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As mentioned earlier today in my unboxing of the new iPad Air, I queued up at my local Apple Store to ensure I was one of the first to pick up Apple’s newest tablet. I regularly switch from platform to platform when we’re talking about phones, I use a HTC One regularly, or a Samsung Galaxy S4. However I tend to stick with iOS for my tablet operating system of choice because it works for me, and it works well.

The app selection is far superior to the Play Store when you’re purely talking about tablet optimized apps. For this reason, when Apple announced the new iPad Air, I was extremely curious to try one out. One of the reasons I switched from the 3rd-gen iPad to the iPad mini was simply portability – I always prefer to use a larger screen if I can.

iPad Air Speed

With the iPad Air clocking in at just 469 grams, when the iPad mini weighs 308 grams, it made me not regret the decision to ditch my iPad mini indefinitely. We’ve put together a full hardware comparison not only pitting the iPad Air against it’s older (but smaller) brother, but Google’s 7-inch tablet as well: the Nexus 7 (2013 model). In the video below you’ll find me talking about the screen sizes, resolution, weight, build quality and more between these three devices.

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Upon Apple’s announcement of the new iPad Air, they ran a commercial voiced by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, in which the iPad Air is hidden throughout the entire video by a pencil. When I first saw this advert, I assumed it was an interesting concept drastically manipulated by Apple with some clever camera work. It turns out I was totally wrong about this, the iPad Air touts a depth of just 7.5mm, so is actually a similar size to a few pencils lying around my house.

iPad Air -2

Of course, this is just an interesting marketing angle. Nobody actually cares whether an iPad has the same depth as a pencil or not. It is very impressive, however, to put the iPad mini and iPad Air next to each other and see almost no difference in thickness, considering that the iPad Air has almost an extra 2 inches of diagonal screen size with Retina resolution over the iPad mini. Even the Nexus 7 – which is by no means a thick tablet – can’t compete with these depths, as you’ll see in the video above.

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