iPad Air Review: Unboxing, Initial Thoughts & Performance Benchmarks

iPad Air Review: Unboxing

Today marks the debut of the iPad Air, and despite forgetting to place an online order at 1 AM MT, I managed to secure one through the Apple Store online by 7:30 AM. I confirmed the availability of a 32 GB, silver, AT&T model at the Aspen Grove Apple Store in Littleton, CO, completed my purchase, and picked it up by 11:30 AM. The whole store visit took merely five minutes.

As someone who keeps all the packaging of my Apple products, I quickly compared the new box with those of the 3rd-generation iPad and iPad mini.

iPad Air Review: Unboxing

It matched the height and thickness of the iPad box, though it was less wide. After this quick comparison, I eagerly opened the box:

The video quality may be lacking, but my excitement for new technology, like this iPad, is always high. Some might prefer new cars or clothes, but for me, it’s all about tech gadgets.

Handling the iPad Air for the first time, it’s apparent how much effort Apple has put into reducing its weight.

It’s only about 6 ounces heavier than the iPad mini, as illustrated in the comparison photos included in the slideshow below.

The display of the iPad Air shines a bit brighter and warmer than the 17-month-old 3rd-generation iPad, even at the same brightness settings, as shown in a side-by-side photo in the slideshow.

Performance-wise, the iPad Air is impressively responsive. To quantify this, I installed Geekbench 3 on this iPad as well as on the older models:

Single-Core Score

Multi-Core Score







Indeed, the iPad Air is FAST. All other apps were closed, and the devices were restarted before running the benchmark.

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Daniel is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing years of experience and a deep love for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Daniel covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. His insightful articles and reviews help readers stay informed and make the most of their Apple products. When he’s not writing, Daniel enjoys exploring new apps and tinkering with his MacBook Pro.