Apple Launches New iPads

Apple unveiled new iPads at a San Francisco press event, including the iPad Air that it is billing as the lightest full size tablet available and a new version of iPad Mini that has the much higher resolution Retina Display.

The iPad Air is 43% narrower, 20% thinner and weighs in at only one pound. It comes with the A7 chip used in the iPhone 5S, which is two times faster than the previous generation and 72 times faster than the original iPad in terms of GPU performance.

It also has a 5MB iSight camera that can produce 1080P HD video.

Pricing for the iPad Air starts at $499 for 16GB with Wi-Fi; the cellular 4G LTE version starts at $629. It is expected to go on sale on November 1.

The biggest upgrade to the smaller less costly iPad Mini is the addition of a Retina display, but it is also has a faster processor that is four times faster than last year's model and eight times faster at graphics tasks. Pricing starts at $399 for 16GB and will be available in November.

Apple also unveiled some user statistics. It announced that over 170 million have been sold and that they account for 81% of tablet usage.