iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 announced – Here’s everything you need to know
Standing tall on a stat of 225 million sold iPads and 100% customer satisfaction, Apple today announced their next generation of iPads. Apple has turned its numbering scheme back on as it is calling them the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.
Though there is a lot to talk about what’s new in them, they are pretty much what we have already heard through leaks and rumours. The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 catches up with what iPhone 6 and iOS 8 brought to the table. However the update seems pretty uneven, as most if the goodies went to the iPad Air model and the iPad Mini was kind of ignored. You’ll get my point as you read on.
The overall look of both the devices is pretty much unchanged, with a rounded-edge design and aluminium finish. Both devices gain the Touch ID fingerprint sensor for secure authentication and the bigger iPad lost the mute/orientation-lock button on the side.
The iPad Air 2 shrunk 18% in thickness to reach 6.1 mm and lost about 30 grams in the process, while the iPad Mini 3 is pretty much unchanged with respect to dimensions.
The screen sizes as expected are unchanged (sorry, no iPad Pro) at 9.7 and 7.9 inches for the Air and mini models respectively.
But the display on the iPad Air 2 has been vastly improved. It comes with a laminated display without any air-gaps so there is minimal color loss during transmission. Also an anti-reflective coating on the same leads to 56% less reflected light, which should greatly reduce the glare while viewing outdoors.
The resolution of both iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 are the same and unchanged, at 2048×1536 amounting to a pixel density of 264 and 326 ppi respectively.
Here again, the iPad Air gets the better specs. Sporting a new A8X processor with 2nd gen 64 bit architecture, it has a 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU when compared to the previous generation iPad Air. M8 co-processor and a barometer also finds place in the bigger iPad.
On the other hand, the iPad mini 3 retains the older A7 chip and M7 motion processor, which means it performs in the same way as an iPad mini 2.
iPad Air 2 picks up an 8 megapixel iSight camera with 1.12 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture, 1080p video recording, 43MP panorama, burst mode, timelapse and slo-mo.
iPad mini 3 has the same 5 Megapixel camera as the iPad mini 2 with all the above mentioned features except the burst mode and slo-mo.
The front cameras on the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are similar, and are the same as that of the previous models.
Both iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 comes installed with iOS 8 and hence gets all the new features like Apple Pay, Family Sharing, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo sharing, Homekit and more.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 features 2.8x faster WiFi of up to 150 mbps and has increased its support to about 20 LTE bands.
Besides, the iPad Air 2 WiFi+Cellular model comes pre-installed with a SIM which can be configured to be used as from any carrier of your choice.
As usual, Apple still keeps us in the dark about the exact battery capacity on the new devices. However they do promise a battery life of upto 10 hours on surfing WiFi, watching video and listening to music, and upto 9 hours on cellular data network.
One main addition to the iPad line up is the introduction of a new color – gold! Also the storage option has been revised to be more like the iPhone 6, clocking at 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB.
Also, it is worth noting that Apple hasn’t withdrawn the previous models completely either. Apple will continue to sell the original iPad Air, the original iPad mini and the first iPad mini with Retina Display, providing you with a variety of options are different price ranges.
iPad mini 3 starts at $399 and the iPad Air 2 at $499 for the WiFi only models with 16 GB of storage. Add $100 or the next tier of storage and $130 for Cellular model.
With a faster processor, better camera, thinner profile and an improved display, the iPad Air 2 was surely the show stopper today. On the other hand, the iPad mini 3 has less to boast except the Touch ID and a new gold variant.
If you’ve been waiting to get the bigger iPad, there has never been a better time to do so but if your heart beats for an 8 incher, you might want to check out the original iPad mini with Retina Display and save some bucks!