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New research reveals Apple iPad Air 2 tablet weakness

Small tablets are hardier devices than larger slates when it comes to not breaking, according to a new study from SquareTrade.

Broadly speaking, that makes sense – the larger the screen, the more likely it is to be stressed when dropped and face problems like potential cracks – something Apple found when making its new phablet earlier this year, as it hit far more display issues than with the smaller 4.7in iPhone 6.

Anyway, we’re talking tablets here, so what’s the toughest slate of the bunch? SquareTrade’s testing showed that it was the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which scored 3.3 in the firm’s “breakability test”.

The test takes all manner of considerations into account, such as the design, materials used, water-resistance, “grip-ability”, and puts the devices through drop, slide and dunk tests. The tablets were then given a breakability score out of 10, with lower being better.

Smaller tablets recorded the lowest scores, with the Asus Memo Pad 7 scoring a 3.5, very close to the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 with its 3.3. Sony’s Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact scored well with a 4.0, and the iPad mini 3 did pretty well with a 4.4, as you’d hope given the price.

Unfortunately, the larger iPad Air 2 didn’t perform nearly as well, and shed points in the slide and drop tests, only hitting a 6.1. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 also underperformed with a 6.0. Of the larger tablets, the Google Nexus 9 performed the best with a 4.5, although it’s still smaller than the full 10in models.

The worst tablet tested? That was the Tmax 9 HD, a fragile slate that recorded an 8.2.

Kevin Gillan, European managing director for SquareTrade, commented: “For the first time, we put 10 tablets through the rigor of our Breakability tests and found that size does indeed matter. These expensive devices are the contemporary equivalents of Swiss army knives – but they’re nowhere near as durable. The bargain basement tablet we tested literally broke in two.”

Check out the video above to see the tests in action.