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iPad Air impressive in early benchmark testing

The reviews of the upcoming iPad Air have been glowing -- so glowing in fact that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was merely a case of Apple fan-boys unable to hide their excitement. Sure, the tech guys are excited, but what are the hard numbers? How does the iPad Air stack up in benchmark testing against previous models?

It turns out that the iPad Air stacks up incredibly.

Primate Labs tested the iPad Air using the cross-platform Geekbench 3 benchmark tool and the results are impressive:

The iPad Air is more than 80 percent faster than the fourth-generation iPad and five times faster than the iPad 2. Given that the iPad Air is only a hundred dollars more than the iPad 2, Apple's decision to keep the older iPad around instead of the iPad 4 is odd. Perhaps they''re hoping customers will look at the specs and price difference, and go for the slightly more expensive, but significantly more powerful, iPad Air.

The iPad Air hits stores this Friday.

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