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
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.
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
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
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.