Specs summary

Screen
9.7"

The Apple iPad Air 2's screen is 9.7 inches with 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Apple A8X Triple core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the iOS 8 (Update Available: 11) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/64/128 GB

Internal memory is 16/64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
27WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 27 WHr battery. Apple's performance ratings are 25 days standby time.



The iPad is thinner, faster and all-round better than before, maintaining Appleā€™s lead at the top of the tablet tree.

- Jonathan Bray , PC Pro 


The iPad Air 2 feels to me as transformative as the original iPhone...

- Jonathan S. Geller , BGR 

Reviews summary

9.3/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 32 reviews

What's good

  • Reduced weight and thickness
  • Incredibly fast performance
  • Beautiful display with vibrant colors and deep blacks

What's bad

  • Potential issues with bending
  • 16GB base model not worth the price
  • No real improvement in battery life

When the iPad first arrived on the scene it took the world by storm and basically brought the idea of tablets into the mainstream. Now, Apple is facing tough competition from other manufacturers and has seen their sales flatten out in the past couple years. Apple is hoping to regain some of their lost momentum with the release of the iPad Air 2. At first glance, the iPad Air 2 doesn't look much different from the iPad Air. It has the same proportions, polished beveled edges and layout of ports, speakers and buttons. The biggest physical change is its incredible thinness. It is 18 percent thinner than the original Air and lighter. The Verge states, "If there is anything magical about this new iPad it is this, this feeling of impossibility." Still, there is one disadvantage of Apple's push to thinness and that’s the Air 2's build quality. While it does come with the same aluminum chassis as its predecessor, reviewers were able to bend it very easily though they add that it bended back into place afterwards.

Apple was able to achieve this thinness primarily from the new optically-bonded display that eliminates the air gap between the actual display and the top glass. This technology isn't new for Apple as it has been on every iPhone since the iPhone 4 and the iMac has had one for some time. Still, experts praise the incredibly vibrant colors, deep blacks and excellent viewing angles. TechRadar adds, "Pictures really come alive when viewing on the iPad Air 2, markedly so compared to its predecessor." Apple also boasts that the bonded display combined with an anti-reflection coating reduces glare by 56 percent. While critics were able to view it in bright light situations, they still had noticeable glare when reading in the sunlight.

Show more

The biggest update is to the Air 2's internal hardware. It comes equipped with Apple's latest A8X triple core 1.5GHz chip and 2GB of RAM. Experts call it "screamingly fast" and state that it is able to handle a number of processor intensive tasks and games. Unsurprisingly, benchmark tests place it above even the iPhone 6. Battery life is equally impressive considering how thin the device is. Critics were able to get almost two days of light to moderate usage before needing to charge and around 11 hours during battery draining tests. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the 16GB internal storage for base models. Most reviewers suggest foregoing the base and spending the extra for the 64GB model as many apps take up a lot of space. As with previous iPads, the Air 2 comes with a WiFi only and WiFi and Cellular options.

Apple has also boosted the Air 2's camera from 5MP to 8MP. While it doesn't have the same optical image stabilization technology of the iPhone 6 Plus, the specs still match up closely. When experts tested out the camera they noticed that it is able to pick out colors quite well and can compensate for a dark room without enabling HDR mode. It also comes with a new burst mode, which allows users to snap photos in rapid succession and pick the best one from the gallery. Still, they note that while the resolution and pictures are slightly better than previous iPads, it wasn't much better than the original Air.

Although the iPad Air 2 might not necessarily be revolutionary, it still is an improvement over Apple's other tablets. Engadget states, "It may not be a brand-new design, per se, but its thin frame helps keep the tablet looking sleek and exciting..." Ars Technica was a bit more pointed in its assessment stating, "...it can juggle more tabs, load more Facebook…But this could have been the statement device for a productivity-minded iOS, and we're left wondering when Apple will make that specific statement."


Reviews (9.3/10 Avg. rating)


GottaBeMobile

One of the best tablets you can buy

from GottaBeMobile

After years of revisions and refinements the iPad Air 2 is the best iPad yet and remains one of the best tablets you can buy. Even with increased competition from the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, Nexus 9 and Samsung tablets it is a top pick that is worth the price.

The iPad Air is tempting at...More

After years of revisions and refinements the iPad Air 2 is the best iPad yet and remains one of the best tablets you can buy. Even with increased competition from the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, Nexus 9 and Samsung tablets it is a top pick that is worth the price.

The iPad Air is tempting at $100 less, but after upgrading from the iPad Air to the iPad Air 2, there are clear benefits to owning and using the new iPad Air 2 that go well beyond the looks. 

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Reviewed

Returns with more power at the expense of battery life

from Reviewed

With last year's iPad Air still very much alive and kicking, Apple didn't have to change much to turn out a successful update. True to form, Apple stuck with what worked, including a few hardware advancements that enhance the overall experience in key ways. This year's iPad took an already great tablet and made it just that little bit better...

More

With last year's iPad Air still very much alive and kicking, Apple didn't have to change much to turn out a successful update. True to form, Apple stuck with what worked, including a few hardware advancements that enhance the overall experience in key ways. This year's iPad took an already great tablet and made it just that little bit better.

Of course, staying the course does leave the interesting question for buyers: Why do I want this tablet over the last one? In truth, for the most part last year's Air is just as good as the sequel. The new processor screams, but the Air 2's battery life and screen are slightly worse—a tough pill to swallow given the $100 price gap.

But if you just want the most powerful iOS device you can buy, this is it. It's going to be able to handle any iOS game or app on the market, standing up to just about anything available on iOS for years to come. For most users last year's Air will suffice, but this is the best Apple tablet we've tested to date.

If you're just looking for a great all-around tablet, the only tablet we'd recommend over this one would be the Google Nexus 9. It has a similar screen, a screaming fast processor, the beautiful new Android 5.0, and the benefit of better battery life. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is also superb if you want a full Windows experience, but it also costs significantly more. If you're in the market for a premium all-around tablet that performs well, is a joy to use, and will feel brand-new for years, the Air 2 is where it's at. 

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Tools & Toys

Thinner and lighter, the laminated screen is jaw-dropping

from Tools & Toys

I’m more convinced than ever that I’ll be upgrading to the latest Air 2. It’s easier to hold, easier to type with, and easier to look at thanks to its laminated display. It’s also noticeably quicker than any previous iPad and it has Touch ID to boot.

For some people, these differences won’t matter. The iPad is becoming a two-year to three-year upgrade and many people will look past the Air 2 for this reason alone...

More

I’m more convinced than ever that I’ll be upgrading to the latest Air 2. It’s easier to hold, easier to type with, and easier to look at thanks to its laminated display. It’s also noticeably quicker than any previous iPad and it has Touch ID to boot.

For some people, these differences won’t matter. The iPad is becoming a two-year to three-year upgrade and many people will look past the Air 2 for this reason alone.

For me, these changes make all the difference. The iPad Air 2 is easily the best iPad yet. If it fits your bill, the iPad Air 2 is a welcome upgrade full of surprising and worthwhile improvements. You’ll love it. 

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Electronista

Continues to dominate the tablet market with good reason

from Electronista

The iPad Air 2 represents a full generational leap over the 2013 iPad Air, even though that model is still more than a match for the latest 2014 models from the competition. Apple is simply blitzing its tablet competitors by making the absolute best flagship iPad it is capable making, each and ev...More

The iPad Air 2 represents a full generational leap over the 2013 iPad Air, even though that model is still more than a match for the latest 2014 models from the competition. Apple is simply blitzing its tablet competitors by making the absolute best flagship iPad it is capable making, each and every year. To suggest that the iPad Air 2 is merely an incremental upgrade is completely misleading - it may look similar to the iPad Air, but not only has the chassis been slimmed down by 18 percent, it is also a whopping 40 percent faster and offers graphics performance 250 percent faster as well (and that's before you add Metal into the equation). It also lighter and even easier to hold and use than ever before either, making it a truly compelling upgrade in every regard. The iPad Air 2 raises the bar again, just as competitors are only just catching up to last year's model.

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Notebookcheck

Even slimmer and faster but just as sophisticated

from Notebookcheck

The Apple iPad Air 2 is still a really good tablet that is pleasing with its even slimmer construction and high-quality materials. Unfortunately, the slim construction also results in some drawbacks since the tablet is more sensitive to pressure compared to its predecessor. The display is still one of the best units you can currently get in a tablet. The black value has unfortunately deteriorated slightly, but this is complaining on a very high level. However, thanks to the laminated display, the ghost effect is finally a thing of the past. Only the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 can beat the iPad Air in every category in this section...

More

The Apple iPad Air 2 is still a really good tablet that is pleasing with its even slimmer construction and high-quality materials. Unfortunately, the slim construction also results in some drawbacks since the tablet is more sensitive to pressure compared to its predecessor. The display is still one of the best units you can currently get in a tablet. The black value has unfortunately deteriorated slightly, but this is complaining on a very high level. However, thanks to the laminated display, the ghost effect is finally a thing of the past. Only the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 can beat the iPad Air in every category in this section.

The situation is different when we look at the performance: The combination of the new A8X processor and the graphics unit PowerVR GX6650 is very powerful and make it one of the fastest components currently on the market. Only the Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC can compete, and even sometimes beat the product from the Californians. It will be interesting to see if the Google Nexus 9 tablet will have throttling issues under continuous load as well. This is a bit annoying in the case of the iPad Air 2, since the CPU performance almost drops to the level of the A7 in Geekbench 3. Still, the iPad is very fast, and the performance degradations are currently not noticeable.

This changes when we look at the stability of iOS 8.1. Many problems of the earlier versions are fixed, but the operating system is still not perfect and many apps still require adjustments. This aspect, the throttling and the insufficient power adaptor result in a point deduction. Other issues are the removal of the configurable toggle switch, the signal noise of the Bluetooth connection, and the fact that an expensive high-end product does not support Bluetooth 4.1 or LTE Cat. 6.

Apple certainly delivers a good upgrade, but, in our opinion, there is no reason to change to the new product if you already own the first iPad Air. Users of older iPads on the other hand, are offered very good incentives. 

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iMore

Better, faster, stronger, and more impressive than ever before

from iMore

The story of Apple is one of mainstreaming computing technology — making it more accessible and more inclusive in more ways for more people. The iPad has been an important part of that story. While it’s nowhere near as powerful as a top-of-the-line desktop, it can still be just as empowering. An iPad may not do everything a traditional computer can, but there are folks who use an iPad to accomplish tasks they never could on a traditional computer...

More

The story of Apple is one of mainstreaming computing technology — making it more accessible and more inclusive in more ways for more people. The iPad has been an important part of that story. While it’s nowhere near as powerful as a top-of-the-line desktop, it can still be just as empowering. An iPad may not do everything a traditional computer can, but there are folks who use an iPad to accomplish tasks they never could on a traditional computer.

Mainstreaming creativity and productivity is something Apple started doing with the iPad 2 and their “We Believe” campaign in 2011. The message got lost amidst Retina and LTE improvements in 2012, but was re-embraced with the original iPad Air and “Your Verse” in 2013.

And it’s something the company continues now. Apple’s choice to showcase Pixelmator and Replay at the iPad Air 2 announcement was no accident: It’s yet another signal that powerful apps can not only exist on the company's tablet, but for some endeavors, exist better than their desktop counterparts.

Yes, iPhones have gotten bigger and more capable. Yes, MacBook Airs have gotten more accessible and more efficient. But there’s space between them, and arguably that space is now better occupied by a 9.7-inch iPad.

You can still read your email or surf the web, enjoy videos or your music collection, read iBooks or play games on your iPad Air 2. But now you can do much, much more as well. Given the processing power and RAM included in the package, maybe much more, soon, as well.

Some may argue that iOS on the iPad Air is now a limitation, and in that vein, iOS 8 has made some strides to improve user complaints: Apple has already added inter-app communication with Extensibility and multi-device workflows with Continuity. There are indications the company might add support for multi-window apps in the very near future as well.

Keeping the desktop experience off of mobile, however, has been the key to the iPad’s success to date. For the vast majority of people, complexity isn’t a feature, it’s barrier. Continuing to evolve iOS and providing more advanced options for those who seek them out, while keeping things simple, approachable, accessible, and usable for everyone will no doubt be the key to the iPad’s future. 

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Business Insider

The best tablet, but it's still missing something

from Business Insider

The strength of the iPad Air 2 is the same as it always has been with all iPads. It has the most and the best apps designed for the larger screen than any other competing tablet. That alone makes it worth buying if you want a tablet, but it's also beautiful, thin, light, and powerful. It may be a...More

The strength of the iPad Air 2 is the same as it always has been with all iPads. It has the most and the best apps designed for the larger screen than any other competing tablet. That alone makes it worth buying if you want a tablet, but it's also beautiful, thin, light, and powerful. It may be a modest improvement over last year's iPad Air, but it's still the best.

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Recombu

Fantastic user experience but lacks innovation and is expensive

from Recombu

Every year Apple has to tread a fine line, by trying to offer consumers enough of an upgrade over last year’s product without over-promising one year only to under deliver the next. The 4th generation iPad was a misstep in this regards and the Air 2 is sort of in the same boat.

Don’t misinterpret what we’re saying here, the iPad Air 2 is one of the best tablets on the market right now; sure it’s expensive but consumers are well versed in the ways of Apple product pricing. If you’re an iPad 4 or Air owner, there is little to no reason for you to consider the Air 2. The performance gains aren’t big enough and unless the desire for a fingerprint sensor or gold bodywork keep you awake at night you money would be better spent on pretty much anything else...

More

Every year Apple has to tread a fine line, by trying to offer consumers enough of an upgrade over last year’s product without over-promising one year only to under deliver the next. The 4th generation iPad was a misstep in this regards and the Air 2 is sort of in the same boat.

Don’t misinterpret what we’re saying here, the iPad Air 2 is one of the best tablets on the market right now; sure it’s expensive but consumers are well versed in the ways of Apple product pricing. If you’re an iPad 4 or Air owner, there is little to no reason for you to consider the Air 2. The performance gains aren’t big enough and unless the desire for a fingerprint sensor or gold bodywork keep you awake at night you money would be better spent on pretty much anything else.

If you’re outside the world of Apple tablets looking for a way in, we’d recommend the 64GB WiFi-only Air 2 without hesitation. The company proves that it’s still the king of a market segment that it really made its own to begin with. 

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Apple Insider

Offers a major leap in mobility and power

from Apple Insider

In terms of replacement value, iPad Air 2 offers a major leap in mobility and power over full size iPads prior to last year' iPad Air, and its broad feature advance over the entire range of iPad mini options make it the iPad to buy for users who want the best available tablet.

That said,...More

In terms of replacement value, iPad Air 2 offers a major leap in mobility and power over full size iPads prior to last year' iPad Air, and its broad feature advance over the entire range of iPad mini options make it the iPad to buy for users who want the best available tablet.

That said, it appears that a large number of iPad buyers remain new to iPad: between 50 and 70 percent among customers in Apple's largest markets. So rather than being aimed at enticing upgrades, it actually appears Apple is still focused on selling iPads to new users.

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PhoneArena

Continues to exude a premium, solid finish

from PhoneArena

Apple certainly hits it on the mark with the iPad Air 2, seeing that it receives all the incremental upgrades we’d commonly expect to find on any successive device. It’s thinner, lighter, and more powerful than ever before, while still being treated to an even better camera and enhanced platform experience, but we’re not inclined to say that it’s a huge leap forward. Rather, it’s more like a single step forward, which might not sound as compelling, but it’s still some of the best tablet offerings around...

More

Apple certainly hits it on the mark with the iPad Air 2, seeing that it receives all the incremental upgrades we’d commonly expect to find on any successive device. It’s thinner, lighter, and more powerful than ever before, while still being treated to an even better camera and enhanced platform experience, but we’re not inclined to say that it’s a huge leap forward. Rather, it’s more like a single step forward, which might not sound as compelling, but it’s still some of the best tablet offerings around.

With a starting price of $500 for the base 16GB model, which goes up by $100 with each additional increased storage option, the iPad Air 2 once again delivers a balanced value that makes it the perfect bridge device between our smartphones and laptops. Not only can we have some fun using it while we’re out, such as taking photos or watching a video leisurely at the beach, but it can also serve the purpose of being a light productivity tool as well – one that’s great for typing up long documents and surfing the web. For all of its worth, though, the iOS 8 experience can’t match the kind of depth and function we get from full-blown desktop platforms.

So, if you currently own the iPad Air, should you go ahead and shell out the money to pick up this new one? Well, that’s certainly a tough decision, because quite frankly, the experience doesn’t differ all that much between them – more so when they’re benefiting from all of the new features of iOS 8. What’s notable here is that you’re getting a thinner model in the iPad Air 2, a better camera, and a Touch ID finger print sensor. Needless to say, if those are features you drool over, it might be worth the investment to pick it up. 

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Full Specs

Overview
Release date October 24, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom, India
Networks
No cellular data
variations
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 8 (Update Available: 11)

Compare iOS Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Apple A8X Triple core 1.5 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 16/64/128 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 1.19 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 27 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time 10 hours
Wi-Fi Surfing Time 10 hours
3G Surfing Time 9 hours
4G Surfing Time 9 hours
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time 25 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 23.9 x 16.8 x 0.6 cm (9.4 x 6.6 x 0.2 in)
Weight 437 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1536 x 2048 pixels
Pixel density 264 pixels
Size 9.7 inches
3D No
Sensors Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama, Self-timer, Exposure, Burst mode
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Self-timer, HDR, Burst mode, Exposure
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC, AAC+, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, AVI
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TIFF, TXT, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Fingerprint identity sensor built into the Home button
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPad Air 2 Reviews
Where to buy Apple iPad Air 2
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