Squeezing down the slender iPad Air from 7.5mm to 6.1mm wowed folks watching the iPad Air 2’s launch event last October and the difference is obvious when you hold it. That’s not the biggest boon when it comes to the increasingly compact full-size iPad, though.
It’s more the fact that Apple has remedied the terrible screen flex that plagued the first iPad Air. Gone is the hollow sound when you tap, instantly giving you a more refined and premium tablet experience. Additionally, there’s a new anti-reflective screen coating, making this the ultimate iPad to own if you’ve ever grumbled over visibility in certain lighting conditions. The screen doesn’t only cope better in bright outdoor environments — it’s an improvement over previous models under indoor lighting, too.
The iPad Air 2 might have slimmed down, but it hasn’t compromised on speed. Apple says the 64-bit A8X is 40 percent faster than the A7 found in the previous iPad Air, and the integrated graphics processor is two-and-a-half times more powerful. Dedicated benchmarking tools such as GeekBench reveal that the new iPad does indeed push performance to a new level for tablets.
The Air 2’s cameras stay where they have always been, with the new 8-megapixel iSight camera installed flat to the aluminum casing rather than jutting out as it does on the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus. The camera adds Burst mode and slow-mo video to the shooting options, but lacks the latter’s Focus Pixels and optical image stabilisation capabilities.
The bottom line. After some time with the iPad Air 2 we began to cherish it — not for being a giant leap in tablet tech, but for the fact it’s the most complete iPad yet. In short, this is a wonderful product.