Apple launches the iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 tablets

Apple iPad AirApple held an event in San Francisco last night, where it not only announced new versions of its MacBook laptops and the latest OS X Mavericks software, but also two new iPad tablets. Both the full-size iPad and the mini tablet have been updated, and the new specs make them quite exciting. Here’s what you need to know about both.

So, as you’ve already seen, Apple has renamed its large tablet, this time leaving behind the, “New” tag and ignoring another number. It’s called the iPad Air, and like its Air laptops, it’s very slim and light. Apple says the new 7.5mm chassis and 470 gram weight makes it the lightest, full-size tablet in the world.

The same 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 display seen on the last few iPad tablets remains, but inside is the new Apple A7 64-bit processor from the iPhone 5S, plus the M7 co-processor. There’s a 5-megapixel camera on the rear, a 1.2-megapixel HD FaceTime camera, MIMO Wi-Fi and more 4G LTE bands. The design is closer to the iPad Mini this time around, and it has a smaller, thinner bezel.

The iPad Mini 2 keeps its cool design and 7.9-inch screen, which now has a 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina resolution, plus the A7 64-bit processor, along with all the same connectivity, camera, and wireless options as its larger brother.

All tablets are available in either 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB, and as Wi-Fi only or with a 4G LTE option. Moving on to the subject of price, the iPad Air starts at £400 for the 16GB Wi-Fi, £480 for the 32GB and £560 for the 64GB. The 128GB version will set you back £640, and if you want the 4G option, you’ll need to add £100 to each tablet.

The 16GB iPad Mini 2 costs £320, the 32GB is £400, the 64GB is £480 and the 128GB is £560. For the 4G option, again, it’s another £100. The iPad Air is set to go on sale on November 1, but the iPad Mini 2 has yet to have its release date confirmed, although it will be out next month.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars