“The new iPad Mini 3 really just gets two things: Touch ID and a gold case option. Really, that’s it. Everything else about it remains unchanged,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “The iPad Air 2, though, is entirely new. It’s a thorough refresh, that not only makes it a nice year-over-year improvement over last year’s iPad Air in just about every single regard, but arguably positions it above the iPhones 6 as the top-tier iOS device, period.”
“Let’s talk performance. The iPhones 6 still have just 1 GB of RAM. The iPad Air 2 has 2 GB. The iPhone’s A8 SoC has 2 billion transistors and two cores. The iPad Air 2’s A8X SoC has 3 billion transistors. According to Geekbench 3, Apple achieved this by going from two CPU cores to three,” Gruber writes. “The Air 2 is noticeably faster than the iPhones 6 in single-core performance, but it’s simply in an altogether different ballpark in multi-core… It is remarkable not only that the new iPad Air 2 is faster than the iPhones 6, but also that it’s faster than a three-year-old MacBook Air, and within shooting distance of a two-year-old MacBook Air. It’s more than half as fast as today’s top-of-the-line 13-inch MacBook Pro, especially in multi-core.”
“The iPad is no longer following in the wake of the iPhone, performance- and specs-wise. It’s forging ahead. With 2 GB of RAM, it’s a year ahead of the iPhone (we hope) in that department. Performance-wise it’s fast enough to replace a MacBook Air for many, many people,” Gruber writes. “The other factor is Metal, Apple’s new low-level graphics API, which is (at least for now) iOS-only. Apple promotes it as being 10 times faster than OpenGL. For games and creative productivity apps that take advantage of Metal — and developers of both seem to be buying in — the iPad Air 2 might be on even footing today with the MacBook Air. It really is desktop-PC-level performance. In short, I don’t think performance is any longer a reason to buy a MacBook Air instead of an iPad Air. The choice comes down to form factor and personal preference. This marks a turning point.”
Much more (camera, feel, storage tiers, choosing a model, and more) in the full article – highly recommended – here.
T-Mobile to offer $0 down on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3; pre-orders start October 22nd – October 21, 2014
Sales prospects for Apple’s iPad Air 2 look good – October 17, 2014
Apple’s new iPad Air 2 is 13% thinner than a pencil; Touch ID a boon for enterprise users – October 16, 2014
Apple unveils iPad Air 2 – the thinnest, most powerful iPad ever – and iPad mini 3, both with Touch ID – October 16, 2014