The surgical operation to reduce the thickness of the body from 7.5 to 6.1 mm could not pass completely without a trace. Something the engineers of the iPad Air 2 had to sacrifice. After a careful study of the technical characteristics of the device, it becomes clear what exactly they had to worsen: as usually happens in such cases, the battery suffered. The first Air had a 32.4 Wh battery, while its successor only had 27.3 Wh.
However, the battery life of the Air 2 has not changed compared to its predecessor. over, according to our tests, the gadget works even a little longer on one battery charge than the first Air: this is what life-giving optimization does! In continuous video playback mode, with an active Wi-Fi connection and at maximum screen brightness, the gadget worked for eight hours. For a full-size tablet, the indicator is not a record, but very, very good. With moderate use, the battery of the tablet is more than enough for a day of autonomous work. If you don’t use the gadget too actively, its battery can last for three to four days, depending on the usage scenario.
|Apple iPad Air||Apple iPad Air 2|
|Display||9.7 inches, resolution 2048×1536 (Retina Display); IPS technology|
|Touch screen||Capacitive, up to 10 simultaneous touches|
|Air gap||There is||No|
|Oleophobic coating||There is|
|Polarizing filter||There is|
|Platform||Apple A7: two Apple Cyclone cores (ARMv8 A32 / A64); frequency 1.4 GHz; process technology 28 nm HKMG Apple M7 coprocessor (NXP LPC 1800): one ARM Cortex-M3 core (ARMv7-M)||Apple A8X: three cores Apple Modified Cyclone (ARMv8 A32 / A64); frequency 1.5 GHz; 20 nm process technology Apple M8 coprocessor (NXP LPC 18B1UK): one ARM Cortex-M3 core (ARMv7-M)|
|Graphics controller||Imagination Technologies PowerVR G6430||Imagination Technologies PowerVR GX6650|
|RAM||1 GB LPDDR3||2 GB LPDDR3|
|Flash memory||16/32/64/128 GB||16/64/128 GB|
|Connectors||1 x Lightning 1 x 3.5mm headset jack 1 x Nano-SIM (optional)|
|cellular||External modem Qualcomm MDM9615, WTR1605L transceiver (optional): 2G: GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 3G: DC-HSPA (42 Mbps) 850/900/1900/2100 MHz; CDMA EV-DO 800/1900 MHz 4G: LTE Cat. 3 (102 Mbps) band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 Nano-SIM||External Qualcomm MDM9625 modem, WTR1625L transceiver (optional): 2G: GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 3G: DC-HSPA (42 Mbps) 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz; CDMA EV-DO 800/1900 MHz 4G: LTE Cat. 4 (150 Mbps) band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 38, 39, 40, 41 Nano-SIM|
|Wi-Fi||802.11a / b / g / n, 2.4 / 5 GHz MIMO 2×2 support||802.11a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4 / 5 GHz MIMO 2×2 support|
|NFC||No||Yes (NXP 65V10 NFC Controller)|
|Navigation||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS (optional)|
|Sensors||Light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital COMPASS)||Light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital COMPASS), barometer, fingerprint reader|
|Main camera||iSight: 5 MP (2592×1936), autofocus, no flash||iSight: 8 MP (3264×2448), autofocus, no flash|
|Front-camera||1.2 MP (1280×960), back-illuminated matrix; no autofocus, no flash|
|Nutrition||Removable battery 32.4 Wh (8827 mAh, 3.7 V)||Removable battery 27.3 Wh (7184 mAh, 3.7 V)|
|Dimensions (edit)||240×170 mm Case thickness 7.5 mm||240×170 mm Case thickness 6.1 mm|
|Weight||479 g||437 g (without built-in modem) 444 g (with built-in modem)|
|Water and dust resistant||No|
|Operating system||iOS 7 (upgradeable to iOS 8.1 is possible)||iOS 8.1|
|Available body colors||Space gray, silver||Space gray, silver, gold|
|Recommended||From 24 490 rubles|
64GB and 128GB iPad Air versions are no longer officially available
Perhaps the screen is one of the few elements of the iPad Air 2 that has not undergone significant changes compared to the previous model. By and large, its characteristics have not radically changed since the days of iPad 3. However, to be honest, it did not require replacement. everything is not bad anyway. The full-size iPad is still equipped with a 9.7-inch IPS matrix with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Accordingly, the pixel density is still the same high. 264 ppi. This is enough for comfortable work with a ten-inch tablet, and there is absolutely no need to enlarge it. the fonts are sharp, the picture at a half-bent arm’s distance does not cut the eye with a bold pixel.
The viewing angles of the screen are very wide, it is really convenient to watch movies and photos together. here the size is suitable, the resolution is high, and there is no color distortion. The capacitive layer supports up to ten simultaneous touches, which can be checked and applied, for example, in the standard Garage Band application.
Apple iPad Air 2. individual points on the display at a half-bent arm’s distance cannot be seen
That being said, there are some changes to the iPad Air 2 display. For example, the air gap between the protective glass and the screen itself has become much less noticeable, but it is still present there. However, it did not interfere too much when working with the previous “Air”, but here it is completely invisible. Of course, the Air 2 display has a polarizing filter and an oleophobic (grease-repellent) layer. The display does not fade even in bright ambient light. thanks in part to a new anti-reflective filter that dampens reflections slightly more effectively.
The brightness margin of the screen of the second “Air” has slightly grown: the maximum luminosity of the white field has increased from 409 to 427.5 cd / m2 2. However, perhaps, again, the whole thing is in the matrix manufacturer. The minimum backlight level is only 12 cd / m2. In the dark, the device is very gentle on the eyes.
The maximum luminosity of the black field with a sufficiently high brightness reserve is small. 0.4 cd / m2. This means that the black color looks deep even with 100% display backlighting. The display is very contrasty. almost 1070: 1, and this is when measured in an “honest” way: white and black are displayed on the screen in a ratio of 50/50.
The color temperatures of the displays on both iPad Airs are roughly the same. On average, it is 7000-7100 kelvin. Recall that the reference value is considered to be 6500 K. The deviation is insignificant, we did not see any noticeable “cold” shade on both screens. Color temperature is more natural.
Both displays are set up very neatly. All kinds of gamma curves. both grayscale and color components. are close to the reference curve. This means that the color reproduction of the screens is natural and believable. True, on the gray gamma curve of the iPad Air 2 display, a small dip in the lower part came from somewhere, but it does not change the situation. When using the tablet, we did not notice any deviations in the transmission of light shades of gray.
The color gamut of the displays is the same. it almost completely coincides with the sRGB color space, which is very good. In general, the display is set up almost “according to the textbook”. No wonder there are so many photo editing applications for iPads.
Iron and performance
In terms of technical stuffing, the iPad Air 2 is a phenomenon that is unique in many ways for Apple and for the industry as a whole. It’s worth starting with the fact that this is the first gadget from Cupertino to use a platform with more than two cores. The device has a system-on-a-chip A8X. You might think that this is a slightly modified version of the A8 platform found in the iPhone 6/6 Plus, but this is not entirely true. Well, or not at all: this is a fundamentally different SoC. much more powerful.
We have already handed over the key difference of the version with “X”: it uses three modified Cyclone kernels, and not two, as in the usual A8. Their frequency was increased by 100 MHz. from 1.4 to 1.5 GHz. It uses the 64-bit ARMv8-A instruction set, which Apple has switched to since the iPhone 5s. The chip is made at the Taiwanese TSMC factory according to the most modern technological process that TSMC is capable of at the moment. 20 nm. A finer workflow can help save energy or increase productivity. From the shot from the presentation, it’s easy to guess that Apple chose to raise the power of the chip.
Another equally important innovation can be safely considered the fact that Apple has finally decided to install two gigabytes of RAM in its gadget. Let us underline this momentous fact, with your permission: Air 2 is the first device from the company to feature 2GB of RAM. Of course, the “fast” LPDDR3 memory is used. The positive effect was not long in coming. the new “Air” SunSpider cross-platform test passed in almost three hundred milliseconds. extremely quickly. The best result in our memory.
The graphics controller in the A8X is also not quite the same as in the “regular” A8. if the latter uses Imagination Technologies PowerVR GX6450, then the A8X uses the GX6650. In general, the differences are indicated by the only changed number: if the GX6450 is a gluing of four modules, then the GX6650 is a gluing of six of the same modules. Apple itself is happy to talk about how far the iPad Air 2 graphics have gone from previous solutions. For example, in graphic tasks, the iPad Air 2 outperforms the very first iPhone (which is 2G) by as much as 84 times. Benchmark results make it clear that the PowerVR GX6650 and the Apple A8X in general are really cool things.
Air 2 is noticeably faster than the first Air, mini 2/3, iPhone 6/6 Plus. over, the difference in gaming tests is so significant that it makes for a small revolution. It’s no joke. three thousand frames “on the screen” in GFXBench 3. This, we admit, we have not seen. In general, Air 2 openly and in some places even boldly claims to be the most powerful tablet of 2014. Yes, we have not yet compared its achievements with the results of Tegra K1 and Qualcomm Adreno 420 in the Snapdragon 805, but, according to foreign colleagues, the new Air even in such a competition wins.
ipad air 1 vs ipad air 2. что лучше купить в 2020-2021 году
Honestly, watching the iPad Air 2 spin off benchmarks is a real treat for geeks. Both Airs were tested at the same time, but only the new Apple tablet minted frame by frame so clearly, so smoothly that we were amazed and literally gave a standing ovation. The first Air, to its credit, was also good. However, he periodically stumbled, allowed himself a slight slowdown, while nothing similar was noticed for his successor. Unsurprisingly, the Air 2 finished all tests noticeably earlier.
It is clear why the new iPhones did not get the A8X platform. its power consumption is still not very suitable. And it’s very good that Apple chose the iPad Air 2 to test new, really high capacities. After all, tablet computers require a lot of power. it is on them that resource-intensive three-dimensional toys are most often launched, many open programs and tabs in the browser are kept in memory. So two gigabytes of “RAM” is also very useful here. Finally, I would like to note that the Apple iPad Air did not manage to become obsolete in a year. its capabilities are enough for both multimedia and games. But Air 2 is faster in almost everything, well, and just has a margin for the future.
“Continuous work” aka Continuity
In the iPad mini 3 review, we started talking about the new Continuity software package for iOS 8 (in Russian translation. “Continuous work”), which allows you to synchronize application data between mobile devices and computers on Mac OS X Yosemite. Let us recall the essence of this function: if you have a browser on your mobile device with a loaded tab or a certain point on the map loaded, you can open the corresponding application on your laptop or computer with the same data. This feature is called Handoff.
It is noteworthy that the iPad can be made friends not only with the Mac, but also with the iPhone. Let’s say you are reading an electronic document on a tablet, your smartphone is somewhere in another room. All of a sudden, there is an incoming call on the iPhone. If your tablet is configured with the Continuity option, you don’t have to go after your smartphone. You can answer a call from your iPad (or Mac). no need to touch your phone.
Обзор iPad Air 2
Apple iPad Air 2. answering an incoming iPhone call
To enable this option of the “Always working” package, you need to connect your iPhone and iPad (and / or Mac. if you want to answer calls from it) to the same Wi-Fi network and go to them in the same iCloud account. After that, you need to sign in to FaceTime with the same iCloud account, and then make sure that the item “iPhone Cellular Calls” is activated in the “Settings” menu. If done correctly, the user will be able to make and answer calls from the iPad or Mac using FaceTime.
Cupertino did not forget to update the main camera of the iPad Air. In the first Air, a five-megapixel sensor was used, to which we had well-founded claims. it shot significantly worse than the camera of its predecessor, iPad 4: due to the fact that the Air’s body was much thinner than the Quartet’s the camera had to be cut somewhat. For a tablet, in our subjective opinion, the rear camera is not at all critical, but it’s still unpleasant when something is done worse in a new device than in its predecessor, though?
Apple iPad Air 2. main camera (official photo)
And now Apple fixes the bugs. The Air 2 has a new 8-megapixel iSight camera that captures images with a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. We have already rolled our lips that she moved to Air from the iPhone 6/6 Plus, but we hasten to upset you: this is not so. The main camera of the iPad Air 2 has a much smaller physical pixel size than the camera of the new “iPhone”. 1.12 versus 1.5 microns. This means that it is able to capture less light, that is, it is less suited for shooting in low light conditions. In addition, the optics of the Air 2 camera are also less aperture: the maximum relative aperture is ƒ / 2.4 versus ƒ / 2.2 for the iPhone 6. Finally, the Air 2 camera did not receive support for fast phase (PDAF. Phase Detection Autofocus) autofocus. which the “six” can boast of. The tablet camera is focused in a standard way. by contrast.
Of course, the Air 2 shoots significantly better than the first Air. here both the higher resolution affects, and the faster optics. However, the iPad Air 2’s camera is still far from ideal. Even in indoor conditions, the photos are quite noisy, with a lot of artifacts. However, we must give the camera its due, the color rendition in the photos is more or less natural, the picture is very detailed and contrasting. Autofocus works smoothly and fairly quickly. The percentage of errors and misses is minimal.
The tablet camera is great for capturing text. She copes with this task in any conditions, of course, except for complete darkness. Even in a photograph taken in low light, the text can be read. Sharpness is almost uniform across the entire field of the frame, except that a slight “softness” is observed towards the edges. Overall, the Air 2 has a standard rear camera by 2014 standards. neither good nor bad. She has no flash. On the front, 1.2-megapixel webcam, if you wish, you can get a decent quality self-portrait. With its help, you can make calls from video, the main thing is that there is at least some source of lighting nearby. In general, nothing supernatural, but she copes with her tasks.
Appearance and ergonomics
The exterior of the iPad Air 2 hasn’t changed much since the first Air. The shape of the device has remained the same, the ratio of the screen and front panel areas has not changed. Try to determine from the photo where the new Air is on it.
Of course, attentive readers will say without a shadow of a doubt that the Air 2 is white, and they will be right. Not because it is in the photo above, but because the central Home key with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor is clearly visible on it. On the exterior of the device, this is perhaps the most noticeable, but far from the only change.
Apple iPad Air 2. Home button with Touch ID fingerprint reader
The new Air is slightly lighter than its predecessor. The gadget weighs only 437 grams in the version without a built-in modem and 444 grams with it. For a ten-inch gadget with a metal body, this is a very small figure. Even 480 grams of the previous model was considered a breakthrough, but Apple engineers did not stop there.
Perhaps the most significant change in the appearance of the gadget can be considered a decrease in the thickness of the case from 7.5 millimeters to a record 6.1 mm! At the moment, no ten-inch tablet can boast of such an indicator (recall that the previous record holder was the same Xperia Z2 Tablet with a thickness of 6.4 mm). It is noteworthy that the length and width of the hull have not changed one iota. Probably because of the reduced thickness, the engineers had to abandon the physical switch to mute, located next to the volume keys. By the way, between these buttons settled the same unsightly glossy dimple as in the iPhone 6. It emphasizes the reduced thickness and single (and not double, as before) perforation opposite the external speaker at the bottom end.
Bottom end of Apple iPad Air and iPad Air 2 (top)
Apple iPad Air 2. connectors and interfaces
Like all modern mobile gadgets from Apple, the iPad Air 2 received a gold case. To the subjective opinion of the author of this article, this color is very suitable for the tablet. It is exactly golden, not golden, not saturated, but very soft, with a pleasant metallic sheen. The Air 2 looks very nice. On the back is an 8MP camera lens (the predecessor had only 5MP).
We believe the iPad Air’s exterior will be the same as the MacBook Air’s exterior. Apple hasn’t updated the look of this laptop in years, simply because the benchmark has been reached. It will be very, very difficult to come up with something better, and it is hardly necessary at this stage of development. The same goes for the exterior of the iPad Air.
Judge for yourself: the thickness of the device is minimal; it will hardly be possible to reduce it because of, for example, an audio jack. It is, of course, possible to reduce the thickness of the frame around the display, but then it can be inconvenient to work with the gadget. there is nothing to grab onto. The Air 2’s weight is very, very small by the standards of a 10-inch tablet. In general, the looks of the iPad Air 2 were very pleasant to us. What does he have inside?
Apple iPad Air 2 tablet review: conqueror of our hearts
Large tablets, with increasing popularity and falling of their smaller brothers, had to give up market share to them. Even Apple for the fourth generation iPad gave up and was forced to release a smaller tablet. iPad mini. At the same time, Apple understood perfectly well that if the full-size iPad remains at the same level of development, then the public’s interest in it will be less and less: a simple increase in power and the addition of any software “chips” will not do here. The engineers of the “apple” company had a really difficult task: they needed to make such a full-size tablet, which would be as convenient to use as its younger brother. And Apple made it.
Last year, the iPad Air saw the light. a tablet that is ahead of its predecessor in all respects. What was the cost of the fact that he lost almost two hundred grams, and its thickness decreased by two millimeters! From the camp of Android tablets, in fact, only Sony Xperia Tablet Z could compete with him. also, it should be noted, a very successful tablet. There were no other analogues at that time.
The first Air really turned out to be extremely successful, no matter how you look at it. And on the way to a brighter future, he had only one problem. Her name is iPad mini with Retina Display (now iPad mini 2). The fact is that its technical filling completely copied the hardware of its older brother, and using mini was much more convenient because of the same dimensions. And even if Apple says that they are not afraid of internal competition, in the new generation of tablets the Yabloko obviously decided to eliminate it. mini was left almost unchanged, focusing all efforts on Air.
Apple iPad Air vs. iPad 4 (bottom)
The Air 2 received all the newest, all the best, and the mini 3, shown with it on the same day, is content with last year’s development. Of course, this is not very good. Apple deprives users of the opportunity to choose, imposing either the definitely best or definitely last year. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the difference in price between Air 2 and mini 3 is not very big: a modern “Air” costs from 24 490 rubles, and a “mini”. from 19 490 rubles. And this is provided that the 2014 iPads turned out to be fundamentally different
Specifications Apple iPad Air 2:
- SoC Apple A8X 1.5 GHz 64 bits (3 cores, Cyclone architecture based on ARMv8)
- GPU PowerVR GX6650
- Apple M8 motion coprocessor including GPS, barometer, accelerometer, gyroscope and COMPASS
- RAM 2 GB
- Flash memory 16/64/128 GB
- No memory card support
- Operating system iOS 8.1
- Touch display IPS, 9.7 ″, 2048 × 1536 (264 ppi), capacitive, multitouch
- Cameras: front (1.2 Mp, 720p video over FaceTime) and rear (8 Mp, 1080p video)
- Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n / ac (2.4 and 5 GHz; MIMO support)
- Cellular (optional): UMTS / HSPA / HSPA / DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), LTE Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Touch ID fingerprint reader, NFC chip
- 3.5mm stereo headset jack, Lightning dock
- Li-polymer battery 7340 mAh
- A-GPS (in version with cellular module)
- Dimensions 240 × 170 × 6.1 mm
- Weight 437 g (manufacturer declared weight of version without honeycomb module) / 451 g (our measurement of version with honeycomb module)
We will not list the technical characteristics of the iPad mini 3 in a separate list, but we will include them in the comparison table with competitors. First, though, let’s see how the iPad Air 2’s specs compare to its predecessor and main competitors.
|iPad Air 2||iPad Air||Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5||Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet|
|IPS, 9.7 ″, 2048 × 1536 (264 ppi)||IPS, 9.7 ″, 2048 × 1536 (264 ppi)||SuperAMOLED, 10.5 ″, 2560 × 1600 (287 ppi)||IPS, 10.1 ″, 1920 × 1200 (218 ppi)|
|Apple A8 1.5 GHz 64-bit (3 cores, Cyclone architecture based on ARMv8) M8 coprocessor||Apple A7 1.4 GHz 64-bit (2 cores, Cyclone architecture based on ARMv8) M7 coprocessor||Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (4 cores @ 1.9 GHz and 4 cores @ 1.3 GHz)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 @ 2.3 GHz (4 core Krait 400)|
|PowerVR GX6650||PowerVR G6430||Mali-T628 MP6||Adreno 330|
|16/64/128 GB||16/32/64/128 GB||16 GB||from 16 to 32 GB|
|Lightning dock connector, 3.5mm headphone jack||Lightning dock connector, 3.5mm headphone jack||Micro-USB (with OTG and MHL support), 3.5mm headphone jack||Micro-USB (with OTG and MHL support), 3.5mm headphone jack|
|No||No||microSD (up to 128GB)||microSD (up to 128GB)|
|2 GB||1 GB||3 GB||3 GB|
|front (1.2 Mp, 720p video over FaceTime) and rear (8 Mp, 1080p video)||front (1.2 Mp, 720p video via FaceTime) and rear (5 Mp, 1080p video)||front (2.1 megapixel, 1080p video transmission) and rear (8 megapixel; 1080p video shooting)||front (2.2 Mp, 1080p video transmission) and rear (8.1 Mp; 1080p video)|
|Wi-Fi (optional 3G as well as 4G LTE)||Wi-Fi (optional 3G as well as 4G LTE)||Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac MIMO (optional 3G and LTE)||Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac MIMO (optional 3G and LTE)|
|Apple iOS 8.1||Apple iOS 7.0 (update to iOS 8.1 available)||Google Android 4.4||Google Android 4.4|
|240 x 170 x 6.1||240 x 170 x 7.5||247 × 177 × 6.6||266 x 172 x 6.4|
|IPad Air 2 offers||L-11153497-10|
On formal grounds (the number of CPU cores, the amount of RAM), Apple products have been inferior to top competitors from the Android camp for several years. However, we even had a separate article about the senselessness of any conclusions about this. The only figures that are objective in this case and are available for comparison without reservations are weight and dimensions. And according to them, the iPad Air 2 really looks very good: it is distinguished by a record low thickness, coupled with weight (only the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet surpasses the new product in the last parameter).
On the other hand, it is impossible to say that the iPad Air 2 is radically thinner and lighter than its competitors. The difference is a maximum of a few percent. Keep in mind, though, that unlike its rival plastic products, the iPad Air and iPad Air 2 are made from a single piece of aluminum.
Now let’s take a look at the specs of iPad mini 3 versus the competition.
|iPad mini 3||Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact||Nvidia Shield Tablet||Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4|
|IPS, 7.9 ″, 2048 × 1536 (326 ppi)||IPS, 8 ″, 1920 × 1200 (283 ppi)||IPS, 8 ″, 1920 × 1200 (283 ppi)||SuperAMOLED, 8.4 ″, 2560 × 1600 (359 ppi)|
|Apple A7 @ 1.3 GHz (2 Cyclone cores, 64 bit)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (4-core Krait 400 @ 2.5 GHz)||Nvidia Tegra K1 (4x Cortex-A15 @ 2.2GHz and auxiliary companion core)||Exynos 5 Octa 5420 (4x Cortex-A15 @ 1.9GHz & 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.3GHz)|
|PowerVR G6430||Adreno 330||Nvidia GK20A @ 950 MHz||Mali-T628 MP6|
|from 16 to 128 GB||16 GB||16/32 GB||16 GB|
|Lightning, 3.5mm headphone jack||Micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack, Mini-HDMI||Micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack, Mini-HDMI||Micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|No||microSD (up to 128GB)||microSD (up to 128GB)||microSD (up to 128GB)|
|1 GB||2 GB||2 GB||3 GB|
|front (1.2 Mp) and rear (5 Mp; video 1080p)||front (2.2 megapixel, video 1080p) and rear (8.1 megapixel, video 1080p)||front (5 MP, 720p video) and rear (5 MP, 1080p video)||front (2.1 megapixel, video 1080p) and rear (8 megapixel; video 1080p)|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n MIMO (2.4 GHz 5 GHz) (optional. 3G and LTE)||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n MIMO (2.4 GHz 5 GHz) (optional. 3G and LTE)||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n MIMO (2.4 GHz 5 GHz) (in the version with 32 GB of memory. 3G and LTE)||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac MIMO (2.4 GHz 5 GHz) (optional. 3G and LTE)|
|Apple iOS 7||Google Android 4.4.2||Google Android 4.4.2||Google Android 4.4.2|
|200 × 134 × 7.5||213 x 124 x 6.4||221 × 126 × 9.2||213 × 125 × 6.6|
|IPad mini 3 offers||L-11153500-10|
Over the past year (and iPad mini 3 is, in fact, the same last year’s iPad mini Retina), very serious competitors have appeared in the camp of compact tablets: in particular, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 with a Super AMOLED display and the Nvidia Shield Tablet with record performance (far exceeding performance of Apple A7 installed in iPad mini 3). In general, the position of the iPad mini 3 in the top segment is far from being as cloudless as its predecessor had when it first appeared. Today, for almost any parameter (screen, performance, camera, weight, thickness), a stronger solution can be found.
However, in terms of the totality of its properties, it still remains a very successful model, and the decrease in the price of the iPad mini 2 by 100 (alas, eaten in Russia by the change in the dollar exchange rate) makes it an even more attractive mid-budget solution.
But let’s take a closer look at Apple’s new products.
Detailed review and testing of Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3
Exactly one year ago, on November 3, 2013, we told you about the first iPad Air. It’s time to return to Apple tablets, since this year Russian sales of new iPads started almost simultaneously with American ones. In addition, this time we have not one, but two new products at once: iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. And although both of these products are not revolutionary (the iPad mini 3 looks especially strange), they can still be considered role models and the main rivals for the entire army of Android tablets. Therefore, we studied them with great care.
But the iPad Air 2 has been updated much more significantly. In addition to Touch ID and a gold-colored body, it boasts the new Apple A8X SoC and an even thinner body than the first iPad Air. In addition, the camera has been updated.
Packaging and equipment
The packaging of the iPad Air 2 is virtually identical to the packaging of the previous generation tablet. Only the picture here is even more minimalistic, emphasizing the thickness of the updated device.
As for the package bundle, everything is similar to the iPad Air here: leaflets, a charger (10 W, 2.1 A, 5.1 V), a Lightning cable, stickers and a key for removing the SIM card cradle.
Box design and package bundle of iPad mini 3 is similar to iPad Air 2.
Apple iPad Air 2 Review!
Now let’s look at the design. As already noted, the appearance of the iPad mini 3 does not differ from its predecessor, with the exception of the appearance of the golden color option. And since the iPad Air 2 is thinner than the iPad Air, and the iPad mini has everything the same, the iPad Air 2 is noticeably thinner than the iPad mini 3.
As for the color (the iPad Air 2 also has a golden color), it looks noble, elegant. This is not deliberately “golden”, but a soft, beautiful shade, which, depending on external lighting, looks either light gray or bronze.
Alas, on versions of both tablets with 4G, the plastic white insert, which is necessary for normal reception of the cellular signal, looks rather clumsy and alien. Well, everyone around you will see that you have a version with 4G, and not a cheaper one 🙂
In terms of placement of controls, the main difference between the iPad Air 2 and the first iPad Air is the lack of a lock lever (on the iPad Air, it was located above the volume keys). Well, the second distinctive point is the expansion of the functionality of the Home button, which is now equipped with a fingerprint scanner.
The button looks exactly the same as on the iPhone 5s / 6/6 Plus. The fingerprint scanner works perfectly: you can take the iPad in any convenient way, the fingerprint will be recognized instantly. Subjectively, it is better than the iPhone 5s, where the percentage of unrecognized touches was still higher. True, we used the iPhone 5s for almost a year, and the iPad Air 2 only for a week. So, perhaps for the year the statistics will be less positive.
The size of the bezels around the screen, the width and height of the iPad Air 2 body have remained unchanged. However, today this is one of the best indicators. And it is very interesting in which direction the iPad design will develop in the future, because now both the width of the side frames and the thickness are close to the threshold beyond which it will already start to cause inconvenience.
And the thickness of the connectors leaves almost no room for maneuvers: for example, there is only about 1 mm left above the Lightning, which could have been saved without affecting the connector itself. And a 3.5 mm mini-jack will hardly fit into a thinner case. This, of course, only applies to iPad Air 2. Because iPad mini 3 still has a lot to reduce in size.
Everything else in the iPad Air 2 has remained unchanged compared to the previous version: from the main points (the shape of the case, the rounded edges) to the details (the shape of the tray for nanoSIM cards in the version with 4G).
In general, the changes, of course, cannot be called revolutionary. But is it really important if the iPad Air 2, like a year ago, its predecessor, you just do not want to let go? The first days I always want to take it, once again admire its thickness and low weight, twirl it in my hands. It would seem that Apple has not done anything radically new, and it is more and more difficult to surprise the user. Nevertheless, the products of the apple corporation have not lost their main property: the ability to please the user. It’s that simple. This is a thing that you hold in your hands with pleasure. And what could be more important than this?
Concluding our conversation about design, we note that Apple’s PR department gave us an iPad Air 2 with a branded Smart Cover. Many Apple tablet users are familiar with this accessory, and for them it will not be a discovery. But to the rest, we can say that the cover is really very nice and comfortable: the polyurethane coating on the top and the inner microfiber surface (it touches the tablet screen when we close the cover) are extremely pleasant to the touch, and in general, the accessory does not make the tablet bulky or thick. but protects the screen well and helps to set it on the table at an angle.
In turn, the iPad mini 3 arrived for the test in a Smart Case. On the one hand, it has a big plus: it protects the tablet not only from the side of the screen, like Smart Cover, but entirely. In addition, the entire outer surface of the Smart Case is made of expensive aniline leather. But although knowing this warms the soul, from the point of view of everyday use this is a less practical solution: any small scratches on this skin are clearly visible (and such scratches will appear even with careful use). In addition, small folds are visible on the folds of the skin (while the Smart Cover remains like new even after a week of active use).
The declared parameters of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 screens do not differ from those of their predecessors: in all cases we have an IPS-matrix with a resolution of 2048 × 1536, and the screen diagonal is 9.7 ″ and 7.9 ″, respectively. However, the fact that the key parameters are identical does not mean that the screens are exactly the same in all their properties. After all, even screens from different batches may differ slightly. In addition, it was curious to compare the screens of iPad mini 2 and iPad Air 2. As shown by testing performed according to his own methodology by the editor of the “Monitors” and “Projectors and TV” sections, Alexei Kudryavtsev, they differ not only in diagonal! Below is his conclusion.
The front surface of both screens is made in the form of a glass plate with a mirror-smooth surface, resistant to scratches. Judging by the brightness of the reflected objects, the anti-glare properties of the Air 2’s screen are noticeably better than that of the Google Nexus 7 (2013) (hereinafter simply the Nexus 7). In the case of the mini 3, these properties are comparable to our benchmark. For clarity, here are the photos, in which the tablet screens are turned off, the white surface is reflected (Nexus 7 is on the left, further it can be distinguished from the tested tablets by the screen size, since it is smaller. Similarly, the Air 2 can be easily distinguished from the mini 3 by its size). iPad Air 2:
The Air 2’s screen is significantly darker. the brightness in the photo is 65 versus 106 for the Nexus 7. The tripling of reflected objects in the Air 2’s screen is very weak, which indicates that there is no air gap between the outer glass (aka touch sensor) and the matrix surface (screen type OGS. One Glass Solution). Due to the smaller number of boundaries with greatly different refractive indices (glass-to-air type), such screens look better in conditions of strong ambient light, but their repair in the case of cracked outer glass is much more expensive, since the entire screen has to be changed.
On the contrary, the screen of the iPad mini 3 is slightly lighter. the brightness in the photo is 117. The reflection in the screen is tripled, which suggests the presence of an air gap between the matrix surface and the outer glass. From the point of view of image perception, this is a minus, but a screen with a split outer glass (aka a touch panel) is easier and cheaper to repair.
In the case of both tested tablets, there is clearly a special antiglare coating on the outer surface of the screens (a slightly purple tone of the reflection indirectly testifies to this), and the surface of the LCD matrix itself is slightly matte. the reflection is slightly unclear.
On the outer surface of the screens there is a special oleophobic (grease-repellent) coating, so fingerprints are removed more easily and appear at a slower rate than in the case of ordinary glass. At the same time, the effectiveness of this coating is noticeably higher for the iPad mini 3, but in both cases it is significantly lower than that of the Nexus 7.
The iPad Air 2 with manual brightness control has a maximum value of about 410 cd / m², and the minimum. 4.5 cd / m². For iPad mini 3, the values are 445 and 8 cd / m². The maximum values are quite high, and given the good anti-glare properties, the image on both screens should be clearly visible in bright daylight. In complete darkness, the brightness can be lowered to a comfortable level. Automatic brightness control by light sensor (s) works. The iPad Air 2 sensors, as we know two, are located under the front panel in the upper right and left parts. They work according to the priority of maximum brightness, so an accidentally covered corner will not suddenly lower the brightness of the screen during the day on the street. In automatic mode, when the ambient light conditions change, the screen brightness both increases and (well, wow!) Decreases. If you do not touch the brightness slider, then in complete darkness, the auto-brightness function reduces the brightness to 4.5 cd / m2 (very dim, but at night during a sleep break, the time to spy on is normal), in an office illuminated with artificial light (about 400 lux) it sets to 100.120 cd / m² (suitable), in a very bright environment (corresponds to bright daylight outdoors, but no direct sunlight. 20,000 lux or slightly more) raises to the maximum, that is, up to 410 cd / m² (as it should be) In general, this function works adequately. There are legends that by setting the brightness slider by hand to the desired level with automatic brightness control enabled, tablets and smartphones (as well as monoblocks and monitors) from Apple can be trained to set the desired brightness level, but we did not manage to comprehend the logic of learning, because after our intervention we got strange and poorly reproducible results. Automatic brightness control for iPad mini 3 does not fundamentally differ from this function of its predecessor. In this mode, the brightness can only increase. with a decrease in the level of ambient light, we did not wait for a corresponding decrease in the screen brightness. However, if you put the tablet into sleep mode and turn it on again, then the brightness will be set in accordance with the external conditions. In complete darkness. 8 cd / m² (dull), in the office. 90-130 cd / m² (suitable), in bright light. 445 cd / m² (logical). Both the Air 2 and the mini 3 have practically no backlight modulation at any brightness level, so there is no screen flicker either.
The tablets use an IPS matrix. The micrographs show the subpixel structure typical of IPS. iPad Air 2:
For comparison, you can see the gallery of photomicrographs of screens used in mobile technology.
The screens have excellent viewing angles without inverting tints and without significant color shift, even with large gaze deviations from the perpendicular to the screen. For comparison, here are the photos in which the same images are displayed on the Nexus 7 and the tested tablets, while the brightness of the screens is set to about 200 cd / m2, and the color balance on the camera is forcibly switched to 6500 K. Perpendicular to the screens, the test picture, iPad Air 2:
The color rendition is good on all screens, the color balance differs slightly, but if you look closely, in the case of the mini 3, you can see a slight decrease in the saturation of bright colors, which are close to the primary ones. And white box, iPad Air 2:
Note the good uniformity of brightness and color tone. Now at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the plane and to the side of the screen, iPad Air 2:
It can be seen that the colors and brightness balance have not changed much for both tablets. Then the white box, iPad Air 2:
The brightness at an angle on the tablets decreased noticeably (at least 5 times, based on the difference in exposure), but in the case of both iPads, the screen brightness at this angle is still slightly higher. The black field, when deviated along the diagonal, is lightened weakly, and acquires a violet or red-violet tint. The photo from the Nexus 7 for comparison shows this (the brightness of the white areas in the perpendicular direction for both tablets is about the same!), IPad Air 2:
When viewed from a perpendicular view, the black uniformity of the iPad Air 2 is imperfect, as there are areas around the edge with slightly increased black brightness:
In contrast, the iPad mini 3 is doing well with black uniformity:
But the contrast is lower. 600: 1 versus the very good 930: 1 in the iPad Air 2. The latter has a 23ms black-white-black transition (13ms on 10ms off). The transition between gray tones of 25% and 75% (based on the numerical value of the color) and back takes 36 ms in total. For mini 3, the values are 22 ms (13 ms on, 9 ms off) and 33 ms, respectively. The gamma curve, plotted using 32 points with equal intervals in terms of the numerical value of the shade of gray, did not reveal a blockage in either the highlights or the shadows. The exponent of the approximating power-law function is 2.21 and 2.25 (iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3), which is close to the standard value of 2.2, while the real gamma curve practically coincides with the power-law dependence:
Of course, there is no dynamic adjustment of the backlight brightness in accordance with the nature of the displayed image.
The color gamut of the iPad Air 2 is almost equal to sRGB:
And the iPad mini 3 has a narrower coverage:
Accordingly, the spectra show that, in the second case, the matrix filters noticeably mix the components together. iPad Air 2:
This technique allows you to increase the brightness of the screen with the same energy consumption for the backlight. As a result, the colors of images. drawings, photographs and films. oriented to the sRGB space (and there are the overwhelming majority of them) on the iPad mini 3 screen have a slightly reduced saturation.
The gray scale balance is good, as the color temperature is slightly above the standard 6500 K and the deviation from Spectra of absolute black body (ΔE) is less than 10, which is considered an acceptable indicator for a consumer device. At the same time, the variation in color temperature and ΔE is small, which has a positive effect on the visual perception of color balance. (The dark areas of the gray scale can be ignored, since the color balance there is not very important, and the error in measuring the color characteristics at low brightness is large.)
Let’s summarize. IPad Air 2’s display has a high enough maximum brightness and excellent anti-glare properties, so it can be used outdoors without problems, even on a sunny summer day. The iPad mini 3’s screen is slightly worse in this regard. the anti-glare properties are not so outstanding. but even its screen will not “go blind” in the sun. In complete darkness, the brightness of both screens can be dimmed to a comfortable value. It is also permissible to use the mode with automatic brightness adjustment, which works more or less adequately (plus some possibility of manual correction of this function, and the iPad Air 2 can even lower the brightness itself!). The advantages of the iPad Air 2 include: the absence of an air gap in the layers of the screen, high contrast and sRGB color gamut, also both screens do not flicker, are distinguished by high stability of black to deviation of the gaze from the perpendicular to the screen surface and are characterized by good color balance. The significant disadvantages in the case of the older model include a weak oleophobic coating, and in the case of the iPad mini 3. a narrowed color gamut. Nevertheless, taking into account the importance of properties for this class of devices, the screen quality of both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 should be recognized as high. We can’t resist and once again celebrate the outstanding anti-glare properties of iPad Air 2, resulting from the combination of OGS technology and a special anti-reflective coating. This is not the case with any screen of a mobile device that we have tested.
To what has been said, we can add that the grease-repellent coating of the iPad Air 2 really leaves much to be desired. the screen “plops” quickly enough. But otherwise the display is excellent. Feels like one of the best we’ve seen. Which, in general, is confirmed by detailed tests.
Now let’s take a look at the characteristics of new products.
OS and software
Now you have opened some kind of web link on iPad, but then decided to continue working with the site on Mac. In the Dock, you will see the Safari icon on the left, as if separated from the rest and marked with a special icon.
By clicking on it, you will see the same page that was opened on the iPad. Mail works the same way. If you started typing in Mail, and then moved to a Mac, you can continue where you left off. Of course, all this only works in Apple applications, so if you prefer an alternative email client or browser, then Handoff cannot be used.
Another example is the ability to receive calls to an iPhone from a tablet, even without a SIM card in it. Let’s say you’re sitting in a chair with an iPad, and an iPhone is on a table in the other corner of the room. If someone calls you, you used to have to go to your smartphone. Now you can take a call directly on iPad.
This is a very convenient feature, although it has one drawback: when you receive a call, all your Apple devices start to vote at once 🙂 Similarly, with SMS: now you can receive and answer regular text messages using not only iPhone, but also iPad and Mac (I’m talking specifically about SMS, because iMessages could be received on all these devices for a long time).
For more details on Continuity and Handoff, check out our 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display. detailed testing of this computer is coming soon to iXBT.com. Here, we note that now the connection between iPad, iPhone and Mac is stronger than ever. And those who are inside this ecosystem (which implies the use of not only hardware, but also software products of a single company) have access to such opportunities that, perhaps, users of competitors’ products do not have. precisely, a little bit different: these features are available “out of the box” and work by default.
And the last thing: as before, the new iPads are sold already with a pre-installed office suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote), which gives it a big advantage over Android and Windows tablets, where we can not always find a free decent office solution. On the other hand, again, for the most efficient work with Pages, Numbers and Keynote, you will also need versions for Mac (fortunately, they are now free, but not all iPad owners have Macs themselves).
In the second part of the article, we will tell you about the performance of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, games, battery life, 4G operation and cameras.