iPad I feel like the iPad Air is the "iPad 1 and iPad 3" of its time.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Kendo, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    I am super, super happy with my iPad Air. Even the more "hollow" sounding screen doesn't bother me that much (a thinner screen is something I am willing to sacrifice for a lighter iPad). The iPad is the best tablet on the market but I am so glad I only bought the base 16GB model since I plan on using this for only a year and reselling it next year for the next model.

    Anyone else think the Air refreshes a smaller amount of tabs much more often than an iPad 3 or 4? This is coming from someone that has owned an iPad 3 since launch and has logged in at least 4 hours a day for the past 19 months dating back to March. I feel this has to do with the Air having an "adequate" amount of RAM, and not a "substantial" amount. Like I said, I owned a 3 for 19 months before selling it and used it heavily. I can notice these nuances.

    I have been "burned" with the iPad 3 by getting the 32GB model since I figured I would own that model for years to come (and thus decided to get the $600 model) but it proved to be a little gimped due to the A5X. To me the iPad 2 and the iPad 4 have the longest "legs" in terms of staying power while the iPad 1 and 3 were underpowered for its time. I feel like the iPad Air 2 (if it has 2GB of RAM) will be the "next" 2 and 4 while the current Air is slightly gimped with the 1GB RAM.
  2. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    It's just like a car - you buy the current year's model, and don't care about what's available in the next year's model. You're 'stuck' with your car for a long time. It's too expensive to upgrade every year.

    I had the iPad 1 for 3 1/2 years and just upgraded on Friday. Sure, towards the end, it was showing it's age, and couldn't run some applications, and was slow, but I had a good 3 1/2 years use out of it and used it for what it was still good for - movies, reading books, surfing the web (with caution, some sites it would crash on), listening to music, etc. I couldn't run the latest games, etc.

    But I had to save my money up, and could not reason with why an iPad 2, 3 or 4 was worth the upgrade.

    The iPad 5 (Air) was worth the upgrade to me, finally. The cost/benefit was finally there. I won't be upgrading again until at least 2016. Buying now, I know that I will be happy with my device and not worry that it doesn't have touch id, or a haptic screen, or whatever new features come out in the next 3 years.

    Unless you have unlimited money, everything in life must go through a cost/benefit analysis, or you're headed to the poor house.

    My cars are 2005 and 2009. All the newer cars have backup cameras standard, and integration with iPhones, and USB chargers, etc. Am I envious of my friends who have 2014 cars with those in it? Yes. But I know I can't get a new car for a few years still. The old ones still run fine. Sometime in the next few years, I'll replace the 2005, and I'll have something new my friends don't have. And they'll be envious of me. That's the way life works. You can't always have the latest and greatest. Be happy and live in the moment for the times you DO have the latest and greatest.
  3. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    the retina mini maybe like the iPad 3 but not the air. Both were heavier to shoe horn retina into hardware that isn't quite ready for it. The iPad 4 is like the three with a slightly better processor and the new lightening adapter. The Air is more like the redesigned iPad 2.
  4. Diversion macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I'll agree.. The iPad 5 (Air) is as exciting as when the iPad 2 was released. The iPad 2 at the time was a breakthrough.. Dual core, super light, thin tablet. A big change in the game.. Then the 3/4 were just a mixed bag (to me) because the Retina display was amazing but they had to go heavier and thicker to do it.. Now we're back to where Apple has clear advantages (don't get me wrong, i'm a huge Android guy too) but the 4:3 aspect with small bezels and ultra lightweight tablet is what I always wanted and the Air is perfect to me right now.
  5. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Apple seems to do fine with a "limited" amount of RAM. I think the iPad Air is a good upgrade from the 4, and I don't see any reason why the next iPad would offer a substantial upgrade. Time will tell, I guess.

    I'm not sure I understand your logic. The retina iPad Mini is nearly identical aside from the physical form factor.
  6. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    The iPad Air is absolutely the iPad 1/3 of it's time. Apple did better this time by at least introducing a new form factor. Next year's iPad will probably be a knockout. Every once in a while Apple puts out a product that isn't blown away by the next iteration. IMO the iPad 2 delivered that and the iPhone 5 delivered that. Although the next product introduced after the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 were ultimately better (new tech is usually better/faster), you could still hang on to those for a while longer.
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I agree that it does seem to be reloading pages more frequently than my 4. I had gotten out of the habit of copying my draft replies if I needed to leave the tab, but I've already gotten burned a few times on the Air.

    That said, if this is a trend, I think it's a trend that is improving to the point that each iteration is significantly better than the last.

    The iPad 1 was revolutionary for the time, but it had, by far, the shortest useful lifespan of any iPad. The 3 had nothing really wrong with it other than the fact that they were able to come out with a better product sooner than their normal schedule dictates. Now the Air is a really huge improvement in most ways. I'll take it because it is still the best tablet on the market today by a huge margin.
  8. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    That's my mentality but the difference is that I'm solely buying the base model as a "loaner." When I feel there is an iPad of the 2 and 4 longevity, that is when I will get a 32GB and possibly cellular model.
  9. herdnerfer macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    Saint louis, MO
    As someone who owned the first, third, & now fifth gen iPads, I didn't feel like my devices were underpowered at all. I got as much use out of them as I have my iPhones that I upgrade every 2 years. If t-Mobile hadn't lured me in with their no money down & free monthly data siren song, I would still be happily putting along on my iPad 3, it was quick enough for me & the things I do with my iPad (mostly web surfing).

    I think the court of public opinion artificially inflates these notion of subpar products & makes people think things that aren't true.
  10. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    I agree 100% OP. Heck, with the iPad 3 using less RAM than the Air, the 3 might have a bit longer life for non-CPU intensive purposes than the Air. How sad is that?
  11. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    I'm coming from the ipad 4 which I sold a couple of weeks back to make place for the Air. For me, the 4 was built like a rock, it is so sturdy, you could use it as a weapon!
    The air is truly amazing, the first thing I noticed was it runs significantly cooler than the 4. With the 4, just cranking up the brightness to max would produce heat and sip a lot of power. I have noticed none of this on the Air, with the added bonus that it takes close to around half the time to charge.
    My only gripe is the ram but I'm hoping that apple will fix this with an OS update like they did incredibly well with mavericks.
  12. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    This is me.
  13. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    That only makes sense if the RAM overhead of 64-bit is larger than the difference in RAM. The 3 has half the RAM of the Air. The Air has 20-30% overhead when running 64-bit apps, which not all of them are (only Apple's and a tiny smattering of others right now).

    The Air still has more usable RAM today, and if all apps are 64-bit today.
  14. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Both the iPad 3 and iPad Air have 1GB of RAM. iPad 2 however has 512MB. They upped it to 1GB with the 3.
  15. davideotape macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2012
    dumb q- whats anandtech talking about when theyvsay the air has 1.4gigs ram, not 1? am i misunderstanding?

    oh nm i guess thats the processor speed
  16. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Yup, you are right. I was somehow confusing it with the Mini. Durr.
  17. C5Longhorn macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2010
    I'm still on the fence about my next ipad purchase so to hold me over until I decide, I picked up a Nexus 7.

  18. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    My logic is that it has to go heavier to get to the retina display. The air went lighter and thinner and more powerful and more efficient use of resources. Thats not the 3 at all.
  19. Bathplug macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2010
    Yup I have an ipad 3. Not falling for that again so waiting on the air 2. Well only if it has 2gb ram and touch id.
  20. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    New York
    I think of it like I'll use the iPad Air for the next year, sell it for around 50% of what I paid, and pay up to the latest model again.
  21. 007p macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2012
    This whole RAM thing is getting ridiculous.

    They might not even update the RAM to 2gb next iPad. People calling the iPad air 'the new ipad 3' just doesn't make sense. It's not like they can refresh the ipad air in 6 months with a new model and 2gb RAM. Why? Because the new iPad mini is in the same boat, they aren't going to refresh both of those before next year.
    Besides, given the iPad mini 1 is only a year old, A5 chip is going to be around for at least another iOS, those only have 512mb which is still less than the 64 bit new devices.

    iOS 7 is partially to blame for all these low memory issues, wait until 7.1 to see if anything gets changed. I really can't see Apple bringing 2gb RAM out any time soon, especially not in a mini, the jump from 512mb to 2gb RAM even if it is a 64 bit app just encourages inefficiency which I would expect they want to try and avoid seeing as they still have two (of their best selling) tablets out there with 512mb RAM.
  22. Carl Sagan macrumors 6502a

    Carl Sagan

    May 31, 2011
    The Universe
  23. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    I'm still hanging with my iPad 3. I'm on the fence about the Air myself. I'm not happy with it only having 1 gig ram, but the faster wifi is tempting. I've had the ipad 1, 3, and a Mini I just sold. I was really looking to upgrade to something I could keep for at least 2 years. My finger on the Apple Store trigger says buy me, then my head takes over and I back off. 2 gigs of ram would have made this a no brainier for me....decisions decisions.
  24. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    I'd disagree with the OP. The iPad 1 was underpowered, the iPad 3 was underpowered.

    The iPad Air is not underpowered. It has more than enough CPU and GPU power to drive the retina display (something that the iPad 3 didn't have) and more than enough RAM to run the latest version of iOS (which the iPad 1 didn't have). The fact that they made millions and stock is still good suggests that they've refined the manufacturing techniques so well, which is what plagued the iPad 3.

    This isn't like the original MacBook Air, which genuinely was a bit underpowered for usage. In this case, it's really just an upgraded iPad 4 in a new chassis, whereas the MacBook Air was a downgraded MacBook Pro in a new chassis.
  25. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I guess I'll have to wait and see how the retina Mini actually feels in my hand.

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