iPad these days is emerging as the Apple pie. People use it for work, for browsing, even for taking photographs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the iPad has sold over 225 million units since its introduction. And now with the launch of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 — coupled with an improved processor, better cameras, thinner design, anti-reflective screen, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, more built-in storage — there’s more reason than one to grab one right now.
Both will be available in India in the next few weeks.
Thinner and lighter
For years Apple has had a fetish for ‘thin and lean’. The new iPad Air 2 is just 6.1 mm, and faster. Last year, Apple showed the iPad Air hidden behind a pencil, and this time, if you stack two of the new iPad Air2’s on top of each other, they will be thinner than the original iPad!
The iPad Air 2 boasts of the A8x processor, which Apple claims is 40% faster than the previous one. It also gives you up to 250% improved graphics performance, while retaining the 10-hour battery.
Apple has eliminated the microscopic air gap between the LCD and the touchscreen, which makes the display more vivid and alive while reducing internal reflection. A new anti-reflective coating eliminates external reflection as well.
The iPad Air 2 features an 8 MP rear camera and two microphones, which makes shooting videos a breeze. You can record a full HD movie as well as a slow-motion picture. So whether it’s helping your child improve his backstroke or capturing office documents, the camera does the job, and the large screen lets you do more.The new graphics engine, called Metal, also allows you to edit movies on the go, and add titles and effects.
Available only to users in the US and the UK, this lets people switch service providers without taking out the SIM card, and allows you to get local data rates wherever you travel. It is not known when the technology will be available in India.
It lets you unlock your iPad Air 2 with a finger print, and also enables you to make purchases from the app store without putting in a password.
iPad mini 3
In case of the iPad Mini 3, the most visible change is the addition of the Touch ID sensor. The processor, cameras and the screen remains the same.
The iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 have the iOS 8 pre-loaded, and in case you are using a Mac desktop or an iPhone, the OS lets you continue your work from where you left off on the other device. iCloud synchronises your documents, photos and contacts, and even your edited pictures. For iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 users, you can even answer phone calls off your iPad while you are on the same network!
Should you upgrade? The new iPad Air has great amounts of overlap with the previous version, so unless you are still languishing with the original iPad or iPad2 it may not warrant an upgrade. On the other hand, if you do a lot of graphic-intensive work, and edit photos and movies on the go, or do a lot of office work on the device, it would be worth the cost to get the iPad Air2. If you own the older Air, migrating to the new version is pointless, really.
As for the iPad Mini, it is a moot point if the Rs 7,000 price difference over the old Mini, for the pleasure of unlocking the device with your fingerprint, is worth it. If you are a new buyer, go for it.