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iPad Air 2
The natural successor to the Air comes with more power, an even slimmer design and enhanced cameras, improving on the overall iPad experience.
Even though it sports the same screen resolution as the original Air, the iPad Air 2 has been given a boost in brightness and colour, making a marked improvement over its predecessor.
You also get the added security of Touch ID – something which is missing on the Air – although you'll have to pay full price for all this and at the end of the day usage isn't all that different between this and the original Air.
There's also better storage options with 64GB and 128GB models joining the 16GB entry level Air 2 – lthough the latter is best avoided for the same reasons as I explained earlier in this review.
- Read our in-depth iPad Air 2 review
iPad mini 2
Like the iPad Air, the iPad Mini 2 has also been replaced twice over – by the iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4 – which means the slate has witnessed a sizeable price drop and considering the tiny increment between the 2 and 3 it makes this mini iPad a good proposition.
If you're sold on the iPad offering, but less so on the £319, $399, AU$499+ price tag or general size then the 7.9-inch mini 2 could well be perfect for you.
It's got a heap of power, the same premium styling and the latest iOS software from just £219, $269, AU$369. You can get it in either 16GB or 32GB sizes (I'd recommend the larger of the two) plus there's the option to add cellular connectivity too.
- Read our in-depth iPad mini 2 review
The Nexus 9 is a direct rival to the iPad Air in terms of price, design and form factor. The HTC-made tablet sports a metal chassis, 8.9-inch display, dual-core Tegra K1 processor and Android 5.0 Lollipop.
It also has more RAM (2GB vs 1GB), a better camera (8MP vs 5MP) and a lighter frame (425g vs 469g).
There are some shortcomings however, with subpar screen quality and a design which isn't as premium, sleek or appealing as Apple's slate.
- Read our in-depth Nexus 9 review
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.