iPad Air

The iPad Air 2 ($499 and up from the Apple Store) is the current flagship of Apple’s family of tablets. It features a noticeably slimmer (18% thinner) profile compared to the original iPad Air, but largely retains the same physical design. A Touch ID sensor has been added to the Home button for fingerprint recognition, enabling ID-secure online (but not in-store) Apple Pay and iTunes Store purchasing. It now comes in the gold color option that Apple previously only offered on iPhones, as well as space gray and silver versions. You can choose from 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB capacities, as well as Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + LTE Cellular models.

Armed with a 9.7″ screen with a Retina-caliber 2048×1536 resolution, it has a new anti-reflective coating that makes the display 56% less reflective. It’s also the only iPad to include an A8X chip, an improvement over the iPad Air that uses a second-generation 64-bit architecture and 3 billion transistors for 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU performance. Though it promises (and delivers) the same 10-hour battery life as its predecessor, real-world run times have dropped a little relative to the first iPad Air, offset by the Air 2’s smaller chassis and 32-gram lighter weight.

The iPad Air 2 also includes the M8 motion tracking chip and barometer that were introduced in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, enabling it to sense its elevation and movement. In addition, iPad Air 2 gets a much-improved 8 megapixel iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture and 1080p video recording capabilities, similar to the iPhone 5s. Other specs include up to 2.8x faster Wi-Fi performance with 802.11ac and MIMO, while the cellular model increases LTE support to connect with 20 different LTE bands.

Read our full coverage for details.

Originally released in 2013, the first-generation iPad Air ($399 and up from the Apple Store) remains in Apple’s lineup as its entry-level 9.7″ tablet. Currently sold only in 16GB and 32GB capacities, it can be purchased in Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + LTE Cellular models.

The iPad Air took heavy design cues from the original iPad mini, becoming 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the full-sized iPad it replaced. It retains the 9.7″ Retina display with 2048×1536 resolution, with a pixel density of 326PPI. Also inside are a 64-bit A7 processor, 802.11n MIMO Wi-Fi, and optionally LTE cellular support that improves upon prior iPads.

As of early 2015, this model’s battery life is the best of all current iPads, exceeding Apple’s promised 10-hour run time by 2-3 hours under some conditions. It’s an excellent choice if you don’t favor the thinner, somewhat faster iPad Air 2 and are satisfied with the limited storage capacity the original iPad Air offers.

All iPad Air Generations

Release Date Age
October 16, 2014 10 months, 13 days ago
October 22, 2013 1 year, 10 months, 7 days ago

iPad Air ▪ August 26

AAPL: 109.69

5.95
Stock Chart

iPad Air ▪ August 22

AAPL: 105.76

-6.89
Stock Chart

The iPad accessory market is full of keyboards. Most of them double up as cases, they’re about as big as the iPad and they’re not well optimized for other devices. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is different. It’s small enough to carry around in your pocket when folded, and works with iOS, Windows and Android devices. What’s more, you can have it paired to two devices at once and switch between them with the press of a button. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most versatile and portable Bluetooth keyboards on the market. This review was written entirely on it.

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iPad Air ▪ August 19

AAPL: 115.01

-1.49
Stock Chart

Data from Appsee claims to have identified information regarding the as-yet-unannounced larger iPad Pro, expected to feature a display ranging between 12.3 and 12.9 inches. The app analytics firm says an iPad with identifier ‘iPad6,8’ appeared in its logs with a reported screen resolution of 2732×2048. Internally, the larger iPad models are referred to as J98 and J99. The resolution is especially notable as it was previously spotted within code for iOS 9. For comparison, the current iPad Air 2 has a screen resolution of 2048×1536 with a ‘iPad5,1’ model identifier.

The jump in pixels for both axis is substantial although somewhat expected given the screen will also be increasing in area by about 80%. AppSee says its logs indicate the device has been used to open several apps from the App Store. The company has also identified ‘iPhone 8,1’ and ‘iPhone8,2’ devices corresponding to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

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According to respected and generally reliable analyst Ming Chi-Kuo from KGI Securities, Apple’s long-awaited 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature Force Touch stylus support—perhaps for something like an enhanced Pencil from Paper’s FiftyThree. Earlier this month, we detailed what to expect from Force Touch on iOS including support for an enhanced stylus paired with the larger iPad models.

He expects the larger tablet to go in to production between September and October and that the stylus will be able to take advantage of the new iPad’s Force Touch-enabled screen. It’s being imagined as a feature which could help users more easily navigate the larger display of the iPad Pro. KGI has predicted an optional Lightning-charging stylus sold alongside the larger-screened iPad since earlier this year.

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iPad Air ▪ July 23

iPad Air ▪ July 19

WatchPlate Apple Watch rose gold gallery 9

A new report out from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo includes some interesting details about Apple’s planned fall product releases. Firstly, Kuo expects iPhone shipments to fall in the current quarter as anticipation builds for the new iPhone dubbed the ‘iPhone 6s’, although apparently ‘Force Touch yields are low’ which may constrict availability at the beginning. For Apple Watch, following a report earlier in the year to expect new materials for Apple Watch casings, Kuo claims Apple will launch new Apple Watch Sport color options to match the new iPhone.

This includes anodizing aluminum in either yellow gold or rose gold to match the gold options on the iPhone 6s and create a faux-Edition Sport model. Third-party coating services already exist for the Apple Watch (pictured above), but Apple’s additions would seemingly be for the aluminum, not steel models.  KGI believes Apple shipped a “tepid” 3.9 million Apple Watch units to date.

There is also news of a new iPad mini covered in KGI’s report, as well as sales estimates for all of Apple’s products ahead of the earnings calls on Tuesday.

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