All iPads iPad Air or iPad Air 2 ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by scarrz, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. scarrz, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

    scarrz macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    I realize there have been many posts regarding this topic but would like a few opinions on this specifc question. I currently have a iPad 4 which I was planning to sell to a relative since I found a iPad air 32gb for $289 (new, open box). During the time waiting for it to arrive, I've started to question if I should just spend the extra $180-200 out of pocket after the sale of my iPad 4 and pickup a iPad air 2. I'm definitely a believer in buying the latest tech at the time it's out but I also believe the next iPad release (2015) could have some very worthwhile changes which would mean I wouldn't feel so bad selling the iPad air in order to pick it up.

    The out of pocket costs for keeping the iPad air Would be $40 vs $180-200 for a new air 2. Not sure I can justify spending the extra especially if within the next year a new release maybe even a bigger screen might be coming. Thoughts?
  2. medipad16 macrumors newbie


    Jun 28, 2014
    If you have the money get the air 2 the iPad air is basically a slimmer iPad 4 no touch id no laminated Anti-reflective display and the same ridiculous amount of ram
  3. JeffNT326, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

    JeffNT326 macrumors member


    Apr 20, 2012
    Really, you'll need to weigh what you want and justify if the differences between iPad Air and 2 are worth the extra cost. Also, do you know for sure if the open box iPad Air is clear of problems/defects? This is pretty important as getting a 32 GB for $289 seems almost unbelievable. It's retailing for $450 and averaging ~$340 on eBay used.

    If it were me, I'd weigh the pros and cons:

    Pros for iPad Air:
    -Cheap, great deal if unit has no problems
    -Larger battery (proven to last longer than iPad Air 2)
    -Still a highly functional device
    -Functional mute/rotation lock switch

    Cons for iPad Air:
    -Bad deal if unit turns out to have problems
    -Still rolling with 1 GB ram

    Pros for iPad Air 2:
    -Brand new, peace-of-mind purchase, warranty (don't discount this part!)
    -Newest and fastest iPad with tri-core processor 2 GB ram (future proofing)
    -Touch ID (however important this is to you)
    -New laminated gapless display with anti-reflective coating

    -Costs more
    -Battery doesn't last as long as iPad Air, however it will still hit its advertised 10 hr mark.
    -no hardware mute/ration lock switch, though this can be set in control center and hardware volume controls are still present (this may or may not be a con for you, but for me, I really like knowing by feel that whatever I have it set to is, in fact, set)

    If I were in your position and didn't already have an iPad Air, I would spring for the iPad Air 2.

    Whatever you end up choosing, either iPad will serve you well!

    More comparisons:
  4. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Go for the Air 2 if you plan to keep if for a long time. With its considerably, insanely, fast processor and double the RAM, its going to last a lot longer. And even at that, its not really double the RAM, it's more;

    iPad Air 1
    RAM - 1GB
    Free RAM - 350MB

    iPad Air 2
    RAM - 2GB
    Free RAM - 1350MB

    It has around 4 times the free RAM of the original. With each OS update, the RAM usage tends to go up due to more features creating more demand for resources. If you are happy to leave it on the software that comes (which is not recommended due to the fact that your software's security will not stay up to date), then its up to you, but if you want to buy an iPad that you keep for the longest amount of time its not even a contest.

    Other plus points are TouchID (I have found it rather pointless on the tablet), the less reflective screen (which is much better than the Air 1), and its much thinner without loosing battery life (I'm still commonly getting around 15 hours with web browsing and if I'm just watching films with Wi-Fi off, I once got a whopping 18 and a half hours!).

    Plus, you can get much larger stage variants (64B and 128GB). I would recommend the 64GB (as mine is half full with around 9 films, 65 apps and heavy games, 79 photos...) so I'd say the 128GB option is only worth it if you have a massive liberty of films or music you want downloaded on the iPad at all times, or you wish to fully replace your laptop but still do high end work such as shooting and editing video.
  5. Mivo macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    $289 is a very good price for a new Air, provided it comes with warranty. If money is a bigger concern (e.g., spending $200 extra means you'll have to take some of it out of the food budget), and/or you mainly use the device for media consumption, I would go with that and then consider the next (or the one after) iPad.

    If you do more with your iPad, e.g. play the latest games on it, use it for making music (synths etc), or just use it a lot in general, an Air 2 will give you a lot more power under the thinner hood. You'll certainly notice a substantial improvement compared to the 4.

    Jeff summed up the cons and pros. Personally, I'd go for the Air 2, but I'm not the most reasonable person when it comes to buying new toys. :)
  6. mylexon20s macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2003
    Coral Springs, FL
    If I were in the same position I would buy the Air 2. The performance between the two iPads are different as the Air 2 is a lot faster and more responsive. If you hold on to your iPads longer, the Air 2 will be relevant longer with regard to future updates. Either way, good luck. Having to choose between an Air 2, and Air isn't a bad place to be. lol:cool:
  7. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    Umm, no. The Air has better specs than the iPad 4. If you have the extra money get the Air 2. It's also has better specs than the Air.
  8. scarrz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    All very good points. I'm tempted to just keep the air and let it tide me over until the iPad Air 3 or whatever it's called. Gonna think about it a little more. Definitely not a bad problem to have.

  9. tooobe macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2008
    I would get the ipad Air, unless touch id is really important to you for some reason. Let it tide you over until the ipad Air 3 as you say.
  10. imaccooper macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    I agree with all the pros and cons many people have mentioned but I want to add one more element. It depends on if the "iPad Pro" interests you. If it does then jumping on that great deal for the air might be best for you so you can use it for a year or so and then get the newer model. I expect by that time you will still be able to sell you 32gb air for about the same price you are going to be getting it at. I'm sure you will enjoy whichever model you get.
  11. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    I've got both. Get the Air 2 and if you want the 3/Pro when it comes out the Air2 resale value will be much more. The Air 2 is a lot faster in all respects, and a real pleasure to use. You won't regre it.
  12. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I'd get an Air 2 on sale. I had purchased a 128 GB last weekend for $540 at Best Buy with coupon and their 2 day sale, but returned it due to scratches out of box.

    The Touch ID is a big deal to me because it makes the device looker cleaner in my opinion, it won't scratch like a plastic button, and debris doesn't seem to get stuck under it, making the device ugly as it did on iOS devices before iet.
  13. RebornProphet Suspended

    Nov 3, 2013
    If you're planning on keeping the iPad for a while then the Air 2 is the obvious choice, however the Air 1 is still a remarkably powerful device. The latest power hungry games (currently) run identical on both tablets due to iOS 8 and the Metal API. Titles like VainGlory, Asphalt 8, Bioshock (not updated for Metal yet but I live in hope) run amazingly on both tablets with nothing to tell between them in terms of performance.

    As developers begin targeting the Air 2's A8X chip you'll eventually see a difference but for now there's little if anything between them. Where the Air 2 does excel is in web browsing and multi tasking due to the 2GB of RAM. Tabs don't reload as often and you can switch between apps during prolonged use and the app you were using 5 minutes before won't need to reload.

    If the Air 1 is a good price, comes with a warranty, and is in excellent condition then I'd seriously consider it if you're not looking/wanting/in a position to spend the extra on the Air 2.
  14. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I would also suggest that everyone makes sure that the Air 2 and it's well noted chassis vibrations don't bother you if you use the speakers versus headphones. This is a real issue but it doesn't affect everyone. The unit I sampled at my local BB had this problem and it stopped me from buying the Air 2 since I don't ever use headphones and listen to music while typing. This screen itself resonated and drive me crazy.

    It's the ultra thin chassis and a new speaker design that cause this problem.

  15. canesalato macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2010
    I think the iPad Air 2 is the best iPad device Apple has made to this date.
    The first iPad Air? The worst, in my opinion (except for the great battery life)
  16. scarrz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    Care to elaborate why the ipad air is the worst?
  17. squeller, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    squeller macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2008
    I think RebornProphet has a really good point: the iPad Air 2 is faster, but you wont see much of a difference even in the higher end apps for a while. By the time you'll really NEED that extra performance, the iPad Air 2 will be history already.

    The better resale value of the iPad Air 2 is an argument, but only if you don't skip a generation before you sell and upgrade. Once it's more than one generation behind, general condition will have the biggest influence on the price.

    So I'd say -- objective/economic choice: iPad Air, subjective/emotional choice: iPad Air 2
  18. scarrz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    Very good post. Agree totally.

  19. canesalato, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    canesalato macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2010
    It is not a balanced product. Profict margins prevailed on user experience when planning the first iPad Air.
    - It has a powerful processor, so even heavy games run fine but it only has 1GB on RAM.
    This can be ok (but not ideal) on an iPhone, but not anymore on an iPad, for 3 reasons:
    1) the phone has a much smaller resolution than the iPad Air.
    2) We tend to do heavier multitasking on a tablet than on a phone. This includes web browsing (the infamous safari tab reloading issue), but also multitasking between apps (pages and the other iwork apps keeps reloading after a switch outside an app. It's a bit frustrating). Of course if you use just one app or tab each time, this can be ok. But it's very limiting, in my work flow.
    3) The iPad Air is a 64 bit device, which means that the ram usage is about 25% higher. So, in practice, the iPad Air has 25% less RAM than a 3 or 4.
    bonus) because of point 1 and 3 the iPad Air is more crash prone than the Air 2, and 90% of its crashes are low memory crashes. This is because iOS doesn't have a swap file. The last RAM starved iPad was the iPad 1, which came with iOS3, wasn't great with multitasking on 4, sucked and was very unstable on 5, and didn't get 6 at all (only A4 device that didn't support iOS6). Also flash memory seems to be faster on the second Air.
    All these factors combine and you can really tell the difference: iOS8 is very smooth on the Air 2, and quite laggy on the first Air. Infact even iOS7.0 was a bit laggy on the first Air. But lagginess is subjective and some people tolerate it. What is not tolerable is the frequency of crashes and reloads that the damn thing shows.

    - The screen is thinner than older iPads and not laminated like in the Air 2. This creates a not so nice "plastic" feeling when you touch. It feels hollow and makes a lot of reflections. It is actually the only iPad that I don't enjoy using. Maybe I'm picky, but older iPads where "a joy" to use and operate. This joy was lost with the Air and restored with the Air 2.

    It can be ok for someone, but in my opinion, it's not a good product.
  20. RebornProphet Suspended

    Nov 3, 2013

    Spot on.

    Annual upgraders (like myself) don't get to see the devices we buy pushed to the limit of their potential because the annual hardware cycle and user base focus by developers means the latest iPad is replaced by a newer the time developers utilise that extra power.

    I've gone from iPad 3 to iPad 4 to iPad Air and if I'm being brutally honest the only major change I've seen is on the iPad 4 when running NOVA 3 when I could run retina resolution and full effects at the same time, whereas iPad 3 could only do one or the other.

    I'm undecided about getting the Air 2 because I could wait it out on the more than adequate Air 1 for another 9 months and pick up an Air 2 when the 3 is released, which saves money and gives me a device which even then won't have been pushed to anywhere near its peak in terms of high end performance.

    With the power in these devices, combined with the annual refresh cycle, we're never going to see the best of the latest iPad in its 12 months of self life as the premium iPad model. And these things don't just become crap performers the day after they're superceded.

    I always say if you have the money buy the latest product in the range, but unless you want Touch ID/Apple Pay and for some odd reason find the existing iPad Air heavy, then you're going to be disappointed upgrading from an Air to an Air 2 when you run current high end apps.

    The immediate gulf in high end performance that came from, let's say, the iPhone 3G to 3GS or iPad to iPad 2 simply doesn't exist nowadays.


    You say you're picky? Well I'm telling you I'm an iPad power user and I've never ONCE on either iOS 7 or 8 had a low memory crash.

    And this is from someone who goes from editing and touching up photos of our trip to Sorrento last year on Pixelmator, to playing some Bioshock, to browsing the web, to listening to Spotify, to playing some Asphalt 8, to watching an episode of Banshee on VLC, back to browsing the web briefly, and back onto VLC to continue Banshee ... all within a two hour period, non stop.

    If there's a heavier iPad user out there I've never met him/her or they simply don't exist.
  21. canesalato macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2010
    Well...given my experience i find it hard to believe, but let's say i believe you, because i have no reason not to. Yes, it seems you are a heavy user like me. What can I say? I just think you have been lucky. I had MANY crashes. My girl friend doesn't use it as much, yet she had many crashes as well with her first air. All memory related according to the logs. Note that in iOS8 apple has changed the name of the reference in the log, so you will not see anymore "low memory crash" like you could see on iOS7
  22. squeller macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2008
    Are you talking about the "low memory" messages in the diagnostic & usages log? As far as I know those are produced whenever iOS tries to reclaim memory by notifying other applications of a low memory situation. Not really a crash, AFAIK.
  23. RebornProphet Suspended

    Nov 3, 2013
    Mate, I really couldn't care less if you believe me or not. I'm a 36 year old married man, I don't need to make up stuff on an internet forum to get kicks. I've never had an app crash on me or just quit because of low memory. My iPad Air is a superb device just like my iPad 4 was before and just like it is now when my wife uses it. Some of the stuff in your post I quoted originally was laughable. The way people automatically attack the outgoing generation when a new toy comes along is pathetic, especially when it comes in the form of numbers by Googlers that don't reflect or manifest in real world usage. A lot of people need to grow up.
  24. Shanghaichica macrumors G4


    Apr 8, 2013
    The iPad air is still a great device. If I could have got a 128GB model for significantly cheaper than the 128 iPad air 2 then I would probably have just got that. I only upgraded my iPad air 1 because the 32 GB storage wasn't ebough.

    However having bought the 2 I'm glad I did. Although the screen resolution is the same, the screen just looks a lot better on the air 2 probably due to the lamination.

    I'm also impressed by the thinness. The air 1 was already light and didn't expect there to be much of a difference but there is. The air 2 is incredibly thin and light.

    So the extra storage space, the better display, faster processor, Touch ID and decreased weight make the cost to upgrade worth it in my opinion.
  25. canesalato macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2010
    Now, THERE WAS NO need to get SO aggressive. I said that i believe you, but it was hard to do so, because your experience was very different from mine. And you attacked me in a stupid way. Check my posts: I complained about having a bad experience with the iPad Air way before buying an iPad Air 2! I have been complaing about it for a whole freaking year! I even sayed that 4 gave
    me a way better experience. Infact if i was happy with my Air 1, i would not have buyed an iPad Air 2 AT ALL. it can be an ok experience for you and there's nothing wrong with it, but it was a crappy experience from me, not for someone found on google, so i'm free to give my advice, just like you are. And my advice is to avoid that device. Full stop. Or should "go and buy it" be the only allowed answer? If the same question was about the 5s vs the 6 i would have sayed that the 5s is still a very good device. So i suggest you not to go around judging people you have never met and don't know at all. You are 36, married and you still have to grow up a bit and learn something about being polite with people. A Lot of people need to stop being arrogant rude asses BY DEFAULT

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