Hands On With The iPad Air 2

The new iPad Air feels a lot like the old iPad Air, and that’s a good thing, But it’s amazing the difference that shaving just a little more off of the thickness of the device can do, in terms of its overall presence in the hand. This iPad Air definitely feels more portable, and I’d imagine will be a lot more comfortable to hold over longer periods, thanks to the additional size and weight savings.

The display is the same resolution as the one you’re used to from the last generation, which is still one of the best in the tablet industry, but now it somehow looks as if it’s even closer to the glass, and the impression is one of a printed high-resolution mock-up, rather than an actual display you can interact with and change. That’s because Apple has eliminated a gap by combining screen components to bring the display even closer to the glass. Things look a lot more touchable, some how, with this new look.

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While the iPad Air’s hardware mute/lock switch is gone, it isn’t forgotten. I understand the need to remove the physical button in the interest of saving space, but it’s still a very handy thing to have on the device if you’re looking to quickly silence any notifications or noises. The software workaround isn’t terrible, but it isn’t ideal, either.

Touch ID on the new iPad Air is a very welcome addition. It works as you’d expect it to, if you’ve used the iPhone 5s or later, which is to say it works far better than any other fingerprint unlocking tech out there, with a much lower incidence of error.

Overall, Apple has delivered a powerful update to its larger iPad, and the camera improvements actually might convince me to start using a tablet to take photos, even though I never thought I’d say those words ever in a million years.

We’ll have additional thoughts on the iPad Air 2 once we get a chance to do a full review, but for now it seems like a solid upgrade, if a mostly evolutionary one.