Apple has announced the iPad Air 2, a tablet so thin that if you turn it to just the right angle it becomes invisible to the naked eye. I kid, of course, but the iPad Air 2 is thinner, lighter, and more powerful than its predecessor. Read on to learn all about that and the iPad Mini 3.

The iPad Air 2, which is actually the sixth generation iPad, is 6.1mm thick, equipped with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and comes in gold. Not solid gold, mind you – this isn’t Will.i.am’s Puls. The display is 9.7-inches, just like the first iPad Air model, but the LCD screen, glass, and touch sensor are all optically bonded, which eliminates any gaps between the components. An anti-reflective coating should reduce reflections by up to 56 percent.

The rear camera has been improved with an 8MP sensor and 1.12 micron pixels. It can record 1080p video (and in slow-motion) and take photos in burst, time lapse, and panaroma modes. On the the inside, an A8X processor makes it 40-percent faster than the iPad Air and its graphics capabilities have been improved a whopping 180 times over. The battery should last about 10 hours and the tablet will run iOS 8.1 and feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Oh, and there’s no more mute button.


You can get the tablet in gold, silver, or gray. The 16GB Wi-Fi only model will run you $499. The 64GB and 128GB models will be $599 and $699 and LTE tablets come at a $130 premium. The LTE models offer a feature called Apple SIM that allows you to switch between carriers without having to take the card out, which sounds like wizard magic.

Pre-orders begin today and they’ll start shipping out next week. The price of the original iPad Air will drop to $399.

While the iPad Air 2 is the big announcement, there are undoubtedly some interested in the iPad Mini 3, though they might be a little disappointed.

In their Cupertino event yesterday, Apple dedicated a sizable chunk of time to the iPad Air 2 and quickly breezed through the iPad Mini 3 announcement, and with good reason. The iPad Mini 3 is almost indistinguishable from its predecessor. Yes, it uses a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and, like the iPad Air 2, it comes in gold, but it also uses last year’s A7 chipset and M7 coprocessor. It’s got a 5MP iSight camera, a Retina display, and an aluminum shell with chamfered edges. Pre-orders begin today at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model. The most expensive combination is the 128GB LTE model, which retails for $729. The iPad Mini 2’s price has dropped as low as $299 and the first generation iPad Mini is $249.

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