It’s iPad day, and Apple just announced the successor to last year’s svelte new iPad Air. This is the iPad Air 2 (aka the iPad 6), a familiar and thinner body, with updated guts and a few more features around the edges.
The iPad Air 2 might look mostly familiar, but it’s been shrunk down to 6.1mm thick. Thin enough that two are thinner than the original iPad. And also it comes in gold now, because of course it does. Around the bottom button there’s that tell-tale silver circle; the iPad Air 2 is bringing TouchID to the tablet space. You can use your new fingerprint powers to buy things online, but NOT in a store. No NFC here, so no tapping iPad Airs at points of sale.
Its screen is better now too. there’s no airgap between the display and the glass on top of it, plus it comes with a new anti-reflective coating on top. It’s still just retina resolution, presumably.
Inside, the iPad Air 2 sports a new A8x chip, a souped-up version of the blazing dual-core 64-bit A8 chip that made its debut in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Like the phones, the Air 2 also has a M8 motion compressor, and Apple claims the efficiency of the A8x will make sure you still get 10 hours out of that tiny package.
The extra power will make things like editing 4K pictures in Pixelmator around twice as fast on the iPad Air 2. It doesn’t stop at images either; with Replay and the upgraded horsepower, the iPad Air 2 should be able to edit video way better than any iPad before. The A8x offers rendering that’s four times faster than the original Air’s A7.
The iPad Air 2 also has a new, great camera. So get used to iPad photography. It’s an 8MP iSight camera. It does 1080p video, timelapses, burst mode shots and slow mo.
The Facetime camera is getting an update too, with improved face-detection thanks to the A8x. And, yes, it can do burst selfies if you are into that. (Don’t be into that.)
The iPad Air 2 is priced at $619 in Australia for the 16GB version. The 64GB version is priced at $739, and the 128GB version gis priced at $859. LTE versions are priced at $779, $899 and $1019, respectively.