Apple launches new iPads; they don’t get any cheaper

The iPad Air was launched today and it is lighter and more powerful than its predecessors. Pricing? Same old, same old. The iPad Mini 2 with Retinal Display also made it out the gate but it’s going to work out $100 more than the old versions. They will, no doubt, sell like crazy this holiday season, but you might want to think about Amazon and Google and what they have on deck.

The glaring advantage of the new iPad Air is that it is lighter, thinner and more powerful than what came before. In its class, there isn’t anything to really compare, although like all Apple products, you are paying a premium for the form factor. 

In the 8-10 inch class of tablets, arguably, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is really competitive, and maybe Microsoft can make an argument for the Surface RT. Both devices are just as functional. They don’t really have the sleek stylings. And they’re both better bang for your buck. However, it’s not going to stop people buying an iPad because the brand is synonymous with tablet in the minds of many consumers.

Yet, it’s the 7 inch display tablets where the action really happens. The iPad Mini is the better iPad. But, if you get a chance to have a look at the Kindle Fire HDX, you’ll find that it’s a more innovative product. Amazon is innovating more than Apple when it comes to the actual user experience, putting aside the ephemera of cosmetic design changes. 

The Kindle Fire HDX has Mayday, a pretty revolutionary live support feature for tablets. Freetime actually addresses a real need for tablet users: controlling your kids’ time on tablets and what they get to do. And X-Ray is cool because most people like to watch read, and watch movies and television programs on their tablets so, heck, Amazon gives you a service that helps you explore media better.

All this comes at around $229 from Amazon compared to $399 for an iPad Mini 2 from Apple. That says it all right there.