The Lone Gamer’s iPad Air (128GB) Review

Yep, it IS about as thin as a pencil.

About a month ago, I got myself an iPad Air. By this time, I was still the owner of a ‘New’ iPad in good working condition, but I just felt I needed some change. It took some wrangling and dealing but I was able to purchase an Air online at a very good price (KimStore). Yeah, I had seen the cool ad from Apple, so the first thing I did when I unboxed the thing was look at it from the side behind a pencil. Yep, that was just about right.

Anyway, that important matter aside, I had just about time to stuff my iTunes library of videos and games into the thing before I had to fly off to Thailand for about a week. So in that week of running around Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Bangkok I was never without the Air (in a nice Case Logic bag at my side) whether it was climbing the steps to some temple, eating at some out-of-the-way resto and replacing my blood with Tom Yum soup or hiking up some forested trail. So I can very well say the iPad Air is a perfect companion for the techie traveler.

The best version to get of course is the 128GB version- even a media file pack rat like myself was unable to totally fill up this space, even with more than a week’s worth of video and more games than I would play in a year. The point is that if I needed to, I could. But still, during the times when boredom approached- usually when waiting at airports or on the long, long bus trips- the Air came to the rescue with sessions of gaming or episodes of Agents of SHIELD or Legend of Korra.

Surprisingly for a supposedly prosperous and modern ASEAN country like Thailand, free WiFi spots were at a premium. At least two of the three hotels we stayed at during the week had free and adequate internet- the third (ironically the one in cosmopolitan Bangkok) offered only prepaid internet cards (Hotel Arnoma SUCKS) for sale at the counter for their guests.

Still, when there was free and open WiFi, the Air connected without a problem and kept me connected to the world I left behind in Cyberspace. I was even able to update apps and download new games along the way. Surfing is a great time-waster, and on the go the Air’s lightness and ease to use was a godsend.

The camera was also surprisingly awesome. Despite being not so high in the Megapixels, taking 1080p HD video was pleasurable (and no, it was not a problem to hold up an iPad to take video when there are about a gazillion other tourists doing the same thing). Pinching to zoom in or zoom out was intuitive and resulted in some nice footage of elephants doing some amazing feats. Still pics were also good- despite not having a built-in flash.

Gaming on the iPad Air is about as good as it can get on iOS thanks to the zippy new processor. Infinity Blade III loads twice as fast compared to my older iPad, and the added graphic effects are easily noticeable- such as actual depth of field in some scenes, or the inclusion of water reflections in games like Dead Trigger 2. Oddly enough though, cutsie ant farm game Tiny Death Star loads slower than IBIII. Huh.

The iPad Air I guess is as close as the iOS platform gets to an all-in-one, everything-in-it device. You can work and play on the thing, keep in touch with the workplace, stay entertained or occupied and capture data or media. All this and the battery life kept up throughout the day with medium to heavy use.

The added speed and power may not be necessary to anyone who already has an iPad- the Air is best for those who want the best, for the real techies who gotta have the slickest, sharpest toy around. As gorgeous and slick as a tablet can get, the Air is something you’ll fall in love with at first sight and first touch.

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