Apple has officially announced its latest iPad Air 2, and its return to the numbering system for the iPad models. When you think of tablets, the iPad is still top of mind thanks to its familiar form factor and most importantly its large collection of tablet optimised apps which now stands over 675,000.
Like most products that goes faster and thinner, the latest iPad Air 2 sets a new record being the thinnest tablet at only 6.1mm, beating the Xperia Z2 Tablet of 6.4mm. They have managed to make it lighter by about 32-34 grams less than the previous model. When compared, it is few grams heavier than the Xperia Z2 Tablet at 437g (Xperia Z2 Tablet WiFi: 426g) for the WiFi version and 444g (Xperia Z2 Tablet 4G: 439g) for the WiFi + Cellular model.
The iPad Air 2 retains the same 9.7″ IPS sized screen that does a Retina display resolution of 2048×1536. According to Apple, the display is all new, fusing 3 layers in one to make the overall panel thinner in order to achieve its super slim 6.1mm profile. With a special coating on top to reduce glare, the iPad Air 2 claims to have the lowest reflectance for a tablet, making readable in any situation. While it is thinner, the overall front of the iPad Air 2 remains unchanged with the same 168.5mm x 249mm dimensions as the previous model.
Powering this ultra-thin tablet is a new 64-bit based A8X processor which claims to be 40% faster than the previous A7 chip and it boast 2.5X graphic performance than the previous iPad Air. For the various sensors and tracking, it also gets the secondary M8 co-processor that’s being used on the latest iPhones. Despite going thinner, the iPad Air 2 still boasts up to 10 hours of battery life.
For imaging, the cameras have been given an upgrade from 5MP on the previous iPad Air to a newer 8MP sensor that also supports Full HD 1080p videos, slow-mo and burst shots. Meanwhile the front gets a FaceTime HD camera that does 1.2MP and supports HD 720p video recording like the original iPad Air. To stay connected with faster speeds, the iPad Air 2 finally supports WiFi 802.11ac along with a wider range of 4G LTE bands (22 of them) supported world wide.
For extra security that’s hassle free, the iPad Air 2 along with its new iPad mini 3 now comes with a TouchID sensor on the home button. This makes securing the device and authenticate app purchase easier at a touch of a finger. In terms of sensors, it now gets a Barometer that was also included on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Another thing worth pointing is that it lacks NFC. This means it would settle for an online-based Apple Pay that still uses TouchID for authentication.
The aluminium wrapped iPad Air 2 now comes in a total of 3 metallic body colour options – Silver, Space Grey and Gold, which is new for the iPad. In terms of storage capacities, it now follows the iPhone 6 options of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.
Pre-orders begins today 17th October in 29 countries including US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau (Wi-Fi models only), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The next iPad wave will cover Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and several more countries by the end of October.
For more information, head over to Apple’s iPad Air 2 page.