New Thinner, Lighter Apple iPad Air 2 Annouced: Less Is More

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Apple used its big October event to unveil the new iPad Air 2 – a thinner, lighter, faster and brighter version of the old skinny tablet.

As expected, the new iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the original Air, weighing only 15 ounces. This is great news because we all remember how massive and burdensome the original iPad Air was. It’s possible Apple won’t be satisfied until their devices are purely two dimensional and blow away in a light breeze, but (for now) we’ll have to settle for an iPad the width of a fat bee that weighs less than a pound.

Related: iPad Air 2 Leaked Images Show Thinnest iPad

That thinner screen is also brighter as Apple upgraded the Retina display, and the new coating reduces reflective glare. The Air 2 is powered by a new processor chip, the A8X, a 40% improvement over its predecessor that maintains battery life for 10 hours.

Beyond shedding all of that wrist crushing weight, the main upgrade for the iPad Air 2 are the front and back cameras. The iSight offers improved optics, an improved sensor and a newly designed image signal processor. As we’ve seen with the iPhone 6, iSight now offers features such as panorama, time-lapse video, slo-mo video, burst and timer mode.

The front FaceTime HD camera uses an improved sensor and larger pixels for better low-light performance during chats.

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Otherwise, the other upgrades finding their way to the iPad Air 2 will be familiar to Apple users from the iPhone 6. The new iPad is better integrated with iOS 8. The thumb print security activator is more accurate. The wifi capabilities are supposed to be quicker.

The iPad Air 2 will start out with a base MSRP of $499, as is tradition. You’ll pay more for additional storage. There’s no telling how much future iPad Airs will cost as they’ll exist only in a universe of surface length and width.