The new model supposedly cuts and/or writes up to 2 times faster on some select materials and settings. Other than that - the machine is the same as other Explore Air machines (the Explore ONE model only has a single carriage, and requires an adapter to place the pen or scoring tool) All Explore machines use the online software of Cricut Design Space. For owners of an iPad and/or iPhone, there is an available free app, that allows for some offline capabilities of Design Space. There currently are efforts to develop an app for Android devices, but it is not a sure thing that the Android app will ever have an offline capability. And no dates are being offered up as to when the Android app will be available. Also Cricut is working on changing up Design Space to eliminate the use of the troublesome plugin of Adobe Flash to change over to HTML 5 programming. That is a most welcome switch that I personally look forward to (no dates given for that completion, but hopefully before end of the year).
Visit Cricut.com for the latest information on the Explore line and visit your favorite Cricut themed blogs and/or Facebook groups for more info, reviews and comparisons. Many outlets will probably being offering deals on the original Explore Air over the coming months, so look for deals. Personally I don't think having the machine cut at a faster speed on some materials, is going to be a reason for me and many others to buy the latest model, but I will be watching HSN for the demonstrations throughout the 24 hour Craft Day on Oct. 5, 2016.
I'm sticking with my ole (bought Oct 2014) Lilac Cricut Explore that I also have the Cricut Bluetooth adapter on it and have paired it with each of my 4 laptops (I collect laptops, not cutting machines)
Note: here is a link to the Current 2016 minimum system requirements for running Design Space for use with your Computer or iPads
2016 September Cricut Explore system requirements
Cricut Explore machines Recommended minimum system requirements
Note to help future proof your systems, it is best to Exceed the minimum requirements when considering buying a Cricut Explore machine.
See: Debbie O'Neal's videos dated Oct. 7, 2016 (she is the Admin and moderator of the Facebook's group >> Lets Learn Cricut Explore )
Cricut Explore Air 2 vs Cricut Explore Air Overview by Debbie O'Neal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JGUgLM4eQY
Cricut Explore Air 2 vs Cricut Explore Air >> Cutting and Writing Comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHosmBBrVIM
Setting Up Cricut iOS App with Cricut Explore Air 2 (for those who have an iPad or iPhone)
Happy Cutting and Crafting.