It feels like iPads have been around forever, but it has only been about four years since the original iPad’s release. Mobile technology is progressing at such a pace that tablets have already hit a maturity point for this segment of the market. That’s why the iPad Air 2 feels so underwhelming as compared to the prior model.
Yes, it’s thinner than the original iPad Air but just a little bit thinner. It’s faster, but not all that much faster than the prior version. And the retina display has a few minor tweaks but nothing that makes it stand out over prior iPad retina displays.
About the only compelling reason to jump from an iPad Air to the iPad Air 2 is the inclusion of the Touch ID fingerprint security system. This enables a longer, more secure password to be used with the device while adding the convenience of unlocking with a fingerprint read after its initial boot.
The iPad Air 2 has the next iteration of Apple’s mobile processor called the A8X. It’s definitely the fastest iOS processor to date, but the previous model’s A7 is only first being fully utilized by app developers.
The bottom line? This is a nice incremental improvement. Owners of the iPad 1, 2, 3, or 4 looking for an upgrade should consider the iPad Air 2 not for what it can do now, but what it will be able to do a year or two from now.
iPad Air owners will not see much of a noticeable improvement, unless the fingerprint sensor is a must-have new feature. The original iPad Air is still plenty fast and more than adequate for nearly all available iOS apps.