Apple has introduced iPad Air 2, the thinnest Apple tablet ever at just 6.1 mm thin and weighing less than a pound.
It features an improved Retina display with anti-reflective coating and better cameras for taking photos and videos. Available in gold, silver and space gray, the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 offer Touch ID so users can unlock their iPad with just the touch of a finger and make purchases within apps using Apple Pay (starting next week).
The iPad Air 2 boasts a second generation 64-bit A8X chip, a new iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, faster Wi-Fi and LTE wireless. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, says the iPad Air 2 is powered by the new Apple-designed A8X chip, which delivers a 40% improvement in CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of iPad Air, and still delivers up to 10-hour battery life.
Combined with Metal, the new graphics technology in iOS 8, the A8X chip unlocks realistic visual effects comparable to the most advanced gaming consoles, he adds. The iPad Air 2 also includes the M8 motion coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and an all-new barometer that senses air pressure to provide relative elevation.
Innovations to the iSight and FaceTime HD cameras in iPad Air 2 enable better photos and videos, with an 8MP sensor and advanced optics in the iSight camera to help capture photos and time-lapse video, slo-mo and 1080p HD video. The FaceTime HD camera now captures over 80% more light than iPad Air’s camera, and features burst mode as well as HDR stills and video.
The iPad Air 2 delivers faster connectivity with 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology for 2.8 times the Wi-Fi performance of iPad Air at data rates up to 866 Mbps. iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular integrates even more LTE bands and comes with expanded LTE for up to 50 percent faster cellular connections, plus support for other fast cellular technology around the world (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+).
The new iPads come with iOS 8.1 including Continuity features across iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite that enable all your Apple products to work together. Handoff lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to another, and when your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network, you can make and receive phone calls right from your iPad.
The iPad mini line has been updated to include iPad mini 3 with Touch ID and iPad mini with Retina display, now called iPad mini 2 and starting at US$299. Both iPads feature a Retina display, A7 chip, 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera and wireless. The iPad mini is also available at its most affordable price, starting at $249.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come in three metallic finishes including gold, silver and space gray, and customers in 29 countries and territories can order online beginning Friday, Oct. 17. Both iPads will be available starting later next week in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau (Wi-Fi models only), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Availability in Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and elsewhere around the world, will continue through the end of October with additional global availability in the coming months. iPads are sold through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 64GB model and $699 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 64GB model and $829 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB model, $499 (US) for the 64GB model and $599 (US) for the 128GB model.
The iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 (US) for the 16GB model, $629 (US) for the 64GB model and $729 (US) for the 128GB model.
The iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini, available in silver or space gray, are offered at now more affordable prices. iPad Air starts at $399 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, iPad mini 2 starts at $299 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, and iPad mini starts at $249 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model.
To complement the new iPads, a colorful range of cases and covers offer both protection and customization with iPad Air and iPad mini Smart Covers available in seven colors and Smart Cases for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini offered in five new elegant shades. Custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad Air and iPad mini will be available for a suggested retail price of $39 (US) in black, white, blue, green, pink, yellow and (RED).
The iPad Air 2 Smart Cases are available in aniline-dyed leather in midnight blue, olive brown, black, soft pink and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $79 with Smart Cases for iPad mini available in those same colors at a suggested retail price of $69. Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.