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Apple Unveils iPad Air, Retina Display iPad mini

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) has unveiled the iPad Air, and a second-generation of the iPad mini in a huge product update.

The iPad Air, Apple's fifth-generation iPad, which starts at $499 for WiFi and $629 for LTE models, weighs just 1 pound and is 20% thinner, and 28% lighter than the fourth-gen iPad. It also has a narrower bezel, allowing content to fill up more of the tablet.

Apple's new iPad Air has an A7 chip, the M7 co-processor, and features MIMI support for faster built-in Wi-Fi. The battery life will be up to 10 hours on the new iPad Air.

Apple is keeping the iPad 2 in its lineup, which starts at $399.

"iPad created an entirely new mobile computing experience, and the new iPad Air is another big leap ahead. It is so thin, light and powerful, once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing in a press release. "iPad Air with its 9.7-inch Retina display weighs just one pound and packs the incredible performance of iOS 7 running on a 64-bit desktop-class Apple A7 chip, and delivers all-day battery life in the lightest full-sized tablet in the world."

Apple also unveiled the second version of the iPad mini, now with Retina Display. The new iPad mini, which also starts at $399, will have2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution on its 7.9-inch screen, with a 326 pixel per inch (ppi) density. With Apple having more than 475,000 iPad-centric apps, the iPad mini takes advantage of the full iPad experience.

The smaller tablet is also powered by the A7 and M7 processors, despite speculation that it would use an A6 chip. The iPad mini also offers MIMO technology, alllowing for better WiFi performance.

Apple also kept the original iPad mini in its lineup, dropping the price from $329 to $299.

Both devices will launch in November, with the iPad Air going on sale Nov. 1, and the iPad mini later in the month.

Apple also announced that both devices will launch in China at the same time as the U.S., a change from previous iPad launches, as  CEO Tim Cook continues to focus on Asia, and in particular, China.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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