In today’s Apple Event, my favorite announcement was the new iPad Air. Not only it sports a new iPad Pro inspired design, but it also brings a faster processor, a 10.9” Liquid Retina display, and support for new Apple Pencil 2 and Apple Magic Keyboard. Let’s check out everything new with the new iPad Air.
The New Redesign
Apple iPad Air sports the new iPad Pro design language. That means you are getting the edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display. It’s a huge improvement over the previous iPad Air that sported the older design with huge bezels on top and bottom.
If you love the look of the iPad Pros, you are going to love the new iPad Air. iPad Air is also available in five different colors including Sky Blue, Rose Gold, Space Gray, Silver, and Green.
New Liquid Retina display
Thanks to the cutting of bezels, the new iPad Air has a 10.9-inch display (2360 x 1640) instead of the 10.5-inch display that was in the previous models. The new display is the same as the Liquid Retina display Apple has shipped in the past with support for True Tone, P3 color gamut, and anti-reflective coating. But as far as I can tell, the display doesn’t support the 120Hz refresh rate like the one on iPad Pro.
A14 Bionic Chipset
The New iPad Air is powered by Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chipset which is the same chip that is going to power this year’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. As far as I can remember, this is the first time when an iPad is receiving the new chipset before the iPhone.
The new chipset features a 5-nanometer construction with 40% faster CPU performance and 30% faster graphics performance than the previous year iPad Air. Not only that, but it also has Apple’s redesigned Neural Engine that has 16-cores and can process 11 trillion operations per second, resulting in a 70 percent increase in machine learning performance.
Finally, there are also new machine learning accelerators that deliver a 10x jump in computations, thereby improving iPad Air’s machine learning capabilities. The new iPad Air is going to be blazing fast and even go head-to-head with the current generation iPad Pros.
One thing that differentiates the iPad Air from the iPad Pro is the inclusion of Touch ID in favor of Face ID. Since the screen is going edge-to-edge, the Touch ID is now integrated into the power button at the top. The Touch ID brings all the features like fast unlock, Apple Pay support, and more.
When the iPad Air redesign was rumored a few weeks back, I was sure that Apple will keep the Magic Keyboard exclusive to iPad Pros to better differentiate the products. But Apple has gone full throttle with the release, and the new iPad Air Supports both the Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil 2.
Apart from the mentioned changes, iPad Air is also bringing several small improvements. The connectivity is better with support for WiFi 6 and 60% faster LTE speeds. It also supports the stereo sound that iPad Pros are known for. That said, the stereo sound is only supported in the landscape mode.
The iPad Air is also featuring a brand-new 12MP back camera with Focus Pixels and 7MP FaceTime HD camera for high‑quality video calls. Combine the new sensors with the better image processing power of the A14-Bionic chip, and you can expect a significant improvement in the photo and video quality.
Finally, the iPad Air has switched to USB-C. That means you can use the same cable to charge the MacBook Pro, the iPad Pro, and now even the iPad Air.
Pricing and availability
The new iPad Air is going to be available in October, starting at $599 for the 64GB model. You can bump it up to 256GB for $749 and add cellular connectivity for an additional $130.