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iPad Air, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini: Which One Is Right for You?

iPad Air, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini: Which One Is Right for You?


Overview of the iPad Air, Air 2, and mini

You can find complete technical specs of each iPad on the Apple website, but here are the main features of each.

Standard iPad Features

Every iPad comes with some standard features, including:
  • Multi‑touch display with IPS technology
  • Fingerprint-resistant coating
  • LED backlighting
  • FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and 720p HD video
  • iSight camera for 8MP HDR photos
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life (9 if you’re using a cellular data network)

Beyond that, each iPad is a little different... here's how.

iPad Air

The iPad Air is a powerful tablet with a lot of versatile features. It uses the A7 chip with 64‑bit architecture, and of course comes with the ever-helpful Siri. Nicely sized at 9.4 inches/240 mm by 6.6 inches/169.5 mm, it has a depth of 0.29 inch/ 7.5 mm and weighs in at just about one pound (about 470 grams). The Retina display is 9.7 inches, with 2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch.

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 has most of the same physical specs as the Air, but it’s 18% thinner at just 0.24 inch (6.1 mm) — the thinnest iPad yet. The Air 2 improves on the Air with the new A8X chip, double the RAM of the Air at 2GB, and a better display with more vivid colors and greater contrast. The iPad Air 2 also has Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner you can use to lock and unlock your iPad and authorize purchased from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store. Finally, its new cameras have improved sensors, advanced optics, and a more powerful image signal processor. The camera is 8 megapixels, and includes a new burst mode and slow-motion video capture.

iPad mini

The iPad mini is another choice you may be considering. A bit less expensive than a full-size iPad, the mini has a 7.9 inch display and 1024‑by‑768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch. The mini 2 and mini 3 are the same physical size, but have a 2048‑by‑1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch. The mini does not have Retina display (although the mini 2 and mini 3 do). All the minis are the lightest iPads available, weighing in at about three quarters of a pound (just over 300 grams). A bit thicker than the Air 2 at a depth of 0.28 inches/7.2 mm, the mini is easy to hold, but its small size means your hand ends up on the screen most of the time.


iPad Air iPad Air 2 iPad mini
Size 9.4 inches/240 mmby6.6 inches/169.5 mm 9.4 inches/240 mmby6.6 inches/169.5 mm 7.87 inches/200 mmby5.3 inches/134.7 mm
Weight 1 lb/469 g(1.05 lb/478 g with cellular) 0.96 lb/437 g(0.98 lb/444 g with cellular) 0.68 lb/308 g(0.69 pound/312 g with cellular)
Thinness 0.29 inch/7.5 mm 0.24 inch/6.1 mm 0.28 inch/7.2 mm
Display size 9.7 inches 9.7 inches 7.9 inches
Resolution 2048 x 1536 2048 x 1536 1024 x 768
CoulVue Size CoulVue Holder for iPad - Large CoulVue Holder for iPad - Medium CoulVue Holder for iPad - Small

Which iPad Is Right for You?

iPad Air: While the iPad Air 2 is definitely an upgrade, the original Air is a versatile and powerful tablet — nowhere near obsolete! You’ll also be saving a bit of money versus the Air 2. All in all, it's still a great choice for most users.

iPad Air 2: If you’re planning on shooting movies or taking lots of pictures with your tablet, you should consider the iPad Air 2. It’s the only iPad with burst-mode photography and slow-motion video capture. As Apple's thinnest iPad, it's a little more difficult to hold onto while shooting, but your CoulVue iPad Holder and Handle will make that so much easier ;) The Air 2’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor is a great feature, too, though not crucial for most users.

iPad mini: If you travel a lot and want something small to carry around with you, the mini is an excellent choice. It’s still a powerful iPad, and a bit less expensive than the others. While not as thin as the Air 2, it’s still very thin at 0.28 inch (7.2 mm) depth. Because of its tiny size, it can be a bit difficult to use without your hands getting in the way of the screen. But again, with your CouVoul for iPad mini, that’s no problem! Which iPad is your top choice? Share your favorite in the comments!


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