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.

kruc7q6nmvcju4ltve2f

Image courtesy of Gizmodo

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."

ipad2007_verge_super_wide

Image courtesy of The Verge

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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
79 months ago
and the question we're all waiting for:

2GB of RAM?

-Brian
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
79 months ago
Apple totally neglected the iPad mini form factor. The new one has no A8 processor, no 8 mpx camera, is not thinner, not lighter. I bet it even has the same old screen. They added only Touch ID and gold color.

Most underwhelming iPad mini update ever. :mad:
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
79 months ago
Why is the base only 16GB, it should be 32 by now.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
79 months ago
Really can't see this helping cure the reported market stagnation. Gave me no reason whatsoever to want to upgrade from my Air.

Better camera, seriously? In 3+ years I've not used my rear camera for anything once. I don't speak for everyone obviously, but am I alone? Doesn't feel like it.

Looking forward to more scenes like this though... :rolleyes:

Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
79 months ago
It's really sad reading comments from bloggers like the Verge, Gizmodo and the like - even when the product is all that and a box of chocolates. I read them knowing nothing negative is going to be said or a backlash from apple will be imposed on them (no more invites, no more first looks and hand's ons).
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
79 months ago
The absence of the lock/mute switch kills me
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...