Hot in the heels of the Google Nexus 9, Cupertino giant Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its flagship tablet on Thursday to polite applause rather than a standing ovation. Analysts were slightly underwhelmed with the iPad Air 2 stating that while the upgrades to the device were much needed, they were expecting more from the new device.  Here are some of the major improvements on the iPad Air 2

Whats new:

Design: While the new Apple iPad shares the same general design with its predecessor, it has made it thinner and lighter. At 6.1 mm and 437 grams, the new iPad is 18% thinner and 8% lighter. As a consequence, Apple has done away with the side switch on the top right side of the device

Touch ID: As mentioned by Tim Cook, Touch ID was one of the most requested feature for the new iPad Air. As with the iPhone 5S,6 and 6 plus, Touch ID will allow users to store their fingerprint on their iPad and use that to make transactions on the Apple App Store. This feature will be rolled out to other third-party apps once they adapt the touch ID features

Display:The iPad Air 2 sports the same 9.7 inch Retina display with 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution as it predecessor, which is slightly disappointing. Apple however claims that they have added a new anti-reflective coating which will reduce glare by 56% compared to its predecessor.

Camera: The iPad Air 2 has improvedits rear camera from 5 to 8 megapixel, although it has kept front camera at 1.2 megapixels which is disappointing. As far as camera improvements on the iPad Air 2 go users can now take panoramic shots, shoot time-lapse video, slo-mo video and 1080p HD video.

Performance:As expected, the iPad Air 2 comes with the A8 64-bit architecture processor along with the M8 motion co-processor. This upgrade is expected to deliver a 40% improvement in CPU performance and provide 2.5 times more GPU performance than its predecessor

In keeping with its latest strategy, Apple has done away with the 32 GB version of the iPad and added a gold version of the device. The iPad Air 2 will come in 16,64 and 128 gb versions for all three of the color variants

ipad 2While the iPad Air 2 is a definite improvement over its predecessor, it still feels like a solid safe upgrade rather than a radical overhaul. Apple fans will enjoy and appreciate the added processing power, display resolution and brightness; others will bemoan the lack of features such as multi-tasking and the absence of a larger enterprise version of the device. While it may still be too early to say, but the iterative improvements of the iPad Air 2 may not be enough to arrest the slide of stagnant tablet sales.

The iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 go on sale later next week in 29 countries with pre-orders beginning today.

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