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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple iPad Air 2 officially announced


Apple iPad Air 2

The Apple iPad Air 2 was officially announced today during an Apple event in California. The new tablet is 18% thinner than its predecessor allowing Apple to claim the 'world's thinnest tablet' title. But it also packs a 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster graphics.

Design

The iPad Air 2 features the same 9.7 inch Retina display with its 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, and 264 ppi pixel density. However, Apple has made several enhancements to the display. The display is now thinner, by fusing what had been three layers (LCD, cover glass, Touch sensor) into one. This has resulted in a reduction in reflectivity which brings more vivid colors and greater contrast.

The reduced display size has allowed Apple to design a very thin slate, which is also lighter than before, weighing just 0.96 pounds. Apple has also introduced a golden version of the device, to match its smartphone siblings. They have also included the inevitable Touch ID scanner for the first time in a mini slate, which means you can now easily unlock the display, do iTunes and other purchases simply by pressing your finger against the home key.



Camera

The iPad Air 2 comes with an 8 megapixel camera, which has a 1.12 micron pixel sensor, and a f/2.4 aperture. This new camera is capable of recording video at up to 1080p Full HD resolution, and the whole imaging experience is powered by a new and more powerful image signal processor in the Apple A8X. The front-facing FaceTime camera features a 1.2-megapixel resolution with 720p HD video recording.

Apple iPad Air 2 - Cameras


Connectivity

The iPad Air 2 features twice as fast as its predecessor, featuring a Wi-Fi 802.11ac connection with MIMO (multiple-in multiple-out) support, with the ability to reach 866Mbps download speeds. Obviously real world results may vary, but on paper, the iPad Air 2 is one of the fastest mobile devices.

Apple iPad Air 2 - Connectivity
If you pick up the cellular model, you will find it supports 20 4G LTE bands with speeds reaching as much as 150Mbps on the downlink. Apple will offer the iPad Air 2 with a special Apple-branded SIM card, which allows the user to pick between different carriers, so that you can easily get a short-term plan that works best for you at that moment.

Apple iPad Air 2 - Apple SIM


In the US, the Apple SIM  supports AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Verizon doesnt seems to support this feature. Meanwhile in the UK, EE customers will be able to take advantage of this feature.


Battery Life

With all of this, the iPad Air 2 has retained its excellent, 10-hour battery life. The 10-hour longevity is a battery standard that Apple has adhered to ever since it launched the first iPad, and it's impressive that the company manages to pack a large enough battery in the very slim iPad Air 2 body.


Hardware and Processor

The iPad Air 2 is available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models. Since microSD expansion has never been an option for iOS users, you should select a model which best suites your requirement.

The new iPad flagship also features a brand new Apple A8X processor with 64-bit architecture and 3 billion transistors. In comparison, the Apple A8 in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus features 2 billion transistors, while the A7 featured 1 billion. Its very likely that the new A8X is manufactured using the 20nm process.

The new chipset offers 40% faster CPU than the one in the iPad Air with Apple A7. The bigger jump comes in GPU performance where we're looking at a 2.5 times faster speeds. The latter, combined with the new Metal APIs (that Apple claims are 10 times more efficient than OpenGL) is bound to allow for more immersive games.

Apple A8X performance


Pricing and Availability

The Apple iPad Air 2 now arrives in three colors with the new one being gold. The prices remain as before, but there is a slight change in capacity, similar to what we've seen on the iPhones:
  • 16GB iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi/LTE: $499/$629
  • 64GB iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi/LTE: $599/$729
  • 128GB iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi/LTE: $699/$829
The iPad Air 2 release date is set for Friday, October 24th, but you'd be able to pre-order it tomorrow, on October 17th.

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