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Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn’t pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it’s a lot more expensive than Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you’re shopping for an iPad today, you may well be looking at these two options and trying to decide which is best for you.

We’re here to help with a breakdown of the specs and a full explanation of everything that sets these two Apple tablets apart.

Specs

iPad (2018)
iPad Air
Size
240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm (9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches)
250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm (9.87 x 6.85 x 0.24 inches)
Weight
469 grams (16.8 oz)
456 grams (16.1 oz)
Screen size
9.7 inches
10.5 inches
Screen resolution
2,048 x 1,536 pixels
2,224 x 1,668 pixels
Operating system
iOS 12
iOS 12
Storage space
32GB, 128GB
64GB, 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD Card slot
No
No
Tap-to-pay services
No
No
Processor
Apple A10 Fusion
Apple A12 Bionic
RAM
2GB
TBC
Camera
Rear 8MP, front 1.2MP
Rear 8MP, front 7MP
Video
1,080p at 30fps, 720p at 120fps
1,080p at 30fps, 720p at 120fps
Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth 5.0
Ports
Lightning
Lightning
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Water resistance
No
No
Battery
8,827mAh
TBC
App marketplace
Apple App Store
Apple App Store
Network support
All major carriers (cellular version only)
All major carriers (cellular version only)
Colors
Silver, gold, space gray
Silver, gold, space gray
Price
$330-plus
$500-plus
Buy from
Amazon
Apple
Review score
4.5 stars
News

Performance, battery life, and charging

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The 2018 iPad has an A10 Fusion processor inside, which is the same chip you find in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new iPad Air has an A12 Bionic processor, which is what powers the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. A couple of generations later, the A12 is much faster and more efficient. We don’t know how much RAM is in the iPad Air yet, but it’s likely to be more than the 2GB in the 2018 iPad. The newer iPad will be much quicker to load apps and capable of handling more graphically demanding games.

Apple suggests you can expect up to 10 hours of mixed use from either of these tablets. They both recharge via the Lightning port and neither supports wireless charging.

Winner: Apple iPad Air

Design and durability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The designs of these two tablets are very similar indeed and they clearly belong to the same family. The iPad Air is just a bit bigger, offering a 10.5-inch screen to the 2018 iPad’s 9.7-inch screen. You will find bezels top and bottom, Touch ID, and an aluminum back in the same choice of silver, gold, or space gray. The iPad Air is exactly the same design as the outgoing 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

There’s no water resistance rating and both will benefit from a good case for protection.

Winner: Tie

Display

The main difference here is size. The iPad Air has a 10.5-inch screen with a resolution of 2,224 x 1,668 pixels and the iPad has a 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. That gives both screens a pixel-per-inch rating of 264. Where the iPad Air does have an advantage is in the wider color gamut, higher brightness, and support for Apple’s True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the white balance to make the screen as legible as possible in different lighting conditions. Sadly, it doesn’t retain the 120Hz refresh rate of the outgoing iPad Pro.

Winner: Apple iPad Air

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The main cameras are exactly the same on paper, both rated at 8 megapixels. They support HDR, Live Photos, burst mode, and a host of other handy extras. Around front, the 2018 iPad has a weak, 1.2-megapixel camera, whereas the iPad Air has a 7-megapixel front-facing camera for better Face Time calls and superior selfies.

Winner: Apple iPad Air

Software and updates

The software experience is going to be virtually identical on these tablets, with both running iOS 12. We expect them both to continue being updated for years to come, but we’re giving the iPad Air the win as it will continue to be supported for longer thanks to the more powerful processor it’s packing.

Winner: Apple iPad Air

Special features

Both these tablets offer support for the first generation Apple Pencil, allowing you to sketch or take notes with Apple’s stylus, but it will cost you an extra $100 to buy one. You can also try out augmented reality apps and games on both iPads, but you can expect significantly better performance on the iPad Air. There’s really nothing to divide them here.

Winner: Tie

Price

The iPad Air starts from $500 for the 64GB Wi-Fi version and goes up to $780 for the Wi-Fi and Cellular model with 256GB of storage. The 2018 iPad will cost you $330 for the 32GB version with Wi-Fi and goes up to $560 for the 128GB model with Wi-Fi and Cellular connectivity. Both are available directly from Apple, lots of retailers, and a wide range of carriers.

Overall winner: Apple iPad Air

The Apple iPad Air is the clear winner here, but there isn’t a huge gap between these tablets. If you pay an extra $170, you get a slightly bigger and slightly better screen, an improved front-facing camera, more storage, and most importantly, much faster performance. Whether it’s worth it depends on how you intend to use your iPad. If you’re just going to read, watch movies, maybe play some casual games, then save yourself some money and snag the 2018 iPad. If you use Face Time a lot and you want to play demanding games, then the iPad Air will justify the extra investment.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets
  • iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?
  • Apple iPad Mini 5 vs. iPad Mini 4: What’s new in Apple’s long-awaited refresh?
  • The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone
  • Apple iPad 2019: News, features, specs, and rumors







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Tribit StormBox portable wireless speaker review

Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. To say that it’s easy to find something that works for you would likely be an understatement.Bluetooth speakers are also widely available; they’re found not just in electronics stores, but general retail stores and myriad online outlets, too.For every big-name branded speaker that you’ll encounter in your hunt, there also will be unknown companies competing for your attention and money. Take, for instance, Tribit.Although it doesn’t have the same market presence as Ultimate Ears, it does have a growing portfolio of competing products with lower prices. Its StormBox speaker is one of the brand’s latest products and we’ve had a chance to check one out.DesignThe Tribit StormBox is a cylindrical speaker that takes up about as much space as a large energy drink. Although its buttons lead you to believe there’s a specific front to it, the shape lends itself to a 360-degree sound.Speaking of buttons, the StormBox keeps things simple. There are volume controls and a multi-function power/pairing button. Oh, and there’s also an XBass button that’s used to take sound to the next level.The speaker has a hard mesh exterior and an IPX7 rating which means it’s built to withstand splashes and scrapes. At the top is a lanyard that makes it easy to carry or connect to a bag. Nice and portable, it weighs in around one pound total.Although it pairs via Bluetooth, the StormBox also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input for directly connecting to audio sources. It, and the microUSB charging port are located under a protective rubber flap that keeps things dry.Also worth noting, you can pair multiple StormBox speakers together to create a stereo sound. We did not have the chance to test the feature out.What’s Included?Tribit Bluetooth SpeakerMicro USB CableBlack LanyardUser ManualSetupThere’s very little to mess with here as it’s more or less a case of powering on and holding down the pairing button. You don’t have to worry about any apps or phone settings.PerformanceI was quite happy with how the speaker performed as it did everything it promised. The StormBox had no problem filling large rooms and open spaces. You could easily hear whatever was playing throughout any room.The water-resistance worked pretty well. It was a bit muffled, but nothing drastic. Overall, I thought the speaker did really well underwater.As for the special button, I didn’t feel that the XBass button had much effect. I wish it had been a bit stronger.The battery life is reported to be twenty hours. I used it right out of the box and used it for about ten hours, and haven’t had to charge it yet. The manual includes a guide to figuring out the different functions, including how to understand your battery level. It isn’t very obvious, but there is a column of lights on the back that will give you a general idea.ConclusionOne of the best selling points of the StormBox is that it comes with an 18-month warranty. Not only that, but you can extend it out to 30 months at no extra cost. This process is done online at Tribit’s website.Given the affordable ($60) price, this is a great speaker option for people who might want something for around the home, office, or pool. It’s portable, sounds great, and has an excellent battery life.AvailabilityThe Tribit StormBox comes in a variety of color options, including blue, black, and red. Look for it at Tribit’s website and Amazon for about $60.

Cool tech gifts under $100

In the era of digitalization and lots of tech advancements appearing every day, you have no choice but adapt to our quickly-changing world. Tech gadgets are cool: they simplify our life and make it much more convenient. Besides, they become an irreplaceable part of our daily routine, just like smartphones once did. More attention to tech gadgets are paid in college: students are in need of helpful devices as well as reliable services like papercoach, which you can pay for an essay or just delegate your homework. Tech gadgets can also become a great gift for everyone, from a teenager to a retired person. In this guide, we will cover the top popular of them that will not cost you a fortune.Top gadgets for under $100 budgetHow many times have your smartphone, quick Internet connection, and professional student service united to make wonders? You just choose a reliable resource based on speedy paper review and other agencies’ feedback, then send a request like «Can you do my homework for me?» or «Can you write my essay for me cheap?» and receive a completed task within a short timeframe. Just a decade ago, we couldn’t imagine it would have ever become possible. Now there is a variety of gadgets aimed to make our life easy and comfortable. We offer a list of top tech gifts everyone would be happy to get and which cost no more than $100 (however, today $100 can get you quite far):Streaming stickA device like the Chromecast will cost you around $70, if not less, and is good for people who love streaming like bloggers or just enjoy watching Netflix. All tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google have invested in the development of the streaming revolution so you can find a variety of models appearing every year (for example, Roku). It is able to deliver 4K HD video and helps you find the best place to enjoy the content easily;Portable chargerThis is a must-have device for active smartphone users that never have enough battery power (that is, for everyone). We recommend getting the one with 20,000mAh or more, which will likely cost you around $50 and will keep your phone charged seven times (this is especially convenient during the trip in the mountains, concerts, and other places where you can`t get charged a standard way). It is small, lightweight, and easily fits in the pocket or backpack. Besides charging quickly, it also does it safely based on your cable and device;Amazon Echo DotThis device is a mini voice assistant speaker that has access to multiple apps and using which you can control smart home devices (lights, garage door, water, and thermostat), listen to music, and order pizza. It will cost around $50 and is totally worth this money: it has a far-field system of voice recognition so you can make commands across the room while the device will react to your speech, accent, vocabulary, and patterns;E-readerFor example, it can be Amazon Kindle for the cost of $80. If the person loves reading and cannot invest much money into regular books buying, this one will make a perfect gift. The most recent models have a nice design, enough memory to download hundreds of books, a great touch screen, and a powerful processor for convenient reading. Talking about Amazon, it also has a built-in vocabulary and the battery life of one month by active reading;Wireless headphonesIf you are looking for a gift under $100, you can consider the Shure SE112 model that has a solid construction, built-in microphone for making calls, great quality of the sound, and a smooth Bluetooth connection. These headphones provide outstanding performance within a limited budget so you can enjoy music on the go;DroneDepending on the model, it will cost you around $100, and it will be a perfect gift for travelers and just nature lovers. It is lightweight, has stabilization features, and is controlled via an app. Cheaper models can record videos in 720p, which still makes great quality.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Android’s file sharing Nearby Share is now live

One feature that has been missing in the Android space for some time is the option to easily share files and contacts wireless with other Android users. Apple has had this with AirDrop for years, but Google has never brought a comparable protocol to the table. Finally, the rumors have been confirmed with Nearby Share available to Android.Nearby Share gives consumers a great option to quickly share links, photos, contacts, and documents with Android users instantly. The service works over cell networks, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or WiFi. This gives folks multiple avenues to deliver the shared files both on and offline.Google’s blog post also states that privacy settings are available in the app to make sure you have some more granular controls over how you can be found and receive files. You can change this from “all contacts” to “some contacts” or “hidden”. These privacy settings should allow you to add a layer of security to make sure you are only receiving or sending files to your most trusted friends or colleagues.Chromebooks are also not forgotten in this update. Chrome OS is quickly becoming the jack of all trades operating system and Google has made Nearby Share available on this platform as well. File sharing seemed like a natural progression of the already good continuum experience of Instant Tethering from Chrome OS devices to Android phones and we are glad Moutain View’s finest took the time to make this compatible day one.Nearby Share is a long-awaited addition to the Android ecosystem. While we like to think that Apple steals from Google on a consistent basis for new iOS features, this has been a gap in the Android experience that just needed to be fixed.Pixels and “select Samsung devices” should already see Nearby Share on the devices. Google will continue the trend of rolling releases of new Android options like this with future handsets getting Nearby Share over the coming months.