iPad Anandtech iPad Air 2 Review

Discussion in 'iPad' started by zhenya, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #1
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8666/the-apple-ipad-air-2-review/10

    Took so long I thought they might not be reviewing it.

    As usual it's great to have a review that gets into the technical details which can give us a broader picture of Apple's strategy as opposed to another review that only covers the basic experience.

    Footnotes:

    - Wifi battery test is basically equivalent to the iPad Air. (Better on wifi, worse on LTE). Makes me wonder if the battery reports we are seeing are 'new device syndrome' or if the additional RAM is dragging down overall life through sleep drain which was not tested.

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    - Absolutely class leading cpu performance. Crazy how fast these are getting, and this explains why I am such an iPad geek. Looking at the browser tests, the iPad is a web browsing computer, perfected. It's now desktop class fast, and in my experience these optimizations actually make it faster and smoother than my i7 Thinkpad for general web browsing, including videos.

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    - the Imagination PowerVR GX6650 move from a 4 cluster layout to a 6 cluster, accounting for much of the 50% increase which brings near top of class graphics, and those ahead are largely devices dedicated to gaming.

    [​IMG]

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    - doubling the Ram doubles the memory Bus width to 128 bit and bandwidth to 25.6 GB/S which accounts for a further speed increase. This means the A8x should be bottle necked by memory bandwidth far less frequently than A7 even with the additional GPU clusters.

    - NAND performance is class leading in sequential read/writes but just above average for random performance.

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    - the author believes that while the software is class leading, they are falling behind on extending the use cases for the iPad because they have such a comfortable lead. I somewhat agree. On the other hand, I think that Apple is so stretched for software development today that they'd be better served to slow down and polish what they are releasing a bit better before trying to pack in even more features.
     
  2. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

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    Aug 1, 2013
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    St. Augustine, FL
    #2
    Just received mine yesterday and the speed is unbelievable. So glad I went ahead and pulled the trigger. Was worried about the vibration deal but it is a non-issue for me and my usage pattern.
     
  3. Nozuka macrumors 68000

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    Jul 3, 2012
    #3
    too bad they didnt include a nexus 9 in those benchmarks. would have been interesting to see.
     
  4. konradsa macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2014
    #4
    I guess they didn't have a Nexus 9 with final hardware/software yet to compare. I expect there will be an in-depth Nexus 9 review soon, and the comparison to iPad Air 2 will happen there.
     
  5. spajdr macrumors newbie

    spajdr

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    Czech Republic, Ostrava
    #5
    Guys, do you think that enabling IOS 8 METAL support in gfx benchmarks (3D Mark) would increase score even more?
    Anyway Air 2 hold up nicely compared to NVIDIA shield tablet, especially due to higher resolution.
     
  6. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    Yeah, I meant to mention that. I really wish they had been able to include it as well. On the other hand the overall reviews that have been coming out are so bad it seems like it's basically a non-starter regardless of what synthetic benchmarks show.
     
  7. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    europe
    #7
    source anandtech site:
    konradsa - Saturday, November 08, 2014
    A lot of people at the mac rumors forum are complaining about a) distortion on screen when pushing on back and b) excessive vibration due to speakers when watching movies or playing games. Bad enough many are returning them again.Can you comment on that? Could you compare the cellular and Wi-Fi versions and see if they behave differently with respect to a) or b)?

    JoshHo - Saturday, November 08, 2014
    I can confirm that both of those are present on the cellular version that we were sampled, but distortion from pressing on the back is something that I've noticed on multiple devices this year. The vibration effects are definitely strong but this really isn't an issue.

    for a some reason i was expecting that they wouldnt talk about these thing at all. just another site that can be removed from the list of "check their reviews before..." :/
     
  8. iosuser macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 12, 2012
    #8
    Read it last night, took them a while this time. I love Anand's reviews, but their battery life test on the 2013 Nexus 7 is complete farce, and they keep sticking that up there with every reviews. Most other reviews put it in the 7-8hr range which is already optimistic. I'll be lucky to get 6 just surfing on mine and it's barebones as far as stuff I installed on it. Leave it there on standby and it's completely dead in less than a week.

    Anyway, I'm getting the same excellent battery life from my Air 2 as from the Air 1.
     

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  9. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

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    #9
    The one I got yesterday is the 64g Silver Cellular and it does not have the distortion deal by pressing on the back. Does vibrate but not until volume over half way up.
     
  10. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #10
    I would like them to port over Final Cut Pro onto iPad. We need something better than iMovie for video aiding, now that we have desktop class photo editing with Pixelmator, and Garageband on iPad is great along with Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
     
  11. barjam macrumors regular

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    Jul 4, 2010
    #11
    The nexus 7 battery life thing is interesting. I owned one and barely used it and every time I picked it up it was dead. Standby on those things seemed awful.
     
  12. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #12
    Ignorance is bliss, right? :rolleyes:
     
  13. konradsa macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2014
    #13
    A little off topic, but my Nexus 7 battery life even at idle is great now (not as good as iPad, but close). I installed Greenify, and I also went back to a default configuration with synching on, etc. I tried to save battery by turning off Bluetooth, synching, etc., but the Nexus them seems to get into some funk where it sometimes drains a lot of battery at idle. I now figured the default configuration is the more solidly tested one with less issues.
     
  14. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

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    Oct 18, 2012
    #14
    I have to say...I'm a lifelong Android fan (who happens to compute on Macs due to the industry I'm involved with). I've owned every major Android device since the G1 in 2008. I was so excited for the Nexus 9. I sold my Nexus 10 (a device I loved to death and looking back, should not have parted with) and waited. HTC build quality in a Nexus device, with a 64-bit SoC, insane GPU, and all the open goodness of stock Android 5.0 with an unlockable/relockable bootloader? I was so there!

    Unfortunately, that tablet has way too many teething problems for me to justify the high cost. It runs hot, has serious light bleed issues, not assembled well, etc. I can get over the hiccups with the new Android version...after all, after 2-3 months they go away with updates, as every Nexus device has had them and gotten them resolved shortly after release. But I can't justify that amount of money for iffy build quality and yet another hot-running Tegra chip.

    This has had me thinking about the iPad Air 2 for a few weeks now. Don't get me wrong, I hate iOS. A lot. And I think objectively, if you used both Android 5.0 Lollipop and iOS 8, you would see Android is now more polished, functional, and pretty. But the issues with the Nexus 9 alone has made me consider the iPad Air 2 and just dealing with the lower quality OS experience. This review has pushed me to buy it, and I'll be stopping over Best Buy in a few to try and get a great deal on it.
     
  15. konradsa macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2014
    #15
    Hey, I am totally with you. I really love my Nexus 7 2013, and was really excited
    about the Nexus 9. But looking at all the reviews, I am really disappointed and it's not worth the money. The iPad hardware is a lot better, but I also hate how restrictive iOS is. Therefore, I am going to buy an iPad Air 2 today, since iOS 8.1 is still jail breakable, but looks like this party is over once Apple releases iOS 8.1.1.
     
  16. mrex, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #16
    it is sad that you cant really trust Anandtech reviews anymore... if they start writing reviews without telling everything they also noticed themselves, what is the point to read the review at the first place? they saw the distortion, they said that the vibration is strong, but still they didnt bother to mention them on their review... would this have happened if they hadnt had an ex-member working in apple?

    I was in a store today and they had two Air2 units on a table. Both suffered the distortion. I didnt even press hard, just simply when i picked up the device, the distortion appeared. My bf tried them too, and was like "what the hell..." if i moved my fingers, again distortions... i didnt need to try the vibration, the distortion made a decision for me and i didnt buy it. im going to check it again after couple months, if apple tweaked it somehow...
     
  17. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #17
    Oh, I understand now. I thought initially you didn't think that the reviewer shouldn't have acknowledged the issues in the comments, but you're saying he should've mentioned them in the review to begin with and I agree, the vibration is an issue as I've felt it myself at the Apple store and it should definitely be acknowledged in an objective review.
     
  18. Charliebird, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    Charliebird macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    #18
    Excellent review although I already miss Anand myself. The iPad Air 2 actually lives up the claim of desktop class power in a tablet form.

    I'm really curious what the chipworks breakdown will discover on the A8x.
     
  19. miamialley macrumors 68030

    miamialley

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    I used my iPad air 2 yesterday from 100% to 50% and got 6 hours of usage. That was screen brightness 30-45%, some games, Safari, downloading new apps, music, tv shows (all iTunes) using wifi.

    Zero complaints about battery. It's great.
     
  20. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    Sep 23, 2013
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    Upstate, NY
    #20
    A few reviews have mentioned it briefly but then quickly shrug it off. I get that everyone is different and peoples tolerance is also different for various issues. But, this is pretty cut and dry and very real. But, in this day and age of knob slobbing over big companies, you can't expect some review site to say anything too negative against a big company, Apple or not. Pretty much everything gets a decent or better review if it's from a large company aka advertiser. That's the way it works.
     
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #21
    I'm glad you said that. I saw the nexus 7 very high on that list for battery life. Did they charge it 3 times and then include the stats :)
     
  22. iosuser macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 12, 2012
    #22
    Yeah that has to be the only logical explanation, that someone played a trick on them and plugged it in in the middle of their testing lol. Someone commented on their original review regarding this dubious battery life claim on the Nexus 7, but they're sticking by it and are continuing to list it in their current reviews.
     
  23. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #23
    I was surprised they glossed over the vibration issue with just a one sentence mention. I realize it isn't a fatal flaw for many users, but I'd thought they would a least compare it to other generations.
     
  24. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #24
    By the same token they didn't mention the fact that the new speakers actually sound a whole lot better than the old ones, so it's not that they are ignoring the issue, just that this particular site chose to not place much emphasis on the speakers at all.
     
  25. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

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    #25
    Hmmm...
     

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