Op/Ed: iPad Air 2, Just Another Tablet In The Sea

Editorial / Mobile / Tech

Tim Cook took to the stage yesterday to announce Apple’s newest tablet offering, the iPad Air 2. Before the curtain was pulled back and the device unveiled, Cook announced that the iPad is Apple’s best selling device in history and, as is Apple style, he provided some pretty graphs to show his point. Finally, the moment of awe had arrived, ladies and gentlemen… the iPad Air 2.

The iPad Air 2 arrives with some improvements – as any new generation device should – and here’s just a few of those hardware improvements.

  • 6.1mm thick, the thinnest iPad yet
  • Upgraded IPS display 2048×1536
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Touch ID is now on the iPad
  • Improved wireless card
  • Added LTE bands to WiFi/LTE model
  • Improved iSight cameras
  • New Apple A8X CPU

These improvements are much appreciated and are going to provide a nice experience for any user thinking of buying an iPad Air 2, of that there is no doubt. But there’s really nothing here that sets Apple apart from the rest of the competition, at least in hardware. Cook made a good point about tablet optimized apps and right now Apple devs do a better job in that category but Android is not too far behind.

Apple’s iPad is fast becoming just another tablet to choose from, no longer truly leading in anything more than marketing and favorable press reviews. I have no doubt that the new iPad is a beautiful and powerful machine but there are other beautiful and powerful machines to choose from. Google announced their Nexus 9 just the day before Apple’s event and it’s a device people should consider. Samsung’s Note tablets are great choices and offer multi-tasking and features the iPad just doesn’t have.

If you’re in the market for a tablet this Christmas season it can be a challenge to get past the marketing that Apple puts out. Even members of the press are doling out the kool-aid, feeding the idea that Apple’s magical iPad is the best. I’m an iPad Air user myself and I thoroughly enjoy my device, but I’m confident enough to realize it’s not the be all end all of tablets anymore. As I always say, you the reader need to get out and touch these devices, use them, ask other users who are using them how they like them.

Should you buy an iPad Air 2?

  • Yes. If you’re invested and enjoy the Apple software eco-system, and want the bumped specs, then the choice is a no brainer.
  • Maybe. If you are undecided and have no investment in either Apple or Android I suggest you research as much as you can from all the options currently available.
  • No. If you want real multi-tasking capabilities and more options to customize.

Don’t be deceived by network anchors who have little clue on how to even work a tablet, after all they get fed their script through a teleprompter. Don’t be fooled by tech press who have special privileges with big companies and rarely – if ever – give negative press to the device. Times are a changing, there are options out there despite what Apple says.

Alex currently uses the following devices:  iPad Air, Dell Venue Tablet (Android), LG Tablet (Android), iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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