iPad Air Hits the Market: 10 Reasons It's Worth the Price

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-11-01 Print this article Print

Apple's iPad Air, the lightweight, thin update to the company's flagship tablet, hit store shelves on Nov. 1. Apple unveiled the slate earlier this month. Like its predecessor, the iPad Air comes with a 9.7-inch screen and the A7 processor in the iPhone 5S. The device's main point of appeal, however, might just be its footprint: The device weighs just 1 pound and is 7.5 millimeters thick, making it 20 percent thinner than its predecessor. Apple says that its iPad Air is the most advanced tablet it has ever released. And at first glance, that certainly appears to be true. But now customers need to determine whether the new features are enough to get them to spend at least $500 on a new tablet. The upgraded features aside, $500 is still a hefty price for a device that is essentially an iterative update over the last iPad. Still, the iPad Air is a solid upgrade and one that both new tablet owners and those who would consider themselves seasoned slate veterans will find appealing. This slide show looks at why the iPad Air is a decent deal at the price.

  • iPad Air Hits the Market: 10 Reasons It's Worth the Price

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - iPad Air Hits the Market: 10 Reasons It's Worth the Price
  • The Design Is Obviously Much Better

    Apple's new iPad Air comes with a far better design than the previous model. The bezel on either side of the screen is now much thinner, and Apple has added a chrome-like finish around the border. And at just 7.5mm thick, the iPad Air is about as thin as a pencil. From a design perspective, it's a step up over most tablets on the market right now.
    2 - The Design Is Obviously Much Better
  • Light Weight Makes It Highly Mobile

    Mobility has always been a concern for Apple, so it's no surprise that the company's latest slate is even easier to carry around. As mentioned, the device is 20 percent thinner than the previous model, and at just 1 pound, it's also extremely light. The 9.7-inch screen makes the tablet a bit tall, but beyond that, it's easy to fit in any bag.
    3 - Light Weight Makes It Highly Mobile
  • 64-Bit Architecture Matters Greatly

    If Apple and other tablet makers want to eventually deliver a device that can match the performance of a notebook PC, they need a 64-bit architecture. That's precisely why the iPad Air is such a compelling option. The A7 processor in the iPad Air allows developers to create more powerful applications and ensures that built-in programs that support the technology load more quickly, can handle more sophisticated tasks and get the slate one step closer to matching notebooks.
    4 - 64-Bit Architecture Matters Greatly
  • Better Wireless Means Faster Web Browsing

    Apple has bundled 802.11ac WiFi in the iPad Air. With that addition, Apple is able to not only increase the range of the tablet's WiFi signal, but also increase its throughput. According to Apple, 802.11ac will deliver up to twice the WiFi speeds found in its previous model. That's a big selling point for enterprise users, especially.
    5 - Better Wireless Means Faster Web Browsing
  • Apple's Built-In Apps Are Top-Notch

    Apple has come a long way in the development of its built-in applications. Apple's iWork suite, for example, now provides a strong experience across word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Apple's 64-bit A7 processor also allows for enhanced GarageBand functionality, like setting up more band arrangements. The built-in apps available in the iPad Air are actually useful.
    6 - Apple's Built-In Apps Are Top-Notch
  • The App Store's Broad Appeal

    Apple's App Store has over 1 million applications, including 475,000 programs designed exclusively for the iPad. That is an important selling point. If customers are buying a tablet, they want to know that they'll get expanded functionality through software. Right now, the best place to get that is in the App Store, thanks to the sheer number of programs available.
    7 - The App Store's Broad Appeal
  • iOS 7 Is Indeed an Upgrade

    Although the iOS 7 reviews are somewhat mixed, as more people get their hands on the platform, they find that it is indeed an upgrade over iOS 6. There's no debating that the software has a learning curve, due mainly to its new design, but its enhanced notification handling, inclusion of Control Center and better multitasking make for an all-around better experience.
    8 - iOS 7 Is Indeed an Upgrade
  • Enhanced Graphics Performance

    Thanks to the addition of the A7 chip, the iPad Air comes with serious graphics power. In fact, the company claims that the iPad Air is capable of delivering twice the graphics performance of its previous model. What that means is customers can expect better gaming, enhanced capabilities with video editing and overall better performance on streaming videos.
    9 - Enhanced Graphics Performance
  • Apple Hasn't Gone Crazy on Pricing

    With all of its upgrades, Apple could have justified a slight price increase on the iPad Air. The company, however, decided to keep pricing the same, starting the iPad Air out at $499 for a WiFi-only 16GB option. The 128GB model with LTE is a little pricey at $929, but between those two extremes, customers should find a version that will fit into their budget.
    10 - Apple Hasn't Gone Crazy on Pricing
  • Apple Has to Count for Something

    Why buy an iPad Air? Perhaps the answer is far simpler than any of the device's components: Apple built it. Apple has for the last several years delivered tablets that are, in some cases, head and shoulders above the competition. Apple also generally provides extremely reliable products and is renowned for its customer support. The fact that Apple is behind the iPad Air should count for something, right?
    11 - Apple Has to Count for Something

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