Every time there is a new release from Apple we provide advice on whether or not you should consider buying the latest offering, either as a new purchase or as an upgrade. The problem for me with the announcement of the iPad Air was that it followed the presentation of the new Mac Pro, which proved there is still room for major innovation in the world of desktop computers. Sure, the iPad Air is smaller and faster but otherwise it is not that different. Let’s look at many of the selling points about the new iPads and also look at why Steve Wozniak thinks he’s going to wait.
[Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I love the iPad line and that even if I have negative things to say, that I am still going to always own one and there is a decent chance that I will impulse buy a new one some time in November.]
The iPad Air is 28% lighter and 20% thinner. I use my iPad all of the time and I don’t actually have any complaints about its size. Would I probably enjoy a smaller and lighter iPad? Sure, but not if that were the only new feature and I had to pay hundreds of dollars for it. The size difference isn’t the only new feature though and the speed it also much improved.
- Up to 2x CPU performance
- Up to 2x graphics performance
- Up to 10 hour battery life
iOS 7 was the first iOS which couldn’t be installed on the original iPad but most features work on the other iPads. At my house when we buy a new iPad we rarely trade it in because I feel less nervous on letting the kids use the old ones and so I currently have access to the last three models of iPads and while the oldest is slower and is showing its age, everything works on it just fine. I even forget it doesn’t have a retina display sometimes, if even only for a second because it is protected behind a well used kid-proof protection screen. While the better speeds are nice and no small feat, I’m not sure it is enough to get me to leave my current model behind and buy the new iPad Air.
What would it take to get me to leave a perfectly good working iPad to upgrade to a new model?
I am with Steve Wozniak in many ways. I hoped that the base model would have been doubled in onboard storage for the same price and that the top model would have 256GB. Leave the size a little bigger and throw in tons more storage. Perhaps 256GB is a little overkill in an iCloud world but right now everyone is a little greedy because Apple is keeping the storage amounts low and networks are charging more for the bandwidth needed for an iCloud lifestyle.
Steve is quoted by techradar.com as saying he won’t buy one because he needs more space and not a smaller design.
“I am constantly following the gadget world but I was on a plane and missed all of the keynote but when I finally took a look at the devices, the iPads didn’t hit my needs,” he explained.
Talking about the iPad Air he noted: “Yes it’s thinner but I wanted storage. I don’t have broadband at home, so I carry all my personal media in the iPad. So I was hoping Apple has a 256GB iPad.
“So I emailed my wife and said I didn’t want one of those.”
Huh, Steve doesn’t have broadband internet. I get it that he might live in a place where it isn’t available, but it is still surprising. However, I think he is pointing towards the real issue of a lack of true innovation on the most recent iPad Air. Smaller and faster isn’t enough to justify $500 plus dollars when you might have a perfectly good iPad.
The other things that I think would have been more interesting are a 3D screen, better audio capabilities, hands-free control (think Kinect), holographic projections, a floppy drive, an 8 track player… but I digress. In all honesty I love the iPad Air but I don’t think I am going to buy it. What I might end up doing in November is buying the new iPad Mini with retina display because I do like the idea of a substantially smaller tablet at a lower price point. That might be the perfect compromise.