One sentence: I love it. I am jumping from iPad 2 to iPad Air 2, which is 3 generation away from my the first iPad (iPad 3,4 and iPad Air) so the improvement that I feel is monumental. Some of the new improvements are:
1. The screen
iPad 2 is the last non-retina iPad (not counting the iPad mini 1st gen). The screen in iPad Air 2 is not only retina quality (2048 x 1536) but also has other perks like the glass being optically laminated to the LCD and the screen being less reflective.
My old iPad 2 runs on the aging A5 chip. It’s a dual core 32 bit CPU clocked at 1 GHz and dual core GPU. It’s still an okay chip and most tasks still can be done quite smoothly. My new iPad Air 2 runs on the newest A8X chip, which is up to 11 times faster for CPU task and 20 times for GPU task which is an incredible jump. The A8X chip is a tri-core 64 bit CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz and 8 core GPU. With this newest chip, the iPad’s operation is consistently silky smooth all the time.
My old iPad 2 cameras don’t worth mentioning at all. It’s the first iPad with cameras though. The front camera is a VGA resolution (0.3 MP) camera that lacks any auto focus. The back camera is not impressive also. It’s a 0.7 MP camera that can capture HD (720p) video in 4:3 aspect ratio. In simple way, these cameras are barely useful for any serious still photography and barely passable as video camera. iPad Air 2’s camera blows my old iPad’s camera out of the water. It’s not as impressive as iPhone’s camera, but the picture and video quality is quite respectable.
The iPad 2 use a single mono speaker. The iPad Air 2 use dual stereo speakers. The sound quality of these new speakers are significantly better than the iPad 2. It’s louder and has much more dynamic in it. I am not a fan of the vibration the speakers make. It made the entire iPad shell vibrate a little too much.
The iPad 2 only can connect to wifi 802.11 b/g/n and 3G network. The new iPad Air 2 support wifi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and 4G-LTE network with the most channel for LTE than any other tablets. Simply said, it can be faster if your network is better. Otherwise, you don’t feel much different.
Simply said. Amazing. Much lighter than previous iPad. If you are coming from iPad Air, you won’t feel much different but if you are coming from older generation iPad, you’ll appreciate the reduction of the weight.
I own the gold model. The color looks nice though I like less gold-ish color. I like the chamfer edge but it’s prone to nick and scratch.
8. Touch ID
Fast. Reliable. Painless to use. Addicted to it to make iTunes purchases. As the bonus, more apps are utilizing TouchID as the authentication method. I hope iOS has native support to lock individual apps, though.
After all, this iPad is an all around impressive tablet. It’s a little bit on the expensive side though, but it’s not a surprising thing, considering this is made by Apple. The hardware is impressive certainly and the software is great for most of the time. I am glad Apple put restraint on adding feature. I am not a fan of “noisy” features. We have Android if you are into such things, though. Anyway, this iPad is a recommened purchase, unless you are having an iPad Air already and you’re not so desperately want the TouchID on your iPad.