Moments ago, Apple showed off its latest 5th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPad mini. There are a slew of changes for them both, so we wanted to highlight the difference between the previous model and new model.
First, the iPad got a much needed facelift and a new name: iPad Air. It’s been redesigned in the style of the iPad mini, which is to say, a huge improvement. Apple says it’s “thinner, lighter and more powerful.” The tapered edges on the back are gone, replaced by something more square. The front has polished chamfers, meticulously beveled with diamonds where the cover glass meets the rest of the case. The speaker has been relocated from the back to the bottom, just like the iPhone. The screen is still the 9.7-inch IPS Retina Display we’ve all come to know and love, but the bezels around the screen have been shrunken on the right and left sides, much like the proportions of the iPad mini. The iPad Air is just 7.5mm thin, a 20% reduction from the previous model.
Under the hood, the iPad Air has been beefed up with a considerable bump in processing power. It’s powered by Apple’s new A7 system on a chip (SoC), which brings 64-bit architecture for the first time. Like the iPhone 5s, it also has the M7 motion coprocessor. Apple claims it’s twice as fast as the last generation iPad, and 8 times as fast as the original.
The rear-facing iSight camera stays at 5MP, but the front-facing FaceTime HD camera gets a bump in pixel size, giving you better quality video calls.
As we expected, there are updated color options. It comes in Silver, White, Gray and Black.
The iPad Air will go on sale November 1 starting at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-only model. LTE models will start at $629 for the same 16 GB option.
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