One thing I keep reading is that tablet sells are trending down. I guess this matters to someone with stock in just this segment of the market, but it has no real meaning to me as a user. However, I am not surprised by the trend. I have the Original iPad and the iPad 3 ("New iPad" with Retina) and they both still work. The Original hasn't been supported in years, but if you just use it to listen to music, check email, read Facebook, and jump on the internet on occasion, it is probably enough for a lot of people. I updated to the iPad 3 mainly for the "Retina" screen and I have been very happy with it. Personally, I think the trend is related to the fact that older iPads "just work" and the fact that Apple is still giving free firmware updates to everything since the second generation iPad.
The next argument is that despite the fact that it has new and better tech, it isn't worth an upgrade for iPad Air users. Personally, I have wanted a new iPad since my iPad 3 has been up against the 32GB limit. However, when they released the Air last year, I wasn't interest for one reason...Touch ID. This was before I even knew about ApplePay. The reason I wanted it was to be able to log in with very little effort. A lot of tech writers just leave their iPads unlocked, but I don't want to risk it even though I have a monitored alarm system. It has too much information to just leave it sitting around without a passcode.
With the ability to use the iPad with ApplePay for some online purchases, log into websites using Touch ID with Lastpass, and making purchases from the app store with the touch of a button, Touch ID has become even more useful. Since I also added an iPhone 6 plus this year, I am now in the habit of using Touch ID and I wouldn't buy an iPad without it.
Personally, I will rarely use the iPad's new and better camera. However, it will be nice for recording videos of the dogs playing around the house. I am still not sure how it will work with the new antiglare coating when I am outside. The iPad 3 had too much glare to see what was happening in bright sunlight. Any improvement in this area is welcomed.
Also, sometimes I like to lay on the couch with the iPad and when I see something happening, I might want to get a photo, but the camera on the iPad 3 isn't good enough and moving would disturb the situation. For these moments, it will be nice to have a decent camera in the iPad.
I mainly bought the 3 for the retina screen. For me, when we are talking about tablets, the screen is everything. The screen has been improved. It now has an "optically bonded" IPS display. This gets rid of the space between the screen and the body. Also, as I mentioned, they have added some antiglare coating to the screen.
Processing power and wifi speed are two more improvements. Many of the geek bench tests have put the new Air 2 in the same class as modern PCs. While I guess some reviewers do not have a need for a faster iPad, I know that many of the apps I use will benefit. "Next Issue" and "Lightroom" are examples of apps I use at least on a weekly basis, but they just don't work very well on the slower iPads. Also, Adobe pops up a message that their Photoshop Mix app on my iPad 3 saying that the app was built for new iPads (or something like that).
Finally, this iPad weighs less than a pound and is the thinnest iPad yet. For me, lighter is better if I don't have to make the trade off of a smaller screen. While my understanding is that they used a smaller battery that hasn't tested as well as the last Air, according to Engadget, it is still an improvement on the iPad 3. Personally, I never had an issue with running out of juice with my iPad 3, so having more battery power is just icing on the cake.
I will try to write a full review over the weekend, if I have time.