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iPad Air review

Apple lays down the gauntlet for 2014's tablets with a stunning effort

iPad Air review

What's better than an 8MP iSight camera on the iPhone 5S? Well, it's not what you can find on the iPad Air, that's for sure. Apple has kept the same 5MP iSight camera from previous iterations of the tablet, which does at least have half-decent backside illumination and acceptable low-light performance.

I'm not sure what Apple is doing with the camera interface though - it's like a completely bare version of that seen on the iPhone 5S, with fewer options to choose from. Want to take a photo or video? That's fine. You can even take a square snap for those moments when you need a portrait pic too.

iPad Air review

However, there's no filter option in sight, nor the ability to change to a Slo-Mo camera as we've seen on other recent Apple hardware. Given that the Air is running the necessary A7 64-bit chip to enable the enhanced video mode, I've no idea why you can't do the same here.

Even the filters would make sense, as the iPhone 5C can use these, and that's hardly as powerful a beast. This is probably the biggest criticism of the iPad Air I can throw at the new tablet from Apple, as the decision is slightly perplexing.

But in a way, that's wonderful. You might have noticed that I'm hardly a fan of the cameras on tablets at the best of times, and if there was one thing that I'd happily sacrifice for a thinner tablet, it's this functionality.

That Apple has put anything in there at all is testament to some clever engineering, so while the performance isn't that good (although shutter speed was very impressive as I'd expected) it's more than adequate for something that shouldn't be replacing a smartphone or dedicated camera anyway.

iPad Air review
The darkness on the normally bright indoor scene is less impressive than expected

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iPad Air review
It's a fridge. With magnets. And good levels of darkness.

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iPad Air review
Zoomed in and the noise level is surprisingly well-processed

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iPad Air review
The front facing camera actually improved this shot

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iPad Air review
Text on the iPad is acceptable

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iPad Air review
Here's the same photo on the iPhone - the sharpness and contrast is marked

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Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerApple
Graphics Controller ManufacturerImagination Technologies
Graphics Controller ModelPowerVR G6430
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time10 Hour
GPSNo
Backlight TechnologyLED
WimaxNo
Product FamilyiPad Air
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformiOS
ColourSpace Gray
Operating SystemiOS 7
Brand NameApple
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.30 GHz
Processor TypeA7
Screen Size24.6 cm (9.7")
Screen Resolution2048 x 1536
Weight (Approximate)453.6 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Retina Display
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Height238.8 mm
Width167.6 mm
Depth7.4 mm
Screen ModeQXGA
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMD785LL/A
Product NameiPad Air Tablet
Product LineiPad Air
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberMD785LL/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

All-new design. A ton of advanced technology. In just one pound. You have to hold iPad Air to believe it. It"s just 7.5 millimeters thin and weighs just one pound. The stunning Retina display sits inside thinner bezels, so all you see is your content. And an incredible amount of power lies inside the sleek enclosure. So you can do so much more. With so much less.

Limited Warranty1 Year