22/10/2013 09:15 BST | Updated 22/12/2013 05:12 GMT

iPad Air And iPad Mini Hands-On: What Are Apple's New Tablets Like In Person?

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad Air on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Apple has unveiled its new line-up of iPads at an event in California.

We've got all of the big news over at our main news page, and we've also collected the seven biggest news items into one handy post.

But we've also managed to get an early hands-on with both of the new tablets. Here are our thoughts:

iPad Air Hands On:

If you just look at the pictures, the new iPad Air might not look like a massive upgrade. In fact it might just look like the old with a slightly thinner bezel on the sides.

Pick it up, though, and you'll be shocked - this is a completely different device. You feel every gram of weight lost from the old model, and at 20% thinner it's much more comfortable in the hand. The bezel too is thinner in person, feeling like a much more advanced and useful gadget.

We were immediately impressed - this is now a device you'll want to take with you everywhere and not just leave lying on the coffee table. In our hands-on we weren't able to get a real sense of the benefits offered by the new A7 processor - that's something that we'll have to understand over time when we get playing some games, using the new iLife and iWork apps and living with the new machine.

But while this update isn't going to make you think differently about whether or not to buy an iPad, it's still the best one Apple has ever made by far.

iPad Mini With Retina Display Hands-On

The new iPad Mini looks and feels exactly like the old one - except someone has lifted off the annoying sheet of semi-opaque plastic from the screen. It's that simple - the Retina display is the screen the Mini should have always had, and it looks fantastic, with exactly the same amount of pixels as the larger iPad Air.

As with the larger model we'll have to wait to get a real sense of the benefits afforded by the new A7 chip and the other under-the-hood improvements. And other than the screen, unlike the Air, the upgrades are mostly out of sight to the regular consumer. But the new Mini is still a wonderful upgrade - finally you don't have to make a compromise between size and quality.