Apple Announces Thinner and Lighter iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina Display

The new full-sized iPad weighs just one pound. The revamped Mini gets a price bump.

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Apple’s giving a new name and a new look to its fifth-generation iPad, dubbed the iPad Air, and has stuffed a Retina display into its latest iPad Mini.

The iPad Air is 20 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad, at just under 0.3 inches thick, and it has a 43 percent narrower bezel when held in portrait mode. The iPad Air is also much lighter, weighing just 1 pound, compared to 1.4 pounds for the previous 9.7-inch iPad.

Inside, Apple’s using the same A7 chip that appears inside the iPhone 5s, along with the same M7 motion co-processor. Other specs include a 5-megapixel iSight camera with 1080p video capture, a Facetime HD front-facing camera and dual microphones. Those are similar internals to the fourth-generation iPad; the Air is really all about the thinner, lighter design and the faster processor.

Pricing for the iPad Air is unchanged from previous full-sized IPads. It’ll cost $499 for the 16 GB model with Wi-Fi, and $629 with 4G LTE, and as always, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of storage will be available in $100 increments. The iPad Air goes on sale November 1.

Apple also announced a new iPad Mini with a Retina display. It includes the same 2048-by-1536 display resolution as its larger sibling, but crammed into a 7.9-inch screen. The processor also gets a big upgrade to Apple’s A7 chip, compared to the A5 processor inside the current Mini. On the downside, the iPad Mini with Retina display is about 0.05 pounds heavier than the non-Retina version, weighing 0.73 pounds with Wi-Fi and 0.75 pounds with 4G LTE. All other tech specs are unchanged from last year’s model, including up to 10 hours of battery life while browsing the web.

Unfortunately, the high-resolution display comes at a price: It’s $70 more expensive, at $399 for the 16 GB model and $529 for one with 4G LTE. The iPad Mini with Retina display ships in November, but Apple didn’t give a specific release date.

Apple will continue to sell the 16 GB iPad 2 at the same $399 price tag as before. So if you want a Retina display in a full-sized iPad, you’ll have to get the high-end model. The original iPad Mini is sticking around as well, but with a price drop to $299 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi model.

Apple spent much of its press event focusing on software and services. Most notably, Apple’s iWork suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) and iLife suite (iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand) will be free with the purchase of any new iOS device or Mac. Apple is clearly pushing the idea that iPads can be productivity and creativity devices, despite what rival Microsoft has implied.

Along that line, rumors leading up to the event suggested that Apple would launch a keyboard cover for the iPad as an answer to Microsoft’s Surface tablets. However, the only new covers from Apple were revamps of the existing Smart Cover, priced at $39 for polyurethane and $69 to $79 for leather, depending on iPad size. Rumors that Apple would add its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to one or both of its new iPads also didn’t pan out.

12 comments
LexonPro
LexonPro

With my ipad mini being about six months old (at most) I’m not going to be getting the new mini just yet. But I do like the look of the processor on the iPad Air.


Dlan

SallyFred
SallyFred

If use a word to summarize this conference, the author first thought is "sincerity". Whether the free download policy of software or the strength upgrade of the mini, the conference seems to make us see a completely different an Apple as it has always been.Many people will say that apple has now lost innovation and began to decline, Cook will think of "free" or "price policy" to win consumers' hearts. But the author thinks that, when you do a product perfectly, you will encounter bottlenecks, particularly for apple that had been standing in the tip of the pyramid technology companies. If put aside the hardware factors, actually, we did not see too much place of innovation on both of the new products, but on no account can we deny the idea for both products. The author believes that Apple will bring us to again change the world.

Surprise is Greater than the Disappointment --- Apple iPad Air

http://www.vibosoft.com/ios/apple-ipad-air-released-reviews.html


rafy122
rafy122

So...what happens to the original 32 GB iPad mini? Because all they're mentioning is is the 16 GB ipad Mini that dropped in price, but there's still a 32 GB out there. I even went to Best Buy earlier and they told me they won't have a clue until they get instructions from Apple. And that's listed at $429 currently. Even if there's no drop in price on that version, I still think it beats the deal on the new iPad mini w/retina display. 

gg0dd
gg0dd

Need some advice... I've been planning on getting the new iPad 5 (now Air) 32gb for the last month or so.  But after seeing the specs, I'm now seriously considering the iPad Mini.  Both have the A7 processor, MIMO, same resolution (in fact, since the same number of pixels are being squeezed onto a smaller screen the Mini screen should be even clearer), and front and rear cameras.  Thickness is comparable, and size isn't significantly different.  Both come with the new iStuff software and, with the same processor, should be able to run all the same software.  Only difference I can see is the price, $100.  What am I missing?

glennra3
glennra3

Does this mean my 1939 KMM Royal typewriter is now out of date?

wdfc
wdfc

Well, I have the iPad 3, was looking forward to the upgrade to the 5, excuse me Air, but maybe I should wait until the 6. I don't know! Maybe I was expecting more of an upgrade. Maybe I expect too much from Apple over 2 years. Anyone reading this has permission to ridicule me. (or maybe agree!)

ronmendel
ronmendel

@gg0dd I have both an iPad 2 and an iPad Mini, and I really love and use the Mini a lot more!  (I gave the iPad 2 to the wife)   The really amazing thing is it's not at all small in use. I mean there is no limitations due to it's small size which was very surprising.  GET THE MINI! 

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

@wdfc The iPad Air will be a LOT faster, thiner, and lighter than the iPad 3.. I don't think people will understand how big (small?) the weight drop is until they hold the new model.

Also, free iWork and iLife apps with the new machine. I use iPhoto, Numbers, and iMovie quite often, and they are VERY nice apps.

wdfc
wdfc

@mtngoatjoe @wdfc Thanks for your input. I was talking like a little baby wanting more, more, more now. I'm sure I will eat my initial remark and be in line come Nov 1.