Apple iPad Air 2013 review: an obvious choice for enjoying media and game

Written by B Johnson December 11, 2013
Apple iPad Air 2013 Specs
As one of the top leading companies in tablet market, there is no doubt that Apple always takes this business seriously everytime it launches the newer model of iPad to the market.

(Apple iPad Air 2013 Specs)

And it’s no different when Apple unveils its latest tablet to the pubic a couple of months ago.

Instead of naming the tablet as the new iPad or iPad 5th generation, apparently Apple takes the other road and chooses to name it as iPad Air, which officially makes this tablet become the new member in Macbook Air family.

Of course, there is a reason behind the naming of iPad Air. And that’s because the iPad Air now is much thinner and lighter than ever before.

Apple iPad Air benchmarks and gaming performance

Despite being a thinner and lighter tablet, iPad Air amazingly still delivers an outstanding performance and strong battery life to the users.

As a matter of fact, iPad Air now is so much even faster than the predecessors, thanks to its more powerful internals inside this tablet.

And more amazingly, the battery life of iPad Air is insanely powerful even though it uses a smaller battery capacity than the predecessors.

This is obviously an incredible achievement by Apple because having seen its market share get aggressively eaten by Android tablets in the past few quarters, Apple still manages to make a competitive device that could probably blow other tablets out of the water in many ways.

Okay guys, in this review, actually not the real review given that i don’t actually own the product by myself.

However, in this “my personal opinion” review, i just want to share to you some of the things from iPad Air that i know based on many sources, like video reviews, user reviews and many more.

So hopefully, with this review, i can help you decide whether you should get this iPad Air or instead, choose another alternative that suits perfectly with your needs and budget.

  • Powerful gaming performance
  • Light in weight
  • Thinner
  • Smooth experience
  • Premium build quality
  • A bit expensive
  • No fingerprint scanner yet
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Okay, first of all, i want to talk about the overall specs of iPad Air.

As announced by Apple at the first debut of this device, iPad Air comes with some new goodies that might make it worth upgrading from the previous model.

On this new iPad Air, you’ll get:
  • a new 64-bit A7 processor just like the one found on iPad mini 2 and iPhone 5S,
  • the same exact 9.7-inch 1536x2048 pixel Retina Display,
  • 5MP iSight camera,
  • 1GB of RAM (which is an upgrade from smaller amount of RAM on the predecessors),
  • new PowerVR G6430 GPU,
  • iOS 7 out of the box,
  • iWork free apps for productivity supports for iPad Air owners,
  • the huge improvement of battery life (8820mAh battery)
  • and “All new design”, which takes design cue from 4:3 aspect ratio of iPad mini 1st generation.

With all of these awesome goodies, then it’s just not that hard to recommend iPad Air to many tablet shoppers out there who are looking for a solid built media and entertainment tablet with premium design and strong battery life.


As i mentioned above, the iPad Air now comes with “All new design”, which is a huge departure from the design of older gen iPads.

This new design actually takes inspiration from its younger brother, 1st gen iPad mini, which adopts 4:3 aspect ratio, unlike the older iPads that have 16:9 aspect ratio.

However, despite using new design and new aspect ratio, iPad Air still uses the same exact 9.7-inch Retina display with the same resolution of 1536x2048 pixels.

So with that being said, then all HD content that you throw on this tablet will absolutely look gorgeous and sharper.

Apple iPad Air 2013 - Full tablet specifications

One thing that makes iPad Air amazing than any other 10-inch tablets across the market to date is definitely its weight. With the thinness of 7.5mm, now iPad Air only weighs about 1 pound.

Yup – that’s right. Only 1 pound.

Can you believe that! It’s really light in weight for sure.

This no doubt makes holding the iPad Air feel so comfortable and relaxing even with one hand.

It’s maybe like holding a thin book everytime you use it for reading book or watching movies while you’re standing in a bus or train.

iPad Air Review: Specs, Design, Gaming Performance, Battery Life and More
Its thinness is its main selling point

I believe this is one of the best selling points of iPad Air, which is to make this iPad feel comfortable to hold when used on-the-go or outside the house.

And that’s great because most of 10-inch tablets out there usually only feel great if used inside the house given that most of them are huge and pretty heavy to carry in the bag.

So it kind of makes the owners hesitant to bring it as on-the-go device.

And as a result, most of tablet shoppers prefer to buy 7-inch tablets than 10-inch tablets because it's smaller and not heavy to carry on.

But the good thing is, Apple manages to tackle that issue perfectly and finally make its iPad a great on-the-go device.

Talking about its design, iPad Air is definitely a huge departure from the design of older-gen iPads.

The older iPads used to have the aspect ratio of 16:9, which makes it look wide in landscape mode, just like any other 7-inch Android tablets out there on the market.

However, with the “all new design” on iPad Air, Apple decides to use the 4:3 aspect ratio of 1st gen iPad mini along with its design and bring it to the new iPad Air.

And as a result, iPad Air looks much wider vertically, thus giving users a much bigger screen real estate when used in normal mode.

I personally think that the new design on iPad Air looks so much even better than the old design of older iPads.


Well, that’s because this new design makes iPad Air a much better device for enjoying media and entertainment contents, say for reading books, watching movies, playing games or browsing the net.

I believe that with this new design, iPad Air could probably sell well in this holiday season than last year’s holiday season.

iPad Air will come in 2 different variants, Space Gray and Black.

I don’t know about you guys here, but I personally like the black model simply because it looks more elegant then the other one.

The Space Gray also looks tempting though, which kind of reminds me with the Space Gray of iPhone 5S, which looks elegant as well. But it's up to you.


There are some goodies that can be found on this new iPad Air that have something to do with its performance, like the new 64-bit A7 chip accompanied by M7 coprocessor, 1GB of RAM and the new PowerVR G6430 GPU.

With these 3 hardware bumps, iPad Air now becomes much faster and more powerful than the predecessors.

Now multitasking apps can be done in buttery smooth performance thanks to its 1GB of RAM, which is a huge upgrade from the smaller amount of RAM on previous iPads.

Playing games on iPad Air now is also a pleasing experience given that its PowerVR G6430 GPU will accommodate your hobby really well.

With that much powerful GPU and faster processor, it’s no doubt that you can play any kind of games across the App Store so perfectly and smoothly in full graphics with no lag whatsoever.

This is also the reason why iPad Air is just a perfect machine for playing games.

I think what makes iPad Air so amazing is the fact that it can deliver such an outstanding performance in full HD display so smoothly without compromising the whole experience of this tablet.

Not to mention, even with that outstanding fast performance and incredible graphic processing power, this iPad Air is still able to deliver a long lasting battery life to the users.

Actually, this is the sector that i’m really excited to share to you. But we’ll get more on that later.

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As i said above, iPad Air is a great machine for playing games. And that’s true.

With the hardware bumps like 1GB of RAM, new PowerVR G6430 GPU and much faster A7 chipset, now the iPad Air is much much even powerful for gaming.

As a matter of fact, if you’re in great shape financially and are looking for a really powerful gaming tablet, then iPad Air is one of my top recommendations in high-end price range. This iPad Air is insanely powerful for playing games.

From a simple 2D game like Angry Birds to more heavy graphics intense games like Dead Trigger 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Infinity Blade 2 or even GTA: San Andreas (yup, that’s GTA San Andreas on your console, that’s gonna launch this December by the way) will all work perfectly and smoothly on iPad Air, and most importantly, in full graphics. No argue to that.

(Update: According to one user, iPad mini 2 can't play GTA SA smoothly in full graphics, so i assume the same thing will also happen to this iPad Air, given their same exact hardware)

To be honest, when it comes to mobile games or tablet games, I still think that iPad is the best gaming machine around the market to date.

I know – there are many high-performance Android tablets with even more powerful internal hardware than iPad (like Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 LTE or Kindle Fire HDX).

However, the fact that iPad Air still has much bigger catalog of tablet-optimized games on App Store really makes Android tablets “slightly” less powerful (remember, slightly!) than iPad Air when it comes to gaming performance.

But i believe that’s gonna change in the near future because i know that right now, more and more developers are starting to well optimize their apps and games on Google Play Store.

So it’s just a matter of time before we finally see the catalog of tablet-optimized apps on Google Play Store finally catch up with Apple App Store. So you just need to be patient for that!

Anyway, despite being a really powerful gaming tablet, there is one thing that i really need to tell you, not just about iPad Air, but also about all iOS devices in general.

As you might now (or not), usually, everytime Apple launches newer generation of iOS devices, say, iPad Air, many of latest apps on App Store (not all apps) suddenly are not compatible anymore with the older-gen iPad.

And this has happened over and over again everytime the new iOS devices launch.

Something that can be so annoying about this is, this thing happens not only on new high-performance 3D games, but this also happens even to some of newer simple 2D games that obviously don’t really need more powerful hardware in order to play them.

With that being said, then you must be prepared with the possibilities that, in the future (not in the near future of course), many new games that will probably launch in 2015 or even the last quarter of 2014 (when the newer iPads launch), will not work or not compatible anymore with this new iPad Air, despite having a really powerful gaming performance.


One of many things that has been the most powerful sector of iPad than any other tablets out there is definitely its camera.

It’s no secret anymore that iPad has the best camera around the tablet market. And it’s no different with this new iPad Air.

Its 5MP camera is still more powerful than other cameras on other tablets around the market to date, even the high-end ones.

Taking pictures or recording videos on this tablet is no doubt a pleasing experience simply because iPad Air will take great quality shots or videos even in the default setting.

This is the sector that separates iPad Air from other tablets.

The superiority of the camera on iPad is still out of reach by other Android tablets out there.

Battery Life

If there is any tablet that could last around 2 days even in heavy usage, then iPad Air is the tablet I’m talking about.

The battery life of iPad Air is insanely powerful than any other 10-inch tablets on the market right now.

In fact, i actually heard many times that the owners of this tablet didn’t manage to kill the battery life of iPad Air in one day because it’s too powerful.

It usually takes 2 days to drain the entire battery life of this tablet.

And amazingly, that’s in heavy usage, not in standby mode.

So according to these users, they usually use iPad Air for playing games in many many hours in marathon, mixed with some other activities like browsing the net, watching videos or checking emails.

This of course is such an impressive achievement by Apple because what tablet really needs the most is absolutely a long lasting battery life.

The secret behind the strong battery life of iPad Air is the huge capacity of its battery, which is 8820mAh. And this is really huge for a tablet.

Amazingly, even with that giant battery capacity, Apple still manages to make this iPad Air so thin and light in weight.

And that’s again an outstanding achievement by Apple given that most of tablets these days usually will be thicker if they use a huge battery capacity.


So to sum this up, what makes iPad Air so special than any other rivals across the market is its design. It has an elegant premium material and great build quality.

It’s also amazing to see how iPad Air is so thin and really light in weight, even with behemoth battery capacity of 8820mAh.

Last but not least, iPad Air has a really fast and powerful performance in full HD display without even compromising the experience and battery life of this tablet.

So if you decide to buy iPad Air, then you’ll automatically get these goodies: a great premium “all new design”, a powerful super-fast performance for gaming or watching movies, a full HD display, a bigger catalog of tablet-optimized apps and games on App Store, and a long-lasting battery life that could last in 2 days even in heavy usage.

Well, that’s already a great package for a tablet that probably can’t be found on any other tablets across the market to date.

This iPad Air is a great gaming device, great tablet for watching movies,
  • it’s really fast and smooth for browsing the net,
  • it has a really sharp full HD display,
  • it’s got a solid battery life,
  • it’s really thin, light and comfortable to hold even with one hand
  • and the most importantly, you will get the access of all the tablet-optimized apps on App Store, much bigger than on Google Play Store.
In conclusion, if you’re still looking for a solid tablet for enjoying media and entertainment contents in HD display, and you also happen to have a big budget to spend on 1 single tablet, then iPad Air is absolutely a perfect choice for you.

However, if you want to have the same exact quality tablet like iPad Air, but in smaller package, then you can aim your target at iPad mini with Retina Display.

It has the same exact internal hardware like iPad Air, but in smaller screen and lower price tag.

Anyway, iPad Air now can be bought on Apple’s website.

The price of Wi-Fi only model iPad Air starts at $499 for the 16GB storage, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model and $799 for the biggest 128GB model.

Meanwhile, for the LTE model, price starts at $629 for the 16GB model and all the way up to $929 for the biggest 128GB LTE model.

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