October 16th, 2014, 19:12 PM
Apple Reveals Ultra-Slim iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3
Apple today revealed the iPad Air 2, which it said is the thinnest tablet on the market, and the iPad mini 3.
The new iPads will come in silver, gray, and a new gold color. Pricing begins at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad Air 2 and $399 for the iPad mini 3. Like the new iPhones, Apple is doing away with the 32GB version, so you can get a 64GB for $100 more and a 128GB version for $200 more.
Pre-orders begin Oct. 17 and they will start shipping by the end of next week. Apple will continue selling the iPad mini with Retina display and iPad Air, both of which will get a $100 price cut. The original iPad mini, meanwhile, will sell for $249, down from $299.
Among the updates on Apple's new iPads is Touch ID, the fingerprint scanner currently available on newer iPhones like iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The updated tablets will also support the Apple Pay mobile payment system, though only within apps, not in stores. Apple Pay is set to roll out on Monday, Oct. 20 with iOS 8.1.
The iPad Air 2 is just 6.1mm thick. "Can you even see it?" Tim Cook quipped as he turned the iPad Air 2 to the side.
You could stack two iPad Air 2 devices on top of one another and still be thinner than the original iPad, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, during an event at the company's Cupertino headquarters.
Apple slimmed down the tablet by eliminating a micro-thin layer of air usually found between the LCD, touch layer, and glass on the tablet, Schiller said.
The iPad Air 2 also reduced internal reflection, which makes graphics and text look like they are just sitting right on top of the screen, Schiller said. Notably, the new tablet includes an anti-reflective coating for multi-touch surfaces, which reduces reflection by 56 percent.
Inside the new iPad is an A8X chip, a version of the A8 chip found in the new iPhones created specifically for iPad Air 2. There's a second-generation 64-bit architecture and 3 billion transistors. A co-processor also tracks motion.
The iPad Air 2 includes an built-in iSight camera with an 8-megapixel camera that will now support panoramas, burst mode, and timelapse videos.