In addition to the, Apple took the wraps off its new tablet today during a press event held at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. Though many of its specs haven't changed from its (it's equipped with the same 9.7-inch or 246.38mm display), its 0.24-inch (6.1mm) profile and proprietary 64-bit A8X chip processor make it Apple's thinnest and fastest tablet to date.
The device's launch also comes on the heels of Google's latest tablet debut, the. Announced yesterday, the device serves as an attractive Android alternative to the Air 2. Running the most recent Android 5.0 software, the Nexus sports a slightly smaller 8.9-inch (226.06mm) display. However, with its $399 starting price, it's less expensive than the Air 2. (In the UK and AU, the Nexus' pricing has , though converted, it comes out to about £250 and AU$455, respectively).
But the Nexus 9 isn't the only competitor the Air 2 should worry about. Not surprisingly, Apple's ever-present rival Samsung has a high-end tablet as well. Known as the, the device has an ultra-sharp screen, an attractive sleek design, and plenty of software and media features to keep users entertained. Plus, with its $500 (£400, AU$590) starting price, it costs about about the same as Apple's tablet, but adds on a slightly bigger 10.5-inch (267.2mm) screen and expandable storage.
For more on how these devices stack up spec-by-spec, check out our comparison chart below. And be sure to take a look out our list of the best tablets of this year.
Apple iPad Air 2 vs. Google Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5)
|Apple iPad Air 2||Google Nexus 9||Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)|
|Display||9.7 inches (246.38mm) with 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution||8.9 inches (226.06mm) with 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution||10.5 inches (267.2mm) with 2,560x1,600-pixel resolution|
|Dimensions||9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 inches (240x169.5x6.1mm)||8.9 x 6.05 x 0.31 inches (228.25x153.68x7.95mm)||9.74 x 6.98 x 0.26 inches (247.3x177.3x6.6 mm)|
|Weight||Wi-Fi: 15.36 ounces (437g); Wi-Fi with cellular: 15.68 ounces (444g)||Wi-Fi: 14.99 ounces (425g); Wi-Fi with cellular: 15.38 ounces (436g)||Wi-Fi: 16.40 ounces (465g); Wi-Fi with cellular: 16.47 ounces (467g)|
|OS||iOS 8.0||Android 5.0||Android 4.4.2 (TouchWiz)|
|Rear-facing camera; video||8-megapixel; 1080p HD video||8-megapixel; 1080p HD video||8-megapixel; 1080p HD video|
|Front-facing camera; video||1.2-megapixel; 720p HD video||1.6-megapixel; 720p HD video||2.1-megapixel; 720p HD video|
|Processor||Proprietary second-gen 64-bit A8X chip with M8 motion co-processor||64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 with 2.3GHz dual-core Denver||Exynos 5 Octa 5420 with 1.9 GHz quad-core Cortex-A15|
|Capacity||16GB, 64GB and 128GB||16GB and 32GB||16GB and 32GB|
|External memory||No||No||Expandable up to 128GB|
|Battery||Non-removable; 27.3-watt-hour battery with 10-hour usage time on Wi-Fi and 9-hour usage time on cellular||Non-removable; 6,700mAh||Non-removable; 7,900mAh|
|Colors||Silver, space gray, and gold||Indigo-Black, lunar white, and sand||Dazzling white and titanium bronze|
|US retail price||Wi-Fi: $500 (16GB), $600 (64GB) and $700 (128GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: $630 (16GB), $730 (64GB) and $830 (128GB)||Wi-Fi: $400 (16GB) and $480 (32GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: $600 (32GB)||Wi-Fi: $500 (16GB) and $550 (32GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: $600 to $650 (16GB)|
|UK retail price||Wi-Fi: £400 (16GB), £480 (64GB), and £560 (128GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: £500 (16GB), £580 (64GB) and £660 (128GB)||Pricing not available yet||Wi-Fi: £400 (16GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: £480 (16GB)|
|AU retail price||Wi-Fi: AU$620 (16GB), AU$740 (64GB) and AU$860 (128GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: AU$780 (16GB), AU$900 (64GB) and AU$1,020 (128GB)||Pricing not available yet||Wi-Fi: AU$590 (16GB) and AU$650 (32GB); Wi-Fi with cellular: AU$750 (16GB)|