More iPad Air 2 details surface ahead of Oct. 16 expected launch

The purported iPad Air 2 is the star of a new report, which claims to have more detailed insight into the tablet's specs and design.

Apple took the wraps off its latest smartphones - the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus - back in September, and this month the company is expected to unveil the rest of its 2014 lineup of devices.

The next-generation iPads are expected to make their official debut next week, on Oct. 16, and more information has now surfaced regarding the iPad Air 2. The updated iPad Air is rumored to come as the thinnest Apple tablet ever, while boasting top-notch specs and features all around.

With the expected launch event just around the corner, the rumor mill is going into overdrive trying to anticipate what Apple will unveil. The Michael Report now claims to have obtained some images and illustrations of the new iPads. According to the publication, the iPad Air 2 will sport notable improvements over its predecessor, including an Apple A8 processor, 2GB of RAM, a thinner body, as well as some slight design changes.

"Two researchers working for The Michael Report have obtained pictures and illustrations of the new iPads from sources within Apple, and have been able to independently verify both the design and the specifications to be true," the publication reports. "As with all things Apple, there's no doubt that they may change some minor details before the keynote... however, because we've heard that they're already producing these new iPads at large-scale, it's unlikely they'd make any drastic changes - which means that it's almost 100% likely that the product we've seen is of the actual product."

In terms of design, not much is expected to change. The iPad Air 2 is expected to have bezels of the same thickness as its predecessor, but with slightly more recessed volume buttons. The microphone will reportedly be relocated to the back of the device next to the rear camera, instead of at the top as with the original iPad Air. The publication has decided not to share any of the images and illustrations it allegedly obtained.

As previously mentioned, the iPad Air 2 is also expected to be Apple's thinnest tablet ever, and one of the thinnest tablets on the market. Apple will reportedly be able to shave 0.5mm off the design of the iPad Air 2 by going for a fully-laminated Retina display. On the other hand, The Michael Report claims that Apple will sacrifice the tablet's Mute/Vibration switch in order to achieve this thinness.

The publication further reveals that other upgrades should include a new 8-megapixel camera, and HD FaceTime camera, the new Apple Pay, as well as a fast Apple A8 processor with 2GB of RAM.

On the other hand, MacRumors believes that The Michael Report based all of its information on existing rumors and a dummy iPad Air 2 unit that has been making rounds, and doubts the accuracy of this "exclusive" report.

"Many of The Michael Report's predictions are based on previous rumors and are likely to be accurate, but some of the more unsubstantiated claims, like 2 GB of RAM and the lack of a mute switch are somewhat more nebulous," writes MacRumors.

The publication further points out that The Michael Report offered a similar roundup ahead of the iPhone 6 launch, and at the time it also claimed to have obtained its information from sources within Apple. Several predictions seemed to be based on rumors that were then circulating online, and ultimately proved to be inaccurate.

As always in such cases, it is highly advisable to take everything with a grain of salt until Apple makes a formal announcement. If the company does indeed plan to take the wraps off its next generation of devices on Oct. 16, we'll soon learn all there is to know straight from the source. In addition to the new iPad Air 2, Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Mini 3 and Retina iMacs at the event, as well as provide a final demo of OS X Yosemite.

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