iPad Air 2 Announced – A8X Chip, Touch ID, Better Camera, Thinner and Lighter

Apple has announced next generation iPad Air dubbed as “iPad Air 2” during a media event at the corporate Hall campus in Cupertino, California. The new iPad Air 2 comes with a bunch of new features and improvements over its predecessor. Hit the jump to learn more about Apple iPad Air 2.

Lighter and Thinner Design

As expected, iPad Air 2 is event thinner and lighter that the first generation iPad Air. Thickness of iPad Air 2 measures at 6.1 mm, which makes it 18% thinner than the original iPad and world’s thinnest tablet as claimed by the Apple. Apple has also succeeded in making the device lighter, at 0.96 pound (437g) compared to the first generation 1 pound (469g) iPad Air.

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Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor

After featuring in iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 ad iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has finally introduced Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPad. Just like the above mentioned iPhones, you’ll be able to easily unlock your iPad Air 2 and authorize iTunes purchases using your authorized finger. Third-party developers will also be able to feature Touch ID support in their apps to provide authentication using fingerprint rather than password.

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Apple A8X Chip

As rumored, the iPad Air 2 features a faster A8X chip with 64-bit architecture. A8X has 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU as compared to last generation chip. While RAM size has not been revealed by Apple, it’s suspected to be a 2GB RAM module. The chip also features an M8 motion coprocessor, which contains anew barometer to measure the differences in height.

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Improved Camera

The 2nd generation of iPad Air features an improved 8MP camera sensor with Burst Mode, f/2.4 aperture and can record 1080p HD video alongside Slo-mo videos. Users can take multiple shots of a scene by holding down the shutter button, that’s called Burst Mode. The iPad Air 2 also comes with the ability to record videos at a high frame rate, and play back in slow motion.

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Apple Pay

iPad Air 2 also gets Apple Pay support, but unlike iPhone 6 or the Plus, it only works with online payments and not at physical stores. Apple Pay is Apple’s own mobile payment system that will be used on their physical retail stores for payments.

Price & availability

iPad Air 2 is available as WiFi and a Cellular device. It is available in three storage options: 16GB, 64GB, and 128 GB. Just like iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Appl has skipped the 32GB storage option altogether. Here’s the pricing for the iPad Air 2 models with different storage options:

iPad Air 2 WiFi
16GB: $499, 64GB: $599, 128GB: $699.

iPad Air 2 Cellular
16GB: $629, 64GB: $729, 128GB: $829.

Pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 starts on October 17th and will be shipped next week.

The iPad Air 2 will be shipped with iOS 8.1. iOS 8.1 comes with Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, Messages Continuity among other improvements. It will be available in three color options: Space Grey and Silver, and gold option.

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