Apple iPad 2014 event rumor round-up: Air 2 and iPad mini 3 specs, price, and release date

Apple iPad 2014 event rumor round-up: Air 2 and iPad mini 3 specs, price, and release date

It’s official: Apple has spoken to its faithful media and revealed that it will indeed hold a second event nearly a month after the iPhone 6, this time to give us a glimpse at its new iPads, more details about Apple Pay and likely - present us with brand new iMacs, and why not something more.

The big focus of the event for mobile enthusiasts will undoubtedly be the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. Apple is following a yearly routine of unveiling its new tablets in October, and this year is no different. However, after equipping all iOS devices with identical chips last year, this year, we expect to see a slightly different hardware on the new iPads, as leaks have shown a slightly different, Apple A8X chip powering them. Not just this, expectations are also for both getting the Touch ID fingerprint recognition sensor, as well as updated cameras.

Design: the new thinnest tablet on the market


After a major redesign of the iPad Air last year that was based on the rounded edges and design lead of the iPad mini, we don’t expect to see any major changes in the looks of neither tablet. The iPad Air is already one of the lightest devices on the market and with the reduction in bezels from last year, it’s also fairly compact for its screen size. There will be one change, though: Apple is expected to use a laminated display (the cover glass is manufactured as a single piece with the LCD) which will further reduce the thickness of the iPad Air. This will allegedly result in a 0.5mm thinner profile, reducing the overall thickness of the iPad Air to an iPhone-esque 7.0mm. The change will allegedly be enough for Apple to claim that the Air is the new thinnest tablet on the market.

The iPad mini 3 is also expected to get a similarly thin profile, but otherwise retain the design style of the original.

Apple iPad 2014 event rumor round-up: Air 2 and iPad mini 3 specs, price, and release date

One addition is expected to come to the looks of the two new iPads, though: a gold color option, just like the one on the iPhones. This will bring a three-color palette to the iPad series: gold alongside grey and silver. Finally, there is a little design tweak on both iPads - the mute/orientation lock switch is gone (allegedly because of the thinner sizes).

Apple iPad 2014 event rumor round-up: Air 2 and iPad mini 3 specs, price, and release date
Display


After last year’s update to the iPad mini, both iPads now come with high-resolution ‘Retina’ displays boasting 2048 x 1536 pixels. This results in a pixel density of the whopping 324ppi for the 7.9-inch iPad mini Retina and 264ppi for the 9.7-inch iPad Air, so we do not expect to see a further boost in resolution.

Turning over to colors, the original iPad Air was pre-calibrated very accurately, with the white point at around 6800K, just very slightly north of the reference 6500K value (higher values indicate a colder, bluish tint). Greyscale accuracy on it is excellent, and this also translates in overall pleasing color, within the industry-standard sRGB color gamut. We’d be happy to see Apple stick with this successful formula in the new iPad Air 2nd generation.

The iPad mini, on the other hand, had some issues with its colors: it fell short of covering the full sRGB color gamut, resulting in colors that look a bit muted. The white point is a bit further north, and color accuracy while decent, is not as good as on the iPad Air. That’s the area we hope to see Apple really improve on with the iPad mini 3.

Interface, Touch ID and support for Apple Pay


With iOS 8 powering both tablets, there is little in the interface that won’t already be familiar to iPhone users. The biggest change is the expected Touch ID sensor on both tablets - having a finger sensor means that iPad users will likely be able to use their tablets with the new Apple Pay cashless payment system.

Performance and Storage: Apple A8X coming, 16GB storage option might go away


Both iPads are expected to ship with a tweaked version of the latest Apple A8 chip - the A8X. Apple has been the first to adopt a 64-bit architecture, outpacing Android by years in this transition, and it's also adopted an ARM architecture license, so that it just uses the instruction set, while designing the CPU core all by itself. The new Cyclone core in the A8 is a 6-wide machine with single-core performance that ranks on top of the charts as well, and we expect to see it in the A8X as well.

We took a quick look at the new Cyclone CPU and ImgTec's GX6450 GPU in a separate Apple A8 performance review, and in the new iPads we expect a slight boost in CPU clock speeds thanks to the increased thermal limit of the larger chassis. Sustained performance should also see some benefits (better heat dissipation in the iPads allows the processor to run longer at higher clock speeds without throttling).

Interestingly, Apple is expected to actually double the RAM in the iPad, so that both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 feature 2GB of RAM. That will definitely make the two more future proof.

Best of all, rumors speculate that Apple might have decided to ditch the 16GB iPad model altogether and instead move to a 32GB/64GB/128GB iPad lineup. This rumor applies for the iPad Air 2 in particular, while the iPad mini 3 might still come with a 16GB option.

Camera


Tablet photography is a topic of separate discussion, but fact remains that people use their tablets to capture images and videos every once in a while, and having a good camera is an important requirement. Both the original iPad Air and the iPad mini 2 featured a 5-megapixel main, iSight camera, as well as a 1.2-megapixel front shooter for selfies. In the new 2014 iPad lineup, Apple is expected to give a boost to the rear camera and increase the sensor to an 8-megapixel resolution with increased detail. We've also seen Apple move to a wider, f/2.2 aperture lens on the iPhone 6 lineup, and we would not be surprised if it introduced a similar lens for its iPads.

We have not heard any rumors about a higher-res front camera, but whispers say that there will be an upgrade in that department as well as the new front shooter will add support for FaceTime HD (720p) video calls.


It’s worth noting that Apple has integrated a lot of the iPhoto editing functionality in the stock photo app, so you can easily make some nice edits right there. Such light image and video editing is something that’s definitely more pleasing to do on the larger iPad screen.

Battery


Battery has long been one of the strongest sides of Apple’s tablets, but as competitors narrow the gap, Apple is so far sticking with the successful 10-hour battery formula. If there are changes to battery capacity, we don’t expect them to have a huge effect on the iPad battery longevity. Let us also remind you that the iPad Air and iPad mini Retina scored a very respectable ~8 hours and 40 minutes on our battery life test that runs on smartphones and tablets alike.

Price, release date, and carrier availability


Apple is expected to host the unveiling of the new iPad Air and iPad mini 3 on October 16th, and given that it adheres strictly to its Friday release schedule, we can be almost certain that the new iPads will appear on store shelves on the next Friday, October 24th.

We see no reason why Apple would change pricing for its tablets either: the iPad Air 2 price is expected to start at $499 for the basic Wi-Fi-only model, while the iPad mini 3 is likely to cost $399.

Apple is also offering 4G-enabled versions of iPad models for a $130 premium over the corresponding Wi-Fi version, and those will certainly support bands for all major US carriers.

Related phones

iPad Air
  • Display 9.7" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 8820 mAh
iPad mini 2
  • Display 7.9" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 6471 mAh

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38 Comments

1. draconic1991

Posts: 200; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Is there any upcoming google even for android L? nd on which date...does anyone know??

2. Victor.H

Posts: 1045; Member since: May 27, 2011

Nope. Last year Google unveiled the Nexus 5 without an official event, just a press release and that was it (wouldn't be surprised if the same happened this year).

4. draconic1991

Posts: 200; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Hmmm...then hope they do it soon...

33. scarface21173

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

October 15th i'm sure

3. Antimio

Posts: 313; Member since: Nov 11, 2013

iPad Air Flex

25. phljcnth

Posts: 552; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

No, this is bigger, #curlgate

5. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I have zeeero interest in buying a tablet. Just saying.

6. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 915; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

See I want to know I'm getting the Note 4 and really want a table but will I even use it with a device as big as Note 4?

7. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

You want a table? I dunno. I think the Note 4 is already big enough to place your plate and mug on. IMO you should just stick with Note 4. Maybe buy some accessories so you can set it up as straight as possible. Ok ok. Yeah IMO a tablet is useless especially if you have a phone with over 5 inch display.

8. Ziggy

Posts: 79; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

Probably not, pads are for smaller phone people as smartwatches are for big phone people. My opinion though.

11. jack123

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

Note 4 is an all round package you can buy butNote 4 is not a tablet, even so, its feature the same or more than most tablet. If you want PC function likes so surface pro or any windows tablet maybe an option. You can choose between Android tablet or ipad or Windows but you have to think about what you really need to do on tablet( Streaming, Gaming, Working,,,) before you invest your money on them.

18. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Get a tablet if you think you would enjoy watching youtube, hulu, and other internet things while sitting in bed. That is really what tablets are used for. I love my Ipad 3 for this reason, but honestly any tablet would work. I would buy an older used tablet if I were you.

28. bluecollarmass

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Tablets can replace your laptop (surface at least) but a phone and a tablet is my sweet combo.

9. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

It's time to bump the RAM up to 2 GB, optimization can only do so much, specially with apps and games getting so demanding nowadays. 8 MP camera and 32 GB as the minimum storage option, that's really what they should do. If that happens... I might get my very first Apple product then.

15. jack123

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

Apple will upgrade their ram to 2GB when android device reach 4 GB of ram. And for 8 MP camera is enough for regular uses if the quality of the sensor is good so they still can capture good image.

10. Rager722

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

Any news on an upcoming iPod Touch?

19. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Those are dead. The only people who would buy those are parents who have very small children who couldn't be trusted with an actual phone yet and that is such a small pool of potential customers.

21. Rager722

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

No they're not dead because they just killed off the classic, so I'm sure Apple will refresh the iPod touch one more time to 128GB to match the Classic. I'm 21 and would still use an itouch for my car and to store my huge amount of music instead of using all of my memory on my phone

30. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

Why would they do that? The iwatch is an ipod touch... Looks the exact same. GG.

12. Iodine

Posts: 1471; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Bring in that gorgeous Retina HD display from iPhone 6 that's a big enough upgrade for me. Apple A8 (or A8X ???) will bring even better battery life and performance, touch ID will be a nice addition, and front cam should be improved as well... wish it's not so thin the back camera will stick out. there will be mimo ac wifi, broader, faster LTE... And so on. But othervise the current iPad Air is pretty much perfect (especially if they will drop the price to 399$) and this upcoming thing will be a solid improvement upon it.

29. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Is this a joke or just your iglasses affecting your vision? My iPad air display looks way better than my iPhone 6 display. Retina HD is a joke term with no purposes other than marketing. The iPad Air display is light years ahead, maybe because Samsung still made it, and if they yellow tint it up like iphone 6 display, then I am keeping the original air. Shakes head. The iPad Air display is better than the iPhone 6 display in all parameters sans pixel density. What is there to bring from the iPhone 6 display? The retina HD koolaid? Lol sigh...what a joke.

13. Jimmmmy unregistered

Any news on release date for Yosemite?

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Higher res screen, bigger battery, A8X chipset, 2 gigs of RAM, improved cameras, and I'll sell my mini 2.

23. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Same here Jedii

16. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

I bet there will be a significant design change... More in the lines of new iPhones... With those plastic strip in back side....

17. donfem

Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

The article should have started with "to its faithful media including phonearena". :)

20. Furbal unregistered

IPad air 2 is one I might get...

22. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I LOVED my OG iPad and my wife's mini is okay, but I'm gonna need more than a fingerprint scanner and 2gb to plop down another $700 bucks. I was hoping that 12 inch iPad rumor was true. If not I will going to Android in tablet form too.

24. sonnycrockett

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

PA is forgetting about Sony's Z2 Tablet, which is the thinnest at 6.4mm.

26. PANIC

Posts: 138; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Phone Arena reconsider the "thinnest tablet in the market"......Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is 6.6mm and Sony Z2 is 6.4mm

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