Apple Launches Next Generation iPad Air, iPad Mini

Apple Launches Next Generation iPad Air, iPad Mini

With the iPhone 6 launch done and dusted, you’re probably wondering what Apple has in store for its line of iPads.

Unveiled last Thursday at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, the company launched the next generation of the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. Dubbed the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3, while there were no major changes or updates both tablets feature performance improvements as well as the addition of Touch ID.

So, what can you expect to find in the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini3?


iPad Air 2 at A Glance

iPad Air 2 gold

Source: Apple

  • A8X processing chip with M8 motion co-processor
  • 9.7 inch 1536 X 2408 (264ppi) Retina display, with anti-reflective coating
  • 8 megapixel iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording
  • Slow motion and time-lapse videos
  • 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera with 720p HD video recording
  • Touch ID
  • Faster WiFi
  • Supports 20 4G LTE bands
  • Runs iOS 8.1
  • Available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB
  • Available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold


More Power To Get Things Done

Apart from Touch ID, the biggest benefit of upgrading to the iPad Air 2 is the inclusion of a number of performance improvements:

  • New A8X chip provides up to 40% faster CPU and 2.5 times faster graphics performance that the previous A7 chip.
  • M8 motion coprocessor (used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus), allows sensors such as the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and barometer to measure your activity more efficiently.
  • Apple is promising 10 hours of battery life.
  • Advanced WiFi technology and MIMO support provides up to 2.8 times faster Wifi, with download speeds of up to 866Mbps.
  • WiFi + Cellular model supports 20 different 4G LTE bands, offering up to 50% faster cellular connections.


Thinner, Lighter Design

In terms of design, the iPad Air 2 differs very little to the original iPad Air.

Where the iPad Air 2 differs, however, is in the feel of the device. Thinner than ever, the iPad Air 2 is only 6.1mm thick and only 437 grams. The iPad Air 2 shaves off 1.4mm and 22grams from the original iPad Air, making it the world’s thinnest tablet.

Already available in the iPhone, the gold variant has been added to the choice of colours of the iPad Air 2. You now have the option of silver, space grey or the new gold variant.


Brighter, Clearer Images

While the display size and resolution has remained the same as its predecessor (9.7 inch 1536 X 2048 264 ppi), the iPad Air 2 features a zero air gap screen with an anti-reflective coating.

What does this mean?

The zero air gap screen refers to the combination of the LCD, touch sensor and the cover glass into just one layer. This not only reduces the weight of the device, but also provides more vivid colours and greater contrast, offering brighter, clearer images.

To round off the improved display, an anti-reflective coating has been added, which Apple claims reduces screen reflections by 56%.


Improved iSight Camera

For those who love to capture every moment, Apple have included improvements to the iSight camera in the iPad Air 2.

The 8 megapixel iSight Camera offers more detailed photos and 1080p HD videos, with an improved sensor, advanced optics and a more powerful image signal processor. The image signal processor includes improved face-detection technology, allowing for more faces to be kept in focus.

For better quality video calls in low-light settings, the FaceTime HD camera has also been redesigned with a f2.2 aperture to let in more light and HDR built in.

iOS 8 on the iPad brings additional shooting modes to both the iPad Air 2 and the original iPad Air, such as:

  • Time-Lapse Video
  • Burst Mode
  • Timer Mode
  • High-Resolution Panorama

Where the two tablets differ, however, is the inclusion of support for slow motion video in the iPad Air 2 and the aforementioned improved image signal processor.


Touch ID Fingerprint

While the iPad is a great tool for mobile workers, enterprise security policies usually require complex passwords and other authentication methods to allow users to access corporate data.

However, with the inclusion of Apple’s Touch ID technology (its biometric scanner first launched in the iPhone 5S) in the iPad Air 2, users can easily sign in to secure apps without compromising security.

iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases can also be approved using Touch ID, eliminating the need to enter in your Apple ID password.


iPad Mini 3

The newest version of the iPad Mini brings no major changes.

The design, display, processor and camera all remain the same. However, the iPad Mini 3 does include a few new features:

iPad Mini 3

Source: Apple

  • Touch ID
  • iOS 8.1
  • Addition of Time-Lapse Video and Panorama shooting modes.
  • Available in gold, as well as silver and space grey.


At A Glance

  • A7 processing chip with M7 motion coprocessor
  • 7.9 inch 1536 X 2408 (326ppi) Retina display
  • 5 megapixel iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording
  • Time-lapse videos
  • 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera with 720p HD video recording
  • Touch ID
  • Runs iOS 8.1
  • Available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB
  • Available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold



Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg

Both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 will be available in either WiFi or WiFi + Cellular models with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB internal storage. Both will also be available in silver, gold or space grey.

Telstra have yet to release information on pricing an availability for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 on its network. Stay tuned for more information!