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 1 year, 3 months, 23 days ago
October 22, 2013 2 years, 3 months, 17 days ago

iPad Air February 2

AAPL: 94.48

-1.95
Stock Chart

TwelveSouth, maker of stylish accessories for Apple products, is out today with new versions of its signature BookBook case fit for the slimmer iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2. In addition, TwelveSouth’s also showing off the upcoming iPad Pro version of the BookBook case. If you’re unfamiliar, TwelveSouth’s BookBook line wraps your Apple device in a vintage leather book-like case which offers equal parts protection and disguise.

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iPad Air January 28

AAPL: 94.09

0.67
Stock Chart

Apple has acquired education technology startup LearnSprout for an undisclosed sum, via Bloomberg. LearnSprout’s software lets teachers track student progress and test scores, organize class achievement targets and more school-oriented features. The acquisition follows Apple’s announcement of iOS 9.3, which includes several major new features for iPads in education, including multi-user account switching.

LearnSprout’s features were mainly marketed at PC and Mac users. With an Apple acquisition, it is likely the technology will be ported to iOS as Apple continues to push iPad into education sectors.

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iPad Air January 19

AAPL: 96.66

-0.47
Stock Chart

CBC News is reporting that Apple would not disclose Apple ID passwords to a widow after presenting her late husband’s death certificates and her will. Instead, Apple demanded Peggy Bush, 72, to attain a court order in order to gain access to the account. See the video after the jump for the full story.

Initially, Apple said that a death certificate would suffice but the company changed its mind on followup calls, making this situation even more frustrating for Bush. She just wanted to play her iPad freemium card game in peace. Law regarding digital assets after death is murky, although Bush points out that death certificates enabled her to transfer pensions and benefits, making it seem ridiculous that Apple would also not cooperate with the same information.

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9to5toys 

iPad Air December 28, 2015

AAPL: 106.82

-1.21
Stock Chart

Ever since I upgraded from an 11″ MacBook Air to a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, I’ve been hunting for the perfect hybrid computer and camera bag — a compact backpack that could hold my laptop, DSLR, lenses, and accessories at the same time. Six months ago, I covered several MacBook/camera bags from Incase, including the DSLR Sling Pack I’ve loved for years, and larger “Pro” options for bigger laptops. Each hybrid bag makes different compromises: for my needs, the Sling Pack’s too small, and the Pro bags are too large. But users of 11″ MacBooks might find the Sling Pack “just right.”

Seeing potential in a new alternative, I jumped at the opportunity to test Booq’s upcoming Slimpack ($195), a MacBook-sized evolution of its earlier iPad/DSLR backpack $145 Python Slimpack. Booq makes excellent bags, but apart from offering a multipurpose camera/headphone compartment in Boa Flow, it hasn’t taken a deep dive into the camera-laptop hybrid category. While the new Slimpack’s laptop compartment is just a hint too small for the 13″ MacBook Pro and iPad Pro I’m currently using, it’s right-sized for 12″ or smaller MacBooks, as well as 10″ or smaller tablets, any of which can be paired with a full-sized DSLR, three or four lenses, and accessories. Bundled with a rain shield and Booq’s standard Terralinq loss recovery protection system, it’s a very nice bag, and one I would certainly use if I switch to a 12″ MacBook next year…

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iPad Air December 10, 2015

AAPL: 116.17

0.55
Stock Chart

Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad today received another big update with several milestone features for the mobile image editor. Perhaps most importantly, Pixelmator for iOS now fully integrates with iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. This includes highly responsive brushes taking advantage of the Apple Pencil’s low latency drawing as well as palm rejection support. The Apple Pencil brushes adapt to pressure and tilt of the Apple Pencil accessory.

For the iPhone app, Pixelmator has added 3D Touch support throughout the application …

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iPad Air November 30, 2015

AAPL: 118.30

0.49
Stock Chart

Welcome to our iPad Holiday Gift Guide! There’s currently a lot of excitement around the world of iPad, and rightfully so.

On the software side, Apple injected new life into prior models by adding side-by-side apps and picture-in-picture video with iOS 9. In hardware, the smaller 7.9″ iPad mini family got major speed and notable display quality improvements with the iPad mini 4, while brand new 9.7″ iPad Air 2’s are being sold at prices lower than minis, and a completely new class of iPad debuted in the just-launched 12.9″ iPad Pro.

There are essential accessories in all price ranges for every iPad regardless of which size you’re addressing, and we’ve tested a lot of products over the years. Read on and please share our iPad Holiday Gift Guide so you and your loved ones can buy the best iPad accessories for the holidays.

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