iPad Air reviews: thin, powerful and best in its class

Apple is slated to start selling the iPad Air at the end of the week, and the first reviews of the fifth generation tablet are now available. The response to the iPad Air was overwhelmingly positive, with reviewers praising the smaller size, improved performance and excellent battery life of the tablet device. We’ve compiled a list of all the major reviews for you to pour over while you decide whether you want to splurge on the bigger iPad or wait for the smaller iPad mini with Retina display.

AllThingsD: “This new iPad isn’t a radical rethinking of what a tablet can be, but it’s a major improvement on a successful product. It is the best tablet I’ve ever reviewed.”

The Loop: “It’s very hard to describe how good the iPad Air feels in your hand without actually picking one up. It’s kind of like the first time you saw a Retina display for the first time—shock.”

TechCrunch: “Put simply, Apple’s latest iPad soars.”

CNET: “Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet.”

Engadget: “Not every manufacturer can produce a thin and light device without also making it feel cheap or flimsy, but Apple nailed it.”

AnandTech: “In the past there was this complex matrix of tradeoffs that you had to make between iPad and iPad mini. This generation, Apple does away with all of that.”

USA Today: “As it happens, though, this latest full-size Apple tablet is the most tempting iPad yet, better than its already best of breed predecessors, superior still to each and every rival big screen slate that I’ve tested.”

Time: “A whole new class of iPad — but instantly familiar and useful, too.”

Pocket Lint: “Embrace the Post-PC era, that’s just what the Air will enable you to do.”

The New York Times: “Compared with the other tablets on the market, Apple still holds the edge.”

Fox News: “Yet the Air is now a lot thinner — 20 percent thinner than the previous generation, to be exact. It’s great for travel in my own backpack, as well as in the diaper bag. You barely notice it’s there.”

Slashgear: “Beautiful display, crisp design, premium build quality: it’s the gold-standard by which tablets are judged, and rightly so.”

The Telegraph: “Apple’s iPad has never looked or felt better than the new Air.”

The iPad Air will go on sale starting Friday, November 1st. Apple Stores will open early at 8 a.m. for the launch. Rumors suggest Apple may allow the in-store pickup of orders placed on Nov. 1 at 12:01 a.m. PT.

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