Just one month after Apple introduced us to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Cupertino firm has called the press together once again to reveal its new iPad hardware.
The iPad Air 2 was officially revealed on stage today by Apple execs Tim Cook and Phil Schiller. The new iPad Air measures in at 6.1mm thick and boasts an anti-reflective coating on its display that Apple says makes the screen 56 percent less reflective.
Powering the iPad Air 2 is an Apple A8X processor. A beefed up version of the A8 chip that’s inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the A8X processor is 64-bit and is said to offer 40 percent faster CPU performance and 2.5 times speedier GPU performance.
On the backside of the iPad Air 2 lives an 8-megapixel rear camera. Apple says that the shooter offers an f/2.4 aperture, burst mode capture, and that the cam can capture 1080p HD video and time lapse video. Apple has also thrown an improved front-facing camera into the iPad Air 2 that has better face detection as well as HDR photos and video.
Unsurprisingly, Touch ID is making its iPad debut with the iPad Air 2 as well. Just as with the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, you can use Touch ID to unlock your iPad and control extensions. You can also use Touch ID to make payments with Apple Pay, but that feature will only be available in shopping apps, meaning that you won’t be able to tap your iPads on NFC terminals in stores.
Finally we come to connectivity. The iPad Air 2 will boast support for 802.11ac with MiMo, and the cellular-enabled variant will offer 20 4G LTE bands.
The iPad Air 2 will be sold in space gray, silver and gold configurations. Pricing for the Wi-Fi-only models will be set at $499 for 16GB, $599 for 64GB and $699 for 128GB. Meanwhile, pricing for the cellular-enabled models will be set at $629, $729 and $829, respectively. Apple will continue to offer the iPad Air 2 at a price that starts at $399.
Preorders for the iPad Air 2 will begin on October 17, and Apple says that units will begin to ship by the end of next week.