Apple Unveils iPad Air 2

Posted on October 19, 2014

Side view of Apple iPad Air 2

Apple unveiled its new lightweight iPad Air 2 this week. The new device is 6.1 mm thin and weighs less than a pound. This is 18% thinner than the first iPad Air. The new iPad will go on sale next week just in time for holiday shopping.

Apple did use the word magical in its press release. This is a word the company has often associated with its iPad tablets. Apple calls it a "magical piece of glass." The iPad Air 2 runs on a 64-bit A8X chip. It has updated iSight and FaceTime HD cameras. It also uses the Touch ID fingerprint technology that Apple first introduced with the iPhone.

The Apple iPad Air 2

Apple says the A8X chip gives the Air 2 a 40% better CPU performance and 2.5 times better graphics performance that the iPad Air. The new iPad also has a technology called Metal which Apple says improves the graphics for gaming. Apple says the Wi-Fi performance on the iPad Air 2 is over twice as fast thanks to its Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology. The new device has a 10-hour battery life.

Apple also launched its iPad mini 3, which also offers Touch ID. The iPad minis have been popular Black Friday items in the past. We could also see the iPad Air included in Black Friday deals and discounts since there is now an updated iPad tablet retailers can sell for at or near the full retail price.

The wireless iPad Air 2 will cost $629 for a 16GB model, $729 for a 64GB model and $829 for 128GB. The Wi-Fi only version will retail for $499 for 16GB, $599 for 64GB and $699 for the 128GB model. CNET reports that Walmart is offering the new iPad for $489 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, a small discount of $11.

Apple compares the width of its new tablet to a pencil in a teaser video. Take a look:

Photos: Apple