Apple unveils new iPads and 5K Retina iMac

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Apple unveils new iPads and 5K Retina iMac
Retina iMac

Apple has unveiled new versions of its iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina tablets, plus a "5K" Retina iMac, in an event at its Cupertino headquarters in San Francisco.

In a presentation during which Tim Cook boasted that the iPad had sold 225 million products in its first four years, it was confirmed that both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will sport a Touch ID fingerprint reader.

First seen on the iPhone 5s last year, and now also on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the fingerprint reader will enable more convenient unlocking, plus the ability to pay for Apps via the Apple App Store and compatible third party services.

It doesn't look like you'll be whipping your iPad out to pay for the weekly shop any time soon, though, since there was no mention of NFC or Apple pay.

There isn't a dramatic physical redesign - both look similar to the previous versions - but the iPad Air 2 is thinner than before, at only 6.1mm.

“It's thinnest iPad we've ever made,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple.

The new device receives a boost to its internal specifications, too, with upgraded processors and graphics. The Apple iPad Air 2 will have the new second generation 64-bit A8X processor, which Apple claims is 40 percent faster for everyday tasks and 2.5X for graphics. The iPad mini 3 is stuck with the A7 for now, though.

The Air 2's Retina display remains unchanged in terms of resolution and size, but it does incorporate a new antireflective coating. Claimed battery life is unchanged at ten hours, and there's better Wi-Fi, improving from 802.11n to 802.11ac.

Apple is also upgrading the cameras in the iPad Air 2, from the 5-megapixel snapper on the old models, to an 8-megapixel camera with 1.12-micron pixels and an f/2.4 aperture, bringing the tablet in line with iPhone line, although there's no flash still. Apple has added several new capabilities to the camera app as well: a 43-megapixel panorama mode, plus burst, timelapse, and slo-mo modes.

Up front, a new "FaceTime HD" camera introduces burst and HDR selfies, plus there's a barometer, just like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Finally, in terms of storage options, both new iPads will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models, at the same prices as last year's models. Apple skipped over the iPad mini 3's specifications because, in essence it's the same as last year. The only difference of note, aside from Touch ID, is that it's available in Gold.

5K Retina iMac

For those with a bit more money to spare, Apple also announced the first iMac with a Retina display. The new 27-inch all-in-one features a "5K", 5,120x2,880 screen with 14.7 million pixels and a pixel density of 218ppi, not far off the 264ppi delivered by the 9.7in iPad Air 2.

Internally, the new iMac will feature from quad-core 3.5GHz up to 4GHz Intel processors, will have Thunderbolt 2, Apple's hybrid SSD/HDD Fusion Drive storage, and will cost from US$2,499. That's a US$700 premium over the standard 1080p model.

Other news

The company also used the event to announce a new cheaper (US$499) Mac mini, and to release its OS X Yosemite update to the public.

We took a detailed look at the developer release recently (you can read more about that here). The new OS is available from today for free.

Finaly, Apple also announced the new developer kit for the Apple Watch - WatchKit - which will roll out in November. WatchKit will enable third party developers to begin working on apps for the new smartwatch in preparation for its launch in early 2015.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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