Apple today announced its second-generation iPad Air 2 and third-generation iPad mini 3 at its Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, California. While both devices are indeed impressive, Tim Cook and his team did not announce anything about the new tablets that wasn't already previously leaked. As expected, both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will ship with the same Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. This will allow iPad users to unlock their devices without having to type in a password, and give them the ability to make easy online and in-app purchases when using Apple Pay, which launches this Monday along with iOS 8.1.
The most noteworthy feature of the iPad Air 2 is once again its design. Apple managed to make the new tablet 18 percent less thinner (6.1mm thin and 0.96lb) than its predecessor while creating the "fastest, most powerful iPad ever". The second-generation iPad Air is powered by a new A8x chip that delivers 40 percent faster CPU performance, and it is equipped with a 2048‐by‐1536 resolution (264 ppi) Retina display with new anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent.
The iPad Air 2 camera received a bump to 8-megapixels and will now feature Burst mode, while the iPad mini 3 is stuck with the same 5MP iSight camera as the original. Other iPad Air 2 upgrades include an M8 motion coprocessor, slo-mo video and faster Wi-Fi.
Apple will begin accepting pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on October 17, 2014. The new iPad Air will begin shipping “by the end of next week”. The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 Cellular models will be offered by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile, and both will now be available in Silver, Gold and Space Gray.
iPad Air 2 Prices
64GB - $599
128GB - $699
Wi-Fi + Cellular model:
16GB - $629