Again there wasn’t much in the way of surprises in this morning’s announcement by Apple of its new iPad range. The rumour, speculation and leak industry is pretty damn on the money these days. As expected, or perhaps rather hoped, the iPad mini will indeed sport the Retina display. But the biggest surprise was the addition of a new model in the iPad range, called the iPad Air.
The iPad Air, is the Apple’s new flagship iPad. Both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the iPad Air weigh less than 500 grams. It is 20 per cent thinner and 28 per cent lighter than the previous generation iPad.
The screen size remains 9.7 inch diagonal, but the size of the bezel is 43% smaller than the iPad 2, which is where the iPad Air makes drops in weight and dimensions.
Inside will be the A7 chip recently introduced in the iPhone 5s, along with the 64-bit architecture, seeing marked increases in CPU and graphics performance, but reductions in battery usage, to the tune of up to a 10 hour battery life. And just like the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air has improved things in the area of its camera – an upgraded 5 megapixel sensor, auto-focus, up to three times video zoom, five times still zoom, and automatic image and video stabilisation.
Pre-launch rumours of the addition of the Touch ID technology recently introduced in the iPhone 5s, along with the gold colour, have proved to be false.
The iPad Air will be available from November 1, in either silver or space grey. Pricing is as follows:
- 16GB Wi-Fi – $598
- 32GB Wi-Fi – $699
- 64GB Wi-Fi – $799
- 128GB Wi-Fi – $899
- 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $749
- 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $849
- 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $949
- 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $1,049
The iPad 2 remains on sale, at $449 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $598 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.
iPad mini with Retina display
The iPad mini has had a major screen upgrade, now with Apple’s Retina display. Like its bigger sibling, the mini also has the A7 processor inside, and the improvements in the camera of the iPad Air.
The iPad mini will be available towards the end of November, in silver and space grey colours. Pricing is as follows:
- 16GB Wi-Fi – $479
- 32GB Wi-Fi – $598
- 64GB Wi-Fi – $699
- 128GB Wi-Fi – $799
- 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $629
- 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $749
- 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $849
- 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $949
The original iPad mini will remain on sale, with a price drop. The 16GB Wi-Fi model will sell for $349, while the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model will be $499.
Smart Cover for iPad Air and iPad mini Retina
The polyurethane Smart Cover for the iPad Air and mini has been redesigned, and will be available in blue, green, pink, yellow, black and (RED), for $48. The leather covers for iPad and iPad mini will sell for $99 and $89 respectively, in yellow, beige, blue, brown, black and (RED).