Apple announces iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and 5k iMac

‘Iterative’ is probably the best word used to describe what are the moderate updates to the iPad line revealed by Apple last night.

The iPad Air 2 is the closest Apple got to a headline grabber. The tablet is aesthetically very similar to its predecessor but does improve in two key areas. At just 6.1mm it’s 18 per cent thinner than the already incredibly lithe iPad Air. It also packs Apple’s new A8X processor, meaning it’s apparently 40 per cent faster.

The screen is manufactured in a different way, too, resulting in a clearer, brighter display, even if the ppi and resolution is the same.

Changes to the iPad Mini 3 are harder to spot, however. In fact there is only one – the addition of Touch ID. The device is identical o its predecessor in every other way.

Has Apple’s recent iPhone 6 Plus launch, complete with its 5.5-inch screen, dampened its enthusiasm for the 7.9-inch iPad Mini? It would seem so.

All of which means that Apple now appears to be supporting five iPad models – the Air, Air 2, Mini 3, Mine 2 and non-retina Mini. It seems that the original pre-Air iPad is now officially out of Apple’s current line-up.

Add that to the four current iPhones that are available – the 6 Plus, 5, 5S and 5C – and that means Apple will have an unprecedented nine active devices on sale when the iPads launch next week.

Also updated was Apple’s iMac which now supports an eye-watering 5120×2880 5k screen and has a quad core Intel i5 3.5GHz processor, AMD R9 M290X GPU and 8GB of RAM inside.

There was no sign of the rumoured Apple TV update, however, with Apple instead choosing to unveil a new Mac Mini with Intel Haswell CPU.

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