The iPad Air 2 is one of the newest and most eagerly anticipated of Apple’s tablet releases. This super lightweight device is as well-designed and as beautiful as Apple’s other releases, and we were lucky enough to pick-up one of them for this review.
The iPad Air 2 is available in three different finishes: Silver, Gold and Space Grey. As with all iPads, and indeed all Apple products, it is streamline and beautiful, whilst being very solid and sturdy at the same time. It is a joy to behold, a masterpiece of simplistic design. This is not a cheap machine by any stretch of the imagination, but the phrase “you get what you pay for” has never been more apparent than when discussing Apple products, and it certainly applies to the iPad Air 2.
As well as the different colours, customers can also choose several different options. There are three sizes available: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB, and there are two choices in regards to connectivity, with a standard Wi-Fi option, and a Wi-Fi and Cellular option. The screen is a 9.7 inch Retina Display with low reflectivity, as its reflectivity has been one of the few things that Apple users have consistently complained about over the years. With a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, and an 8-megapixel camera on the back, the iPad Air 2 ticks all of the boxes in terms of specifications and look, and from the moment you open the box you’ll be glad you dropped several hundred dollars on it, but what about the features and functionality?
Our Favourite Features
The beauty of the iPad Air 2 is that it can be taken anywhere and you can enjoy full-screen games, apps and graphics with you. The graphics and the power of the machine means that you can enjoy pokies and more in all of their glory. For our own tests we downloaded BetFair, our favourite casino, sports book and poker, and this allowed us to enjoy it to its fullest.
BetFair actually has a hefty first-time deposit bonus so you can try it our for yourself, just head on over to the App Store to pick up the BetFair casino app, along with the sports book and poker apps, which are available separately.
The iPad Air 2 uses iOS 8.1, which has quickly become our favourite operating system and easily trumps everything else available on the market.
One of the most interesting features of this new tablet is the Touch ID feature, which was also implemented on the iPad Mini 3. This allows users to lock and unlock the screen using their fingerprint, negating the issue of forgotten passwords and making sure that only the owner can gain access. There are also plans to use this feature with Apple Pay, which means that iPad owners will be able to purchase anything with just their fingerprint, but although this is currently rolling out, it is very much a feature for the future.
Apple focused on creating a great camera for this device, and although a big tablet is not the ideal camera to carry around, the camera feature does take some very impressive pictures. There was also some work done on the battery life to ensure that it remained as good as previous models, and although we did detect a very slight drop compared to the previous iPad Air, it still runs for a good ten hours.
The sound is also very impressive on the iPad Air 2, but it is on par with the previous release and with the iPad 3. In fact, in regards to the power and the functionality of the device, it is very much just like the iPad 3 and the previous iPad Air, for that matter. And that brings us to the downsides.
The biggest issue that we have with the iPad Air 2 is that there isn’t much of an improvement from the last release. It is slightly lighter and more powerful and the screen seems to have been given an upgrade, whilst some minor features have been introduced and it also makes use of the updated iOS, but other than that there is nothing hugely different here.
Still, if you were to compare it to what else is available on the market, and to many of the Android tablets, then this is significantly better. It is also a great improvement from the earlier iPads, and when you compare this to the first iPad release, which was a hefty and cumbersome tablet and didn’t have the power or the appeal of the modern releases, then the iPad Air 2 really stands out.
Overall, this is another score for Apple, but as we mentioned above, it is not something that treads new ground in this market and it is certainly not something that will revolutionise tablet computers. It is always exciting when Apple introduce new and innovative products, but in this case the only new thing was Touch ID, which has yet to see its full potential. This is an interesting feature, and it will be exciting when its potential is realised, but for now there is nothing exciting about it.
If new users are faced with the choice of buying an iPad Air 2 for the full retail price, or the original iPad Air for a significant discount, then our advice would be to pick-up the original. There are not enough features on this new release to justify such a price different. If, however, there is no major difference in price, or your choice is between this new release an a table created by another brand, then the iPad Air 2 wins all of the time.