Last week Apple unveiled its new set of tablets: the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Based on early reviews, it seems like the iPad Air 2 is still the best tablet you can buy.
The iPad Air 2 isn’t much different than its predecessor, but critics seem to agree that it lives up to Apple’s claims in certain areas. Specifically, it’s impeccably light and noticeably faster than the last model.
But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Here’s what reviewers had to say.
Engadget’s Brad Molen said the iPad Air 2 “looks and feels fantastic,” and praised the tablet’s no-gap display, improved camera, and faster internals. Apple’s new iPad is also noticeably faster than its predecessor, and the battery life is more than capable of holding up for an entire day of extended use. He did, however, that the removal of the mute switch proved to be a minor inconvenience.
The Verge’s Nilay Patel pointed a few key areas where the iPad falls short in comparison to other tablets on the market. For instance, the iPad doesn’t support multiple users, so if you’re sharing an iPad with other people in your household you can’t create an individual login for each user. Patel also doesn’t feel that the iPad Air 2 offers anything astoundingly new compared to last year’s model, but did write that the battery lasted for a long time.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern praised Apple’s new iPad for being impressively light, and also noticed that the anti-reflective screen made it much easier to view content in bright outdoor conditions. Stern also conceded that the battery lasted for a long time, even after a cross-country plane ride and a full morning of checking emails and writing. The biggest shortcoming, as other critics have also noted, is that the iPad Air 2 doesn’t bring new functionality to the iPad, such as multitasking.
Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue said Apple’s incremental improvements “keep the iPad Air 2 at the front of the state of the art.” Most notably, Pogue said the tablet felt extremely thin and light, and the Wi-Fi is blazing fast. Unlike The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern, however, Pogue said the iPad Air 2’s display was just as reflective as its predecessor.
Re/code’s Walt Mossberg called both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 “the best iPads ever made.” However, Mossberg did say that the battery life was a bit shorter than the original iPad Air based on Re/code’s battery tests (10 hours and 37 minutes vs. 12 hours and 13 minutes). Although the iPad Air 2 is a great tablet, Mossberg suggest that buyers at least consider the original iPad Air since its $US100 cheaper and offers a similar experience.
Overall, critics seem to agree that the iPad Air 2 is the best tablet you can buy, but Apple will have to offer something more if it wants to keep that lead as the competition increases.