Apple today announced the iPad Air 2 at its special media event, featuring a profile that is just 6.1mm thick, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a new gap-less laminated panel with anti-reflective coating, a faster A8X processor, a new 8MP iSight camera, and more.
Apple states that the iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the first-generation iPad Air and features a display that reduces reflection by 56% while providing sharper images. The faster A8X chip features a a 2nd-generation 64-bit architecture which is 40% faster than the A7 in terms of CPU performance and features a 2.5x faster GPU. Like its predecessors, Apple states that the iPad Air 2 gets 10hours of battery life. The iPad Air 2 also includes the M8 motion-coprocessor that features a barometer and calibrates sensors.
The company has added a Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPad Air 2, which was said to be the “most requested feature from customers” and is compatible with Apple Pay. In terms of wireless networking, the iPad Air 2 now supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi with multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) capabilities. Apple states that the iPad Air 2 contains 2.8x faster performance with support for speeds up to 866 Mbps on Wi-Fi and now contains 20 LTE bands for faster LTE with support for speeds up to 150 Mbps.
Apple has also included a new 8MP iSight camera on the iPad Air 2, which features a f/2.4 aperture and can record 1080p HD video. For the first time, the camera can also take 43 megapixel panoramas and burst photos, and can also shoot time lapse and 120 FPS slow motion video. On its front, the iPad Air 2 features a FaceTime HD camera with an f/2.2 aperture that takes in 81% more light, and can perform burst selfies, single-shot HDR photos and HDR videos.
The iPad Air 2 will ship by the end of next week with pre-orders beginning tomorrow, October 17. and will be available in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi plus cellular versions. For the Wi-Fi only models, the iPad Air 2 will sell for $399, $499, and $599 for the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB variants, respectively. The Wi-Fi plus cellular versions will sell for $529, $629, and $729, respectively. Both iPad Air 2 models will be available in Space Grey, Silver, and Gold.