Primate Labs)

The iPad Air is 80 percent faster than the fourth-generation iPad, say new benchmark tests.

Running the new iPad through the paces via Geekbench 3 tests, Primate Labs found that the tablet comes close to reaching Apple's promise of doubling the speed of the iPad 4.

The iPad Air is powered by an A7 processor, just like the iPhone 5S. But the new iPad runs at 1.4GHz -- which is 100MHz faster than the 5S, Primate Labs founder John Poole said on Wednesday. He said he's not sure whether the iPad Air's processor is faster due to a larger battery (which offers more power), a larger chassis (which offers better cooling), or a combination of the two. But he does expect the iPad Mini's A7 processor to also clock in at 1.4GHz.

The new Air is also five times faster than the iPad 2, leading Poole to question why Apple is still selling the second-generation model, especially at $399, just $100 less than the starting price for the iPad Air.

He said that, from a performance standpoint, the iPad Air is a great upgrade to the iPad 4.

"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," he said. "I wonder how much longer Apple can keep this up?"

The iPad Air is due to hit stores on Friday.

(Via AppleInsider)

iPad Air: Thinner, lighter, faster, better