iPad Air 2 tidbits: Triple-core 1.51GHz A8X Chip, 2GB RAM, NFC chip and more

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 23 Oct 2014

iPad Air 2

iPad Air 2 comes with a number of new features and improvements such as ultra-thin design, faster A8X chip with 2GB RAM, improved camera, and faster wireless capabilities.

Now that we’ve got our hands on the iPad Air 2, we have discovered some other interesting tidbits about the iPad Air 2 I thought were worth mentioning.

  • The 64GB iPad Air 2 does come with iLife and iWorks apps such as Numbers, iTunes U, iMovie, Pages, Keynote and GarageBand pre-installed, just like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. So I expect the 128GB iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 models to also come with them pre-installed.

iPad Air 2 - iLife & iWork

  • The good news as you can see in the photo below, you will be able to delete the apps if you don’t plan to use them.
  • The 64GB iPhone 6 Plus reports capacity as 55.4GB, with 51.4GB available. After deleting the iLife and iWorks apps, the available free space was 53.2GB.
  • It comes pre-installed with iOS 8.1, and with the same build number as the iOS 8.1 update released earlier this week.
  • I ran a Geekbench 3 benchmark using the Geekbench 3.0 app (iTunes link) on the iPad Air 2. It confirms that new iPad Air comes with a triple-core (not dual-core) 1.51GHz A8X chip with 2GB RAM, which is twice the amount of RAM found on the original iPad Air.

iPad Air 2 Benchmarks

  • As you can see in the screenshot above, it got a single-core score of 1811, and multi-core score of 4455. I ran the test on the original iPad Air, and it got a single-core score of 1378, and 1850 (higher scores are better). So the single and multi-core performance of the iPad Air 2 is significantly better. The multi-core performance of iPad Air 2 is also much better than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were launched last month, which seems to confirm that it comes with A8 chip’s triple-core processor, and not a dual-core processor like iPhone 6. The performance improvement is quite noticeable while browsing the web and launching apps, but the biggest improvement will be seen while using video editing apps and games.
  • The iPad Air 2 teardown has revealed that it includes the same NFC module as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, so it is not clear why the new iPads can only be used for Apple Pay purchases within apps, and cannot be used at retail stores that support Apple Pay (though waving a large tablet over a payment terminal doesn’t seem like a great idea). It remains to be seen if Apple will iPad Air 2’s NFC capabilities in the future.

Let me know if find anything interesting in the comments below, and will update the post.


➤ Our iPad Air 2 unboxing photos and first impressions