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Apple introduces iPad Air 2 and new iPad mini
Press release; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES

Apple has introduced the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The iPad Air 2, which is 6.1mm thin, and the iPad mini 3 both offer Touch ID.

Apple said the iPad Air 2 comes with an improved Retina display featuring a fully-laminated design and its custom-designed anti-reflective coating reduces glare by 56%.

The iPad Air 2 is powered by the new A8X chip, which Apple said delivers a 40% improvement in CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of the iPad Air, and still delivers an up to 10-hour battery life. It is equipped with Metal, the new graphics technology in iOS 8. The iPad Air 2 also includes the M8 motion coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a new barometer which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation.

The iPad Air 2 comes with an 8-megapixel sensor and advanced optics in the iSight camera to help capture high quality photos and videos. The FaceTime HD camera now captures over 80% more light than iPad Air's camera, and features burst mode as well as HDR stills and video.

The iPad Air 2 delivers 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 866Mbps. The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular integrates even more LTE bands and comes with expanded LTE for up to 50% faster cellular connections, plus support for other fast cellular technology around the world (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+).

Touch ID can be used as a 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 a user's Apple products to work together. Handoff lets users start an activity on one device and pass it to another, and when a user's iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network, he/she can make and receive phone calls from his/her iPad.

The iPad mini line has been updated to include the iPad mini 3 with Touch ID and the iPad mini with Retina display, now called the iPad mini 2 and starting at just US$299. Both iPads feature a Retina display, A7 chip, 5-megapixel iSight camera and FaceTime HD camera. The iPad mini is also available starting at US$249.

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of US$499 for the 16GB model, US$599 for the 64GB model and US$699 for the 128GB model. The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of US$629 for the 16GB model, US$729 for the 64GB model and US$829 for the 128GB model. The iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of US$399 for the 16GB model, US$499 for the 64GB model and US$599 for the 128GB model. The iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of US$529 for the 16GB model, US$629 for the 64GB model and US$729 for the 128GB model.

The iPad Air starts at US$399 for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, the iPad mini 2 starts at US$299 for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model, and the iPad mini starts at US$249 (US) for the 16GB with Wi-Fi model.

Apple iPad Air 2 (left) and iPad mini 3 (right) tablets

Apple iPad Air 2 (left) and iPad mini 3 (right) tablets
Photo: Company

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