AnandTech reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPad Air 2: Delivers the best tablet experience

“While not a radical shift from the iPad Air, the differences in design and the even thinner build helps to set the iPad Air 2 apart,” Joshua Ho writes for AnandTech. “The next item of note is the A8X, which represents a return to dedicated SoCs for the iPad line. This is presumably done to preserve performance parity at native resolution for the iPhone and iPad line, and the extra CPU core is intriguing as it represents a shift away from the two CPU core system that Apple has stuck with for a while. In practice, this makes the iPad Air 2 one of the fastest ARM-based tablets on the market.”

“The display is now laminated to the cover lens, which dramatically improves interactions with the device as the display feels much closer to the glass than before. The iPad Air 2 also has a custom anti-reflective coating on the display is really unlike anything else I’ve seen before as the frequencies reflected make the glass appear to be producing purple reflections,” Ho writes. “Despite keeping the tablet at 200 nits, I found that it was still fully possible to read the display outdoors during the day.”

“Overall, the iPad Air 2 is likely to be one of the only tablets worth buying on the market today,” Ho writes. “While iOS isn’t perfect, it’s definitely delivering the best tablet experience as its app support is second to none. While other OEMs may have more features, iOS manages to hold on by virtue of its superior polish and integration with Apple hardware.”

Tons more in the full review – recommended – here.

Related articles:
Fortune reviews Apple’s new iPad Air 2: Best for work, not play; shines as a PC replacement – November 5, 2014
Gruber: High performance iPad Air 2 marks a turning point – October 22, 2014
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

8 Comments

    1. If I were to wake up with one nit in my hair, one nit would be one nit too many, so why keep 200 nits?????

      I ought to have an eye bath after such a long sleep as Crabapple. 🙂

  1. “While iOS isn’t perfect,”
    What a drively, mealy-mouthed statement. iOS isn’t God. What a revelation.
    Just go for it. Just say, “It definitely delivers the best tablet experience.”.

    “While other OEMs may have more features”
    Like what?
    What features do they have that they didn’t copy – that matter?

    “iOS manages to hold on”
    No. It doesn’t “manage” to “hold on”. It “retains its leadership by a mile”.

  2. iPA2 does have more horsepower, but what apps utilize it? A web page will open and a game may start a fraction of a second quicker, but that’s hardly a compelling reason to upgrade. Can’t say I blame app developers for not taking full advantage of its power since Apple is still selling the original iPad Mini with its 2011 era chipset. Who wants to develop an app that a large number of tablets that are still being used and supported by Apple can’t run it?

    At what price thinness? It’s not like the iPA original was a fat, bloated middle aged man at the beach in a thong. Why didn’t they keep the same battery and have Tim Cook announce that it now has say, 12 hours battery life while remaining the same size? I think THAT would be more of a compelling upgrade for a lot of people; it certainly worked for the 2013 Macbook Air.

    At what price thinness part deux: accessory fatigue. When the iP4 was released only eight months after it’s predecessor, people were already talking about ‘upgrade fatigue’. But in the case of the iPA2 a new form factor AGAIN means that accessories such as keyboard folios and cases costing $50 and upwards from last year won’t work on the new model AGAIN. So add another $50 to $100 on the cost of a purchase.

    There’s not a real marquee feature on the iPA2; something that will make an owner of an iPad from a year or two ago who is otherwise contented with his machine think about upgrading. Nothing like a retina display or Siri. Touch ID? Like it’s such a hassle to enter a four digit passcode when waking it up. A millimeter thinner? A new gold color? Yeah, sure. Again, I think 12 or more hours of battery life should have been the marquee feature of this machine, and would have persuaded more people to upgrade than being 1mm thinner.

    And finally, 16gb of storage on a $500 tablet when it’s almost 2015? Really? The same amount they offered on the base model in 2010, six versions ago? Why don’t they just offer one with 4gb and proudly proclaim that they now start at only $399?

    I bought a iPA2, and I like it, but I’m not exactly an ordinary consumer: I use it to transport and view lots of scanned PDFs
    which is something that lesser tablets struggle with, so the processor upgrades are welcome. I also needed more storage than the 32 gb of my prior model, and don’t need cellular connectivity anymore. Best Buy’s decent trade in offer for my ‘old’ pad, combined with the 10% off any single item coupon fond in the USPS moving packet (Thanks for the tip, MacRumors users!) made the upgrade fairly painless. But if I was using a iPA or iP4 just to surf the web, check email or watch a video or two I definitely would have passed.

    I think the biggest competitors for the iPA2 are not the Nexus 9 and the newest Galaxy Tab, but the millions of prior iPads that have already been paid for and are still being used and enjoyed.

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