Apple’s iPad Air 2 is a tablet that measures just 6.1mm (0.24 inches) thick and weighs 0.96 pounds. It’s 18 percent thinner than last year’s model, and Apple says you can stack two of the new tablets on top of each other… and they’d still be thinner than the original iPad.

Apple says it’s the thinnest tablet ever released… but that might only be because the Dell Venue 8 7000 Series tablet isn’t yet available. It’s also just 0.24 inches thick.

ipad air 2_06

The iPad Air 2 will be available for $499 and up. Pre-orders open October 17th and devices should ship the following week.

Last year’s model gets a price drop. You can now pick one up for $399 and up.

The tablet has a new Apple A8X processor that it says is 12 times faster than the chip in the original iPad, while offering 180 times the graphics performance.

There’s also an M8 motion coprocessor that tracks motion and automatically calibrates sensors.

The iPad Air 2 still offers up to 10 hours of battery. It has an 8MP camera with an f/2.4 aperture. The iPad Air 2 is the first iPad to support time lapse photography, among other photo features such as single-shot HDR photos.

Apple says the new tablet also supports faster data thanks to 802.11ac MIMO WiFi and support for 20 different LTE bands for wireless networks around the world.

apple sim

Cellular models also feature a new kind of SIM card called Apple SIM. It comes preloaded and lets you switch between wireless carriers without swapping out ISM cards. At launch, Apple SIM supports US and UK wireless carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and EE.

Like recent iPhone models, the iPad Air 2 has a fingerprint sensor below the home button, for use with TouchID. This lets you unlock your device or other apps using your fingerprint.


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10 replies on “Apple launches iPad Air 2 for $499 and up”

  1. I’m glad we don’t have to listen to Intel talk about how much faster each new chip is than the original 8086.
    Seriously Apple – OK already. That was a lifetime ago. The only thing anyone wants to know is how much faster than last year, not how much faster than year 1.

  2. Fingerprint scanner looks to be the big improvement. Not really enough to justify a new purchase.

    1. Actually it looks even worse now.. article said last year’s Air will be $399. I wouldn’t buy either, because the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows is better, FullHD IPS 10″ screen, Win 8.1, Keyboard Dock, 15 hr battery for $399.

      1. That does not sound appealing to me at all. A 10″ tablet is a horrific idea. It was one of the problems with original netbooks. Too small. Cramped screen. Cramped keyboard. At 10″ a tablet is still predominantly a tablet for me. And for a tablet Windows isn’t a draw for me. Well – unless it has the ports to hook up as a cheap desktop for occasional use. But then why spend on a 10″ – a 7″ would be fine.
        I agree though that the N9 is not looking to be in such a good position. I can’t imagine what kind of performance it could have to be the only factor drawing people in. It needed some more tricks at that price point and so far it doesn’t look like it has them. Of course maybe when we know more than a vague sentence or two about it things will change.

        1. * meant a 10″ tablet as a pseudo laptop is a bad idea to me. Nothing wrong with 10″ tablets as tablets if you want that size.
          Now the Lenovo 13.3″ tablet. That is quite interesting to me.

        2. There’s 11.6″ options from Acer and Asus too, around the $400 mark but they are not FHD. FHD versions with 11.6″ size are around $650.

  3. How long before people start complaining about how easy they are to bend? Or are they doing that already?

    1. Most people don’t try to put a tablet in their pocket so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Comments are closed.