With Google seemingly not being able to do large tablets right (as the Nexus 9 is far too much money to be dealing with the issues it has), and Samsung's Tab S products having poor performance, I decided to pick up an iPad Air 2. Here's my 24-hour first impressions:
- Build quality is amazing. As thin as this product is, there is no flex, no light bleed issues, nothing of the sort. This is what I hoped the Nexus 9 would be like. Screen is as uniform as I've seen in an LCD panel. The speakers are nice, loud, and full (but I do wish they were front-firing). I've not even looked at the camera, but who cares...if you're using a tablet to take pictures I have no idea what you're doing.
- Performance is great. I haven't been able to get this thing to hiccup yet (although iOS isn't flexible with multitasking so I doubt the OS could even be pushed harder than the hardware could take).
- GPU is really nice. Benchmarks put it really close to or just ahead of the Tegra K1 with its Kepler cores. Would be great if they included a microHDMI port to take advantage of it. The few games I've played look and run great.
- Battery life is what is claimed, although it's hard to properly gauge as iOS obfuscates battery drain details. I have no idea what "Usage" means, and I think they want it that way. Either way, I'm fairly satisfied with what I'm getting on the first charge.
- Tablet app selection is nice, but I hate that doing anything requires the use of an app in the first place. I'm used to being able to check my e-mail, browse reddit, play music, check sports scores, weather information, my calendar/tasks/appointments, twitter, etc without opening a single app. Which brings me to the one downfall of this device:
- It runs iOS. Seriously, I don't know how any of you deal with this. As far as being functional, it falls way far behind of what Android was even 3 years ago. There's a big difference between being "simple and intuitive" and providing a lousy gimped experience...far too often, iOS is the latter in an attempt to be the former. It's very clear that Google is going to be one to keep furthering innovation and use cases in the mobile space, while Apple is content to offer nothing more or less than a glorified app launcher.
I got such a good deal on this product that I will be able to sell it for what I paid for it in 12 months, if current iPad pricing on Craigslist holds up. Maybe by then, Google can release a compelling piece of Nexus tablet hardware for the money. It's ironic that these two companies have the exact opposite problem...Apple's hardware is superb, but its software and UX is terrible, while Google has the obviously superior platform, but even when working with an OEM that has produced great hardware during the last 2 years, cannot produce a large, stock Android tablet worth the money.
tl:dr - If someone could ever manage to hack a fully functional build of Lollipop on here, I would keep this thing for the next 3-4 years and be happy. And that's kind of sad for both companies. #ipadair2 #nexus9 #apple #google #android #ios