New tablets will likely include updated processors and slimmer designs

Apple will reportedly be announcing two new iPads at an event on Tuesday 22 October, updating both the iPad and the iPad mini.

The reports have come from trusted technology website AllThingsD but Apple have remained tight-lipped, neither confirming nor denying the launch. This is the company’s traditional approach, preferring to let the rumour-industry work itself up rather than stir the pot themselves, but there seems to be a general consensus over the changes due for the new tablets.

The fifth-generation iPad will almost certainly debut with a thinner, lighter case – closer to the iPad mini and with smaller bezels (the gap between the screen and the edge of the device). The physical changes are likely to be less apparent for the updated mini, though it is expected to come in the newSpace Grey colouring that first appeared on the iPhone 5s.

Better processors

It’s also expected that both the new iPads will feature Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip, though this seems far more likely for the iPad 5 than the iPad mini 2. If the mini doesn’t receive the A7, then it will likely get the A6 chip currently used in the iPhone 5c and 5.

(Click here to read our explanation of what a 64-bit chip is and why it matters to Apple)

Fingerprint scanners for all?

It’s also thought that the new tablets will include the fingerprint sensor introduced in the iPhone 5s. Housed under the home button screen, this feature allows users to unlock and authorize purchases using with a finger or thumb print. Although the hardware was hacked just days after its release, Apple has refused to comment on the issue and seems wedded to the system as a convenient way to increase the baseline security of their devices.

Same old memory

One area in which change isn't really expected will be internal storage. The iPad 4 and mini are currently available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants (with a 128GB iPad 4 also available), but given the mark-up that Apple charges on memory (each memory bump costs consumers around $100 and the company approximately $10) it's unlikely that they'll raise the entry-level storage option.

Retina for the mini?

The updated mini is also thought to finally be updated up to a 7-inch Retina-quality display, a change that will bring it in line with rival devices: both Google's updated Nexus 7 and Amazon's recently launched Kindle HDX tablets feature screens with a pixel density of 323 ppi.

In other words there's no real surprises expected from a new launch, but given that mobile devices are expected to outsell PCs for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2013, Apple needs to keep their tablets updated to stay competitive.