As when any Apple device comes out, be it a phone or in this case a tablet, that fury of spec heads continue to scratch their heads around the very low (on paper) specifications (technically) on Apple devices, versus that of the Android or Windows competitors.
THE SPECS WAR… ‘YOU MEAN THE HIGHER THE NUMBER DOESN’T MEAN HIGHER PERFORMANCE’
Whilst we, like anyone, love to tout a device for it’s beasty faster processor cores, or how ‘hey look, my GPU is numerically 10 greater than yours’, at the end of the day, for one who cares, and two what does that even mean? We’ve proved before, most recently back with a fellow Apple device, the iPhone 6, that the greater number of cores or clock speed don’t mean faster real world, or even technical performance, and yes now it’s the turn of the new iPad Air 2 to continue to prove that.
CHANGES WITH THE iPAD AIR 2
Apple have made some advancements to the iPad Air 2 aesthetically, which we covered in our Apple Event coverage of the event it was announced, but in a big way when it comes to performance. We were expecting Apple to pop the same A8 found in their latest iPhone 6, similar to how the previous iPads got the same A7 of the 5S, but nope Apple went a step further with the more advanced A8X … and damn does this thing scream, as Steve Jobs would’ve said.
The A8X chip is Apple’s third 64-bit processor, after the A7 and A8, but also sees the first time Apple have made changes in both Core number and RAM for the iPhone since the iPhone 4S … yes it’s been that long. The A8X now has an extra Core Processing power, making it Triple-Core, and Apple have finally doubled the RAM to 2GB. But, the real horse power lies in the A8X itself, so let’s compare it in real world tests shall we!
When a new Smartphone comes out, the Benchmarks are everywhere almost instantly, unfortunately Tablets are a bit harder to get hold off, but the results we do have certainly demonstrate our point, in some cases in a bigger point than not, whether the iPad Air 2 wins or not!
VS iOS DEVICES
We’ll kick things off with fellow iOS devices. Just how big is the performance boost from last years iPad Air or iPad Mini 2 (with Retina Display), or, more interestingly, how big is the leap from A8 to A8X;
Now to the big ones, just what benefits do you get with an extra Core and an extra 1GB of RAM … well, this;
The term blows away everything else really does get over-used, but when it comes to the iPad Air 2 performance versus other iPads, there’s never a more truer statement!
Benchmarks against Competition
Currently, it’s more tedious than usual to gain Benchmarks for the iPad Air 2 versus the competition, but Laptop Magazine have simplified things, thankfully, by taking their test results of devices and compared them in a nice chart, below are 5 tablet devices at which has been compared including the new iPad Air 2;
It is important to note before we analyse the results that, yes the iPad Air 2 scored slightly differently on Laptop Magazines test, that’s because tests are relative to how devices are at the time.
Whilst comparing the iPad to a Surface Pro 3 may seem a little over the top, the actual results show a rather surprising picture of just how close ARM Tablets are getting to real Intel Core performance, i5 in this case.
Whilst we will update this post when we have more of a top list, rather than a specifics, but one result of note is the Nvidia Shield Tablet, which recently scored identically to the new Nexus 9, or actually less if Geekbench scores are to be believed, but we’re giving it the benefit of the doubt [View Geekbench 3 for Nexus 9 here]. But, the fact is the iPad Air 2 more than exceeds in performance against Google’s latest flagship Tablet device, but does suffer slightly when it comes to Single-Core performance, but only by a smidgen.
A more clear look at the performance versus devices like the Nexus 9 is available below;
A bit more of a shaky way of getting our results versus the competition, but there’s no denying that the new iPad Air 2 is just a beast in terms of performance, and be honest, you didn’t expect this level of performance from the new A8X, and by the results, neither did the competition.