Home Apple iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air: 6 Reasons To Spend $100 Extra

iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air: 6 Reasons To Spend $100 Extra

The iPad Air 2 and iPad Air are two great tablets that Apple offers and that many shoppers must choose between. Here is a look at what shoppers need to know before they buy a new iPad in 2015.

At first glance the iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air comparison appears very similar, but there are a lot of differences that account for the $100 price gap. Although it is easy to just buy the most expensive or to just buy the cheaper option savvy shoppers will want to know what the most important differences are before buying.

The iPad Air is $399 for a 16GB model and is also available with 4G LTE for $529. Apple sells a 32GB iPad for $499 and $579 with LTE. Apple sells the iPad Air 2 for $499 with 16GB of storage and $629 for 4G LTE. Users can upgrade to 64GB or 128 GB options for $100 and $200 more than the base price. This is more storage than the iPad Air offers and there are some differences in connectivity.

See iPad Air 2 buying options and iPad Air buying options on Amazon.

iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air: What To Buy?

There are enough iPad Air 2 features not available on the iPad Air to warrant spending the extra $100 to buy the newest model. If you need to save money, you can use this guide to figure out what is missing on the older iPad Air so that you don’t miss out on a big feature that you want.

Here are 6 key areas you need to look at in a iPad Air 2 vs iPad Air comparison

Performance

Apple’s iPad Air 2 features a new faster Apple A8X processor that Apple claims is 40% faster than the Apple A7 iPad Air processor. This new processor sips power but can deliver a faster experience and the power needed to play more detail rich games and even power intense applications like CAD modeling.

The iPad Air 2 performance is better than the iPad Air.
The iPad Air 2 performance is better than the iPad Air.

Opening apps and general use is slightly faster on the iPad Air 2 than on the iPad. Alone there isn’t enough of a speed difference for users to immediately say, ” I’ll buy the iPad Air 2″, but it is an important consideration.

If you like to game with your iPad, the iPad Air 2 is the option you want to choose.

Thinner & Lighter Design

At first glance the iPad Air 2 and iPad Air aren’t drastically different, but when you hold both you will clearly feel that the new iPad Air 2 is thinner and lighter.

There are small, but noticeable design refinements.
There are small, but noticeable design refinements.

The iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the iPad Air and weighs less than a pound. The iPad Air 2 is 6.9mm thick and weighs 0.96 pound. The iPad Air is 7.5mm thick and weighs one pound. This is a big enough difference that you will notice it, but it is a plus in favor of the iPad Air 2.

Apple also offers the iPad Air 2 in Gold, which is new for this model and there is no longer a switch to turn the sound off like there is above the volume keys on the iPad Air.

Touch ID

Touch ID is incredibly convenient and it is one of the most important upgrades from the iPad Air. On iOS 8 Apple lets users do more than just unlock the iPad and make purchases with Touch ID.

Touch ID is a small, but amazing feature on the iPad Air 2.
Touch ID is a small, but amazing feature on the iPad Air 2.

By combining Touch ID with LastPass I can easily log into any website or service that I use in the Safari browser. Apps can also use Touch ID to verify the user. This makes it easy to login to Amazon and other services with a fingerprint.

It also means that users can log in to the iPad just like they can the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. That means less time wasted resting a thumb on the regular home button found on the iPad Air.

Display

The reflection is minimized on the iPad Air 2 on the right.
The reflection is minimized on the iPad Air 2 on the right.

The iPad Air 2 and iPad Air both use a 9.7-inch display, but they are not the same. The biggest difference that many users will notice is the iPad Air 2 display is not as reflective as the iPad Air display. This is a major upgrade as it means less distracting reflections while you work on the iPad or watch a movie. There is still a reflection, but it is not as distracting or noticeable.

Apple’s new iPad Air 2 display is thinner because there are three layers together as one, which delivers better looking colors and a screen that is better looking. The iPad Air display is great, but the iPad Air 2 display is better.

Better Camera

The iPad Air 2 camera is better than the iPad Air.
The iPad Air 2 camera is better than the iPad Air.

If you use the iPad as a camera instead of a point and shoot, the iPad Air 2 is a clear winner with an upgraded 8MP camera on the back. The camera isn’t as good as an iPhone 6, but it is a clear upgrade over the 5MP camera on the iPad Air. Checkout the samples below to see the difference.

The iPad Air 2 can also take burst mode photos and record slow motion video. The iPad Air does not offer these features.

Connectivity

The iPad Air 2 and iPad Air both support WiFi with LTE options, but there is new tech on the iPad Air 2.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad Air both support WiFi with LTE options, but there is new tech on the iPad Air 2.

Apple upgraded the WiFi technology in the iPad Air 2 so that you can download faster than on the iPad Air, if you are using a new router. The iPad Air 2 also includes new LTE technology that can deliver faster connectivity on the right networks and the option to use One SIM while switching between carriers that support it.

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5 Comments

  1. Jimmy Fallon

    06/22/2015 at 9:29 am

    The iPad Air 2, is just a bad move from Apple. Battery life on the Air 2 is very bad. This product is the result of the necessity of Apple to put into the market every year something very similar but, something to need to buy. Saying all of this, this article is just bullshit.

    Reply

    • RickinSav

      07/07/2015 at 12:33 pm

      I agree to a point – but its not just Apple that pumps out marginally better products every year. The various android handset and tablet manufacturers are even worse about it than Apple is.
      Who’s to blame? We have technology that has far outpaced the general population’s capacity to use it.

      Reply

    • Dj

      07/21/2015 at 7:27 am

      Amen!!

      Reply

    • skywalkr2

      07/21/2015 at 11:35 am

      What is BS? The reply from Jimmy. The Air 2 is a great device and everythign mentioned in this article is factual… not opinions.

      Reply

      • czheng

        11/24/2015 at 11:22 am

        however, these facts do not justify the extra $100

        Reply

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