Please note: there is a newer version available! The 9.7-inch Apple iPad 5 (2017) has replaced the iPad Air 2.

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Apple iPad Air 2 (16GB)


£388.99

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Apple iPad Air 2 (32GB)


£350.99

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£399.00

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£399.99

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Apple iPad Air 2 (64GB)


£375.00

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Apple iPad Air 2 (128GB)


£369.99

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£459.00

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£499.00

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Everyone and their dog knows what to expect from an Apple product, and the iPad Air 2 is (in a perversely disappointing way) no exception.

 

Same Old Apple?

The Apple iPad Air 2 trumps the earlier version in the options available at least, as you can now opt for it in gold as well as silver and space grey. The Apple logo is strikingly shiny, almost mirror-like. It’s also absolutely tiny at 6.1mm thick (!) and 437 grams without any sense that its build quality has been compromised. As usual, it’s a smooth, rounded aluminium construction that’s smugly confident of its own class. Rightly so.

For all that it’s smaller and lighter than ever before, you’ll still need two hands to use it properly and lacks the productivity power of a laptop.

It offers a 9.7 inch display, with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 and a PPI of 264. That’s a retina crispness, sharp enough to cut glass. One little difference is that the display is now laminated, the idea of which is bringing the pixels closer to the screen and hence offering better eye candy. You can just about tell the difference. It also means you get some slight black edges on the screen, which could annoy some people. Honestly, though, it’s minor.

Otherwise much of the design remains the same, apart from the fact that they’ve dispensed with the mute switch.

 

apple-ipad-air-2-gold-camera

Two cameras, one iPad! Choose between the HD FaceTime camera, or the new improved iSight 8mp camera which can capture 1080p HD video.

More Engine Than You Can Shake A Stick At

Technically, the Apple iPad Air 2 is the company’s best tablet yet. It’s blazingly fast, has 2GB of RAM and spins off a 1.5GHz processor. Basically outside of the most intensive games and video editing apps you won’t find anything that stretches or slows it down. There are 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions available.

One genuine development is that Apple have added the TouchID security system to the home button, adding that extra bit of security your device. That’s all it really is, however – an alternative security mechanism rather than a revolutionary step forward.

One consequence of Apple choosing to reduce the Air 2 from “size zero” to “absurdly, unbelievably skinny” is that they’ve ended up cutting down on the battery size a bit. Fortunately that hasn’t had drastic consequences for performance. You’ll get about a day’s worth of intensive usage out of it, around seven hours or so depending on the nature of your usage. Still, on reflection, it’s hard not to feel that Apple have let the fetish of tinyness overrule sensible practicality.

 

Don’t Use It For…

The Air 2 records video rather well. It’ll manage 1080p and an incredible frame rate of 120 per second. The camera will shoot 8MP pictures and performs fairly well under most conditions, but it still suffers from the same fatal flaw as every tablet – it’s a rubbish shape and you’ll look like an idiot wielding it. Use a proper camera or your phone instead.

Atypically, the Air 2’s speakers are really quite loud by tablet standards. They’re still in the wrong place however, and tinny. Certainly not worth buying it for.

 

And The Medal Goes To…

There are only a few reasons why you wouldn’t consider buying the Apple iPad Air 2. One of those is if you already own its immediate predecessor. Whilst the Air 2 is a step up from the original, it’s very much a miniscule, incremental improvement. If it were a competing in a 100m race of the best tablets on the planet, it’d take first place, but only by dipping in front of its older brother. The rest of the pack are doing their best to catch up, but they’re still a way of the pain in this class of product.

What makes that price tag even more relevant is, as you’re surely aware, the fact that Apple products are darn expensive. Even using Badger Sauce’s mighty price comparison technology, you’re unlikely to be handing over less than an arm and a leg. The Apple iPad Air 2 is a princely tablet, not for paupers or even for those with an eye for a bargain.

  • Available in three finishes (Silver, Gold and Space Grey) the iPad Air 2 (6.1mm thin) is 18% thinner than the original 1st generation Air.
  • At 437g, the Air 2 is super light too.
  • But that doesn’t mean less power. Apple claims that the new A8X chip is “as powerful as many personal computers”. And a big improvement on the A7 chip found in the iPad Air 1.
  • Its CPU is also 40% than the Apple iPad Air 1 now boosting an impressive 2nd generation, 64-bit desktop-class architecture.
  • And not forgetting the graphics, which are 2.5x faster thanks to that little A8X chip.
  • But won’t that drain the battery? Well, the iPad Air 2 is more power efficient too with its M8 Motion Coprocessor, claiming to have a battery-life up to 10 hours.

What’s in the Box

  • Apple iPad Air 2
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Lightning to USB Cable

Apple iPad Air (2nd Generation)
The Apple iPad Air 2 is the best tablet on the market and nothing else comes close bar its predecessor. Prepare to pay for it, mind.
Design93%
Usability90%
Battery Life89%
Display95%
Sound Quality90%
91%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (8 Votes)
71%