In tests using a cross-platform processor benchmark, the iPad Air came in at over 80% faster than the 4th generation iPad, and over five times faster than the iPad 2. These were the results of tests performed using Geekbench 3, a program that gives a comprehensive set of benchmarks that allow different devices to be pitted against each other.
Here are the results of the tests:
The iPad Air has an A7 processor that runs at 1.4GHz, which is 100MHz faster than the iPhone 5s, which uses the same processor. Primate Labs speculates that the difference may be a result of having a stronger battery or a larger chassis, which allows it to cool off faster.
An 80% speed increase gives the iPad Air a significant improvement upon the 4th Generation iPad. Apple wanted to double the speed of the iPad 4 and has almost hit that mark with its latest tablet.
Since the iPad Air is about five times faster than the iPad 2, it’s curious that Apple still sells the second-generation model, Primate Labs points out. At $399 it is just $100 less than what the iPad Air started at.
Walmart is currently selling the iPad Air for $479, and it has been reported that Apple and Best Buy will match this price.
The iPad Air is almost exactly the same as the fourth generation iPod, but with an increase in performance and smoother video chatting. It has been complimented widely for its aesthetics; whenever someone picks it up for the first time he or she is forced to remark on how thin and light it is.
The iPad Air will not have the fingerprint sensor that was a part of the iPhone 5s.
Starting at only 16GB in storage, the iPad Air has seen criticism for not having enough space. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has stated: “When I finally took a look at the devices, the iPads didn’t hit my needs…yes it’s thinner, but I wanted storage…I was hoping for more storage so I could put every episode of ‘Big Bang Theory’ on my iPad.”
Some have criticized the iPad line for being more expensive than competing tablets, such as those produced by Google, Samsung, and Amazon. According to Forbes, Apple is comfortable with this pricing strategy, as it allows them to maintain a good profit margin on their premium brand, leaving the low-end consumer to Android tablets.
“There’s always a large junk part of the market,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re not in the junk business.”
Over half of Apple’s revenue comes from the iPhone line, and about 20 percent comes from iPads.
Apple normally sees profit margins in the range of 36 to 38 percent. Lower priced Android tablets offer similar features to iPads, and Apple is feeling the bite in its marketshare; Apple has seen a decline in its percentage of tablet unit sales in 2013.
The iPad Mini 2 is set to be released later this month and will have nearly the same hardware as the iPad Air, its sister device.
By K. Elsner