As expectations and rumors all pointed towards, Apple has today officially announced the new iPad Air at its special event out in Cupertino. The latest in Apple's full sized iPad line, the iPad Air 2 has the same visual feel as last years iPad Air but with a few added new tricks like Touch ID — and it comes in gold!
As you'd expect from an Apple product it's slim, and it's light. At just 6.1 mm thin the iPad Air 2 is the world's slimmest tablet. It's so slim it's actually 18% slimmer than even last year's iPad Air, and it's less than half as thick as the very first iPad. Inside is Apple's A8X chipset, brand new and created just for the iPad Air 2 and it's paired with the M8 motion coprocessor.
Round the back it has an 8MP iSight camera with 1.12micron pixels and an ƒ/2.4 aperture. The camera also boasts a burst mode for photos, timelapse and the ability to take 43MP panoramas. When it comes to connectivity, the iPad Air 2 sports 802.11ac MiMO wifi with support for up to 866 Mbps. There's over 20 bands of LTE at up to 150 Mpbs.
While the iPad Air 2 won't support NFC for payment at brick and mortar stores, owners will still be able to use Apple Pay through apps that support it via Touch ID authentication.
The display is now optically bonded with no air gap and an anti-reflective coating, part of the reason Apple was able to reduce the overall thickness. It's got 56% reduced reflectivity, which is the lowest value of any tablet on the market today.
The iPad Air 2 will also continue to boast sterling battery life, with Apple promising its standard 10 hours of use from it. Oh, and did we mention it comes in gold? Pricing for the iPad Air 2 starts at $499 and comes in the following configurations:
- $499 - 16GB
- $599 - 64GB
- $699 - 128GB
We'll be going hands-on in a little while but in the meantime be sure to follow the rest of the event in our liveblog!
Apple Introduces iPad Air 2—The Thinnest, Most Powerful iPad Ever iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3 Now Featuring Touch ID & Support for Apple Pay Within Apps
CUPERTINO, California—October 16, 2014—Apple® today introduced iPad Air™ 2, the thinnest and most powerful iPad® ever. Now just 6.1 mm thin and weighing less than a pound, iPad Air 2 features an improved Retina® display for enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colors, and better cameras for taking stunning 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 easily and securely within apps using Apple Pay™.¹
"iPad is a magical piece of glass that runs more than 675,000 apps specifically designed for it, and is thin and light enough that you can comfortably hold it all day; the new iPad Air 2 is packed with amazing new innovations, weighs less than a pound, and at just 6.1 mm is the thinnest tablet in the world," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "iPad Air 2 has a new Retina display with anti-reflective coating, second generation 64-bit A8X chip, all-new iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, faster Wi-Fi and LTE wireless, and includes the revolutionary Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor."
Engineered for unmatched portability and ease of use, iPad Air 2 offers a beautiful, precision unibody enclosure of anodized aluminum for durability and a solid feel. The improved Retina display features a fully-laminated design that brings images and content closer to the user's fingertips, resulting in an even more personal and intimate experience. A custom-designed anti-reflective coating reduces glare by 56 percent² for a clearer display in the office, the classroom or outdoors.
iPad Air 2 is powered by the new Apple-designed A8X chip, which delivers a 40 percent improvement in CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of iPad Air, and still delivers the up to 10-hour battery life³ users expect while working, playing games or surfing the web. Combined with Metal™, the new graphics technology in iOS 8, the A8X chip unlocks realistic visual effects comparable to the most advanced gaming consoles. iPad Air 2 also includes the M8 motion coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and an all-new barometer which 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 rich, detailed images and add new features including panoramic in Photos, time-lapse video, slo-mo and 1080p HD video. The FaceTime HD camera now captures over 80 percent more light than iPad Air's camera, and features burst mode as well as HDR stills and video. With thousands of powerful apps that take advantage of iPad's amazing cameras and large Retina display viewfinder, iPad becomes a tool that can scan and annotate documents, help study the sky above and provide athletic performance analysis—all with just a tap.
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.⁴ 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,⁵ plus support for other fast cellular technology around the world (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+).
Touch ID gives iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users a simple and secure way to unlock iPad with just the touch of a finger, plus the ability to authenticate within apps to better protect logins and data. Touch ID can be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the App Store℠, iTunes Store® or iBooks Store℠, and with Apple Pay, when paying for physical goods and services within apps.
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 seamlessly. 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 just $299, is even more affordable. Both iPads feature a stunning Retina display, amazing A7 chip, 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless. iPad mini is also available at its most affordable price, starting at $249.
Pricing & Availability iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come in three gorgeous metallic finishes including gold, silver and space gray, and customers in 29 countries and territories can order online beginning Friday, October 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 (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
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. 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.
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 bright 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). iPad Air 2 Smart Cases are available in beautiful aniline-dyed leather in midnight blue, olive brown, black, soft pink and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $79 (US) with Smart Cases for iPad mini available in those same colors at a suggested retail price of $69 (US). Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
¹ Apple Pay is only available in the US. ² Over the previous generation iPad Air. ³ Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results may vary. ⁴ Based on theoretical speeds, actual speeds may vary. ⁵ LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.