If you could even call it an iPad mini 3
At Apple’s usual October event held in Cupertino yesterday, Apple announced their new lineup of iPad tablets, including the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. Starting first and foremost with the significantly updated iPar Air 2, Apple’s 10-inch flagship tablet, the Air 2 gains both new internals as well as a redesigned exterior. The new full sized iPad is now significantly thinner than last year’s iPad Air, which already clocked in at just about half the width ads the previous, fourth-generation iPad.
Apple liked to say that the original iPad Air was as thin as a pencil, and now the company is really driving that home with the marketing of the new iPad Air 2. By using a pencil with just amount a third of it removed with a laser in an introduction video played at the event, Apple shows exactly how thin this new iPad is. And yet, despite all the design improvements, the new iPad features an all new A8X SoC, which pairs the improved computing power of the A8 – which launched alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last month – with an even beefier graphics processor. Given that the iPad Air 2 has the same HiDPI 2048 x 1536 display as its predecessors leading back to the iPad 3, this should result in better gaming performance. The iPad Air 2 also now includes Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint recognition technology that launched alongside the iPhone 5s last year. The iPad Air 2 is available for pre-order now in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB options in Space Gray, Silver, and the new Gold – all available in both Wi-Fi and LTE models.
The iPad mini 3, meanwhile, saw somewhat less of an update – in fact, it’s almost shameful that Apple is choosing to market the iPad mini 3 as a separate product at all. While the Air 2 gets improved internals and a new design, the mini 3 uses both the same design and the same A7 SoC found in the iPad mini with Retina Display (now dubbed the iPad mini 2). Literally the only addition here comes in the form of Touch ID and the new gold color. And for your trouble, Apple will also now charge you $399 for the iPad mini 3 – a $100 premium on top of the nearly identical iPad mini 2, which is now available unchanged for $299. The iPad mini 3 is available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB options – all available in, you guessed it, Wi-Fi and LTE models.