchronisation.
Here are all the links that you need in order to view the Special Events video on your iPhone or iPad:
- First, get the Apple Podcasts app (which is a universal app) for your iOS device(s) - Download it here
- Second, subscribe to the Apple Keynote Podcast – SD Version - HD Version - 1080p Version
Fresh from Apple, here are high resolution images of the new iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display. These are multi-megabyte images so click them if you want to view them in full resolution and right-click to save them.
It looks like we may know the name of the iPad Mini: iPad Air
In doing a search of the Apple Support pages, when I type in “iPad” the first option I get is “iPad Air”. This could be the first indicator of what the new iPad will be named at the event being held later today.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. If you remember, the day of the iPhone 5 launch, the term “iPhone 5″ was showing up in searches throughout the Apple site and even the Press Release site. That’s not happening this morning – yet.
Be sure to tune into the Live Stream from the Apple Event later today.
This is great to see finally.
Apple’s big event today where the iPad Mini is expected to be announced will be streamed live for Apple TV owners.
This morning, if you check on your Apple TV you will see a new “Apple Events” icon on the menu. Click it and you will be taking to the waiting room area for today’s event. Once 10:00 AM PST rolls around, you can watch it live as it happens.
For those of you who don’t have an Apple TV (uh, why?!) or cannot view the event live, AlliOSNews will still be Live Streaming from the event starting at 10:00 AM PST today.
For the second time in as many months we have a big Apple event today, this time with the focus being on not only updates but on new hardware. The event is expected, much like the even in September, to reveal one big piece of hardware: The iPad Mini. But there could be more – a lot more.
Here then are what I think we will see today in San Jose as well as some things I don’t think we will see. Ready? Let’s go!
iPad Mini – 100% Chance
This is the item of this event. Rumors have been floating around for months around the launch of this 7″ sized iPad with a range of memory options (8GB, 16GB and 32GB seem to be what everyone is thinking here) and even a Retina Display using the same technology they are using in the iPhone 5. Price points are predicted to start around $259 with a November 2nd release date. Lightening connector is going to be on the iPad Mini, continuing to push forward the new charging/syncing solution from Apple.
Some things that are unclear: It seems to be of great debate on if it will include LTE support but given that Apple has made this reasonably affordable already with the iPad, and the fact that other 7″ tablet devices have cellular support, it seems likely that Apple will include it or make it an option. Apple has to make it as easy as the Kindle’s Whispersync and perhaps they do the same thing that Amazon has done which is do cellular download silently but offer faster service and web surfing with a LTE enabled device.
Retina display on the iPad Mini is all but required now. With the iPad and iPhone 4/4S/5 all having Retina display – nevermind the Macbook Pro with Retina Display – and the fact that this device will be pointed at ebook readers and education, Retina seems like a must have, not a nice to have.
Will it be called an iPad Mini? Only Apple knows that right now. I think iPad Mini or iPad Air are likely names but we will know for sure in a few hours.