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Thin And Powerful: Apple Unveils iPad Air 2

Thin And Powerful: Apple Unveils iPad Air 2Apple unveiled the devices at an event today in Cupertino, a little over a month after the release of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which went on to achieve record first weekend sales of over 10 million.

Apple will be hoping its new tablet offerings can replicate this success, with the Air 2 clearly the star of the show.

The Air 2 is Apple’s “thinnest and most powerful iPad ever”, measuring in at just 6.1 mm thick, and powered by Apple’s new A8X chip.

It features a 9.7″ Retina display for enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colours, with a fully-laminated design bringing images and content closer to the user’s fingertips.

Apple states the Air 2’s A8X chip delivers a 40 per cent improvement in CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance of its predecessor, the iPad Air.

Combined with Metal, Apple’s new graphics technology in iOS 8, Apple claims the chip unlocks “realistic visual effects comparable to the most advanced gaming consoles”.

A rear-facing 8 MP iSight camera captures images in 3264 x 2448 native resolution and 1080p HD video, while a 1.2 MP, 720p front-facing FaceTime HD camera captures over 80 per cent more light than the Air’s camera.

As had been speculated, both the Air 2 and mini 3 come with Touch ID, the first tablets in Apple’s line-up to employ the fingerprint screening technology, and both will run on iOS 8.1.

Apple will be be pinning its hopes on the Air 2 to give it a boost in the declining tablet markt

Technology research firm Gartner recently forecast an 11 per cent increase in global tablet sales from 2013, substantially down from last year’s growth figures of 55 per cent, finding consumers are turning to alternative devices and holding on to their existing tablets for longer.

Available in gold, silver and space gray, Australian customers can order the new iPad models online from tomorrow, with Apple stating they will be available starting later next week.

Prices start at $619 for the Air 2 16 GB model, and at $499 for the 16 GB mini 3.