The cat is finally out the bag – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has unveiled its next series of iPad tablets, with the consumer electronics giant announcing the iPad Air 2 in a special event in Cupertino, California today. This is a pretty big release for Apple given the dwindling tablet sales it has experienced recently, especially as the iPad is still its second largest selling device. So we now know exactly what to expect from this next generation tablet, here is all the information we have on the iPad Air 2 thus far.
Apple iPad Air 2
One notable feature which came out of the presentation is that Apple will release a Gold version of the iPad Air 2. This is very much in line with its policy for the iPhone 6, and will undoubtedly attract consumers who like a bit of bling with their mobile devices.
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The main change to note with this particular iPad release is that Apple has ensured that it is the slimmest tablet it has ever produced. The iPad Air 2 is nearly 20 percent thinner than its predecessor at a mere 6.1mm. This makes it the world’s slimmest tablet, and was apparently achieved by bonding the display components together.
Apple has included an interesting innovation with the display; it is covered with an anti-reflective coating which is 56 percent less reflective than the iPad Air’s screen.
The usual multi-touch features are included in the iPad Air 2 display, and it hasn’t been altered from the 9.7-inch device it was previously. However, Apple has boosted the screen resolution of the Air 2 to 1,536 x 2,048, giving it a pixel density of 264ppi.
Apple was expected to deliver a processor and internal set up which enabled the iPad Air 2 to operate considerably more quickly, and it hasn’t disappointed. Apple has fitted this new tablet with the new A8X processor and M8 co-processor. The iPad Air 2 will be 40 percent faster than its predecessor, and will even be 50 percent faster in certain applications. Its GPU is also 2.5 times faster than its previous iteration.
The wireless capabilities of the iPad Air 2 have also been significantly upgraded from previous devices. 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO is included in the device, which is in common with the wireless set up in both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It will take a little time for the full benefit of this to be realised, as 802.11ac routers are still relatively rare, but there is nothing preventing you from updating your home router to take advantage of this functionality.
Apple has also announced with regars to the iPad Air 2 that it will support 20 LTE bands, and up to 150Mb/sec using carrier aggregation.
It was expected that Apple would upgrade the camera in its tablet range, and the iPad Air 2 indeed features an 8-megapixel iSight camera. The tablet also incorporates burst photography into its armory; a feature which documents how many photographs you have taken, and which makes automatic suggestions regarding the best ones to keep.
The iPad Air 2 also embraces slow-motion video, albeit only at 120 fps (as opposed to the 240 fps of the iPhone 6).
The iPad Air 2 will be released with iOS 8.1 included. This is the very latest update of the iOS 8 operating system which was initially released in September.
Given that there are numerous variants of the iPad Air 2, price points are variable. The very cheapest iPad Air 2 will set you back $499, which is the usual entry point for the iPad tablet range. This provides you with 16 GB of storage, but the price elevates to $599 for the 64 GB version. The 128 GB model will retail at $699 in the United States.
If you require an Internet connection for when you’re away from home then the LTE version of the tablet is a necessity. This costs $629 for the 16 GB version, and goes up in price in increments of $100 for both the 64 GB and 128 GB versions, meaning that the most expensive is $829.
The iPad Air 2 will be available on pre-order from tomorrow, and will go on October 24.