iPad iPad air vs ipad 4th gen with retina...

manchildbeej

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2013
11
0
Arizona
Yesterday I was feeling ambitious and feeling like I might buy myself something new. I went to my closest Apple store, because once I walk into that place it makes my insides dance around with joy (parking at the mall with a large truck is a whole different story). I love Apple products, I love the customer service, I love the build quality and how they seem to never stop working.

I walked in and wanted to check out an iPad Air, I haven't put my hands on one yet. I got ahold of it, and was almost instantly disappointed.

I noticed the weight difference, which I suppose was nice. I noticed how the back of the iPad air case felt dull and cheap in my hands. I noticed how the screen felt "plasticy", made a hollow thud when i tapped on it, and it flexed every time I touched it.

That's where the iPad Air ended for me. The iPad Air, to me, felt like a cheesy plastic tablet... it didn't feel like an iPad. I like the aluminum backing, and the robust screen on my iPad 4th generation retina display. I understand that these changes were done for weight reduction (but probably really to cut production costs). I just hope that this isn't a sign of how future iPhones will be built.
 
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canesalato

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,140
869
back plastic case? What are you talking about? The Air back is alluminium, just like the 4...
 

harleymhs

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2009
463
25
back plastic case? What are you talking about? The Air back is alluminium, just like the 4...
I agree, I went from a 4 to the air and cant be happier! Lighter, faster, thinner! My main complaint with the 4 it was tooooooo heavy! Love my air!
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2010
2,710
1,875
Michigan
Man what are you smoking? Plastic case? Even with a slightly hollow feeling to the screen the Air still feels very premium. The iPad absolutely needed to be lighter. Its much more comfortable now. The engineering involved to make this a reality is insane and extremely difficult. Even a retina display in the older models was an exercise in engineering magic and they had to make it a hair THICKER!
 

cammyg123

macrumors regular
Nov 18, 2013
183
0
United States
back plastic case? What are you talking about? The Air back is alluminium, just like the 4...
Yes, their is no plastic on the device, so I don't really understand how the thread starter is talking about plastic.

When walking around with 4 before I sold it, I felt like I was hauling around a iMac or something, way to heavy once I felt the Air.

But if he prefers the 4, then hey go for it. Other than the huge weight difference, the performance on the 4 with iOS 7 is pretty even I think with the air.
 

manchildbeej

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2013
11
0
Arizona
Man what are you smoking? Plastic case? Even with a slightly hollow feeling to the screen the Air still feels very premium. The iPad absolutely needed to be lighter. Its much more comfortable now. The engineering involved to make this a reality is insane and extremely difficult. Even a retina display in the older models was an exercise in engineering magic and they had to make it a hair THICKER!
I actually don't smoke, thank you for your intelligent response though.

I didn't mean to write plastic - I corrected the above post. It still doesn't change how I perceive the air. Everyones opinion is completely objective, and my objective opinion is, I feel the previous generation felt like it was better quality. The screen especially feels like cheap junk, it flexes inward when using it. I am just disappointed with it. I'm sticking with the 4th gen for sure.

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Yes, their is no plastic on the device, so I don't really understand how the thread starter is talking about plastic.

When walking around with 4 before I sold it, I felt like I was hauling around a iMac or something, way to heavy once I felt the Air.

But if he prefers the 4, then hey go for it. Other than the huge weight difference, the performance on the 4 with iOS 7 is pretty even I think with the air.
(edited the first post, didn't mean to say the iPad air was made of plastic).

Yeah, it's just one of those things for me. I think the biggest thing that turned me off was the way the screen felt. I know that it isn't plastic, but it just didn't feel right to me.

But since you have the air, how do you rate the screen? What about responsiveness?

And don't get me wrong, I'd still buy an iPad over any other tablet on the market. Just felt like starting a lively discussion :)
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
May 17, 2008
3,363
1,117
I have an iPad 3 and I wonder if there is a real life difference in use between it and the iPad air. I want to upgrade to Air but after I hear complaints about screen issues I decided not to.
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
332
Los Angeles
The Air is so beautiful and very light than an iPad 2 I had for a year. The Air quality feels much same as an iPad 2. The only difference is the speed, Temple Run 2 loaded real fast than on an iPad 2!! The iPad 4 was awfully heavy for me that is the reason I stay away from the iPad 3 and 4. :apple:
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2010
2,710
1,875
Michigan
I actually don't smoke, thank you for your intelligent response though.

I didn't mean to write plastic - I corrected the above post. It still doesn't change how I perceive the air. Everyones opinion is completely objective, and my objective opinion is, I feel the previous generation felt like it was better quality. The screen especially feels like cheap junk, it flexes inward when using it. I am just disappointed with it. I'm sticking with the 4th gen for sure.

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(edited the first post, didn't mean to say the iPad air was made of plastic).

Yeah, it's just one of those things for me. I think the biggest thing that turned me off was the way the screen felt. I know that it isn't plastic, but it just didn't feel right to me.

But since you have the air, how do you rate the screen? What about responsiveness?

And don't get me wrong, I'd still buy an iPad over any other tablet on the market. Just felt like starting a lively discussion :)
How hard are you people tapping this thing to get it to "flex"??????? Y'all know its actually not pressure sensitive right? And that these aren't actual buttons you "push" right?????
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,846
1,866
Canada
I like the Air.. it's a step in the right direction for their tablets. With that said, the 2 and 4 were the better buys for value.
 

manchildbeej

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2013
11
0
Arizona
How hard are you people tapping this thing to get it to "flex"??????? Y'all know its actually not pressure sensitive right? And that these aren't actual buttons you "push" right?????

haha yes I am aware. I just felt and heard the hollow sound against the screen when tapping, so I pressed a little harder and saw it was flexing everywhere. Just not what I was expecting from Apple... feels cheap.
 

braddick

macrumors 68040
Jun 28, 2009
3,825
760
Encinitas, CA
"Feels cheap" and is cheap are two different measurements.

I had the same conclusion when the iPhone 5 was first released and now understand, under wear and tear it is better at day to day stress than the iPhone 4S was/is.

NASA has contracted out many extremely light yet durable items needed for its space program.
One example.

Another, my mountain bike, although light enough to pick up with two fingers, is much more sturdy and better built than my cheaper, first purchased bike.

Heavy does not equate to built quality.
Kind of a tough lesson as we are so seasoned to think of it the other way, yet accurate.
 

manchildbeej

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2013
11
0
Arizona
Heavy does not equate to built quality.
Kind of a tough lesson as we are so seasoned to think of it the other way, yet accurate.
I do agree with you, but in my own defense I didn't say it felt cheap because it was lighter weight... to me, it just feels cheaper in build quality. My main complaint lies around the screen. just my $0.02.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,358
2,823
I do agree with you, but in my own defense I didn't say it felt cheap because it was lighter weight... to me, it just feels cheaper in build quality. My main complaint lies around the screen. just my $0.02.
I have been using an iPad as my primary home computing device since the release of the first model. I still have an iPad 4 and an iPad Air at home. I can say without certainty that the Air is by far a nicer device to handle than the 4. The 4 feels significantly heavier, is far more difficult to hold one handed, and the bezel size makes it look antiquated in comparison. It's still an excellent device, but the Air is better in every way.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,352
8,707
Prescott Valley, AZ
I do agree with you, but in my own defense I didn't say it felt cheap because it was lighter weight... to me, it just feels cheaper in build quality. My main complaint lies around the screen. just my $0.02.
We all have different measurements of what constitutes excellent build quality.

For me, if a tablet is made of material that allows it to flex when holding it in landscape orientation and gently apply pressure in opposite directions (right hand pressing away from the body, left hand pressing toward the body) then that tablet has a cheap build quality feel to it.

But I understand the following:

Samsung tablet that flexes: cheap junk, Apple tablet that flexes: overly critical consumer
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
2,142
1,195
I agree, I went from a 4 to the air and cant be happier! Lighter, faster, thinner! My main complaint with the 4 it was tooooooo heavy! Love my air!
There's much to be said about the Air being lighter, my hands and arms get tired holding my iPad 4th gen for more than an hour. I was amazed when I held the Air, so amazed that I immediately added it to my wish list note i the Notes app.
 

triple-tap

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2013
264
45
There's much to be said about the Air being lighter, my hands and arms get tired holding my iPad 4th gen for more than an hour. I was amazed when I held the Air, so amazed that I immediately added it to my wish list note i the Notes app.
go to the gym.
 

cammyg123

macrumors regular
Nov 18, 2013
183
0
United States
I feel that the Air is defiantly responsive. I have no problems with that. I feel that the Air is a better machine overall, the stats say this. But, I do agree that some of the Air does feel a little "loose" compared to the 4th generation (which I used to have). I feel the same as you in that way, compared to the Air, the 4th generation has a much better design, and for some reason it feels weird holding the Air. So if the weight of the device isn't a deal, i'd say the 4 is a great device and defiantly is what you should get..
 

kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
382
108
We all have different measurements of what constitutes excellent build quality.

For me, if a tablet is made of material that allows it to flex when holding it in landscape orientation and gently apply pressure in opposite directions (right hand pressing away from the body, left hand pressing toward the body) then that tablet has a cheap build quality feel to it.

But I understand the following:

Samsung tablet that flexes: cheap junk, Apple tablet that flexes: overly critical consumer
True. However, speaking from personal experience, I will say this: I have a iPad 4 (waiting to ship it out) and recently I got the iPad Air. Reason why I got the latter? Weight difference. I use the iPad for work, which involves reading for around 3-4 hours a day. This requires me to hold it for long period of time. While I thought the iPad 4 was sturdy and the build quality was excellent, I could not deny the fact that it used to cause problems for me when using it. Moreover, I travel often carrying it with my Surface 2 (though both are comparatively lighter than carrying my R400 ThinkPad), I found it cumbersome.

Now, the iPad Air is definitely lighter...very discernable. But I have not been able to fault its build quality. From other forums you should know that I am a discriminating user (particularly in light of comments on the Surface 2). I have noted that there is a different feel when tapping the screen of the Air. I also think - or at least I get the impression - it is fragile. I will accept that this worries me and I am thinking - for the first time - about getting the AppleCare+ (or whatever it is called - the cover for accidental damage). I have not yet found any sign of flex. Nor have I faced any issues with the screen being yellowish or with dust under it or with the other problems that people have reported here. Contrarily, I have found the iPad Air to be quite quick/ responsive. All this, however, must be understood in the context of my usage of it. I use only 3-4 apps on the iPad, namely, iBooks, PDF Expert, iAnnotate, Mercury Browser, my banking App, SkyDrive (or should I say, OneDrive) and Zotero's app. I do have some other apps on it like Flipboard etc. but I prefer to use them on my Surface 2!

That said, I do think there are a few things that I would have preferred on the iPad Air. For example, I think the bezel on the iPad 4 was ideal and should have been maintained in the Air. Why? Because it would have made holding the Air while reading books much easier - especially if one uses the horizontal scroll (on PDF Expert and iBooks - I do this). This would have meant that the size of the iPad Air would have been the same as that of the iPad 4. This extra size could have been used to add more battery capacity (or not, perhaps, for weight saving reasons). I am also not sure about the durability of the metal back of the iPad Air. I get the feeling that somehow it will get scratched easily - at least as compared to the iPad 4 - but this could just be my imagination and the fact that I don't have a backcover for the Air as I do/ did for the iPad 4. In this connection, I wonder if Apple Care covers scratched back panels of the iPad!!!! Anyone???

All in all I think Apple with the Air has created a very good consumption device in the same way as I feel that MS has created a very good productive device with the Surface 2. The build quality - at least for me - for both are excellent.
 

cammyg123

macrumors regular
Nov 18, 2013
183
0
United States
Man what are you smoking? Plastic case? Even with a slightly hollow feeling to the screen the Air still feels very premium. The iPad absolutely needed to be lighter. Its much more comfortable now. The engineering involved to make this a reality is insane and extremely difficult. Even a retina display in the older models was an exercise in engineering magic and they had to make it a hair THICKER!
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion in these forums. If it feels cheap to him, so be it. If it feels "premium" to you, so be it.

I do agree that holding such a weighted device is a bit of a hassle and puts a lot of stress on arms, which is why I prefer the Air as you do too it seems. :)

BUT, if weight isn't an issue to him, then no need to act like just because you feel the device is very weighted, doesn't mean it is heavy to him, or maybe he likes a little meat on his devices so he can actually feel that they are there.

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We all have different measurements of what constitutes excellent build quality.
Thank you for that. Exactly what I was trying to say before.

If one prefers the build qualities of the iPad 4th generation, their entitled to feel that way.

And same goes for the people who prefer the Air.