Apple Rolls Out iPad Air and Updated iPad Mini

Apple's new iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display. Source: Apple.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) unveiled new versions of its iPad today at a media event held in San Francisco. Both new iPads feature Apple's new A7 processor, which debuted in the iPhone 5s. With two antennas to support Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMI) technology, both iPads have twice the Wi-Fi performance of their predecessors. Furthermore, both iPads also boast the iPhone 5s' M7 motion coprocessor as a dedicated accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.

Twenty-eight percent lighter, 20% thinner, and with 43% narrower bezels, Apple has dubbed the new version of its 9.7-inch iPad the iPad Air. Thanks to its power-efficient 64-bit desktop-class A7 processor, Apple has managed to maintain the 10 hours of battery life of its predecessor despite the iPad Air's much thinner form factor. Pricing starts at $499.

The new iPad Mini finally gained the Retina display, packing every pixel of its larger counterpart into the smaller 7.9-inch screen, making for a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. To make room for the Retina display, the second-generation iPad Mini is slightly thicker, at 7.5 mm compared to the original iPad Mini's 7.2 mm. And in somewhat of a surprise, pricing for the second-generation iPad Mini has jumped from the first-generation's initial pricing of $329 to $399.

The iPad Air will be available on Friday, Nov. 1 and the iPad Mini will see availability "later in November," according to Apple's press release outlining the new iPads.

Does Apple have more surprises up its sleeve?
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