Will an iPad Air 2 work for me?

It may appear odd to review a product that was initially released in 2014, but the iPad Air 2 remains a classic, beautiful and highly capable tablet, still highly relevant and totally fit for purpose in 2021. It was hard to see how Apple could improve on the first iPad Air - arguably the finest tablet ever produced at the time. But they did.

Apple no longer make this product, but a you can source one of these beauties through a trusted seller for a fraction of the price of a new iPad. A refurbished iPad represents really excellent value for money.

iPad 7th generation

What is an iPad Air 2?

The original iPad Air was designed as Apple’s thinnest and therefore most portable tablet. The iPad Air 2 was the updated version, and is still considered a feat of engineering.

All iPad Air 2 devices come in gold, silver or ‘Space Gray’ versions. They feature a 9.7" 2048x1536 (264 ppi) LED-backlit IPS touch-sensitive "Retina" display with an antireflective coating and a "Touch ID" fingerprint sensor. Each is powered by a three core 1.5 GHz Apple A8X processor, has 2 GB of RAM, and has 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of flash memory storage.

Other notable features include dual cameras -- a rear-mounted 8 megapixel "iSight" camera capable of shooting stills and 1080p 30 fps video and a front-mounted 1.2 megapixel "FaceTime HD" camera capable of shooting stills and 720p video - dual channel 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO support (backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n), and Bluetooth 4.0 in addition to dual microphones and speakers. Connectivity to computers, if desired, and power is provided by the Lightning port.

The battery life of an iPad Air 2 model is reportedly 10 hours "surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music."

The iPad Air 2 supports Apple’s latest ios 14.

What are the iPad Air 2’s design features?

At 6.1mm thick, the Apple iPad Air 2 is still one of the slimmest tablets on the market. It feels like very solid, and can be held easily for hours without it getting uncomfortable. It wins out over its Android competitors with its overall packaging. Many Android options are clearly an assemblage of distinct parts, whereas the iPad Air 2 ‘unibody’ design is a complete package, smooth and easy to hold in one hand.

With the elegant design and thinness, you maybe loathe to put it in a case, but Smart Covers work a dream with this tablet, and you should always cover your tablet (and phone) with tempered glass display covers. No more cracked screens. The iPad Air 2 with a smart cover and screen protector is still a beautiful, light and portable thing.

What’s the difference between an iPad Air 1 and 2?

• It’s a more powerful machine

• It’s even thinner!

• It has an antireflective screen (said to reduce glare by 56%), and a deeper black bezel (surround) which helps enhance the picture. The display is vastly improved as a result.

• It has a faster processor, and capable of twice the RAM

• It has Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint technology for security

• It has better cameras

• WiFi is faster than on the previous model

• There is now no dedicated mute/rotation switch – Apple have incorporated that into the ios. The volume keys have shuffled a little upwards as a result, but otherwise the only real design changes are the speaker grill at the bottom of the tablet (now a single row of holes, rather than the two before) and the Touch ID on the home key.

Is the iPad Air 2 still a good buy?

The simple answer is yes (I’m writing this on one). The iPad Air 2 has a premium build, quality finish, great looks and the ultrathin structure doesn't have any effect on the actual performance of a very powerful tablet. It’s a joy to use. They hold their resale prices well, which perhaps tells you everything you need to know!

Thinking of buying an iPad from new? Think different.

Apple are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, but computer manufacture is notoriously carbon and rare earth heavy - not to mention the sumptuous packaging!

We all have a part to play in maintaining the environment we live in. By buying a refurbished iPad we are collectively reducing the overall technology carbon footprint and preserving the planet now and for our future generations. A good refurbished iPad is both a sound economic and ecological choice.