9.3/10
Informr score
The Apple iPad Air 2 currently has an Informr score of 9.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 32 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Reduced weight and thickness
  • Incredibly fast performance
  • Beautiful display with vibrant colors and deep blacks

What's bad

  • Potential issues with bending
  • 16GB base model not worth the price
  • No real improvement in battery life

When the iPad first arrived on the scene it took the world by storm and basically brought the idea of tablets into the mainstream. Now, Apple is facing tough competition from other manufacturers and has seen their sales flatten out in the past couple years. Apple is hoping to regain some of their lost momentum with the release of the iPad Air 2. At first glance, the iPad Air 2 doesn't look much different from the iPad Air. It has the same proportions, polished beveled edges and layout of ports, speakers and buttons. The biggest physical change is its incredible thinness. It is 18 percent thinner than the original Air and lighter. The Verge states, "If there is anything magical about this new iPad it is this, this feeling of impossibility." Still, there is one disadvantage of Apple's push to thinness and that’s the Air 2's build quality. While it does come with the same aluminum chassis as its predecessor, reviewers were able to bend it very easily though they add that it bended back into place afterwards.

Apple was able to achieve this thinness primarily from the new optically-bonded display that eliminates the air gap between the actual display and the top glass. This technology isn't new for Apple as it has been on every iPhone since the iPhone 4 and the iMac has had one for some time. Still, experts praise the incredibly vibrant colors, deep blacks and excellent viewing angles. TechRadar adds, "Pictures really come alive when viewing on the iPad Air 2, markedly so compared to its predecessor." Apple also boasts that the bonded display combined with an anti-reflection coating reduces glare by 56 percent. While critics were able to view it in bright light situations, they still had noticeable glare when reading in the sunlight.

The biggest update is to the Air 2's internal hardware. It comes equipped with Apple's latest A8X triple core 1.5GHz chip and 2GB of RAM. Experts call it "screamingly fast" and state that it is able to handle a number of processor intensive tasks and games. Unsurprisingly, benchmark tests place it above even the iPhone 6. Battery life is equally impressive considering how thin the device is. Critics were able to get almost two days of light to moderate usage before needing to charge and around 11 hours during battery draining tests. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the 16GB internal storage for base models. Most reviewers suggest foregoing the base and spending the extra for the 64GB model as many apps take up a lot of space. As with previous iPads, the Air 2 comes with a WiFi only and WiFi and Cellular options.

Apple has also boosted the Air 2's camera from 5MP to 8MP. While it doesn't have the same optical image stabilization technology of the iPhone 6 Plus, the specs still match up closely. When experts tested out the camera they noticed that it is able to pick out colors quite well and can compensate for a dark room without enabling HDR mode. It also comes with a new burst mode, which allows users to snap photos in rapid succession and pick the best one from the gallery. Still, they note that while the resolution and pictures are slightly better than previous iPads, it wasn't much better than the original Air.

Although the iPad Air 2 might not necessarily be revolutionary, it still is an improvement over Apple's other tablets. Engadget states, "It may not be a brand-new design, per se, but its thin frame helps keep the tablet looking sleek and exciting..." Ars Technica was a bit more pointed in its assessment stating, "...it can juggle more tabs, load more Facebook…But this could have been the statement device for a productivity-minded iOS, and we're left wondering when Apple will make that specific statement."


Operating system
iOS
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
9.7"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GottaBeMobile

After years of revisions and refinements the iPad Air 2 is the best iPad yet and remains one of the best tablets you can buy. Even with increased competition from the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, Nexus 9 and Samsung tablets it is a top pick that is worth the price.The iPad Air is tempting at $100 less, but...

- Josh Smith, GottaBeMobile
Reviewed

With last year's iPad Air still very much alive and kicking, Apple didn't have to change much to turn out a successful update. True to form, Apple stuck with what worked, including a few hardware advancements that enhance the overall experience in key ways. This year's iPad took an already great tab...

- Chris Thomas, Reviewed
Tools & Toys

I’m more convinced than ever that I’ll be upgrading to the latest Air 2. It’s easier to hold, easier to type with, and easier to look at thanks to its laminated display. It’s also noticeably quicker than any previous iPad and it has Touch ID to boot.For some people, these dif...

- Josh Ginter, Tools & Toys
Notebookcheck

The Apple iPad Air 2 is still a really good tablet that is pleasing with its even slimmer construction and high-quality materials. Unfortunately, the slim construction also results in some drawbacks since the tablet is more sensitive to pressure compared to its predecessor. The display is still one...

- Daniel Schmidt, Notebookcheck
Electronista

The iPad Air 2 represents a full generational leap over the 2013 iPad Air, even though that model is still more than a match for the latest 2014 models from the competition. Apple is simply blitzing its tablet competitors by making the absolute best flagship iPad it is capable making, each and every...

- Sanjiv Sathiah, Electronista


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Screen Size
9.7"

The Apple iPad Air 2's screen size is 9.7 inches with 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Apple A8X Triple core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the iOS 8 (Update Available: 12) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/64/128 GB

Internal memory is 16/64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
27WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 27 WHr battery. Apple's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

iPad Air 2 Specs

Overview
Release date October 24, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
variations
Networks
No
variations
SIM card size
No
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 8 (Update Available: 12)

Compare iOS Tablets

Processor Apple A8X Triple core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16/64/128 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 1.19 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Standard Battery, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 27 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 25 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 23.9 x 16.8 x 0.6 cm (9.4 x 6.6 x 0.2 in)
Weight 437 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1536 x 2048 pixels
Pixel density 264 pixels
Size 9.7 inches
Sensors Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama, Self-timer, Exposure, Burst mode
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Self-timer, HDR, Burst mode, Exposure
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, Apple Lossless, eAAC, MP3, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, RTF, PPT, PPTX, JPG, TIFF, GIF, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

Fingerprint identity sensor built into the Home button

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPad Air 2 Reviews
Where to buy Apple iPad Air 2
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