Alternatives to the iPad Air 2 from Apple's biggest rivals

The iPad Air 2 is Apple's fast, sleek and amazingly lightweight tablet. We love it, but there's no doubt that competition is hotting up. There are several impressive iPad Air alternatives from rivals such as Samsung, Microsoft and Google, which we're going to share with you here. PLUS: other devices such as laptops and phablets that could replace your iPad.

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  • iPad Air alternatives
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
  • Google Nexus 9
  • Tesco Hudl 2
  • Microsoft Surface 3
  • Advent Vega Tegra Note 7
  • Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • MacBook Air
  • More stories
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iPad Air alternatives

The iPad Air 2 is Apple's fast, sleek and amazingly lightweight tablet. We love it, but there's no doubt that competition is hotting up. There are several impressive iPad Air alternatives from rivals such as Samsung, Microsoft and Google, which we're going to share with you here. We'll also look at other devices such as laptops, phablets and eReaders that could replace your iPad.

We'll start by talking about the iPad Air 2 itself, though, so you know what the alternatives are up against.

The iPad Air 2 has a 9.7in Retina display, so falls into the 10in tablet category. It runs Apple's gorgeous iOS 7 operating system, and will soon be able to run iOS 8, the new update to iOS coming in autumn. 

Inside the iPad Air 2 is an A8 processor chip with a 64-bit architecture and an M7 motion processor. It's super fast and beautifully smooth.

The iPad Air 2 sports two cameras, and is wonderfully thin and light, at just 7.5mm thick and 469g.

The iPad Air 2 costs from only £399 - you can buy it from Apple here.

You can find out more in our iPad Air 2 review.

So how does it compare with rivals? Use the slideshow controls above and right to take a look at our selection of iPad Air 2 rivals and find out how their features stack up.

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The iPad Air 2 is Apple's fast, sleek and amazingly lightweight tablet. We love it, but there's no doubt that competition is hotting up. There are several impressive iPad Air alternatives from rivals such as Samsung, Microsoft and Google, which we're going to share with you here. We'll also look at other devices such as laptops, phablets and eReaders that could replace your iPad.

We'll start by talking about the iPad Air 2 itself, though, so you know what the alternatives are up against.

The iPad Air 2 has a 9.7in Retina display, so falls into the 10in tablet category. It runs Apple's gorgeous iOS 7 operating system, and will soon be able to run iOS 8, the new update to iOS coming in autumn. 

Inside the iPad Air 2 is an A8 processor chip with a 64-bit architecture and an M7 motion processor. It's super fast and beautifully smooth.

The iPad Air 2 sports two cameras, and is wonderfully thin and light, at just 7.5mm thick and 469g.

The iPad Air 2 costs from only £399 - you can buy it from Apple here.

You can find out more in our iPad Air 2 review.

So how does it compare with rivals? Use the slideshow controls above and right to take a look at our selection of iPad Air 2 rivals and find out how their features stack up.

iPad Air 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

An iPad alternative in the sense that like the iPad it is an ARM-powered tablet, chiefly for media consumption, communication and games, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is one of the best Android tablets we've ever reviewed.

In terms of hardware it's the best you can buy right now and has a superbly thin and light design, albeit an 8in display that is smaller than Apple's.

There's very little to dislike here aside from some elements of the TouchWiz software and the higher price compared to Android rivals (the iPad mini 2 is the obvious alternative at this size if you're not set on Android, and that tablet is actually better value). Still, Samsung does good tablet for Android and at £319 inc VAT it is a significant amount cheaper than your iPad Air 2.

iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9

Unlike previous Nexus tablets the Nexus 9 is not a bargain basement affair. Instead this Google-branded tab is all about performance - but the screen isn't perfect and neither is build quality.

At the same price the Samsung Tab is better value, but has a smaller display. Throw in the original iPad Air that also costs £319, however, and that iPad looks like the better deal. Still here is another Android tablet that is significantly cheaper than the iPad Air 2, without losing out on performance.

iPad Air 2 vs Tesco Hudl 2

Now this is a doozy of an offer, and if you are cash-strapped look no further than the Hudl 2. Now it costs under £100 you could buy four and still have change from the cost of an iPad Air 2. The one-year warranty is short, and the cameras aren't great, but the great screen, decent processor and microSD card slot make this an excellent tablet and well worth £99. If you have Clubcard vouchers, it can be even cheaper.

We also like the solid build: if you are buying a tablet for your kids, and they can live with the smaller display, the Hudl 2 is an absolute must buy.

iPad Air 2 vs Surface 3

Now we step outside of the traditional ARM-powered media consumption tablet. Like its big brother the Surface Pro 3, the Surface 3 is a brilliant compromise between a laptop and tablet.

It's a highly portable gadget which can run full Windows programs. It's not exactly cheap by the time you've added the keyboard and stylus, though - much more expensive than is the equivalent iPad Air 2.

It's also only good for lightweight duties - it's less powerful than laptops costing the same - and some people will find the screen is too small for 'proper' productivity. It's a better work tool than an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard, thought, and if you only need to use office apps and a web browser, it could be exactly what you're after. You could save the cost of a laptop *and* an iPad, and buy the Surface 3.

iPad Air 2 vs Advent Vega Tegra Note 7

Now stay with us, because this is another one for the bargain hunters. Yes, 'Advent' is not a name to make your heart sing with joy. But for the price, the Advent Vega offers an awful lot, and is better than the Tesco Hudl in almost every way. Google's new Nexus 7 is better overall, mainly because of its excellent screen and battery life, but it costs £70 more and has no microSD card slot for adding storage.

If you're after a budget Android tablet, and can spend a bit more than the cost of a Tesco Hudl 2, the Tegra Note 7 is a great choice.

iPad Air vs Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2

Our final Android tablet is not a bargain, but it is a great product. The Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a seriously impressive tablet that blows away the vast majority of Android tablets and leaves them eating its dust in terms of power.

If you've got £600 to blow and want a tablet that's bigger than 10-inches then this powerhouse won't disappoint in terms of performance and looks, and to be frank it's your only option as it's the only device out there like this. Bigger than the iPad Air 2, it isn't necessarily better, but it is different.

iPad Air 2 vs iPhone 6 Plus

No. We haven't gone bonkers. Well, at least if we have this isn't evidence of it. Consider for what you will use your iPad Air 2. If it is web browsing, viewing video, email, social media and games, the iPhone 6 Plus will suffice. And you will have to carry only one device. Yes the display is smaller, but only by a few inches. And you could save a fortune for making a compromise. Food for thought, at least.

iPad Air 2 vs MacBook Air

The flipside of the previous slide: if you need a slim and portable device for productivity and work, consider sacrificing a little of the former in return for a massive dollop of the latter. The MacBook Air blows out of the water every tablet on the planet when it comes to power with portability. And - again - you could spend what you save in purchasing only one device by tricking out your MacBook to fly.

Comments

Comments

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Rachel said: Comments,Rachel,This App is Awesome. http://j.mp/My-Office

gali56 said: Comments,gali56,best boy Different way chose macworld< I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do, > Find It More

evuan said: Comments,evuan,With the new iPad Air 2 coming out I better sell my old iPad Air before the value of it drops. I usually search 1-13 different sites to find the best offer, but I just found this company that compares all the buyback companies in one spot, it’s called RecomHub.It’s like Kayak but for electronic devices that show you all the offers in one spot.

Sherlock Richie said: Comments,Sherlock Richie,Samsung galaxy tab s is way better than [edited] ipad

paul williams said: Comments,paul williams,The iPad Air is Apple's fast, sleek and amazingly lightweight tablet. Its not the fastest, nor the sleekest or the lightest, it is good though

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