Everything you need to know about the Apple iPad Air 2
Following months of leaks and rumours, the iPad Air 2 release date has come to pass and the new 9.7-inch is now on sale.
With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus having taken a bow last month, October has been cemented as iPad territory with the iPad Air 2 having been announced alongside the refreshed iPad mini 3 earlier this month.
While the updated mini has disappointed, the iPad Air 2 has kicked the tablet market on to yet another level.
Adding the formerly iPhone exclusive TouchID fingerprint sensor, the 9.7-inch Nexus 9 rival has been bestowed with a mass of high-end specs, including a turbocharged, 64-bit A8X processor, 10 hour battery life and an iPhone 6 mimicking 8-megapixel iSight camera.
It’s not just under the hood that the iPad Air 2 has been improved either, at just 6.1mm thick, the tablet has also been given a considerable design refresh.
We will continue to update this page with all the latest iPad Air 2 release date details moving forward.
iPad Air 2 Release Date
The iPad Air 2 release date was held on October 22, with the tablet now available to buy through a range on online and in-store retailers.
With the tablet going on sale less than a week after its formal unveiling, Apple gave wannabe owners just a few days to save their pennies.
For those who just couldn’t wait that long to secure their sixth-generation Apple tablet, iPad Air 2 pre-orders opened up on October 17.
The tablet has launched alongside its smaller sibling, with the iPad mini 3 also hitting retailers’ shelves recently.
The UK was one of 29 territories to offer the iPad Air 2 on day one, with the likes of the US, Germany, Canada and Australia also on the priority list.
iPad Air 2: Design
It had been expected that the iPad Air 2 would be a little slimmer than its predecessor, but no one anticipated just how skinny the tablet would become.
Retaining its premium, brushed metal materials, the Air 2, at a mere 6.1mm thick, is an impressive 18 per cent narrower than the already super svelte iPad Air.
He added: “It is so thin you can stack two of them and still be thinner than the original iPad.”
Having been put on the Atkins, the Air 2 has dropped weight as well as millimetres. The Wi-Fi only options weigh 437g while the cellular capable tablets has a 444g heft.
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The tablet’s design improvements are limited to a skinny finish either. New iPad Air 2 colours have been introduced.
Taking pointers from the iPhone lines, Apple has added a gold option to the traditional silver and space grey colour schemes.
iPad Air 2 Touch ID
TouchID was our favourite innovation that Apple brought to the iPhone 5S. Essentially a fingerprint scanner used to lock your phone securely, or buy apps at the press of a button, its brilliance comes from how easy it is to use.
Since you always take a phone out of the house with you, it’s arguably more important to be able to securely lock it than it is a mostly stay-at-home 10-inch tablet. That being said we were still surprised by its exclusion from the iPad Air. According to Apple we weren’t alone in these thoughts.
“Perhaps the most requested feature from consumers is TouchID,” Phil Schiller said. He added: “Now with iPad Air 2 there is TouchID.”
The TouchID’s introduction to the iPad Air 2 was widely expected but is still pleasing. The technology is also the only major update to the iPad mini 3.
Next read: iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
iPad Air 2 Specs
Under the hood, the iPad Air 2 is a comprehensive update, with the tablet’s processor, camera and graphical abilities all coming in for a sizeable refresh.
Although retaining the same 9.7-inch dimension and 2048 x 1536 resolution as its predecessor, the new iPad Air 2’s screen has come in for a small update. The fully laminated panel adds a new anti-reflective coating which is 56 per cent less reflective than the original iPad Air.
Images and text should be suitably crisp thanks to a 264 pixels-per-inch image density.
On to power and the Air 2 is the first – and currently only – device to run the A8X processor. This is a turbocharged rendition of the CPU found within the recently unveiled iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones. By contrast, the iPad mini 3 has retained last year’s A7 chipset.
“This is a new chip created just for iPad Air 2,” Schiller said. “It has 3 billion transistors and offers 40 per cent better CPU performance.”
He added: “It is 12 times faster than the original iPad. On graphical performance we are now 180 times faster.”
It’s not just the tablet’s CPU which has been bumped up either, both of the unit’s camera has been updated.
Around back an iPhone 6 echoing 8-megapixel iSight camera has been introduced. This baosts an ff/ 2.4 aperture lens and can capture 1080p, Full HD video content. Time lapse shooting has also made the jump from the iPhone.
For selfie lovers, a refined, 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera sits up front. This offers an f/ 2.2 aperture with burst mode selfies available alongside HDR shooting and video recording modes.
Although the traditional 32GB capacity option has disappeared, the Air 2 will still be available in three storage options – 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.
All capacity options will come in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi plus cellular configurations.
In fact both features have been improved with faster 4G connections available alongside the addition of 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Having been introduced alongside the tablets, the new iOS 8.1 update will run the show direct from the box.
iPad Air 2 Price
iPad Air 2 pricing is a familiar affair with
the 16GB Wi-Fi model kicking things off at just £399. Costs go up to £659 for
the 128GB Wi-Fi plus 4G option.
Full iPad Air 2 prices can be found by following the link.
Read more: iPad mini 3 hands-on