A Grounded Evaluation Of The iPad Air

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In the following tests, we will take a look at how the Apple iPad Air compares to other tablets by running a few common benchmarks to evaluate CPU and web browsing performance.

CPU testing
iOS and Android CPU testing

The Linpack test has a tendency to post wildly inconsistent results, so the way we handle that is by running it over a dozen times, and then taking an average of three consistent runs after that, discarding any scores that jump way out of the norm. In this case, the iPad Air's dual-core A7 processor combined with 1GB of RAM posted a score of around 321, coming out ahead of all the other tablets we pitted it against.

SunSpider is a bit more accurate, and there the iPad Air shows off excellent web browsing and JavaScript performance. Subjectively, the iPad Air felt more responsive than the iPad 3 with less lag. Pages load fast and respond the way you would expect, though by limiting the iPad Air's RAM to just 1GB, tabs will sometimes need to reload if you open a handful of them. We'd really like to see Apple double up the amount of RAM in its flagship tablet.

Here we have another strong showing for the iPad Air. What's interesting to note here is that it scored significantly higher than the iPad 4, underscoring Apple's claims that the A7 SoC is a big improvement over previous processors.
 

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I have to admit, I was pretty amazed at how thin and light the iPad Air really is. If there's one thing Apple does well it's solid design aesthetics.

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They may not have great new ideas that change the face of the earth... but they do have amazing capabilities in redesigning their products.

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Agreed, iJ.

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