Taking cues from many of the same updates added to the iPhone 5s last month, the iPad Air integrates the 64-bit processor and A7 chip that will boost the tablet's performance across the board.
Weighing in at just 1 pound, thanks to a smaller battery allowed by the improved efficiency of the chip and processor, the iPad Air is both thinner and narrower than its predecessor, with a smaller bezel that makes it possible to keep the same size Retina display while reducing the overall size of the device.
Like the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air adds an M7 chip, which offloads the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass from the primary A7 chip, further improving speed and battery life.
With the iPad Air, Apple introduces the dual antenna multiple input, multiple output data transfer capability which will boost WiFi and data transfer, as well as adding an LTE band to the cellular-capable models.
As expected, the iPad mini was upgraded to get the Retina display, keeping the number of pixels the same as the full-size iPad so apps will run across both devices. Along with the iPad Air, the mini gets the A7 and M7 chips and the 64-bit architecture, MIMO capability for faster data transfer and LTE bands on the cellular models.
Both devices will ship in silver or space gray, and will become available in late November.
The iPad Air starts at $499 for 16 GB WiFi device and $629 for the cellular-capable models, and goes up to $799/$929 for the 128 GB versions. The iPad mini starts at $399/$529, and goes up to $699/$829.