Live on stage during its iPad/Mac press event today in Cupertino, Apple has officially introduced the new iPad Air dubbed “iPad Air 2”.
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As previously rumored, the new full-sized iPad features a slimmer profile compared to the previous generation but largely retains the same physical design of the first gen iPad Air. It does, however, come in the gold color option that Apple previously only offered on iPhones.
Apple says the new iPad Air is 18% thinner than the previous generation thanks to improvements to the display manufacturing process. The display also introduces an anti-reflective coating that Apple says makes iPad Air 2’s display 56% less reflective.
The iPad Air 2 includes an A8X chip that Apple says includes 2nd-gen 64-bit architecture and 3 billion transistors for 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU performance. The new device also includes the M8 motion tracking chip and barometer previously available on iPhone. In addition, iPad Air 2 gets an updated 8 megapixel iSight camera with 1.12u pixels, f/2.4 aperture, and 1080p video recording capabilities. Other specs include up to 2.8x faster WiFi performance with 802.11ac with MIMO and increased support for up to 20 LTE bands.
iPad Air 2 keeps the same 10-hour battery life estimate from the previous generation iPad Air.
Details regarding Apple’s second generation iPad Air were leaked on several occasions prior to today’s official unveiling. Yesterday we discovered references to the new iPad Air and an iPad mini 3 confirming a TouchID fingerprint sensor and Burst camera mode that Apple showed off today on stage. It also showed off other camera modes including a time-lapse and slo-mo features.