iPad Air 2 and our iPad gear…

We just opened our beautiful new iPad Air 2 in Gold. One of the pleasures of working at Twelve South is that it’s a “job requirement” to purchase and get our hands on every new Apple piece of hardware they release. To be honest, it’s one of our favorite parts of the gig. Even now, breaking the film and opening up a new box from Cupertino is a transcendental experience. First impressions? As everyone else has said, it is shockingly thin. Put well by John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

“It really does feel like we’re getting close to just holding a piece of glass. It’s very thin, very light, and very comfortable to hold. The improved display is a noticeable improvement over all previous iPads. Retina iPhone displays have been laminated to the glass touch screen ever since the first retina model (the iPhone 4, back in 2010). It really does feel like the difference between pixels-under-glass and pixels-on-glass. Now the iPad Air 2 offers the same thing, and it’s gorgeous. Even better, the iPad Air 2 one-ups the iPhone 6, with an anti-reflective coating. It’s quite noticeable, and very welcome.”

We didn’t even turn our new iPad Air 2 on before we tested the fit in a few of our favorite iPad accessories. More details and pictures will be added soon, but here are some initial discoveries:

  • The SurfacePad for iPad Air works great. In fact, the new Camel SurfacePad looks flat-out gorgeous with the Gold iPad Air 2. This is by far our favorite accessory for the iPad Air 2. This is the same SurfacePad designed for the original iPad Air, so it does have the microphone hole at the top center that is not necessary for the Air 2, but that certainly keeps the Air SurfacePad interchangeable within a multiple iPad Air family…or makes upgrading from an Air to an Air 2 a breeze. Our SurfacePad comes in four colors including Jet Black, Modern White and Red Pop. But it’s really hard to imagine any combo looking better than a Camel SurfacePad on a new Gold iPad Air 2 (although Red Pop on Space Gray would be pretty hot too).
  • BookBook for iPad Air and Rutledge BookBook for iPad Air — the iPad Air 2 fits the inside sleeve fine. The iPad slides in and fits snugly. The screen is surrounded and the covers zip up to fully protect the new iPad Air 2. The only small “gotcha” is that the rear camera is partially obscured. That said, because the front camera is fully exposed for FaceTime, selfies and camera-based games, and the back camera is typically buttoned-down behind the cover anyway — we consider the BookBooks for iPad Air to be compatible with the new iPad Air 2. If you like BookBook style, you’ll be very happy with the new iPad Air 2 inside.
  • HoverBar for iPad 3. The Air 2 snaps right into the existing iPad Air clip, no problem. What a great way to use your iPad Air 2 at your desk or in the kitchen!

We’ll post more pictures shortly, but there’s your “in a nutshell” Twelve South accessory Guide to the new iPad Air 2. And the iPad Air 2? Love love love it! (Yeah, we’ve turned it on now. And we haven’t really turned it off yet.)

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