The Apple iPad Air 2 is here, and has several significant updates to the original Air. If you are wondering what the differences are, here are some of the most important iPad Air 2 features and what’s important about them.
1. 6.1 Millimeters Thin
Somehow, Apple has managed to go even thinner with the Air, 2, which is around 18 percent thinner than the first Air at 6.1 millimeters. While this extra-slim form factor doesn’t do much except feel great in your hands, it is nice to know that Apple is ensuring the Air keeps living up to its name.
2. Improved Retina Display
The pixels themselves, at 2048×1536, are unchanged from the first iPad Air, but the screen has seen an improvement in the way it is manufactured. The layers are now more closely laminated together, which gives images a clearer look even though the resolution is the same. It’s a small but appreciable difference.
3. Anti-Glare Coating
In addition to better screen manufacturing techniques, Apple has also updated the iPad Air 2 with a new anti-glare coating. This especially handy if you like to carry your iPad around outside or into cafes, meeting rooms, and classes where you don’t always have a place to sit out of the light. This coating definitely makes the iPad more versatile.
4. A8X Processor
Not only is the Apple Air 2 thinner than its predecessor, it also packs more of a punch with its A8x processor, which Apple claims is around 40% more powerful than the previous version. This helps everything move a lot faster, especially when it comes to graphics. The new processor has also been joined by 2GB of RAM, up from 1GB. These combine to make the Air 2 a true powerhouse when compared to other iOS options.
5. Camera Boost
Air 2 also has better camera specs, with improved sensors and larger pixels for both the back and front-facing cameras. The 8MP iSight back camera probably gets the biggest improvement with its new optics, f/2.4 aperture lens, and image signal processor that can handle 1080p video and 720p slow-motion. However, both cameras have welcome improvements.
6. New Photo Options
In addition to receiving a hardware upgrade, the new iPad also sports some software features that were not present on earlier generations. Many of these are welcome imports from the iPhone, such as time-lapse photography, Auto HDR, and modes like panorama and burst photography. An iPad probably isn’t the greatest way to take photos, but at least if you have to, you have all the options you need.
7. Extra Storage Space
Options for hard drive space now go up to 128GP, bringing extra room for all your stuff. The larger storage options are one of the best features of the iPad 2 for those who want to use their tablets as more professional laptop replacements and badly need that extra space.
TouchID has also migrated from the iPhone to the iPad, offer biometric fingerprint security for all your iPad access. This simple security feature is also particularly welcome for those who use iPads for professional work and content.
9. Faster Connectivity through Wi-Fi and LTE
Apple likes to boost connectivity every new generation or so, and the iPad Air 2 does a great job of it, with Wi-Fi more than twice as fast as the original Air. The LTE option also has a boost in speed if you hook up your iPad to your cell plan. Either way, it’s useful for downloads and streaming.
10. Gold Color Scheme
No Apple iPad 2 review would be complete without mentioning the latest colors. Yes, the iPads now have access to the third primary Apple color, gold. If this shade was missing in your tablet life, you can now rest easy.
11. Apple Pay
Apple Pay has made the jump over to iPad as well. This feature allows you to automatically pay for products at various shops and retail centers that offer the Apple Pay option. This is useful in certain situations: You may not find yourself using your iPad to pay at the grocery store, but it can be easier than digging out your phone if you’re at the café.
12. Short-Term Cell Plan Options
This is a minor new feature, but still welcome depending on your bill paying preferences. The iPad Air 2 allows you to switch between a number of different carriers and works with flexible short-term plans. This is mostly a change by carriers, not Apple, but it is undoubtedly handy for those on the move or more interested in flexible plans.
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