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Review : Apple iPad Air 2

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10/21/2014 9:34:05 PM

Camera

The camera in the iPad Air 2 has been upgraded. The original used a 5-megapixel image sensor. The new one has an 8-megapixel image sensor and a f/2.4 lens with support for panoramic photos (up to 43 megapixels), time-lapse and slow-motion videos.

The front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera is supposed to capture more than 80 per cent more light than that of the original iPad Air, so you should look much better on FaceTime video chats.


 

Design and build

The design of the iPad Air 2 is not much different from the original's. It has the same aluminium chassis and chamfered edges. But it is 18 per cent thinner at just 6.1mm thick.

When I picked it up, it felt as if I was holding a thin sheet of metal that just happened to be a display. The smoothness and premium feel of an iPad remains. Soon, I guess, someone will be trying to bend it.

The reduction in weight feels less obvious. It is between 32g and 34g lighter than the original. The Wi-Fi model weighs 437g.

The iPad Air 2 also has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor home button, which is the most desired feature, according to Apple. In addition, there is another colour offering for those who love gold.

Sadly, the mute/orientation switch has been removed. But the device can still be muted by holding down the volume-down button and the orientation of the display can be locked via Control Centre. This is slightly less convenient than having the physical mute/orientation switch that many Apple users have found so useful.

Processor

The iPad Air 2 uses an all-new A8X processor. This is supposed to deliver a 40-per-cent increase in processing speed, and 21/2 times faster graphics performance than the original.

I played the Asphalt 8 racing game on it for about 20 seconds. The game ran smoothly and the graphics were gorgeous.

The iPad Air 2 has the M8 motion co-processor also found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The M8 gathers movement and fitness statistics from its accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a new barometer (for elevation).

Display

It is still a 9.7-inch display with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels but it now features a fully laminated design with no air gap between the glass and display, making the iPad thinner and the images displayed, sharper.

An anti-reflective coating on the display reduces glare by 56 per cent for a better viewing experience. The new display shows less reflection than my iPad Air.

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