The reviews of the new iPads are out

October 22, 2014

It’s iPad review day, and the usual suspects have all published their reviews. Let’s have a look at what they have to say:

  • John Gruber focuses on the iPad Air 2, calling it “a thorough refresh”, and puts forth an interesting idea: with 2 GB of RAM and perhaps even a 3-core CPU — still unconfirmed — the iPad Air 2 makes a solid case as the best overall iOS device, surpassing the iPhone for the first time in terms of performance. In fact, the Air 2 is even faster than a 3-year-old MacBook Air. That’s nuts.

  • Jim Dalrymple writes about the benefits of Touch ID, not only in terms of convenience, but also for security reasons. He also states that there’s room for both new iPads in his life, since they are optimized for different situations.

  • Nilay Patel reviews the iPad Air 2 for The Verge, and he calls it “a monumental achievement in the field of iterative improvement”. He also criticizes Apple for missing an opportunity to add more tablet-specific features in iOS 8.

  • Walt Mossberg was not impressed with the new iPads, and calls Apple out for not pushing the hardware in several important areas such as display resolution, battery life, etc. In fact, according to his tests, battery life took a noticeable hit on the Air 2 compared to last year’s iPad Air — albeit, to be fair, it’s still comfortably over the advertised 10-hour mark.

These should give you a nice overall feeling for what the new iPads have to offer. If you’re in the market, I encourage you to read through all of them before deciding which one to purchase.

The general consensus seems to be quite similar to my own thoughts: if you already own one of last year’s iPads (the iPad Air or the iPad mini with a Retina Display), there may not be enough improvements here to justify the upgrade. If you’re on an iPad 4 or earlier, tough, then the upgrade is quite significant and you’re pretty much guaranteed to love the new iPads.