The iPad Air reviews are out, and they appear overwhelmingly positive. As for which you should buy, only John Gruber tackled that question. Here’s his wrap-up on how I suspect most readers here will be using the iPad (as a laptop companion):
For me, personally, with my primary uses of the iPad being reading web pages, Twitter, email, and books,2 the larger display of the Air doesn’t have as much appeal. I think I’m going to hold out and buy a new iPad Mini for myself. But it’s a damn close call.
Impressive that it is that close of a call, leading me to believe it really is more of a personal call than a call that can be backed up with clear reasons why. Interestingly, Gruber notes that thumb-typing on the mini is very important to him:
But for me, as an iPad thumb-typist, the Mini makes it easier to type.
He also notes that he doesn’t like thumb-typing on the Air, while Jim Dalrymple on the other hand noted this about thumb typing on the Air:
This smaller size is great. If you have decent sized hands you can type with two thumbs on the iPad in portrait, something I wasn’t really able to do with the last generation iPad without a lot of stretching. Clearly a full-size iPad is not something you will be thumb typing with all the time1, but it does give you an idea of how much smaller the iPad Air is.
I still think iPad-thumb-typers are crazy, but it’s good to know the Air is making it possible for some people.
Over at AnandTech they have a great photo (hit the link to see it) of the new angle that the smart cover holds the iPad at when in “movie viewing” mode. It looks like it will be a much better angle for typing with a bluetooth keyboard too.
I will say the three-panel smart covers are crap compared to the four panel ones, but the omission of metal on the cover is, erm, smart.1
I stand by my assessment that the Air is the way to go.