First Hands-On Impressions of New iPad Air 2: Ultra-Thin, Improved Display, Better Camera
After Apple introduced the new iPad Air 2 at its media event today, members of the press were invited to go hands-on with the new tablet. Several sites have now begun publishing their hands-on first impressions of the iPad Air 2, which we've gathered up below to provide an overall impression of the new device.
TechCrunch says that although the iPad Air 2's resolution is the same as the iPad Air, the display looks better than the previous models. By combining screen components, Apple has made "things look a lot more touchable". The effect is similar to that of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which makes the display seem like a "high resolution mock-up, rather than an actual display you can interact with and change."
Gizmodo notes that Apple shaving off .04 pounds and 1.4 mm from iPad Air makes the iPad Air 2 feel lighter than the smaller iPad mini 3 even though it's a quarter of a pound heavier than Apple's new 7.9-inch tablet.
Not only is it way, way thinner than the smaller iPad mini 3 — and this will sound crazy — but it feels lighter too. Even though it's nearly a quarter of a pound heavier, the 6.1mm-thin chassis is so thin and easy to lift with a single hand that it makes the mini seem downright fat by comparison. I feel like I could hold it over my head in bed without any worry of smacking myself. Not something I can say about any other 10-inch tablet.
The Verge has similar thoughts on the iPad Air 2's thinness, saying it feels like "there's almost nothing left to take away" and that holding the device is like "you're holding a screen and nothing more." The Verge also noted that the new 8 MP camera is much improved over the iPad Air.
One thing is that is definitively better is the new camera, which is now 8 megapixels; it's a lot faster and shots seemed a lot clearer, at least in Apple's hectic demo room. Apple made a big deal out of this camera and the interesting apps people are building for the iPad that use the camera; we've fought it for years but tablet photography seems to be a thing now.
TechCrunch shares similar sentiments about the iPad Air 2's camera, noting that the camera improvements are good enough to make some consider the tablet as a worthy camera choice.
The Verge also points out that the lack of a mute switch next to the volume rocker feels like a "casualty of thinness", and that although users can mute the device by holding down the volume-down button or lock the orientation in Control Center, the lack of the mute switch makes both things less convenient.
Pre-orders for the new iPad Air 2 begin tomorrow, October 17, and will begin shipping next week. Prices for the iPad Air 2 begin at $499 for 16 GB with Wi-Fi.