Apple has dramatically overhauled its iPad offerings in the last two years with the ultra-thin iPad Air and super-small iPad mini. So where could the company go from there? The iPad Air 2 revealed at Thursday’s media event is even slimmer than its predecessor and looks more like its cousin, the iPhone, with a new gold hue and Touch ID.
“What do you do when you make the best tablet in the world?” Apple CEO Tim Cook asked. “How do you make it better?”
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You shave it down to 6.1 millimeters, 18 percent thinner than the first-gen iPad Air. If you stack two of the new iPad Airs on top of each other, they’re still thinner than the original iPad.
The company also showed off the iPad mini 3, which also gets a Touch ID upgrade and new gold gloss. The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are optimized for online shopping with Apple Pay, though can’t be used for in-store purchases.
Apple starts taking preorders for both tablets on Friday and begins shipping next week. The 16GB iPad Air 2 starts at $499, with a 64GB model for $599 and 128GB for $699. Tack on $130 to each model for Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.
The iPad mini 3 starts at $399 for the 16GB model. You can get 64GB for $499 and 128GB for $599. The iPad Air and iPad mini 2 aren’t going away. Neither is the original iPad mini, which now retails for $249.
Which iPad are you ordering, if any? Let us know in the comments.
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This story, "Apple debuts iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3: Thinner, faster, gold, and with Touch ID" was originally published by Macworld.