iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air: What's the difference?

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Apple has released the much-anticipated iPad Air 2, updating its beloved iPad Air with an all-new look and beefed-up specs.

But how does the iPad Air 2 compare against its insanely successful predecessor, the iPad Air? Let's break down the specs and take a look.

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Display

Ok, on paper, there is really very little in the way of resolution improvements for the new iPad Air 2. It has exactly the same 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution as its predecessor, the same 264ppi count, and the same Retina display.

But, that's not to say that Apple hasn't innovated. For starters, the iPad Air 2's screen has been imbued with an anti-reflective coating that claims to reduce reflections by 56 percent.

More impressively, however, is the fact that despite the fact that this new tablet is an eye-watering 18 percent thinner than the first generation iPad Air (more on that below,) its managed to maintain the same quality display. That's because it has a laminated screen, with an optically bonded touch sensor, LCD and glass -- that means no air gaps and a lot more room.

Camera

Apple has bumped up the camera specs on the iPad Air 2, from 5 to 8 megapixels, with a whole host of image optimization tools. If you were hoping for a higher resolution selfie-snapper, though, you're out of luck. Apple has stuck with its proprietary FaceTime camera, at 1.2-megapixels -- though let's remember megapixels aren't everything in this race.

It's a big bump up though from the 5-megapixel offering of the previous generation iPad Air. Photos on the new tablet are, in a word, crisp. Tablet photography has famously lagged behind its smartphone cousin. Could the iPad Air 2 be the one to even out the deficit?

Size & weight

Apple has made the iPad Air 2 even thinner than its extremely svelte predecessor. At 6.1mm thick, the iPad Air 2 is definitely one of the thinnest tablets on the market. Even though both generations sport the same 9.7in screen, the iPad Air 2 measures just 6.1mm to the old one's 7.5mm.

That's a big difference, and makes the Apple's new slate one of the most elegant on the market. It's also a lot lighter, weighing just 437g to the first iPad Air's 469g.

Under the hood

Apple has brought the beef with its new A8X processor, specially designed for the new iPad Air 2. This is meant to make the iPad Air 2 40 percent faster than its predecessor, which wasn't a sluggish machine to begin with.

Verdict

Thinner, lighter, and... gold-er, the new Apple iPad Air 2 is a worthy step up from its predecessor. Not only that, but it matches the original iPad Air in price, meaning it's also one of the most competitive Apple slates we've seen.

With added features like the long-awaited TouchID, the second generation iPad Air is bound to be a crowd-pleaser that ties in with a rapidly expanding Apple ecosystem.

  iPad Air 2  iPad Air

Display

Screen size 9.7in  9.7in
Resolution  2048 x 1536  2048 x 1536 pixels
Pixel density  264ppi  264 ppi
Type  LCD IPS LCD

Processor and battery

Family  Apple A8X  Apple A7
CPU  TBC  Cyclone (ARM v8-based)
Cores  TBC  Dual-core
Clock speed  TBC  1.3 GHz
GPU  TBC  PowerVR G6430
Battery  TBC  8600 mAh battery
Claimed battery time Up to 10h  10 hours Wi-Fi web surfing, watching video, or listening to music

Storage and memory

RAM TBC  1GB
Internal storage  16 GB / 64GB / 128GB  16GB / 32 GB / 64GB /128 GB
microSD No No

Camera

Rear  8-megapixels  5-megapixels
Video  1080p  1080p
Front  1.2-megapixels  1.2-megapixels

Wireless

Standard 4G LTE 4G LTE
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
NFC Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
Integrated wireless charging No No

Dimensions

Size  6.1mm thin (rest TBC)  240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm
Weight  437g  469 g
Operating System iOS 8  iOS 7 (upgradeable to iOS 8)
Price (SIM-free) 16GB - $499/64GB - $599/128GB - $699  16GB - $399/32GB $499
Availability October 17 2014 (Pre-order)  Now

Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

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