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Wednesday, 30 October 2013 12:21

iPad reviews are out

Written by Nick Farrell



Surprisingly poor considering who wrote them

Apple has produced an overpriced tablet which does not really have enough functions to justify the price tag. That is more or less what the reviews of the Apple iPad Air actually say, although to have to skim through tons of fluff and promotional statements before anyone will admit it.

Generally the only Apple reviews which receive any publicity are those written by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Both are famous for praising anything Apple produces. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg called the iPad Air the best tablet he has ever reviewed.

Mossberg has been known to say bad things about Apple stuff in the past, but this time he waxed lyrical about it.

Damon Darlin of the New York Times said the gadget is a delight to use, with two antennas to pull in Wi-Fi signals faster than the previous versions did. Darlin is new to the Apple beat after taking over from Jobs’ Mob sycophant David Pogue. Pogue has gone on to write Apple press releases for Yahoo.

Needless to say he claimed that the iPad Air is "a fantastic leap into the future if you're upgrading from an original iPad, or if you've never owned a tablet before."

Actually it isn’t and sadly the reviewers know that. True the tablet is slimmer but it has a slower GPU than the last one, but it tries to make up with a 64-bit CPU. But all three reviewers have to admit that the iPad Air is far too pricey for what you get. Darlin said that the iPad improvements were "incremental, not revolutionary" and if you had an older tablet you probably did not need to buy this one.

Amazon’s 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX costs $379, Microsoft's Surface 2 starts from $449 and there are tons of Android tablets in between. Even Pogue said that given the price, an iPad probably does not need replacing every year or even every other year. Mossberg sheeplishly admitted that if you can afford it, the new iPad Air is the tablet he’d recommend.

But face it, who can afford a massive mark-up when non-Apple products are about the same or even better for couple of hundred less? That is a lot to pay for an Apple logo, particularly if you already have an Apple tablet.

This might be a problem in the long run. Windows 8 tablets are getting cheaper and Android tablets are already ridiculously cheap, yet Apple chose to stick to the same price for the big iPad and it even jacked up the price of the new iPad mini to $399.

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