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Apple iPad rumors ramp up ahead of press event

Apple is expected to unveil two new iPads next week and rumors surrounding the new devices have reached fever pitch. The tech giant is holding a press event on Oct. 22 in San Francisco, where it is also expected to announce new Macs and detail on its new desktop operating system OS X Mavericks.

Will the new iPads have fingerprint scanners?

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 5Slast month, it also became the first consumer electronics company to use a fingerprint scanner, dubbed Touch ID, to unlock a smartphone. According to CNET, the Chinese website leaked photos of an alleged fifth-generation iPad with fingerprint scanner in place of the home button, like the new iPhone 5S. 

Apple has a history of offering the same features across different platforms. The digital assistant Siri was introduced on the iPhone 4S about a year before it was added to thethird-generation iPad. Apple's popular mobile chat client iMessage was originally designed for mobile devices, but was later added to OS X Mountain Lion.

Is the iPad mini getting Retina display?

According to CNET, RBC Capital Markets Amit Daryana says the iPad mini will come with Retina display, and will have a slightly thicker body to accommodate the new screen. The iPad mini was introduced as a smaller, low-cost addition to the iPad line last fall.

What about the processor and hardware?

According to MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the new iPad will have an A7X processor, made by Samsung. Kuo also believes the new iPad will be about 7.5-8.0 millimeters -- about 15 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad - and have more rounded edges. More recent rumors suggest that Apple's 64-bit A7 chip will power the device. The chip was first introduced with the iPhone 5S last month.

When will the iPads go on sale?

According to the tech blogs BGR and TechRadar, the new iPad and iPad mini will go on sale by Oct. 31. BGR cites a report from the French blog MacG, while TechRadar cites Apple's previous schedule of releasing a product 10 days after it has been announced. Previous reports said the iPad mini's release date would be pushed back because of delays in the supply chain, but we won't know for sure until Oct. 22.