Considering that there has been no new iPad Air announced during the “Hey Siri…” event that Apple conducted last month, I can almost safely assume that the iPad Air 2 has another 6 months of being on the top of the food chain in its own category. This makes the iPad Air 2 that I purchased more than a year ago, one of my most valuable Apple purchases, longevity wise. Coming from the iPad Air 1, I had little to no reason to upgrade to iPad Air 2, however the short summary of a long rationalization is: more RAM. In addition to RAM, it being lighter and thinner, with a better image quality, played a role to some extent. However, as silly as it may sound, even the fingerprint scanner improved the experience.
What Meets The Eye
How Slimmer is 18%?
Apple is always trying to make things smaller, thinner, and more beautiful. That being said, sometimes it comes at the price of performance. The 18% reduction comes at the expense of the battery life, that doesn’t endure entire 10 hours, like the previous generation did. However, the new thinner and lighter form-factor of the iPad Air 2 does make a difference when it comes to the overall feel of the device in your hands. If you would have asked me whether I would be okay with sacrificing a bit of weight on the iPad at the expense of battery life before I purchased the iPad Air 2, I wouldn’t know exactly, but now that I’ve experienced it for over a year, I can confidently say that the weight difference does move the device past the tipping point, where I can enjoy it comfortably while laying down. This makes it possible to write articles 100% on the iPad, from the comfort of my couch.
The New Display
Another great improvement compared to the previous generation is the screen. It isn’t easy to describe or quantify this improvement in the screen, but it is noticable, and I can certainly feel it, as I transition between the iPad Air 2 and my new iPhone 6+ (read the review of it on Alpha Efficiency magazine). It is one of the best mobile displays I’ve used so far and it does leave an impact on your overall experience of the device.
Touch ID definitively adds another dimension to the device. Last year I can understand why I rationalized not having it on the iPad, but now that I do, I can definitively feel the difference. It simplifies the entire user experience and adds another layer of comfort when using the iPad Air 2. When you spend a lot of time using tech devices, these tweaks come into play full force. Every moment you’ve saved by not manually typing in the security code, is a second well saved. Over the course of the day, this creates seamlessness that you don’t want to get rid off.
Ofcourse this benefit will be more felt, depending on how heavy of a user you are. Even then, for those that aren’t, the friction required to start using the device will be shrunk down even more, without having to compromise the security of your data.
Under The Hood
Taking a look inside of this machine reveals a very strong, almost laptop like device. With 2GB of RAM, the iPad is currently the strongest iOS device in sale as of yet (until the iPad Pro comes out).
The benefit of improved hardware on the software front is extremely evident inside of video games. I remember spending time playing X-Com, and enjoying high end graphics with seamlessness and no stuttering. I almost wish I had more time to devote to playing more games on this machine, but blogging and writing is taking the priority.
The most noticable effect, especially when compared to my iPhone, is the performance of Evernote. Where the phone fails and stutters, delaying the animations and destroying the user experience, the iPad Air 2 delivers, making you feel like you are in the future.