Most helpful critical review
336 of 383 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful product, non-premium hardware.
on December 8, 2013
I have owned several Apple products, and the iPad is the most distinguished among Apple's line up relative to its competition. The most compelling aspects of this tablet are the beautiful design, and the 10 hour battery life. These are the two features that made me decide to purchase another Apple product irrespective of their business practices which try to squeeze money out of their customers by not supporting devices properly after they are released.
After having used this product for over a month now, I can say it is an improvement over my iPad 1. The browser now crashes on the original to the point of making it worthless. My original iPad had 256 MB of RAM which is not enough to load a lot of modern web pages without the browser crashing. That is why I had hoped the 1 GB of RAM in the iPad Air would be sufficient, and it has improved, yet I still find that the browser crashes on occasion. The scroll latency is very subtle, but noticeable to me. It doesn't really impact my usage, but it could create problems for people who game on their iPads. Putting in 2 GB of RAM (which is what I have in my Nexus 4) does not cost that much, and would improve the performance greatly. For a premium product, I expect the best, and Apple has consistently under-delivered on processing hardware which created the same problems all the way back to the iPhone 1 I purchased on launch day.
I take 1 star off for business practices which burn through your pocket, and the second star is removed for needless low-RAM browser crashes that are still a problem on the latest iteration (which is likely planned to force relegation of old devices and compel new sales.) Still, I can say that this is the best 10 inch tablet available, and android has no viable alternative worth purchasing. If you can overlook the two biggest strikes I have against Apple, you should consider no other 10 inch tablet at this time.
Today I called into Apple support because my browser is crashing frequently. I am now experiencing 5 - 10 browser crashes a day when it was only 2 - 3 times a week when I first purchased it. Speaking with the Apple support technician, he said that they have not received many complaints about this issue yet, so I may be experiencing a rare software or hardware problem. I looked through my crash log (which had over 100 crash reports in it since Nov. 11th) and the vast majority of them were low memory crashes. However, the tablet did not operate this way when I initially purchased it, and it began to increase in frequency about 2 weeks ago. Therefore I suspect that there is a software conflict (I still have 4 GBs of free flash hard drive space, so I doubt it is a conflict with virtual memory, although a RAM hardware problem is possible). I went through some basic procedures the technician recommended, and I was advised to do a system wipe if the problems should persist. I will test the tablet for a few days before wiping everything and starting over. I'll update this review once I am confident of what the issue was.