The Apple iPad Air 2 is what you get when the Mini is too small and the iPad is too large. This is Apple’s latest generation in their very successful mid-size tablet category. The iPad Air 2 has some nice performance improvements versus the original iPad Air. The A8 processor is 1.4x faster than the prior model and you can stuff the iPad Air 2 with up to 128GB of memory versus the older model where it topped out at 32GB. The graphics processor is 2.5x faster and that’s a significant performance boost. The back camera is better too at 8 MP versus prior versions at 5 MP. The front camera, typically used for Facetime retains the same 1.2 MP still and at 720p on video. The iPad Air 2 supports finger print recognition as well as Apple Pay. Pricing varies depending upon memory and connectivity options.
Let’s jump to the mount discussion. Although many might believe that the Apple iPad Air 2 is the same size as the prior generation, it’s not. The physical size of the Apple iPad Air 2 is 8 by 9.40 by 6.60 by 0.24 inches. That’s a little thinner than the previous generation. The original iPad Air came in at 9.40 by 6.60 by 0.29 inches. I offer these key metrics because the size is critical in choosing your mount. This means that if you have a previous generation of iPad Air (or even the full-sized iPad) and were using a universal cradle mount, it’s probably going to fit the iPad Air 2. If you have a custom mount, where the tablet snaps into a custom cradle, it might not fit. The reduction in depth might be enough to make a difference where it simply is too thin for the custom cradle.
As always, I recommend buying a good protective case or skin for your new tablet. You just paid a lot of money for your Apple iPad Air 2. Dropping this tablet is going to be a financial disaster so buy a good case. The Otterbox line is excellent and I have a lot of experience with their top of the line Defender model so would recommend the Otterbox Defender for Apple iPad Air 2. I use this for my iPhone and iPad Mini and have dropped these on concrete and ceramic and never had a single issue. Buy a good case. It’s important that you don’t break the glass because that’s going to be expensive to fix.
So on with the mount discussion.
There are many locations that may prove suitable for your device. You first need to figure out how you plan to use it. Many like to use their Air 2 for entertaining the kids. If that’s the case, the best location for your tablet is the headrest as it puts your tablet far enough away so your kids can’t grab it yet close enough so that they can comfortably view it. The iPad Air 2 is great for playing cartoons and videos.
The Arkon Centered Headrest Mount fits the iPad Air 2 with or without a case or skin. This mount is different from other headrest mounts because it attaches to two headrest posts then extends into the middle between your seats. This means two or more passengers int he backseat can watch the action. This is the mount that is in the photo which accompanies this article.
If wanting to use your iPad Air 2 for navigation and have the cellular feature, consider using Waze as your app. Take a look at our Waze review. The iPad Air 2 is a larger tablet and you need to ensure that it does not block your view of the road. Using a suction mount that is somewhat flush with the windshield isn’t advisable because the tablet may block too much of the windshield while driving. Attaching to your windshield is legal is most states, but there’s a few that don’t allow it so check your local laws before buying a windshield mount. An article about those states not allowing it can be found here.
The Arkon Extension Suction Cup Mount for Tablets is a good mount to use in your car or truck. The metal arm extends up to 18 inches and is quite rigid while driving. The included cradle opens large enough so a case or skin will fit well. The cradle will swivel into landscape or portrait mode. I tend to like landscape mode when using the tablet as a GPS but it works equally as well in portrait.
A more recent introduction to the mounting world is the CD Player mount. Although they are standard in almost all cars these days, it’s seldom used because of the integration of smartphones with the audio system of most current vehicles. So if your CD player is collecting dust like mine, why not use it as a mount point for your iPad Air 2? The Satechi Universal Tablet CD Slot Mount fits the Air 2 real well. These mounts include a cradle that accommodates tablets up to 7.68 inch wide. Since the iPad Air 2 is 6.6 inches wide, it will fit with or without a case or skin.
Using an Air on a motorcycle necessitates more real estate requirements than smaller tablets. Be extremely sure that this will not block any controls or compromise your safety. On the motorcycle, we often look to RAM Mounts for a good solution. They offer a few universal cradles as well as a custom holder to consider. The RAM Custom Holder for Apple iPad Air 1 and 2 is an exact fit for the Air 2. This is good if not using a case or skin. Combine this with the RAM Motorcycle Handlebar Mount. The all metal mount will fit handlebars up to 1.25 inches diameter. Those using a case or skin, which I recommend on a motorcycle, look to the RAM Tab-Tite Cradle and Motorcycle Mount. The cradle is spring-loaded and expandable and the mount swivels. All components come with a lifetime warranty.