updated 10:16 am EDT, Wed October 30, 2013
Air version of A7 chip clocked 100MHz faster than iPhone 5s
The iPad Air isn't twice as fast as the fourth-generation iPad, as Apple claims, but it is over 80 percent faster, according to early Geekbench 3 benchmarks. In terms of single-core performance, the Air scores 1,465 versus the fourth-gen's 771. When allowed to run multi-core, the two tablets get scores of 2,643 and 1,408, respectively.
Of special interest is that the Air's version of the Apple A7 processor appears to be clocked 100MHz faster than the one in the iPhone 5s. That may be possible due to the greater space in the Air, allowing for better cooling, and a bigger battery, making power consumption less of a problem.
Both the Air and the fourth-gen iPad are dramatically faster than the iPad 2 and the non-Retina iPad mini, which are still on sale. The Mini gets a Geekbench multi-core rating of just 496, and the iPad 2 is rated at 494; the two each use an A5 processor. The Retina iPad mini will make the jump to an A7 chip, presumably giving it scores equivalent to the Air.