APPLE IPAD AIR 2 REVIEW: IS IT STILL WORTH BUYING?

9.7-inch ipad tablet Pro vs iPad Air 2: Maxing out your pads

Apple’s gone và done it again. Its latest hàng hóa launch not only showed off a new iPad & a new phone – the iPhone SE, apparently the tech mega-giant is now greener than Captain Planet.

We’re not going khổng lồ delve into lớn the legitimacy of Apple’s environmental claims right now. We’ll save sầu that for later.

What we’re looking at now is whether the máy tính bảng ipad Pro 9.7 is really that much better than the iPad tablet Air 2. Let’s answer the big question: should Air 2 owners be looking khổng lồ tăng cấp already?

From a distance it may seem obvious. No, of course you shouldn’t. But there’s more lớn this ‘upgrade’ when you get closer.

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Related: WWDC 2016 – What lớn expect

WATCH: 9.7-inch máy tính bảng ipad Pro – All you need to know

iPad Pro 9.7 vs ipad tablet Air 2: The smart keyboard

We use a MacBook. We use Windows laptops. There’s not a hope in hell of us replacing a proper máy tính with an máy tính bảng ipad any time soon.

However, hook up an Apple smart keyboard lớn an ipad Pro and you can turn it into a passable computer for writing docs, emails và so on. Apple has made a special version of the keyboard it rolled out for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for the new 9.7-inch version.

It costs £129, but may mean some of you can get rid of your knackered old máy vi tính. While you might imagine the keyboard will also work with the ipad Air 2, the Apple Store’s compatibility notes say it’ll only function with the new máy tính bảng iPad Pro, that’s because it attaches via the Smart Connector – those three circles on the sides.

It clips inkhổng lồ place using magnets, then uses a folio-style case part that folds into lớn a tư vấn for the screen.

9.7-inch máy tính bảng ipad Pro vs máy tính bảng ipad Air 2: Yep, it gets the pencil too

If you’ve had any interest in the ipad Pro to date, it’s probably the Pencil that got you interested. It’s the one tablet stylus that has had a lot of arty types saying it is better than a Wacom Cintiq, which is the industry standard for graphics tablets.

Using exactly the same core hardware as the Máy tính bảng iPad Pro 12.9, you can expect the pen to lớn feel great, with near-zero latency making it feel lượt thích you’re actually drawing on the screen. With a pencil.

You get none of this in the máy tính bảng ipad Air 2. While you can grab a whole load of different styluses for the tablet, they’ll either be dumb capacitive sầu sticks, meaning you’re just replacing your finger with a giả pen (no pressure sensitivity), or third-các buổi tiệc nhỏ systems that simply aren’t going to work as well.

If you’re a bit of a comic book artist like our own review editor Alistair, there’s no competition. The Pro is going lớn be miles better.

So there. All done? You get a bit of extra scribbling và a bit of extra tapping away at Word documents, right? Not quite, there’s actually a whole load more to lớn the iPad Pro 9.7

Related: máy tính bảng ipad Pro 9.7-inch feature & specs

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9.7-inch máy tính bảng iPad Pro vs ipad tablet Air 2: It has a much more powerful CPU

Sorry iPad Air 2 owners, your tablet is now officially an underdog. The iPad Pro 9.7 features a much faster A9X CPU, the same used in the 12.9-inch version.

This is built on a completely different processor architecture than the Air’s A8X, so while the ipad tablet Air 2 has a tri-core CPU and the iPad Pro 9.7 a dual-core one, the newer tablet is still a lot faster.

We’ve sầu not had a chance to run any benchmarks on the thing yet, we’ll cover that in our nhận xét, but existing Geekbench 3 results for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch give you a good idea of what lớn expect. According khổng lồ the benchmark’s own aggregate league table, the máy tính bảng iPad Pro scores 5466 points, the máy tính bảng iPad Air 2 4527.

Phil Schiller gave us some pretty tasty little soundbites as he unveiled the tablet too. Its CPU has over “three billion” transistors, and the 12-core GPU offers 0.5 teraflops of power, “more than an Xbox 360”.

For a bit of wider context, the GeForce GTX980 offers 5 teraflops. But then it is a £500 graphics thẻ.

Related: iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S

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9.7-inch iPad Pro vs iPad tablet Air 2: The Pro has much better screen colour

With the original iPad tablet Pro, Apple redesigned the display driver of its tablet, and the 9.7 version gets this too. Some of this technology is about making the display respond naturally to the Pencil, though, so let’s focus on the bits you’ll really notice.

The iPad Pro 9.7 will get you richer colours than an máy tính bảng iPad Air 2. This is one of those upgrades we’ll have sầu to get a bit technical lớn appreciate because we, like just about everyone else, think the Air 2 has very nice display colour already.

Until now iPads have focused on the sRGB colour gamut. This is a standard rainbow of colours that HPhường and Microsoft agreed in the 90s as something monitors & printers should aim for.

Tablets with 100 per cent sRGB coverage and decent calibration, like the máy tính bảng iPad Air 2, look great. But now Apple says the máy tính bảng ipad Pro is made to satisfy the DCI colour spectrum.

This is a whole new rainbow laid out by the film industry, and features tonnes of all colours way deeper than anything you’ll see in the fairly limited sRGB range. We review screens a lot, & even good ones can fail to reach 50 per cent of the DCI gamut.

If the 9.7-inch ipad tablet Pro manages to cover 100 per cent of it, well, that’ll be impressive. Of course, Apple didn’t actually clalặng full coverage. But unlike many Androids with wide colour gamut OLED screens, you can bet the máy tính bảng iPad Pro won’t look unnaturally oversaturated despite its “wide colour gamut”.

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9.7-inch iPad tablet Pro vs ipad Air 2: The Pro will be much better khổng lồ use outdoors

If you’re not an epic screen snob, you probably don’t have sầu khổng lồ worry about whether DCI is better than sRGB. Leave sầu that khổng lồ the nerds.

However, that it’s going khổng lồ look much better outdoors on a sunny day is going to benefit just about everyone. Phil Schiller says the 9.7-inch ipad Pro is 40 per cent less reflective sầu than the Máy tính bảng iPad Air 2, even though that older tablet’s anti-glare coating was sold in as one of its key features baông xã at its birth in năm trước.

After all the excitement about an anti-glare iPad died down, people also found that the máy tính bảng iPad Air 2 was a bit less bright than its predecessor, which is something the new Pro fixes. Schiller says it is “25 per cent brighter than the Máy tính bảng iPad Air 2” with 500-nit output.

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Colour matching for the environment is in

As part of iOS 9.3, both of these tablets will be able khổng lồ use a feature called Night Shift, which is where the colour temperature of the screen gets warmer as the sun goes down. This means it’ll gradually look more orangey as it gets later.

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Why? Blue colour spectrum light is part of the reason why using an LCD screen device at bed time can keep you awake. It may also give sầu you a bit of eyestrain.

CyanogenMod has had this temperature-shifting feature for a while, in fact.

Where the ipad tablet Pro gets another boost over the máy tính bảng ipad Air 2 is that it has an extra-special ambient light sensor that lets it tweak the colour temperature of the screen lớn suit lighting conditions as well. Schiller says it has “two four-channel ambient light sensors”. The net effect is that whites should look white no matter what funky lighting is around the tablet.

Messing around with trắng balance is why that whole ‘is the dress blue or gold?’ internet sensation cropped up in 2015.

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9.7-inch máy tính bảng iPad Pro vs máy tính bảng iPad Air 2: Four speakers are better than two, right?

Yet more proof the iPad tablet Air 2 isn’t really a top-kết thúc Apple tablet anymore, the 9.7-inch máy tính bảng iPad Pro has much better speakers. The Pro has four drivers, the Air 2 just two.

In the iPad Air 2, the drivers sit on the bottom of the tablet, one to each side of the Lightning connector. The Pro moves the drivers, with one at each corner.

This is a very significant upgrade for the ipad tablet as a truyền thông và gaming device, meaning you’ll get stereo sound you can actually appreciate. Schiller says the Pro puts our “two times the volume” as an máy tính bảng ipad Air 2. So does that mean the drivers are working at the same level, but there are two more? Perhaps.

The ipad tablet Air 2 is already one of the best-sounding tablets money can buy, so the Pro will almost certainly be the best-sounding 10-inch tablet.

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9.7-inch iPad Pro vs iPad Air 2: The Pro actually has a good camera

Just as we wouldn’t use the máy tính bảng iPad as our main computer, we wouldn’t use a tablet as our camera either. Maybe it’s pride. Let’s be honest: people taking pictures with tablets look silly.

We’re not going to be able able lớn use the excuse that tablets have sầu crappy cameras anymore, though, because the iPad tablet Pro 9.7-inch gets the same 12-megapx iSight camera as the iPhone 6S (or so it would seem). It’s a terrific sensor, with on-sensor phase detection pixels and much larger-than-average photosites, making it much better for low-light photos than the vast majority of mobile devices.

The máy tính bảng iPad Air 2 has an 8-megapixel camera that, while good for a tablet, already lagged way behind the iPhone 6 in năm trước. Apple has not specifically said the máy tính bảng ipad Pro matches the iPhone 6S component-for-component, but the specs available are identical. As well as the same sensor resolution, it has a 5-element lens with an aperture of f/2.2 and those tell-tale “Focus Pixels”.

Unlike previous iPads, including the 12.9-inch ipad tablet Pro, this doesn’t appear lớn be a cut-down camera. It can even shoot 4K video.

For the selfie hunters, the máy tính bảng iPad Pro 9.7-inch has a 5-megapixel front sensor & supports the same Retimãng cầu flash as the lademo iPhones. This is where the screen’s backlight goes supernova briefly khổng lồ act lượt thích a regular flash. By comparison, the máy tính bảng ipad Air 2’s 1.2-megapx selfie camera seems flat-out rubbish.

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9.7-inch ipad Pro vs máy tính bảng ipad Air 2: It comes in new models, including pink ones

Here’s the bit you’ve sầu really been waiting for. You can get the iPad tablet Pro 9.7-inch in Rose Gold. It’s the first time an Apple tablet has been available in this dusky pink shade.

More exciting, but something we’re equally unlikely khổng lồ buy, is the a 256GB máy tính bảng ipad Pro. That’s truly mammoth storage for a tablet, the same amount we use on a day-to-day Apple MacBook phiên bản Pro. Both Pro models are now available with this extra space.

9.7-inch máy tính bảng ipad Pro vs iPad tablet Air 2: Price – the deal-breaker?

The 9.7-inch ipad tablet Pro is much more than just an iPad Air whose had its screen fiddled with to make the Apple Pencil work. It’s a comprehensive sầu, really quite impressive boost in almost every area.

But you vì chưng have sầu khổng lồ pay for it.

The iPad tablet Pro starts at £499/$599, which gets you the 32GB version. You’ll pay £619/$749 for the 128GB edition and £739/$899 for the Big Mac 256GB one. Need 4G? That’ll be an extra £100/$130 for each.

Bear in mind the Pro doesn’t come with the keyboard (£129) or Pencil (£59) either. It can get very expensive sầu.

Apple doesn’t offer directly comparable models of iPad Air 2 instead filling-in the gaps with a £349/$399 16GB version và a £429/$499 64GB one. Again, add £100 for 4G.

There’s no way around it, the entry price of an máy tính bảng ipad Air 2 is a lot more affordable.

9.7-inch máy tính bảng iPad Pro vs ipad tablet Air 2: First Impressions

Ok, ok, we admit it. The iPad Pro 9.7 seems lượt thích a pretty good nâng cấp. A great one really. We were ready to bash it with the cynicism stichồng, khổng lồ vì our best khổng lồ shatter that smug Appley screen và laugh at Apple’s great ruse of trying to lớn get us lớn use these toys as our main PCs.

And now we kindomain authority want one. We still wouldn’t want lớn use an ipad Pro as a full-on computer, but even without all the Pro-themed upgrades, Apple has actually done enough khổng lồ make this a worthwhile alternative lớn the máy tính bảng iPad Air 2 for new buyers. New screen, new camera, new speakers.

I still don’t think many current Air 2 owners should feel the need to lớn upgrade, though. Does your tablet really feel old? It shouldn’t vày unless you let your dog use it as a comfort blanket or something.

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