If techies ruled national holidays, today would be known as "iPad day," and for a good while now, we’ve been looking forward to the grand unveiling of the fifth-generation Cupertino slate. In today’s announcement, the fruit company has not disappointed, and as well as bringing an entirely revamped, thinner and lighter overall design, the device is also more compact, boasts some tidy new display tech, and a brand new name: iPad Air.
For a long time, it has been presumed that Apple would finally give the iPad a design overhaul with the fifth-gen model, and as seen in today’s announcement, the flagship slate has borrowed plenty of aesthetic cues from the iPad mini. With a slender design and thinner bezels, the device is narrower whilst retaining the same 9.7-inch Retina panel, and if you can visualize an iPad mini with a larger display, that is essentially what you’re getting here. The iPad Air is definitely a pure win over all the tablets we’ve seen to date.
The iPad Air is 20% thinner than the last generation iPad, which is the iPad 4. The bezels are 43% thinner, and weighs in at a mere one pound.
The iPad Air offers a 64-bit A7 processor coupled with the M7 motion coprocessor, which brings reasonably improved performance over the previous-gen iPad. Apple pulled a similar stunt with the iPad 4 last year, countering the iPhone 5’s A6 SoC with an A6X, and since the iPad is quite a bit more intensive on all resources than the iPhone, that extra bit will certainly be put to effective use. The new A7 processor is is x2 faster than the processor found in the iPad 4.
As far as resolution goes, the iPad Air remains the same, offering a beautiful Retina display worthy of a tablet of its stature. With that said, Apple has made some changes to the display tech, implementing a layer of thin film for the touch component which, when compared to the glass of old, allows the display as a whole – as well as the device itself – to become thinner than ever before.
The camera hasn’t been changed, and it features the same 5MP iSight camera sensor on the rear, with 1080p video recording, an improved FaceTime HD camera, dual microphones and more.
The new iPad Air comes in two colors; Space Gray and Silver.
The complete set of features and specs as per Apple’s official website is as follows:
Apart from the tablet itself, Apple has also introduced a new range of Smart Covers for the iPad Air. Priced at $39, and available in 6 different colors, it’s a nice accessory to have in order to protect the face of your brand new tablet.
Accompanying the Smart Cover is the new Smart Case for the iPad Air. Priced at just $79, it offers protection for your tablet from the front, as well as the rear of the device. The new Smart Case is made from leather, and is available in 6 different color options.
The new iPad Air will be available on November 1st in 41 countries around the globe.
The pricing structure hasn’t changed, and the new iPad Air follows the same pricing structure as before. The base model for the Wi-Fi only version starts at $499, whilst the Wi-Fi + Cellular version starts at $629. And in case you’re wondering, the iPad Air also comes in 128GB memory configuration, a trend which Apple kicked off from the iPad 4.
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