iPad Air 2 review

For the last two weeks I’ve been testing out Apple’s new iPad Air 2 as part of the #EverythingIn1 challenge. The basic premise of the test was to see how easily the iPad could integrate into my previous “two device” life.

Prior to the iPad’s arrival I happily went about my life and work with an iPhone and a MacBook Air. Between those two devices I had everything so the prospect of integrating the iPad seemed strange. My iPhone was for messaging, social and easy reading. My MacBook was for work (email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Here are my observations from the test:

Where the iPad wins:

1. The volume of content I consumed was unreal. The bigger screen completely changed how much content I consumed. Given that my iPhone was previously my device of choice for social, using the phone to read anything longer than a tweet was a pain. The iPad allowed me to consume everything I wanted to and it all looked amazing. I’ve been a reading machine on this thing.

2. In line with the above, rich media like photos and videos are stunning on the iPad screen, and makes you want to show everyone in your vicinity. As a media consumption device, it’s at the top of the head.

3. Games are also a given on the iPad. I’m far from a gamer, but watching other people get their hands on the iPad and seeing them vanish into a game is testimony to the quality of the screen and the easy-to-handle form of the device.

4. The biggest win for me was using the iPad as a MacBook replacement when I travel. It can do everything my MacBook can do (with some small limitations) and is ideal for “keeping up with work” while traveling. It’s so light, easy to use and has a solid battery life. If nothing else, this is where it lives in my world.

5. Typing is actually unreal. It was something I worried about prior to the test because I didn’t believe I could type quickly without a keyboard. I was wrong – the typing and predictive text is dreamy.

6. This is a strange one but I much prefer taking out my iPad in meetings. Not having a screen dividing you from the rest of the room is important. An iPad lying flat on the table in front of you is much more polite.

Where the iPad loses:

1. You quickly realise how important WhatsApp is in our lives when you can’t get it on the iPad. This simple messaging app means I have to keep my iPhone with me at all times (and for the odd call).

2. While Facebook and Twitter work perfectly on the iPad, Instagram doesn’t. You can only install the iPhone version of Instagram which doesn’t render well on the bigger screen. Practically, the application works, so you can use it, and given my addiction for Instagram I would get over it quickly if it was my only choice. However, given that WhatsApp keeps my phone in my pocket, I’ll default to my phone for Instagram, which leads to Twitter and Facebook on my phone.

3. Two devices are better than three. Given the admin of charging and carrying devices around, I’d still rather only have two. Given that the iPad can’t replace my phone, it will either replace my MacBook or be left behind. I’m actually okay with this as being a Macbook replacement is probably the best use for the device anyway.

In summary, this iPad will be my default go-to device for traveling, reading and gaming. Everything else stays on my phone or MacBook. It doesn’t quite replace either the phone or the MacBook which is probably Apple genius – why replace when you can add a device.

What I would be interested to find out is how the iPhone 6 plus impacts on the iPad. It was the iPad’s bigger screen that gave me most joy and this could be achieved with the bigger iPhone 6. We will see.

  • Tim van Rooyen

    Not replacing my old iPad. Will get an iPhone 6+ instead.

  • Ross Drakes

    What are your thoughts on the mini? Did you drop it?

    • I reckon it’s the same issue – it’s an iPad which means it falls between a phone and a Macbook. Kell uses one for games and that’s it.