The iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display will be released next month, just in time for the holiday gift buying season, Apple has announced.

The iPad Air will be available November 1 and features a 9.7-inch Retina display in a new thinner and lighter design. The device now weighs just one pound and is 20 percent thinner - thanks to a narrower bezel - and 28 percent lighter than the fourth generation iPad.

The new iPad mini, following later in November, boasts a Retina display, packing all the pixels of the 9.7 inch panel (2048-by-1536 resolution) into the smaller 7.9 inch screen.

Both new iPads feature the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, ultrafast wireless with faster built-in Wi-Fi and expanded LTE cellular connectivity, and the newly-designed iOS 7.

"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. "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."

Users are promised up to twice the CPU and graphics performance on iPad Air, and up to four times the CPU and eight times the graphics performance on iPad mini with Retina display.

Both iPads will also feature a next generation FaceTime HD camera with improved backside illumination sensors featuring larger pixels for better low-light performance.

iPad Air pricing starts at £399 for the 16GB WiFi mode, rising to £739 for the 128GB with Cellular model. The mini starts at £319 for the 16GB WiFi model, jumping up to £659 for the 128GB Cellular version.

New Smart Covers for both iPads will also be available in a range of colours for £35.

Source: Press release