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iPad Air vs iPad 4 vs iPad 2: specs comparison

iPad Air vs iPad 4 vs iPad 2: specs comparison
Well, even though we weren't exactly caught by surprise by the offerings of the fifth-generation iPad, Apple has at least surprised us with the name of its new full-sized tablet. So, here it is, the iPad Air, and boy does it deserve the new name! The iPad Air is extremely thin and weighs just 16.86 oz (478 g), which is a great improvement compared to the iPad 4's 23.35 oz (662 g). So, that's OK, but what about the other specs of the new tablet? How's good's the new processor, how does it compare to its predecessor? And perhaps even more importantly, exactly how does it compare to the specs sheet of the iPad 2? Why is that? Well, it's because the iPad 2 actually stays on sale as a more affordable tablet starting at $399.

As you can imagine, starting November 1, there will be a lot of users wondering which one to pick up, and so what better way to find out than to take a close look at the exact differences between the two? Of course, keep in mind that specs aren't all, and there are some things that cannot be seen or felt on paper, but still, a good old specs comparison remains one of the most informative ways of finding out which device would be best for you. Isn't that right?

Apple iPad Air vs Apple iPad 4 vs Apple iPad 2

OSiOS (10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x)iOS (10.x, 9.x, 8.x, 7.x, 6.1, 6)iOS (9.x, 8.x, 7.x, 6.1, 6, 5.1, 5, 4.x)
Dimensions9.45 x 6.67 x 0.30 inches (240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm)9.50 x 7.31 x 0.37 inches (241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm)9.50 x 7.31 x 0.34 inches (241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm)
Weight16.86 oz (478 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
23.35 oz (662 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
21.62 oz (613 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
MaterialsMain body: Aluminum  
Physical size9.7 inches9.7 inches9.7 inches
Resolution2048 x 1536 pixels2048 x 1536 pixels1024 x 768 pixels
Pixel density

Pixel density - The pixel density of a display represents the number of pixels over an area of one inch. It’s measured in “pixels per inch”, or ppi. The higher the number, the more detailed and good-looking the display is.

264 ppi264 ppi132 ppi

Technology - There are two main screen technologies currently used in phones and tablets: LCD and AMOLED. The former usually features a light source and liquid crystals, while the latter is based on organic light-emitting diodes. Newer LCD variations like IPS-LCD and Super-LCD allow for very accurate color reproduction and very wide viewing angles, where no significant image quality loss is observed. Current AMOLED screens differ in such a way that they can exhibit much more saturated colors (sometimes too much) and incredibly high contrast levels, which is due to black color being completely black in AMOLED displays.

Screen-to-body ratio

Screen-to-body ratio - Shows what part of the frontal area of a phone its screen occupies.

71.65 %65.03 %65.03 %
Colors16 777 21616 777 216 
Camera5 megapixels5 megapixels0.7 megapixels
Aperture size

Aperture size - The aperture of a camera is the opening through which light travels before it reaches the camera sensor. The smaller the number is, the bigger this opening is, allowing for more light to pass.

Focal length (35mm equivalent)33 mm  
Hardware FeaturesAutofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)Autofocus, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI) 
Software FeaturesDigital image stabilization, Touch to focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo taggingTouch to focus, Face detection, Geo tagging 
Camcorder1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)1280x720 (720p HD) (30 fps)
Recording formatH.264, MOV  
FeaturesTime-lapse video, Digital image stabilization, Video callingDigital image stabilizationVideo calling
Front-facing camera1.2 megapixels1.2 megapixels0.3 megapixels VGA
Video capture1280x720 (720p HD) (30 fps)1280x720 (720p HD)640x480 (VGA) (30 fps)
System chip

System chip - Most modern handsets use an advanced chip that includes many of the device’s hardware modules like the processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sometimes even the wireless radio. This field shows what particular system chip (or System-on-a-Chip) is used in the phone.

Apple A7Apple A6XApple A5

Processor - The processor is the main computing component of a phone and is a major factor when it comes to the overall speed of the device. Some more powerful smartphones use dual-core and quad-core processors designed to deliver greater performance.

Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Cyclone, 64-bitDual-core, 1400 MHzDual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9
Graphics processor

Graphics processor - The graphics processor is important for the smooth operation of the system and especially in games and other applications that may involve complex graphics and animations.

PowerVR G6430PowerVR SGX 554PowerVR SGX543MP2
System memory

System memory - System memory, or RAM memory is the type of memory that the device uses to temporarily store data from the OS or currently-running apps. The more RAM available to the device, the better the performance will be when multiple or heavier programs are running.

Built-in storage

Built-in storage - Bigger storage capacity allows you to keep more content saved onto your device, such as more applications, photos or video. Games and video content typically take up the biggest amount of storage space.

128 GB128 GB64 GB

Capacity - The bigger, the better! However, battery capacity is not the only factor that has an effect on battery life. Those include the chipset in use, the software running on the device, as well as the consumer's unique usage pattern.

8820 mAh 6944 mAh
Screen mirroringTV-outTV-outTV-out

CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access. A technique of multiplexing, also called spread spectrum, in which analog signals are converted into digital form for transmission. For each communication channel, the signals are encoded in a sequence known to the transmitter and the receiver for that channel. The foremost application is digital cellular phone technology from QUALCOMM that operates in the 800MHz band and 1.9GHz PCS band. CDMA phones are noted for their excellent call quality and long battery life.

800, 1900 MHz  
GSM850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
LTE (FDD)Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26Bands 4, 17 
DataLTE, HSPA, UMTSLTE Cat 3 (100/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, UMTSHSDPA 14.4 Mbit/s, HSUPA 2 Mbit/s, UMTS
Shopping information
MSRP price$ 929$ 799 

  • Options

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 14:22 3

1. DaHarder (Posts: 177; Member since: 10 Oct 2009)

iPad 'Air' = Thinner/lighter/New SoC, yet still runs the same apps and has the same functionality/features.

iPad 2 = Same device many have owned and liked for some 3 years now, though this time it won't likely see another major OS update due to its limited SoC/RAM.

iPad Mini 2 = Better display, updated SoC, same design, functionality and features with a serious price hike.

iPad Mini = Same device with (perplexingly) a mere US 30.00 price drop.

... and There You Have It!

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 14:24 2

2. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

I'm more concerned as to why the iPad 2 hasn't dropped in price. Who in their right mind will buy it for $399.99?

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 14:33 6

3. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

You've underestimated Apple fans !

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 15:37 2

6. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1737; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Like they could tell the difference, its all the SAME

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 14:35 2

4. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

ipad 2 is just a rip off, its that simple, everything else is fine but the ipad 2 at 399 which is nearly 3 year old hardware with no future proofing spec is just ridiculous

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 15:20 1

5. Arsen (Posts: 32; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

I still got my iPad 2 which i bought in 2011 and still using it. No problems atm because i didnt update it to iOS 7. IOS7 is lagging like hell. Btw im no fanboy my phone is htc one

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 18:10

7. papss (unregistered)

I feel you there.. i updated my iPad 4 and regret it.. it's for sure less smooth.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 09:35

9. greyhulk (Posts: 162; Member since: 30 Jun 2010)

Same story on my iPad 3, which is inferior to your iPad 4 hardware-wise. Yet the iPhone 5s runs iOS7 like butter which makes me think that the OS is optimized for the new 64 bit A7.

I have noticed that with the latest software update (7.0.3) it is a LITTLE smoother, though.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 19:32

8. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


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