Apple released an “update” to the iPad Air 2 some time ago. It looks the same, is faster but also thicker and heavier. The display is not laminated anymore. A feature I really liked. And no rose gold. It’s actually a faster iPad Air, without the 2. Yes, they re-introduced a faster older model, sort of.
And it’s cheaper. A move to differentiate the iPad Pro line from the common models. It may animate more people to update their old iPads. So it’s probably a good move on Apple’s part.
But I liked the iPad Air 2 very much and I’m a little bummed they discontinued the model. The switch from my iPad Air to my iPad Air 2 was a step-up. I waited for some months in autumn of 2014, suffering from upgrade fatigue. But in the end I gave in a day before Christmas and made myself a present. And it was a step-up. Definitely worth the upgrade. Even lighter and thinner than the old model. Even if the difference was not much, it feels much better while using it.
Of course, Touch ID is the most interesting feature. I was so used to Touch ID on my iPhone that I couldn’t live without it. And 2 GB RAM instead of 1 GB meant less reloading of webpages in Safari when using many tabs and less reloading of app contents after switching apps.
Now most of it is available in the 2017 iPad 9.7″. A little heavier, thicker and with a inferior display, but for a lower price. Whatever, I switched to the 12.9″ iPad Pro and will wait for the rumoured 10.5″-ish iPad.