Individuals who’ve picked up an iPad in the last year or so may be a bit disappointed in the small amount of changes pushed into the series’ refresh, but the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 target the most devout of Apple fans and those whose faith in in the firm is wavering.
The 16-GB iPad Air 2 is priced at $499, $100 more than the its 16-GB predecessor. For just a $100 more, consumers can pick up the 64-GB Air 2 or pay $699 for the 128-GB Air 2.
Like the Air 2’s pricing, the 16-GB iPad mini 3 is priced $100 more than the $299 mini 2. For four times the capacity of the base model, users can account for an extra $100 for the 64 GB and another Benjamin Franklin for the 128-GB version.
The cellular version of the Air 2 and mini 3 start at $629 and $529, respectively, with each line’s 64 GB and 128 GB tiers each costing an extra $100. The omission of the 32 GB entries in the Air 2 and mini 3 further evidences Apple’s decision to move away from the tier, while memory card slots remain absent.
For the most devout of Apple fans, the iPad Air 2 comes with all of the latest and greatest features talked up by Apple at its September and October conferences.
The Air 2, said to be less than a third of an inch thick, half as thin as the original iPad, is powered by Apple’s new A8 processor, which will help power those chatty conversations between iOS 8 and Yosemite. The Air 2 moves up to an 8-MP iSight camera that features burst mode and slow motion.
The mini 3 still holds onto its 5-MP camera and A7 processor. But like the Air 2, the mini 3 features Touch ID so users of tablets can make use of Apple’s new virtual wallet platform. The tablets will start shipping by the end of next week.
While the fistful of updates to the Air and mini lines may fail to impress and attract many Apple fans, the tablet lines have evolved enough over the years that they could attract those still holding onto their original iPad. For individuals not excited about the prices of iPads, the injection of more tablets into the series has brought down the prices of earlier entries.
“There was nothing in [Apple’s Oct. 16] announcements which would convince someone who’s stopped using an existing iPad to buy a new one — the new iPads do the same things better, but don’t do anything dramatically new and different,” said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.