Apple's just-announced tablets, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, haven't hit store shelves yet, but the early reviews are in.
After four days with the devices, most outlets were impressed by the slimmed-down iPad Air 2 but would recommend it only to owners of early-generation iPads. The iPad mini 3's slight update--a new gold option and Touch ID--weren't enough to win a ringing endorsement from any expert.
We'll be weighing in with our in-depth analysis and test results on both tablets, but until then, we picked out some of the best insights from our fellow journalists around the web:
"I don't recommend that average iPad Air owners upgrade to the Air 2. But what about the vast majority of iPad owners who own older models? That's a different story. If you have an iPad 2, 3 or 4, the new Air 2 will make a big difference. Its thinness and lightness will be a dramatic change, and it will be faster and more fluid. However, here's the catch: Upgrading to last year's iPad Air would have pretty much the same effect, and that model is now, suddenly, $100 cheaper, starting at $399." --Walt Mossberg
"I said on Amplified last week that if all Apple did to the iPad was add Touch ID, I'd be happy--that's what they did with the iPad mini, and to be honest, I'm happy. They did much more than that to the iPad Air 2 and it's working perfectly for me. I will continue using both iPads because they both have a place in my lifestyle and workflow. At the end of the day, I still use the iPad Air for the larger screen, while I use the iPad mini when I go out for a coffee and need to be a bit more portable. That's not going to change any time soon." --Jim Dalrymple
"The new Air's display addresses one of my biggest complaints about previous iPads: You can finally see the screen outdoors. A thinner display with an anti-reflective layer means unless the sun is really beating down, there's no need to pitch a towel tent over the screen while sitting by the pool." --Joanna Stern
"As for the iPad Mini 3, Apple's other new tablet, I'd advocate skipping it. Unlike the Air 2, the new Mini has not been upgraded with Apple's latest processor. This means that internally, it is almost identical to last year's iPad Mini 2, which Apple is still selling for $299 and up. The primary difference is that the iPad Mini 3 has a TouchID fingerprint scanner and has one more color option, gold. (The 2 comes in just silver and black.) Unless you're going to be doing a lot of Apple Pay shopping or you're gaga for gold, it's best to save the $100 and go with the Mini 2." -- Farhad Manjoo
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