Geekbench 3 results for the new iPad Air are starting to appear on the Geekbench Browser. I've charted the results for all iOS 7 capable iPads below. If you're not familiar with Geekbench 3, it's our cross-platform processor benchmark. Higher scores are better, where double the score means double the performance.
Some thoughts on the results:
The iPad Air's A7 processor is running at 1.4 GHz, 100 MHz faster than the iPhone 5s' A7 processor. It's not clear if the iPad Air processor runs at a higher speed thanks to a larger battery (providing more power), a larger chassis (providing better cooling), or some combination of the two. I expect the new iPad mini's A7 processor will run at 1.4 GHz as well.
The iPad Air is over 80% faster than the iPad (4th Generation), close to the 2x increase promised by Apple.
The iPad Air is over 5x faster than the iPad 2, yet is only $100 more expensive. I do not understand why Apple kept the iPad 2 around, especially at a $399 price point. What market are they targeting?
From a performance standpoint the iPad Air is a great upgrade to the iPad (4th Generation). With most recent Mac updates showing only modest performance improvements, it's exciting to see iOS devices do the opposite with substantial improvements between generations. I wonder how much longer Apple can keep this up?