Apple's iPad Air 2 is Ready to Scan Your Fingers

By Gerald Lynch on at

A new iPad Air has been revealed at tonight's showpiece event in Cupertino. It's the imaginatively named iPad Air 2. Who'd have guessed, eh?

The design-led refresh of Apple's existing tablet is slightly more routine than we'd have liked, adding the expected Touch ID fingerprint recognition to the Home button, plus iOS 8 features, chassis tweaks and under-the-hood spec bumps.

Design

The iPad Air 2 is 6.1mm thick, 18 per cent thinner than the first iPad Air and now the world's thinnest tablet. Optically bonding the screen and chassis, they've removed an air pocket that has in the past sat between both components in order to make the tablet so trim. An anti-reflective coating, reducing reflections by 56 per cent, has also been added to the iPad Air 2 -- Apple now seems to be gunning for Kindle users too, who swear by their reflection-free e-ink displays.

Other than that, it's just a new gold chassis shade to go along with the silver and space grey that's changed.

Specs

Powered by an A8X chip, it's been specifically built for the iPad Air 2, using second-gen 64-bit architecture. It packs in 3 billion transistors, making it 40 per cent faster than its predecessors, and 2.5 x faster in the GPU department.

The chip is also equipped with a motion tracker and barometer, as well as the Touch ID scanner that's sat inside the iPhone since the iPhone 5S.

Wi-Fi speeds get a boost too, now up to 866 Mbps, while 20 LTE bands worldwide are now supported.

Camera

In terms of photography capabilities, the iSight camera from the iPhone 6 has been pretty much carried over wholesale. It's equipped with an 8MP sensor, making use of 1.12 micron pixels, with a f/2.4 aperture. It also can record 1080p HD video, if your a tablet-touting Coppola. For the first time with an iPad, you can capture burst mode photos and slow-mo videos, too.

The front-facing FaceTime camera has been updated too. It now features f2.2 aperture, pulling in 81 per cent more more light for improved face detection and a burst selfie mode.

Price and Release Date

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi models will start at £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for the 64GB model and £559 for the 128GB model. So that's the death of the 32GV iPad then. As for cellular models, you're looking at £499 for the 16GB model, £579  for the 64GB model and £659 for the 128GB model.

The iPad Air 2 goes up for pre-order on Friday October 17th.


For all of tonight's Apple launch information, rounded up into a single pretty page, look no further than right here.