With one day to go to the latest Apple live event in California, both Apple analysts and fans are carefully monitoring the issue of what we can expect to see unveiled. The event is being held in Cupertino, where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s headquarters are located, and there will no doubt be some major hardware announcements ahead of the critical Christmas holiday season.

Apple iPad Air 2 Release - What To Expect

According to the general buzz surrounding this event, though, Apple’s range of tablets will be at the centre of this unveiling. Apple has perhaps neglected its iPad collection to a certain extent lately, and their teaser advertisement for this particular occasion suggested this by stating that it’s been “way too long” since Apple updated its tablets. At least this is the interpretation that most have placed upon this slightly cryptic expression.

iPad on the agenda

When Apple does unveil its latest product ranges tomorrow, one can be certain that new iPad Air and iPad Mini devices will be a major focus. Apple will be looking to get consumers excited about its range of tablets again in the near future, as iPad sales have been a little disappointing in recent months. Yet despite this levelling off in performance, iPad tablets remain Apple’s second-largest product line, and the consumer electronics giant isn’t exactly likely to abandon a product which has shifted over 200 million units worldwide. This will actually be the third October in succession that Apple has released a new tablet; underlining its determination to be successful in this marketplace.

Analysts have generally assumed that both the iPad Air and iPad Mini will remain pretty much the same size that they are at present. And there is also a belief that the larger of the two devices, the iPad Air, will be a bigger focus of the event, and receive the larger spec boost.

Apple likes to play its cards extremely close to its chest, and thus analysts always have a difficult time in teasing out fact from fiction. But with regards to the iPad range, the general consensus of opinion is that the iPad Air 2 will not change in size significantly from previous releases, if at all. This would suggest that the device will have a 9.7-inch screen. But although the screen size may not differ, Apple is expected to announce major changes to the iPad Air 2 display.

Apple iPad Air 2: Retina HD rumored

Rumors related to the iPad Air 2 suggest that that it will be armed with a Retina HD-quality screen, with a 3,072 x 2,304 resolution. This would be a massive improvement over previous iterations of the iPad series, with the implied resolution being three times greater than that of the original iPad, and double the quality of the most recent iPad Air tablet.

It has also been suggested that Apple will fit the larger of the two iPads with a more powerful processor. Reports indicate that this could be an A8X processor, and that to beef up performance even more, the iPad Air 2 will be handed 2GB of RAM. This is a pretty significant decision if accurate, as until now no iOS device has ever been fitted with this quantity of RAM.

Based on previous experience, it seems likely that the processor used in the iPad Air two will utilize the same dual-core CPU as the A8 in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Extra performance will be acquired from a more powerful GPU, and there could also be improvements in memory interface to enhance the graphical performance of the device.

Other features expected to be included in the iPad Air 2 are the introduction of the TouchID feature, and an improvement in the camera in line with the iPhone 6 models, meaning that the snapper included in the iPad Air 2 will be improved from 5 to 8-megapixels.

And it pretty much goes without saying that Apple will include NFC and Apple Pay functionality, given its determination to make a serious impression in the potentially highly lucrative mobile payment market. There is also a rumor doing the rounds that the iPad Air 2 will be released in gold, making it a companion to certain models of the iPhone 6.

iMac and iOS 8

Aside from the improvement in the iPad range, Apple is also expected to unveil a new range of retina iMacs. This will be an exciting development for fans of Apple’s desktop computer range, and this proposed product could feature an incredibly impressive resolution. It has been suggested that this will be Apple’s first 5K device, but some mooted resolutions exceed even this.

Apple is also likely to announce an update to its iOS 8 operating system at the event, and this is strongly expected to be linked to the Apple Pay mobile payment system. This will be a critical event for Apple and its future, and one that commentators, economic investors and fans of the corporation will all be following very closely.