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Top of the tablet league: Apple iPad Air 2 and Google Nexus 9
Five years into existence, the tablet, designed to bridge the gap between a smartphone and a laptop, has evolved from a niche category and is now meant for one and all.
The Tablet World

Five years into existence, the tablet, designed to bridge the gap between a smartphone and a laptop, has evolved from a niche category and is now meant for one and all. Here is a look at the two new big tabs from Apple and Google.

APPLE IPAD AIR 2:

Continuing with its annual tradition of perfecting its gadgets, Apple has launched the iPad Air 2. With 6.1 mm depth, it is 1.4 mm thinner than the previous generation iPad Air and 0.8 mm thinner than the iPhone 6. It weights 437 grams, which is 32 grams lighter than its predecessor. Apple has added an antireflective coating to reduce the glare, which enhances the experience to a great extent.

For the first time, Apple has designed a special chipset for its tablet. This new chip has been built on the second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, which means that this tablet will be much faster and will deliver up to 40 per cent faster CPU performance. Even the graphic performance has been enhanced 2.5 times over the A7 chipset used in the iPad Air. Apple has also added a new technology - metal that is optimised to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to make everything appear more realistic.

The fingerprint identity sensor that was first added to the iPhone 5S last year, is now a part of Apple's tablet ecosystem too. This eliminates the need to key in password to unlock the device or authorise app purchases at the App Store. All this can be done with a single touch on the home key. Apple has also bumped up the camera on the iPad Air 2. It has got the new iSight 8 MP camera over the 5 MP iSight camera on the previous gen iPad Air. This has been synced with the enhanced image signal processor that works with the camera to give great images and videos.

GOOGLE NEXUS 9:

Apple has mastered its hardware, and Google isn't far behind. Google is pushing the Nexus 9 not only as a productivity device but is also as a work and play device. Last year, we wished Google would launch its hardware in India and now it is a reality. The Google Nexus 9 has been listed on the India Play Store and will be launched shortly.

Google has partnered with HTC for the manufacturing of the Nexus 9 tablet. It is an 8.9-inch tablet with a display resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. The colours should look vivid and the text will appear sharp. The tablet has got a straight line design that makes it look neat and elegant. The Nexus 9 is powered by a 64-bit 2.3 GHz Nvidia K1 processor, the 64-bit processor. It runs on the all new Android Lollipop operating system and has got 2 GB of RAM. Google claims it to be a smooth tablet where multitasking between apps, opening emails, etc., are super smooth.

This tablet also syncs music and movies from any of your Android device. The Nexus 9 has got front facing HTC BoomSound speaker. There is an 8 MP camera onboard with f/2.4 aperture, auto-focus and LED flash. Making it a productivity device, the Nexus 9 also has a magnetically attached keyboard that allows one to type at different angles. But this accessory is sold separately.

The 16 GB Wi-Fi variant is priced at Rs 28,900, while the 32 GB LTE variant costs Rs 44,900.

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