The iPad Air and iPad Air 2 are two of the thinnest slates on the market, but one alarming difference between the two is that the latter has a smaller battery. The original iPad Air is still a popular device thanks to its extended durability and software compatibility with iOS 8. Since many are content with the iPad Air, saying that it is just as good as its successor and has a better battery life, we would find it surprising if the sales numbers would plummet.
The iPad Air is currently cheaper and easier to get hold of than its successor. Currently, you can get your hands on a Wi-Fi only 16 GB version for $360, which is quite acceptable. You will definitely have to up that price if you would rather buy the version with cellular connectivity or more memory. Since the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad Air seems to be the most popular device among users, we will be focusing our battery life analysis on that device.
The iPad Air battery life, according to Apple, should be good for about 10 hours of use with Wi-Fi activated and should be able to handle a full day of being a hotspot. In our real-time tests, we found that with mixed to heavy use, the iPad Air battery could only handle about 9 hours with Wi-Fi activated, which is not too far from the promise Apple made. Since the 9 hour window is relevant for on-screen time, you would be right in saying that the iPad Air battery life is pretty admirable.
The standby time of the iPad Air is even better, as it can last for 3 or even 4 days with light use. That means that commuters and those who don’t always use their tablets as a go-to device would be delighted with the power management of Apple’s older iPad Air. There are few people out there who have complained about battery life on the iPad Air, but there have been encountered other issues since iOS 8 went live for the device.
With light to mixed use, as the average iPad Air user tends to take advantage of the slate, you can get up to 13 hours of battery life out of the slate. That’s still not as good as the Lenovo Yoga Tablets, but it certainly is very close. If you want a versatile tablet with a good battery life and are content with iOS 8 and the Apple ecosystem, the iPad Air might even be a better choice than the iPad Air 2, that is if Apple resolves the minor bugs the software still induces in the device.