Apple iPad Air pictures and hands-on

Oh how we hate being a cliché sometimes. Yes, it's true, having held the new iPad Air in our hands we can confirm that its lightness is what will convince many to upgrade to the new iPad, or iPad 5 as some will no doubt continue to call it, when it hits the shops on 1 November. 

To accommodate a design that is now thinner than a pencil (7.5mm) the iPad Air has been redesigned completely compared to what Apple launched this time last year.

The main difference is that the bezel on the sides (when held in portrait) has been reduced to nearly nothing, and that it now mirrors the iPad mini in its design approach. No bad thing. 

That to makes a big difference, in terms of the physical device in your hands, more so than we expected, and combined with a processor boost completes a very nice package. 

Of course the 9.7-inch Retina display helps, as does having virtually the same innards as the iPhone 5S launched in September. This is Apple not messing around with processor speeds or specs, but merely chucking all the power it can at the device. 

Once you get over all that, the new space grey / black colour is, well slightly greyer than the original black iPad, and you realise that it's very much the same as what you've probably already got. 

If you've been holding out for the new iPad since the first one, now really is the time to upgrade - it's 72x faster than the first-gen, according to Apple. 

Oh and those worried that they won't be getting Google Docs, or Microsoft Office bundled in, will now get not only iLife but also iWork, giving you no excuse when it comes to productivity.

It's a great update for the iPad and one that will be popular, taking something that's already successful and making it slimmer, lighter and more powerful. The best part is that the new iPad Air will available on 1 November from £399.