With the plethora of new tablets being launched by the likes of Samsung, ASUS, HP, Dell, etc., it was only a matter of time before Apple gave the iPad an overhaul.

The original, boxy, first-generation device was only available for about 11 months, before being replaced in 2011 by a restyled version, the iPad 2. The tapered design language survived, more or less unchanged, for a further 2.5 years, which is a lifetime in the consumer electronics world. That period saw two updates, bringing faster chips and a better display. This latest version however, is a full redesign.

The latest iPad is slimmer and lighter hence its name – iPad Air. Apple has delivered a proper exterior design update, crafting a substantially thinner and lighter tablet that finally eliminates the chunky bezels handed down since the first generation (at least on the left and right). But, despite this significant exterior reduction, the iPad Air maintains the battery life of its predecessor and offers significantly better performance.

Thanks to its vast ecosystem of apps, great performance, and a fantastic screen, the iPad Air retains Apple’s title for the best tablet money can buy.

The iPad Air’s processor adds extra system speed and power. Improved worldwide cellular compatibility makes the LTE model  (with a sim card) a more appealing proposition. And the iOS App Store remains best in class with the widest selection of apps on the market.

This latest iPad adds several tweaks, a new design, lighter weight and performance improvements. Third and fourth generation iPad owners need not upgrade however – it isn’t a significant enough jump and their devices are certainly not out of date. However first-generation iPad owners should certainly consider upgrading to the iPad Air.