It’s easy to get excited about Apple products. They get faster, thinner, lighter, smaller, better, more beautiful and more functional. But every so often Apple introduces a pivotal product, one that might be from a brand new product category, or one from an existing product that is just so much better it can’t help but impress.
The iPad Air 2 is that product right now. It is better than the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and I would go as far as to say it’s the best thing Apple has ever made.
I didn’t understand the original iPad like everyone else at first, but for a funny reason. I used it, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. The reason actually had to do with the original iPad case. Not only was it terribly designed, but the material was appallingly rigid and you couldn’t ever take your iPad out of the case it was in it.
This turned me off so much that it forced me to never use the iPad until one day I just took it out of the case and threw the case in the trash. The iPad then became so much more personal to me. You could comfortably use it on the sofa watching TV, while reading a book in bed, for sending emails while travelling and everywhere else.
Leap forward now to the iPad Air 2, the sixth generation of full-sized iPads, and it is mind-blowing how Apple made this device.
The first thing that hits you is how thin it is. You know how you buy a new device and you think to yourself, this is really thin… it would be nuts if they made this thinner? But you also know that eventually it will be made thinner. You pick up the iPad Air 2, you hold it, you use it, but this time it’s different. I have been saying to myself for the last day, there is no way possible this can be any thinner. I am completely blown away.
Then you get past the thinness and you see the display. This now a less glossy, laminated, 9.7-inch gorgeous Retina display. It looks like you’re holding a digital magazine for the first time ever.
After the beautiful display hits you, that’s where it gets real — the fact that in this 6.1mm package, something that seems like it shouldn’t even exist, is so much horsepower, something so much more powerful and capable than any other iOS device ever released, something that is faster than a MacBook just from two or three years ago, that it’s just overwhelmingly impressive.
In your hands, this light and gorgeous device isn’t just light and gorgeous, but it’s light, gorgeous, incredibly powerful and there are no trade-offs this time around. None. This is the future you’re holding, and it’s awesome.
It’s just an iPad, yeah, yeah. But Apple put so much into this product. It’s one that can last for a long, long time with 2GB of RAM that lets you finally be able to use it more as a real computer replacement. Safari tabs don’t reload even with 10 of them open, you can switch apps while doing something else and pick up right where you left off without the OS dumping whatever app was in background, and oh, is it lightning quick. The fastest iOS device Apple has ever made.
On the software side, would I like to see a bit more capability? Sure. And I think we are going to get there. If and when Apple introduces a larger iPad, one that includes the rumored new side-by-side multitasking mode, I am sure we are going to see it on this iPad.
The iPad Air 2 feels to me as transformative as the original iPhone — hello.
The Boy Genius Report is a periodic column written by BGR founder Jonathan S. Geller. It offers insights and opinions on various products, companies and trends across the consumer electronics business and beyond.