At today’s Apple event, the company debuted the all new iPad Air 2. The new tablet features a über-thin 6.1mm profile, a Touch ID sensor, a faster A8X processor, improved iSight and FaceTime cameras, and a new gold color option.
Apple says the iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the original iPad Air. (During the presentation, it was mentioned that two iPad Air 2 tablets stacked were still thinner than one first-generation iPad.) The thinner profile was achieved by the use of a gapless laminated display panel.
As well as being thinner, the new iPad Air 2 is more powerful than its predecessor, powered by an A8X processor which give 40% faster CPU performance than the A7 used in the iPad Air, along with 2.5X faster GPU performance. The Air 2 also sports an M8 motion co-processor, which collects data from a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, and the new barometer.
The iPad Air 2 also boasts a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which Apple claims was the most requested feature by iPad users. iPad Air 2 users will be able to use the Touch ID sensor with Apple Pay to make online purchases via apps that support Apple Pay. NFC support didn’t make it into this generation, so the Air 2 can’t be used to make purchases in-store.
The new tablet also boasts a new rear-facing 8-megapixel iSight camera, which features an f/2.4 aperture, and can record 1080p HD video. The new shooter is capable of burst mode photos, 120fps slow motion video, time lapse photos, and 43-megapixel panorama photos.
The front facing FaceTime is also improved, with an f/2.2 aperture that lets in 81 percent more light. The front shooter is capable of HDR photos and videos, and has a burst mode selfie ability.
The new iPad Air 2 also gets the benefit of 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO capability, giving up to 2.8X faster performance for speeds up to 866Mbps on Wi-Fi. LTE speeds also get an improvement, with 20 LTE bands with support for up to 150Mbps via LTE Advanced.
The iPad Air 2 will be available in silver, space grey, and of course, gold. Storage capacities will be available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB, and pricing for Wi-Fi only models will be $499, $599, and $699, respectively. LTE models are available for a $130 premium.
Pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 start on Friday, October 17, and will begin shipping at the end of next week.
For more information on the iPad Air 2, visit the Apple website.