|The new iPad Air, seen attached to Apple’s Magic Keyboard.|
Today, Apple announced the details of its latest iPad and iPad Air devices. While many had hoped Apple would also announce its next-generation iPhones at today’s virtual event, the Cupertino company didn’t have ‘one more thing’ in store.
Starting with the new 8th-generation iPad, Apple kept the update fairly straightforward. The new entry-level iPad, which starts at $329, now uses the A12 chip, a step up from the A10 found in its predecessor.
In addition to improved performance and battery life, this new chipset also means the iPad will feature Apple’s Neural Engine technology for the first time. Aside from the small internal update though, little was changed, as no external design changes were made.
The 8th-generation iPad is available in Space Gray, Silver and Gold. Pricing starts at $329 for the 32GB model.
The same can’t be said for Apple’s new iPad Airs though, which feature an entirely new design that clearly takes inspiration from Apple’s recent iPad Pro devices.
The new iPad Air devices now feature a 10.9” Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display and eschew the Touch ID button on the bottom of the front glass in exchange for a new Touch ID button integrated into the power button. The edges of the device have also been squared off, as has been seen with recent iPad Pro devices. The updated 2360x1640px display features P3 wide-gamut color, True Tone and a laminate coating. It does lack the 120Hz functionality of the display found on the iPad Pro devices though.
Performance has also been dramatically improved thanks to the new A14 Bionic processor, the first in the industry to use 5nm construction. Apple says the CPU is 40% faster than the previous-generation, while GPU performance has improved by 30%. An updated Neural engine also improves the machine learning performance of the device.
As for the built-in cameras, there’s a single 12MP rear camera and a 7MP FaceTime HD camera. Apple has also added USB-C to the iPad Air for the first time, which means it will be able to use various adapters and hubs, as well as support 20W charging and 5Gbps data transfers. Wi-Fi 6 is included and the cellular models will feature LTE that Apple claims is 60% faster. The new iPad Airs will work with Apple’s new Apple Pencil as well as the Apple Magic Keyboard.
The new iPad Airs come in five colors: Space Gray, Silver, Rose Gold, Green and Sky Blue. Pricing starts at $599 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model.