iPad Air 2: Top 10 standout features

Apple unveiled the iPad Air 2 on Thursday, claiming it to be the thinnest and most powerful tablet ever created.

Measuring 6.1mm thick, the iPad Air 2 is 18 percent thinner than the original iPad Air.
Apple has loaded a wealth of new hardware into the frame, including a new A8X chip which Apple said will radically improve performance, and a new 9.7in Retina display with anti-reflective coating.
The iPad Air 2 also includes upgraded rear 8MP iSight and front-facing Facetime cameras, and is the first iPad to feature Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

Apple will take pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 from 17 October but, before you decide to splash out, read our countdown to the 10 best features of the latest iPad.

10. Better cameras
the iPad Air 2 features an upgrades iSight camera
The iPad Air 2 improves on the cameras in its predecessor. The enhanced iSight rear camera has been upped from 5MP to 8MP, and can now capture panoramic photos and time-lapse, slow motion and 1080p HD video.

Apple claims that the front-facing camera now gathers over 80 percent more light, and can take HDR photos with a burst mode for rapid-fire snapping.

The appeal of high-quality cameras in tablets often divides technology fans. V3 for one believes that anyone caught snapping away in public with a large tablet should receive a barrage of tuts and scowls, along with complete social rejection.

 9. Improved screen

iPad Air 2 with Touch ID A8X chip and gold colour optionWhile the iPad Air 2 didn't see an improvement in screen resolution like many had expected, it is the first Apple tablet to come with an anti-reflective coating, making it better for use outdoors.

This is likely to be a dig at rivals Samsung and Google, which unveiled its Nexus 9 tablet just the previous day. This technology also sees the firm going after Amazon's Kindle lineup, which buyers have long flocked to for their holiday reading needs.

Apple also boasts that this new technology, which it created from the ground up, reduces reflections by 56 percent, making for "a clearer display in the office, the classroom or outdoors".

8. iOS 8.1 bug squasher
Apple iMac with Retina displayAfter a difficult initial release, filled with bugs and missing features that received a poor response, iOS 8 is getting a fresh lick of digital paint, and will be available to iDevice users on 20 October in the guise of iOS 8.1.

Apple claims to have listened to customer feedback and has gone some way to removing the errors found in the initial iterations of its eighth mobile operating platform.

iOS 8.1 will also bring back the Camera Roll, which was sadly missed by photo-happy Apple fans when they updated from iOS 7.

Other than under-the-hood tweaks, iOS 8.1 delivers much the same features as the previous version.

7. Golden iPad
gold barsApple has finally answered the prayers of rappers and posers everywhere and has launched an iPad in gold. Both the iPad Air 2 and its little sibling, the iPad Mini 3, are available in a pale golden hue.

Although Apple launched a gold iPhone a few years ago, up until this point the iPad has been available to purchase only in white and black, which are so last year.

While some may see this as a minor addition, the launch of a gold model will no doubt have a whole group of current iPad owners rushing out to get their hands on the Air 2 or Mini 3, purely to be one of the lucky few with this exclusive, premium model. Well, we say few, but more likely millions.

The only trick Apple has missed here is not adding an even higher price tag to the gold model, as we're sure there are plenty of people out there who would prefer to have a distinctive status symbol, showing that they can afford the most expensive iPad.

Maybe next time Apple will go the whole hog and actually go for gold plating to really get those dollars rushing in.


6. Faster WiFi and 4G connectivity
Wireless iconWhile the iPad Air 2 is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the original Air, that hasn't stopped the firm beefing up the wireless capabilities to offer faster downloads in the WiFi-only and mobile broadband models.

The original iPad Air delivered quite reasonable wireless support for a device of its form factor, offering full 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi capability. With the new model, Apple has added 802.11ac to the list with its enhanced MIMO support, enabling 2.8 times the WiFi performance at data rates up to 866Mbps, according to the firm.

Meanwhile, the mobile broadband support is claimed to be up to 50 percent faster, with the Wi-Fi plus cellular version of the iPad Air 2 offering download speeds of up to 150Mbps on 4G/LTE networks. And with 20 LTE bands supported, it can be used on 4G networks in almost any corner of the globe.

With both these wireless connectivity options upgraded, users of the iPad Air 2 can enjoy a better experience on the move than ever before.



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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

I really like to read reviews and see what's new about technology, on D-BLOG I share with you articles/reviews that I find interesting. I also write some reviews in romanian...

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