Apple's iPad Air is a major improvement, but pricier than competitors - reviews


Oct 30 (Reuters) - Apple Inc has not reinvented thewheel with the iPad Air but the thinner device, priced higherthan many of its competitors, is a major improvement on asuccessful product, the reviewers wrote on Tuesday.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg calledthe iPad Air the best tablet he has ever reviewed.

"That isn't just because of its slimmer, lighter design, butbecause Apple boasts 475,000 apps optimized for tablet use - farmore than any other tablet platform," Mossberg wrote. ()

The new full-sized iPad goes on sale from Friday and will bepriced starting $499.

Damon Darlin of the New York Times said the Air is lighterthan its predecessors, adding that the gadget is a delight touse. ()

Reviewer David Pogue, who recently left the New York Timesto start a new consumer-tech website at Yahoo, said theiPad Air is "a fantastic leap into the future if you'reupgrading from an original iPad, or if you've never owned atablet before."

However, all three reviewers highlighted that the iPad Airis pricier than many of its competitors.

"Do you need to plunk down $500 or more for an Air if youalready have an earlier version of the iPad?," Darlin asked,calling the improvements on the new device "incremental, notrevolutionary." Inc's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX costs$379, Microsoft's Surface 2 starts from $449, whileSamsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch tablet has asuggested retail price of $400.

Pogue said that given the price, an iPad probably does notneed replacing every year or even every other year. ()

Mossberg concluded: "Bottom line: If you can afford it, thenew iPad Air is the tablet I recommend, hands down."

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