iPad now the thinnest tablet with Air 2

There’s a new definition of thin in town, at least in how it applies to tablets, as Apple builds the world’s thinnest tablet, hitting 6.1mm.

You may not need a new tablet, and you may be happy with your iPad 2, but that’s not going to stop Apple from pushing out new models, and here we are with two of them, as both the iPad Air and iPad Mini receive refreshes designed to make them thinner, lighter, and better than ever.

First up, the iPad Air 2, a tablet that now weighs a little less than 450 grams and packs in a 64-bit processor (A8X) in a thinner body, sitting at 6.1mm, a fraction of a millimetre thinner than the previous benchmark holder Sony with the Xperia Z2 Tablet, though that tablet manages to be a few grams lighter.

Yes, it’s serious competition in the race to be thinnest and lightest, and Apple is playing for keeps in this model, since it has serious competitors, such as Sony with the aforementioned Z2 Tablet, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S.

The processor upgrades from the iPhone 6 have also made their way to the tablets, just as they normally do, with the upgrades from the Metal graphics technology, as well as the M8 motion processing technology.

WiFi is delivered over 802.11ac, and LTE is also supported if you want a cellular-friendly product.

The camera is a smidgeon better, with an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a Full HD iSight camera on the front, while Touch ID’s fingerprint sensor has also made its way over to the iPad Air 2.

“iPad is a magical piece of glass that runs more than 675,000 apps specifically designed for it, and is thin and light enough that you can comfortably hold it all day,” said Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.

We’re not sure we agree that a tablet is magical, but we’re sure someone out there will want to use an adjective of this sort for the new iPad. Maybe.

Also arriving alongside the Air 2 is a new Mini, which is a minor update, and mostly seems there to include the Touch ID fingerprint sensor of the Air 2 and iPhone 6 line-up, while keeping the Retina display technology in place and fast wireless.

The pricing also drops a bit, providing some competition for Apple in the 7 to 8 inch tablet space, with the iPad Mini without the Retina display coming in at $299, while the iPad with the Retina — now called the iPad Mini 2 — hits $369, and the new iPad Mini 3 with Touch ID starts at $499.

And just to confuse you, the iPad Air will stick around, starting at $499, while the new iPad Air 2 starts at $619.