iPad Air 2. Change is in the Air

    22/10/2014

    Apple has announced the iPad Air 2, the successor to the excellent iPad Air. This time it's even thinner, measuring 6.1 mm. That's 18 per cent thinner than the original iPad Air, making it the world's thinnest tablet.

    The display is still LCD, but this time it's laminated. The LCD, glass and touch sensor have been optically bonded, completely eliminating the air gap. Apple has also reduced the internal reflection and has given the surface an anti-reflective coating, reducing reflections by 56 per cent. This is the first time this has been done on a tablet, according to Apple, giving it the lowest reflectivity of any tablet.

    Inside, the iPad Air 2, there's a brand new version of the iPhone 6's A8 chip, the A8X. This has been created specifically for the iPad Air 2. It has a second-generation 64-bit architecture with 3 billion transistors, delivering a CPU that's 40 per cent faster than the A8. The GPU is also 2.5x faster than the A8 and is supposedly capable of delivering "console level graphics".

    The A8X's M8 chip will be able to track motion, and will automatically calibrate its sensors to deliver more accurate data, says Apple. And, just like the iPhone 6, it will have a barometer to measure elevation.

    The rear camera is now an 8-megapixel iSight camera with an f2.4 aperture and 1.12 micron pixels. It can record video in Full HD 1,080, and for the first time ever you'll be able to take burst mode photos, time lapse and slow-mo videos at 120fps at 720p. There are dual-microphones to improve the audio quality as well.

    On the front, there's a new FaceTime camera. The new sensor lets in 81 per cent more light than the original Air's camera and it has a larger f2.2 aperture. Face detection has also been improved and you'll be able to take burst selfies for the first time, as well as single shot HDR photos and HDR videos.

    One of the biggest new features on the iPad Air 2 is the inclusion of TouchID in the home button. Just like the iPhone 6, you'll be able to unlock the iPad Air 2 with just your fingerprint. It will also support Apple Pay, so you'll be able to buy things from the App Store, iTunes Store and third party apps and online purchases with a single touch. The only thing you can't do with it is pay at actual retail stores.

    Wi-Fi has been enhanced so it now supports the 802.11ac standard with MIMO, with it will support 20 LTE bands with speeds up to 150 Mbps. Battery life will be around 10 hours.

    iPad Air 2. Change is in the Air