iPad Air 2
iPad Air 2 is the thinnest iPad to date at 6.1 millimeters, or 18 percent thinner than the original iPad Air. The new A8X chip is 40 percent faster than its predecessor, and Apple says the device’s graphics are 2.5 times faster. The rear camera is 8 megapixels and significantly improved over its predecessor, able to shoot slow-motion video and time lapses for the first time. And the front camera has improved face detection and a “burst selfies” mode. iPad Air is also getting customers’ most-requested feature: TouchID for fingerprint access to your device and the increasing number of apps that take advantage of it. But while, you can use TouchID to make purchases online, you can’t use it in the real world — indicating the iPad Air does not have an NFC chip. The device starts at $499 for the 16GB, wifi-only version; $499 gets you 64GB, and $599 gets you 128GB. As usual, add $130 for LTE-enabled versions. Pre-orders start tomorrow, with devices shipping next week.
iPad mini 3
The third generation of iPad mini is here, but unlike last year’s Retina upgrade, it’s not changing a whole lot. The only major visual difference is the addition of a TouchID sensor like the new iPad Air’s, and it’s still using last year’s A7 processor, while the rear camera is only 5 megapixels compared to the Air 2’s 8. Like the iPad Air, the iPad mini 3 is available in silver, space gray, and gold, and a base 16GB model will sell for $399. Pre-orders will start on Friday, and they’ll begin shipping next week. For anyone who doesn’t care about having the very latest tablet, Apple is also keeping both the original iPad mini and the iPad mini 2 (formerly the iPad mini with Retina display) and giving them a substantial price cut. That means you can buy an iPad mini 2 for $299 and up, and the original mini is only $249.