Ugh. The iPad Air still has an air gap.
All the iPads so far have had air gaps between the cover glass and LCD as shown in these images:
AnandTech's review says the iPad Air still has an air gap here:
My only complaint on the display front is I would like to see Apple laminate the cover glass to the LCD display. Reducing reflections would go a long way towards improving the usability of the device, not to mention the impact that would have on improving display quality in dark movie scenes.
The only thing that the iPad Air leaves me wanting on the display front is a lower reflectance stack. Laminating the cover glass to the LCD panel is something that Apple does on both the iPhone and iMac, it’s time that the same feature is brought down to the iPad.
The retina iPad mini will probably also have an air gap. Here's a quote from a discussion on Twitter with John Gruber indicating it does:
There’s definitely a gap of some sort on both the mini and Air. I don’t believe either are laminated.
Nearly all Android and Windows tablets use laminated displays, including all the new Kindle Fires, Galaxy Tabs, the new Nexus 7, and Surface tablets. If you're thinking of buying a new iPad, I recommend comparing their displays to a laminated display. Tablets with air gaps reflect a lot more light and can cause eye strain because of the way they reflect light. The eye strain I experience when looking at an iPad is subtle, but it's a constant distraction. I find that reading off of a laminated display is far more comfortable.