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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?


After a troubled launch that saw a market recall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is back on store shelves, and this could be good news for tablet users. After all, one of the reasons small tablet sales dropped from their peak a couple years ago is that consumers are choosing large phones instead. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was created for this market, as it boasts a 5.7-inch display and comes with a stylus for taking notes. We decided to test to see how well this Android device really performed as a 7-inch tablet alternative. Read on to see how well it stood up.

Large screens don t come in small devices, which is why the Samsung s latest measures 6.0 2.9 0.31 inches and weighs 6 ounces. That means it fits into a pants pocket, though its height and width make for a sizable bulge. Bulk is the Note 7 s biggest drawback when being used as a phone. It can take a while to become accustomed to making voice calls on something this big.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Galaxy Note 7 Back View

On the other side of the coin, even smaller tablets aren t pocketable. They necessitate a bag or purse. Samsung s phablet is much more portable than that. The Galaxy Note 7 s overall design is a typical a flat rectangle with rounded corners, though Samsung does try to shake things up a little with four color choices: gold, silver, white, and black. The only thing that will turn heads about this device is its size. It looks professional, if a bit generic. The phablet is IP68 rated, which means it is both waterproof and dust proof. Its rating goes beyond being splash resistant, with Samsung promising that this phablet can be immersed in up 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes without damage, as long as it s dried off afterward.

Display

The most prominent feature of the Note 7 is its 5.7-inch screen, which has a 1440 2560 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The result is the amazingly high pixel density of 518 ppi, making fonts, and just about everything else, look super smooth.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Front View

This is a Super AMOLED display, not the usual IPC LCD. It looks beautiful, but in an office or home it s not noticeably nicer looking than any other high-end phone screen. sAMOLED screens do look better in direct sunlight thanks to their deep contrasts, though, and generally use less power. Another feature that sets this model apart from rivals is its curved display edges, which bend around the long sides of this phablet, leaving minimal bezel. This is undoubtedly a sleek look, but holding this device without accidentally touching the screen takes practice. The 5.7-inch screen is outstanding for typical smartphone tasks. As a GPS, it is much easier to see than a smaller display, for example. Facebook and other social networking services are more convenient as well.

That said, screen size is what will keep some from choosing the Galaxy Note 7 instead of a small tablet. It s certainly large enough for many productivity and entertainment tasks, but it isn t well suited for all. For example, a 5.7-inch screen is fine for enjoying a sitcom during lunch hour, but it s terrible for watching an action movie on a plane. It s a nice way to read for a few minutes while falling asleep, but it s too small to be a dedicated ebook reader. The Note 7 is better than a typical phone to look over an Excel spreadsheet, but a 7-inch tablet makes this much easier. And while this device is up to casual games, it s not right for serious gaming. That said, even a 7-inch tablet isn t ideal for most of these. A 10- or 12-inch tablet is an even better option.

Ports, Buttons, & Speakers

Much has been made of the fact that this is the first phone from Samsung with a USB Type-C port. Unfortunately, this can do much, much less than the same port on a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S1. We tested it with Dell s USB-C Adapter2 with no success, even though this accessory has worked with every Windows 10 computer we ve tried. This means there s apparently no connecting an external monitor or Ethernet network to the Note 7, a significant blow for those who want to use it like a tablet. However, this phablet comes with an adapter that allows it to use some USB Type-A accessories. We successfully tested it with a flash drive and an external keyboard. There s also a micro-USB adapter in the box.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Galaxy Note 7 Left Side and Top Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Galaxy Note 7 Right Side and Bottom Edge

On the top of this device is a tray that holds both a SIM card and a microSD card. Samsung says this supports cards up to 256MB. We tested it with 64GB card from Lexar and it performed as expected. Samsung continues to ignore Google s suggestions to use on-screen buttons by instead including a physical Home button on the this device, plus capacitive Back and Recent Apps buttons built into the case on either side of it. It s nice that these never take up valuable screen space, but there are occasional drawbacks. For example, it s up to the user to remember that they need to press the Back button to hide the on-screen keyboard. On a regular device, this button s icon would change to indicate this, but the Note 7 s button can t do that. The Home button also serves as a fingerprint scanner. It can be trained to recognize multiple fingers, and functioned fairly well in our tests. It s not unusual for it to take a couple tries to recognize a print, though, especially if the finger is held perpendicular to the scanner. Also, the scanner can t seem to recognize a wet finger. These minor hassles aside, it is very convenient to be able to unlock the Galaxy Note 7 just by touching the Home button, and this same function can be used to enter secure information into websites.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Galaxy Note 7 Top Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Galaxy Note 7 Bottom Edge

There are physical volume controls too, and a standard audio port, as Samsung hasn t yet taken the leap Apple has with the iPhone 73. There s just one speaker on this phablet, but it puts out enough sound that we had no problems hearing a TV show playing in a moderately noisy environment with the device 2-3 feet away.

Cameras

Unlike most tablets, the Galaxy Note 7 is a comfortable size to take pictures. There s a 12 MP Dual Pixel auto-focus camera (Sony IMX260) on the back, with flash. This is capable of recording 4K video at 3840 2160 and 30fps. There is a front-facing camera dedicated to iris scanning, which can be used to unlock the phone similar to the fingerprint scanner. This only works indoors, not in direct sunlight, but other than that is really quite reliable possibly even more so than the finger scanner. It didn t matter that our test subject was wearing contacts.

There s also another 5 MP camera on the front for video conferencing.

Active Pen/Stylus

A feature that helps set the Galaxy Note 7 apart from other extra-large phones is its built-in stylus. The S Pen fits neatly into a slot on the bottom edge, and unlike the one in its predecessor, it can t be inserted the wrong way. It uses Wacom s technology, and supports 4,096 levels of pressure. Samsung worked hard to integrate this active pen into its phablet s software. Just pulling it out with the device off automatically opens an application for scribbling a quick note, like Pick up dry cleaning .

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with S Pen

Once the device has been unlocked, removing the S Pen opens a menu of apps/functions, including a notepad where text typed with the on-screen keyboard can be combined with drawings. This is quite useful, making the addition of the stylus more than a gimmick. That said, it would take a desperate person to use the Note 7 to take an hour-long class s lecture notes, or take the minutes from an important meeting. The screen is just too cramped for this to be practical. A 7-inch tablet is barely large enough for these tasks, and a 10-inch one is a much better option.

The version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 available in most of the world is powered by an Exynos 8890 processor that has eight processor cores, which it uses in a complex arrangement to increase battery life and performance. The U.S./Canada/China/Japan version of this phablet has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor. We tested the Qualcomm version with the Geekbench 3, and the device pulled in a 5426 score in the multi-core CPU section. The Samsung Galaxy S7 scored just about the same on this benchmarking test. To compare it with some tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.74 scored a 1450, the HTC Nexus 95 scored a 3210, but the Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro6 has a 5410 score. What this means in real world terms is that the Note 7 is quite as fast as high-end phones and tablets. Samsung included 4GB RAM, a decent amount for an Android device, though not outstanding. There s just 64GB of built-in storage, which means that many people will need to invest in a microSD memory card for additional capacity. Fortunately, Android allows users to store applications as well as files on a removable card.

Specs

Our Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review unit has the following specs:

  • Display: 5.7 Quad HD Dual edge Super AMOLED 2560 x 1440 (518ppi)
  • OS: Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
  • Network: LTE Cat.12 / LTE Cat.10 / LTE Cat.9
  • Dimensions: 5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 169g
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Quad Core (2.15GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Dual), 64 bit, 14 nm process
  • Memory: 4GB RAM (LPDDR4) , 64GB (UFS 2.0)
  • Cameras: Rear Dual Pixel 12MP OIS (F1.7), Front 5MP (F1.7)
  • Battery: 3,500mAh, Fast Charging on wired and wireless Wireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA
  • Payment compatibility: NFC, MST
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), MU-MIMO(2 2) 620Mbps, Bluetooth v 4.2 LE, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Glonass, Beidou)
  • Sensors: Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, HR Sensor, Iris Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
  • Audio support: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
  • Video support: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
  • Price: Starting at £849.99

Software

The Galaxy Note 7 debuted with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which launched last year. Google has since introduced Android 7.0 Nougat, and Samsung has promised to have a Note 7 upgrade to this version available in a few months.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Samsung Secure Folder

One of the reasons this upgrade isn t already available is Samsung modifies the standard Android user interface, and adds its own applications. The unit we reviewed was thankfully nearly free of pointless bloatware, and even better, some very useful apps had been added. This includes the Secure Folder, which holds a couple of web browsers, two email clients, a contact list, a notepad, and more (anything the user wants, really), all of which can only be accessed with a password, fingerprint, or iris scan. To see how well the Note 7 functions as a business tablet alternative, we tested Microsoft Word for Android. This productivity application is certainly usable on this phablet, but it isn t an ideal solution because of the 5.7-inch display. Naturally, an external keyboard makes entering text easier, but there s no getting around the cramped screen. This is a task where a 7-inch or larger tablet is a better option than a phone, even a large one.

Battery

Samsung built a 3500mAh non-swappable battery in the Galaxy Note 7, and says the device is good for up to 14 hours of web surfing on Wi-Fi or 4G LTE. To test for ourselves, we set the phablet to streaming Netflix over Wi-Fi with the display brightness set to max. It lasted 9 hours and 12 minutes, which is an impressive length for a phone. The device supports fast charging. In our testing, a Note 7 got a 36% charge in 30 minutes, with the device on but the screen off. This was using the charger and cable that came with this model.

The phablet supports wireless charging, both the WPC and PMA standard.

Value

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Your Next Tablet?

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Front View

The list price for the Galaxy Note 7 is between £850 and £880, which is a high for a phone and very high for a mid-size tablet. For comparison, the retail price for the Samsung Galaxy S7 is about £670, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is £299.99. Of course, the Note 7 tries to take the place of both of those devices, theoretically saving the user about £100. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 boasts a beautiful screen, a useful stylus, and an excellent camera. It functions quite well as a phone, albeit a hefty one. It is also one of the best phablets on the market, especially for those who want to be able to easily take quick handwritten notes. That said, anyone who s thinking about downsizing from a 7-inch or larger tablet to the Note 7 should think carefully before they do. They must be willing to give up many of the productivity tasks they now perform on the larger screen, or accept that these will become more challenging on a 5.7-inch display.

References

  1. ^ Samsung Galaxy TabPro S (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  2. ^ Dell s USB-C Adapter (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  3. ^ iPhone 7 (www.notebookreview.com)
  4. ^ Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  5. ^ HTC Nexus 9 (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  6. ^ Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)

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iOS 10 Review: What’s New for iPad


Apple continues adding new features and tweaking old ones with iOS 10. There were a great many changes in iOS 9 for iPad, but the follow up has more to offer iPhone. Still, there definitely are enhancements to benefit those with an iPad Pro1 or iPad mini2. We extensively tested iOS 10, and here are the new or updated features that will mean the most to tablet users. We also catalogued some much needed enhancements that are notably absent.

Split View Safari Tabs

iOS 9 brought much needed support for side-by-side multitasking the ability to display two applications on-screen at the same time. While that was all very well, each app was still limited to a single window. This was especially burdensome in Safari, as people frequently want to display two web pages simultaneously. This limitation began changing with iOS 10. Apple s web browser can now show a pair of sites, with each taking up half the screen. Arranging the two pages on the display is simple go to the list of open browser tabs and drag one to the side of the screen to open it in a second window but this split-view feature is limited only to landscape mode.

IOS 10 Review: What's New For IPad

Split View Safari Tabs in iOS 10

Ending split view is just as easy, but not as intuitive as it could be: Touch and hold on one of the Tabs icons and choose Merge All Tabs. This is a welcome step in the right direction, but now this functionality needs to be extended even further. iOS 11 should give third-party app developers the same feature. iPad users need to be able to work with two Word documents at the same time, for example.

Notification Center

iOS 10 changes the look of the Notification Center, and makes it more functional too. Dragging from the top of the screen brings down a list of recent notifications that now appear in grey boxes with rounded corners. Dragging each of these to the left allows the user to either clear the notification or jump to the application that sent it. A small X button can be used to clear all notifications at once.

From the Recent Notifications page, dragging the screen to the right brings up two columns of widgets. These can be a thumbnail view of the calendar, weather reports, and similar snippets of information.

IOS 10 Review: What's New For IPad

iOS 10 Widgets

An Edit button at the bottom of the left column opens the controls of which settings are displayed, and in which column, and in what order.

Lock Screen

Apple made significant changes to the way people use their tablets before they are even unlocked. First off, Slide to Open has been removed, and just pressing the Home button has taken its place. This simplifies the process considerably, especially as everyone should already be touching this button so their fingerprint can be scanned to unlock the computer.

IOS 10 Review: What's New For IPad

iOS 10 Lock Screen

Before the iPad is unlocked, iOS 10 can show users their newest notifications. They can also respond to these, by dragging the notification to the right. A whole conversation can take place in Messages without ever unlocking the tablet. Dragging down from the top of the Lock Screen brings up a list of other recent notifications. Dragging to the right on the Lock Screen gives quick access to the same widgets displayed in the Notification Center. Anyone who wants to keep private their notifications and the information displayed by these widgets should turn this feature off by going to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. This is especially important because otherwise anyone can respond to incoming text messages without unlocking the tablet.

Bad news: No current iPad has the motion-sensing chip necessary for Raise To Wake, so it s only users of recent iPhone models that don t have push the Power button to activate their devices.

Control Center

Dragging a finger up from the bottom of the screen still opens a set of controls for toggling WiFi, Bluetooth, etc., but this has received a facelift with iOS 10. It s now split over two screens so everything is less crowded.

IOS 10 Review: What's New For IPad

iOS 10 Control Center

The main screen has the controls for various wireless functions, the backlight, as well as links to the camera and Clock app. Sweeping the finger to the left moves to a second screen that s focused on audio.

Notes Collaboration

The Notes application has been gradually improving in recent iOS versions, and has now acquired collaboration capabilities. Users can notify another person that a note has been shared with them, and then they can both see and make changes. Apple suggests using this for simple jobs, like a family sharing a grocery list, not for a team collaborating on a patent filing.

iMessages

Possibly the most important change in iOS 10 for iPhone users is the improvements to the Messages app. Although instant messaging is done primarily on a phone, that doesn t mean tablet users should overlook it. By turning on Settings > iMessage, conversations happening on a iPhone can also be displayed on an iPad. The larger screen and keyboard make longer conversations easier.

IOS 10 Review: What's New For IPad

iOS 10 iMessage on iPad

Apple added all kinds of fun features to iMessage, like bubble effects which cause texts to swell up, fall onto the screen with a bang, and more. Messages can be handwritten, or moving images can be inserted into conversations like really big emojis. These look better on a tablet than they do on a phone, even an iPhone 7 Plus.

What s Missing

Apple has tried to keep iOS simple, even to the point of leaving out features it doesn t consider necessary. This is why this operating system debuted on the original iPhone without a central file system accessible to users. But what was the right decision in 2007 has since become a serious limitation. iOS 10 is intended to be used by businesspeople on tablets as powerful as laptops, and they need to be able to easily view and manage their files. Last year s iCloud Drive was a step in the right direction, but iOS 10 should have taken it much further. There s another missing feature that s forcing buyers toward Windows-based alternatives: the new iPad Pro series is being positioned as laptop alternatives, and most people aren t yet accustomed to controlling this type of computer with a just a touchscreen. Apple recognized this when it released its Smart Keyboard3, and it s time to take the next step and add a trackpad to this accessory, as well as support for it to iOS. It would be a step backward a touchscreen is better than a mouse but it would increase iPad sales. Plenty of people have been asking for a removable memory card slot in iPad and iPhone for almost a decade, and at this point it s clear Apple isn t ever going to add one. Fortunately, many accessory makers offer very good alternatives, allowing iOS tablets to access microSD cards and flash drives. There are very good alternatives from SanDisk4, Lexar5, Leef6, and more.

Install Now

Split-screen support in Safari is probably the best feature for iPad users, but just about all of the new features in iOS 10 are useful, and others are fun. Some oft requested changes are still missing, though. even so, people are wondering when they should install this onto their tablet. We have been testing the official release version on an iPad Pro7 since it debuted, and so far have encountered no significant problems. Apple s new strategy of allowing anyone who s curious to install iOS betas appears to have resulted in a final release version that s more stable than iOS 9 was when it debuted. That said, there have been a few small bobbles. Anyone feeling very cautious might wait for Apple to introduce iOS 10.1.

References

  1. ^ iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  2. ^ iPad mini (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  3. ^ Smart Keyboard (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  4. ^ SanDisk (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  5. ^ Lexar (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  6. ^ Leef (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  7. ^ iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)

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Apple iPad Air 2 or 9.7-Inch iPad Pro: Which Is the Best For You?


Apple now offers two iOS tablets with 9.7-inch screens. The recently-released iPad Pro1 has the faster processor, more speakers, and the new Smart Connector, while the iPad Air 22 from 2014 starts at £200 less. Which is the better choice for you? Read on to find out. And if you re one of the millions with a first-generation iPad Air wondering if you should upgrade, we ve included notes comparing this older device with the new Pro. Apple has been working to slim down its tablets for years. But the company seems to have decided that the iPad Air 2 is slender enough, because the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is exactly the same size. Specifically, both models are 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 inches and 0.98 pounds.

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?

iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro Color Options

The main advantage of this is that the Pro can use many accessories designed for the earlier model, including any case that doesn t cover its two additional speakers. A prime example of this is the BrydgeAir3, a clip-on keyboard that turns either device into a 2-in-1 hybrid tablet/laptop. The Air 2 comes in silver, space grey, and gold. The Pro is available in those same colors, plus there s a rose gold option. The designs for these two are so similar that neither model really comes out ahead in this area.

The situation isn t the same with the original iPad Air, which has the same length and width, but is slightly thicker and heavier, so the iPad Pro has the advantage.

Screen

The basic display specs are identical: 9.7 inches and 2480 x 1536 pixels, resulting in 264 pixels per inch. But in this case the raw specs don t tell the whole story because Apple added some new features to the iPad Pro. The newer model can display more colors than its predecessor, and it detects ambient colors and slightly tints the screen to match, so the device harmonizes better with its environment. Only models in the Pro series can use the pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil4. There are pressure-sensitive styli available for the Air 2 as well, but Apple s offering has quickly picked up the broadest support among software developers.

These improvements give the iPad Pro an advantage in this category. The original Air has a display that s essentially identical to the Air 2 s, so the Pro beats it too.

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?

Apple iPad Air 2 and 9.7-Inch iPad Pro Exactly The Same Size

Buttons, Ports, & Speakers

The home button on both the Air 2 and Pro functions as a biometric fingerprint scanner, and Apple has been building the lightning connector into its iOS devices for years, so both the Air 2 and Pro use this for charging, connecting to iTunes on another computer, and plugging in accessories like flash drives. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is one of the first with the new Smart Connector on its left side. This can be used to connect to accessories like the Smart Keyboard5 and the Logitech BASE6.

The dual speakers in the bottom edge of the Air 2 put out a decent amount of sound, but Apple doubled this by adding two more speakers to the top edge of the Pro. This makes the tablet significantly louder. The Smart Connector and the additional speakers give the iPad Pro a definite advantage over the Air 2. The original Air lacks the Pro s fingerprint scanner, Smart Connector, and quad speakers.

The iPad Air 2 runs Apple s 1.5GHz tri-core A8X 64-bit processor, but the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a 2.16GHz dual-core A9X 64-bit chip. Benchmarks like the Geekbench 3 measurement taken below give Apple s newest tablet a speed advantage over the Air 2, but the 9.7-inch version of the Pro isn t as fast as the 12.9-inch version:

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?

None of these chips heat up even when being used for gaming or video. Both the 9.7-inch version of the Pro and the Air 2 come with 2GB of RAM. More RAM is almost always better, especially for those who are planning to open multiple applications and web pages on their tablet, but 2GB is sufficient for less heavy use. There are versions of the Pro with 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB of built-in storage, while the Air 2 comes in 16GB and 64GB capacities. People planning to carry around lots of work or entertainment files will see the advantages of the Pro, though flash7 drives8 can extend the storage of even the smallest tablet.

The iPad Pro comes out ahead because its processor is faster than its rival s, and it has more and larger storage options. The Pro is dramatically faster than the original Air, plus it has twice as much RAM.

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?

Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro

Wireless

Both the Air 2 and its rival come with dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi ‘Fi a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO, as well as Bluetooth 4.2. What all this means is that both tablets offer fast and reliable Wi-Fi connections. For an additional cost, 4G LTE can be added to either iPad, bringing CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B as well as UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC ‘HSDPA. This option also includes LTE Advanced (23 bands) on the Pro, but LTE (20 bands) on the Air 2. Those willing to pay extra for a nearly ubiquitous connection to the Internet will find that the both the Pro and Air 2 can provide it.

There is pretty much a tie between these two in this category, though the iPad Pro has potentially faster 4G speeds for customers whose carriers offer LTE Advanced. The first-generation Air doesn t support 802.11ac, it uses Bluetooth 4.0, and its LTE support includes just 14 bands.

Software

Upgrades to the most recent version of iOS are available for the iPro and the Air 2. Apple works hard to provide upgrades for its older tablets, and even those who chose 2014 s iPad can expect to receive operating system updates for years to come. That said, the more powerful processor in the iPad Pro will offer better performance running future iOS versions than the older model will. This holds true for third party software. The Air 2 can still handle today s cutting edge games and utilities, but when it begins to become obsolete the faster CPU in the Pro will keep this newer model going strong. This is especially true when side-by-side multitasking is taken into account; both models can display two applications at the same time, and the more powerful the device the better this works.

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?

iOS Side-by-Side Multitasking

The first generation Air is really starting to show its age in this area. While it can run the newest iOS iteration, its slower processor isn t really up to the latest high-end applications, and definitely not two at once.

Camera

Apple significantly improved the cameras with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This model has a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5MP front one, compared with the 8MP rear and 1.2MP front shooters on the Air 2. This allows the newer model to record 4K (3840 by 2160) video, compared with its predecessor s 1080p video. And the changes go beyond the number of pixels. The newer model is the only iOS tablet with a flash, plus it can take Live Photos that combine images and videos.

Battery Life

According to Apple, both of these computers offer up to 10 hours of web access on Wi ‘Fi, watching video, or listening to music. Our tests of them showed a somewhat different result. Using the Geekbench 3 benchmarking tool, we found that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro lasted 15 hours and 2 minutes on a single charge, while the Air 2 was good for 8 hrs. and 52 mins. Obviously, the Pro has a significantly longer battery life than its rival.

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?

In our testing, the original iPad Air went for 9 hrs. 19 mins., so better than the Air 2 but not as good as the Pro. In our head-to-head comparison, the iPad Air 2 tied with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in design, and came close to tying in the quality of its display, software support, and wireless capabilities, but there were no areas where the 2014 model was better than the newest Apple offering. The Pro was definitely superior in performance, RAM, storage options, ports, speakers, cameras, and battery life. This is on top of the previously-mentioned areas where it was just slightly better than its rival.

In the competition between the new Pro and the original iPad Air from 2013, the latest tablet is hands-down better in every single category.

Apple IPad Air 2 Or 9.7-Inch IPad Pro: Which Is The Best For You?Value

Apple doesn t offer these two tablets with equal amounts of RAM and storage so it s difficult to do a direct price comparison. The base model of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage is £599. The base model iPad Air 2 is £399 but it has half as much RAM and storage. A version of the Air 2 with double the storage of the base Pro but half as much RAM is £499. The Pro is the better device in quite a few ways, but those who aren t looking for a high-end tablet can probably be satisfied with the iPad Air 29 and save themselves £200. On the other hand, those looking to use this tablet as a 2-in-1 or laptop alternative really should go for the latest and greatest. The first-gen Air has been discontinued, and we suggest people who depend on their tablet should strongly consider upgrading to either the 9.7-Inch iPad Pro10 or the 12.9-Inch iPad Pro11.

References

  1. ^ iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  2. ^ iPad Air 2 (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  3. ^ BrydgeAir (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  4. ^ Apple Pencil (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  5. ^ Smart Keyboard (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  6. ^ Logitech BASE (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  7. ^ flash (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  8. ^ drives (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  9. ^ iPad Air 2 (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  10. ^ 9.7-Inch iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)
  11. ^ 12.9-Inch iPad Pro (www.tabletpcreview.com)

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