iPad Air 2 Review – Still Worth It Or iPad Pro
iPad Air 2 Review – Still Worth It Or iPad Pro. We’re going to check out the iPad Air 2 and see if it’s still worthwhile when compared to newer options such as the iPad Pro. The iPad Air 2 was released in October 2014, and its successor the 9.7” iPad Pro was released more recently in March 2016.
Despite this, the iPad Air 2 is still a competitive tablet worth considering as it’s available at a cheaper price, as we’ll soon see. First off let’s take a physical tour of the iPad Air 2. In terms of the physical dimensions, it’s 240mm or 9.4” in height, 169.5mm or 6.6” in width, and just 6.1mm or 0.24” thick, so quite thin! I’ve got the WiFi only model here which weighs just 437g or 0.963lb.
In terms of colour options it’s available in space grey, silver, or gold. I’ve got the space grey one here, which personally I think looks the best. The front of course features the screen which is 9.7” in size with a 2048 x 1536 resolution display, resulting in 264ppi with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The viewing angles are pretty good, I only noticed a slight drop in brightness which is expected, otherwise the colours were still good. Speaking of the brightness, this is also quite good as the screen can get quite bright! There’s an anti reflective coating on the screen which does appear to help a little indoors when compared to other tablets, however it won’t do you much good outside.
I found this alright but it does still reflect bright objects easily as you’d expect. There’s also a front facing 1.2MP camera up the top in the middle which is capable of 720p HD video. Toward the bottom is the touch ID fingerprint reader, which can be used for unlocking the device. The left side is completely blank. The right side has the volume up and down buttons near the top, and microphone hole.
The bottom has the lightning connector which is used for charging the tablet, as well as two built in stereo speakers which sound alright and get quite loud and actually start to vibrate the case. Even at ¼ volume while holding the tablet I could feel noticeable movement from the quiet music. Overall the speakers were fine but nothing special. On the top there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack toward the left, and the power on/off button on the right.
Over on the back, we have the rear 8MP camera at the top which has video stabilisation, and is capable of 1080p video at 30fps. This footage was taken from the iPad’s rear camera, you can hopefully see the video stabilisation in action while I’m walking normally with the iPad, though you probably don’t want to be one of those people using your tablet for video anyway… In terms of internal specs, the iPad Air 2 makes use of Apple’s A8X 64-Bit 1.5GHz Tri-core CPU, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and has storage options of 16gb, 64gb or 128gb available which even two years on are still quite fair.
For network connectivity, all the common WiFi options are available including 802.11a/b/g/n and AC at 2.4GHz and 5GHz, as well as Bluetooth 4.2. On top of these specs we’re currently running the latest version of iOS 10. While the screen apparently features a fingerprint resistant coating, I’ve found that they still accumulate quite easily and aren’t that easy to wipe off. The battery life is pretty good, Apple claim that the battery will last for up to 10 hours while surfing the web on WiFi, watching video and listening to music. It’s a 7,340mAh battery that is charged via the port on the bottom.
So with all that in mind, how is the iPad Air 2 to actually use? For a 2 year old tablet I’ve found using it to be pretty good, owing to the lightweight and thin design. I don’t have too much issue holding it with one hand for extended periods while reading, however this is definitely a two handed device. I didn’t notice any issues in terms of lag even with the latest version of iOS 10 currently installed, apps ran smoothly for me.
I found the quality of the front facing camera to be pretty low, which is to be expected with the 1.2MP camera, however it’ll probably be fine for facetime, selfies or what ever else people actually use this for. The rear camera is pretty good, you can get some stable video thanks to the image stabilisation and autofocus, though again I’m not really sure who uses a tablet for this when most of us have smartphones.
While I don’t have the iPad Pro, based on the specs it only seems to be a little better while the price is hundreds of dollars higher. This leads me to believe that the iPad Air 2 is still a worthwhile cheaper alternative for those of us that don’t need the latest and greatest, as it still works well even with modern apps. Both the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro tablets are the exact same weight and size and even have the same resolution screen, however the 9.7” iPad Pro makes use of the newer A9X CPU, has a 256gb storage option, and is also available in rose gold in case that’s something important to you.
The cameras on the Pro are also upgraded, the rear 12MP camera supports 4K video at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps, while the front facing camera has been bumped up to 5MP. While that’s kind of cool, again do people actually use iPad’s for recording video or taking photos? I could be completely wrong here but if anything wouldn’t you just use your smaller phone? So unless you really need the additional storage space, faster CPU speed, or plan on recording video with your iPad I can only conclude that while the iPad Pro is definitely an upgrade over the iPad Air 2, it seems to be more of an incremental step with no real large changes. The iPad Air 2 still has a lot of value to offer, at a price 50% less than the iPad Pro.
So what did you guys think of the Apple iPad Air 2? Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments, leave a like on the post if you found it useful, and don’t forget to subscribe, share or bookmark for future posts like this one.