Apple iPad Air 2 Review*
The Apple iPad has come a long way since it was introduced in 2010 by the late Steve Jobs. The current iteration the iPad Air 2 is a slimmer version of last years model with the addition of touch ID make it the best one yet but does it have enough to keep it on top of this highly competitive yet diminishing market..? As with my previous reviews I will not be focussing on technical details and more on the user experience so here we go.
At 18 percent thinner than the previous model you can physically feel the difference when you handle the iPad Air 2 but from a distance there’s nothing differentiating it from last year’s model apart from the Touch ID sensor on the front. The device feels impossibly thin and light which is beneficial for usage over long periods of time. The way this has been achieved is by laminating the panels that make up the screen like the ones on every iPhone since the iPhone 4 was introduced. This removes the gap saving space and makes the pixels look like they float on the screen. Its hard to describe in words and images. Your best heading to your nearest Apple store and seeing for yourself, Although resolution has been kept the same the colours do tend to pop more. The tablet is powered by the A8X chip and 2GB of RAM, This is the first time that the RAM has been extended in any iOS device and is a boon for power users like myself. There’s no more annoying Safari window refresh every time you switch between pages or apps either which is great and as with every new model the whole tablet feels zippy in general.
The camera has also been updated to an 8 Megapixel model for the back which Apple touted extensively during its presentation. In everyday tests the camera did perform better than the one on the iPad Air. I would compare it to the camera on the iPhone 5/5C more than the current generation of iPhones. The front facing FaceTime camera has a wider aperture this time to let more light in. There’s also slow motion capture using the rear facing camera.
The bottom firing stereo speakers have an updated grill and seem to play louder this time around. Though you can feel them a lot more through vibrations when you hold the tablet!
Another way Apple have made the device slim is to shave some of the battery size off the device, this does impact battery life ever so slightly but in everyday usage you would not notice the difference. It can easily get you through a whole day with heavy usage and a few days if you are a light user. The side switch which could be used for locking the orientation/muting your device has been removed and relegated to the control centre, This may come to the annoyance of many but after a while you do get used to it. Apart from all this the iPad Air 2 is the same class leading device as before. iOS simply has the best selection of apps and accessories that can make or break a device making it great for productivity or consumption. If you already have an iPad Air I would resist the urge to upgrade but if you have any older device the iPad Air 2 makes perfect sense. Its a great combination of beauty and brains and its available in Gold now too if that’s your cup of tea.
If you do plan to pick one up it may be worth waiting till the end of the week for Black Friday in the UK as there are several deals to be had which is traditionally unheard of for Apple Devices. Apple traditionally take part in this and John Lewis will be price matching any discounts that Apple are offering on the day both Online and In-Store. With their 3 year Guarantee included as default it makes sense to pick one up from them.