iPad Is iPad 3 -> iPad Air an effective upgrade?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Heresiarch, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Heresiarch macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Beforehand, I've made the following upgrade routes:
    iPad 1 -> White iPad 2
    - The smaller frame and lighter weight were so worth it
    - The doubled (?) performance made my iPad 2 a wonderful user experience. Finally being able to run Dungeon Defenders without (serious) lag. :p

    White -> Black iPad 3
    - The retina upgrade was the single most important upgrade I've seen in all these years (I've never tasted the glory of going from iPhone 3G/s to iPhone 4 though :p)

    ...but other than this, my iPad 3 was suffering a lot of the following problems (mostly caused by its semi-premature introduction of retina):
    - Overheating: It gets hot even when using Safari for an hour or two, and if I play games...it's not burning of course, but it will make my hands sweat. A lot.
    - Battery: Compared to say, a whole week standby and 3 days usage of my iPad 1/2, my iPad 3 needs constant recharge even after 3 days of stand by and a day of usage.
    - Sluggish performance: Due to the delay of registration of touches, it's causing me a lot of annoyance by treating my touches for scrolling as "clicking", therefore sending me to another webpage instead of actually scrolling through a page.
    - Sluggish performance pt 2: We all know the 1GB RAM limit on all iPads is making the use of multiple apps or safari tabs not as convenient as it should be. i.e. switching from tabs to tabs will only make the webpages refresh over and over again. It's especially glaring when combined with the slow performance (webpages load slower) and slow touch registrations (which bring a lot of unnecessary webpage refreshes...), making it a horrible user experience when it comes to even the most basic use of my iPad 3 (webpage browsing).

    I don't even dare to use my iPad 3 to do serious work such as reading (serious) PDF or writing now. In fact, I would use my iPhone 5 to browse website for references because loading websites is so slow on my iPad 3, not to mention all the pain of mis-opening other websites...

    So, if I upgrade my iPad 3 to the Air, will I be able to solve most if not all the problems above?

    A few extra notes:
    1. The form factors such as lightness aren't really considered, because I've played a bit with it in a shop and it's awesome, so no contest here. :p
    2. I WILL get one direct upgrade if I buy a new one which will be a larger capacity. 16GB on my iPad 3 was extremely limiting.
    3. I don't want to buy a mini 2 because the color gamut IS unacceptable for me (it's extremely obvious when compared to my iPhone 5 and iPad 3), and I prefer a larger sized tablet.
  2. RenoG macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010
    The air will solve pretty much all your issues. Do it...
  3. mripadmini macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2013
    id wait if i where you. the 64 bit is in its first generation so all of these problems will be fixed, along with some new features added with the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini retina 2.
  4. virginblue4 macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I would ignore this person if I were you. They were only released 2-3 months ago! And any problems are OS related not hardware related. They have all been fixed in 7.1 anyway.
  5. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I have to agree. The Air is quite a performance upgrade over the iPad 3. Go for it.
  6. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    My mom got an Air. I have an iPad 3. I am so annoyed with the performance of this thing maybe two years after I bought it. Did Apple really cut a corner or two on powering this thing enough to run the a Retina display, especially on later versions of iOS? I could complain about the home button rarely working, but I can at least get around that with multitouch gestures.
  7. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I upgraded from ipad3 to Air, massive performance boost. Really significant difference in use. Just do it, as they say. Not Apple, but I'm sure someone said that :)

    The only downside is that I quite liked how the ipad3 keeps my hands warm in bed when reading...
  8. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    I also upgraded from the 3 to the Air. HUGE improvement across the board. You will definitely find all your complaints nicely resolved, especially when iOS 7.1 comes out, which is already known to improve speed and memory management.
  9. Yoohoo1231 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010
    I upgraded from the 3 to the Air and honestly, I regret it. I've never regretted an Apple purchase as much as I do with this one.

    That's not to say the Air is on its own is awful, but in comparison to the experience I've come to expect, the "it just works" Apple experience is fails and fails hard.

    I've had daily crashes since I bought it and I'm far from a power user. I don't know if it's because the Air only has 1GB of ram or what but I feel like I'm using an ACER piece of crap when my 3 did everything I needed to.

    Wait for the next modeling you can.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    From what I've seen, I think the Air is a worthy upgrade from the iPad 3. I recommend going for it :)

    The thinness, CPU, and GPU are the fastest that apple has, and will give you years of usage.
  11. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    As someone who recently just upgraded from the ipad3 to the iPad mini 2 last week (which I assume is similar to the iPad air performance-wise), the first thing you will notice is the significant speed boost.

    My ipad3 was definitely lagging under ios7. On my iPad mini, everything is just faster and more fluid. From PDFs rendering in notability or good reader, to the time it takes to process a scanned document via scanner pro, to apps like pages or numbers opening, you can feel the improvement.

    It's not perfect though. I have had a few app crashes and one random reboot to date, but nothing I can't live with.
  12. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I would at least wait for 7.1 to be released and see if all the promised milk and honey does show up! I have an iPad 3 on ios5.1 and a new iPad mini retina on ios7. I'll upgrade the iPad 3 once I find ios7 stable on the mini.
  13. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    We have one of each (3 and Air). The air is a definite and noticeable improvement in responsiveness. Love the form factor too. I do get a couple Safari crashes per week.
  14. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    It's not the hardware, it's the software (iOS 7.0). It was a complete OS rewrite and unfortunately it's not 100% there yet. Wait until 7.1 is released and people have had some time with it, if you are worried about this.
  15. Heresiarch, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    Heresiarch thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    So I bought it this afternoon. Some thoughts (typing from it now):

    - The speed increase is AMAZING. MTG 2014 loads extremely fast while browsing websites with tons of content such as theverge won't get stuck for 5 seconds anymore.

    - It is true that it's much lighter, but still not good enough for prolonged use without something to support. Could be that I'm tired or have really weak arms :p

    - No more overheating it seems, even when I play games such as MTG which woud almost always make my iPad 3 super warm, which would come along with slowdowns and other nasties.

    - The new screen is really thin and almost plastic like...I hope it is still reinforced glass.

    - The new smart cover is amazingly strong in its magnetic strength, but the 3-folding mechanism makes that carrying it around in one hand and using it a bit different compared to the old 4 folding cover (a bit difficult to explain).

    All in all I'm pretty happy with the purchase, it's like upgrading my 486 to a pentium...

    There is ONE issue though, the left side of the screen is a bit darker than the right. I had the same problem with my iPad 3. Not gonna exchange one due to this though as it seems to be a veeeery common problem.
  16. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Great move. I too bought an iPad 3 when it first came out because the Retina display was a giant leap. I even splurged and got the 32GB model thinking it would last me for many years. Unfortunately I didn't realize the A5 was too sluggish for the Retina display. The iPad Air is the first iPad (along with the iPad 2) that I believe will have really long legs. The only slight "gimp" is the 1GB RAM. The Air reloads Safari tabs much more frequently than the iPad 3 but I'm hoping this is just a software issue with the 64-bit chip that Apple will fix in the future.

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