Today Apple is introduced a new iPad air that looks familiar to the iPad pro. It’s a big shift in style from the current air that was brought back to life between the iPad and iPad Pro last year.
Last year’s Air has thick bezels on top and bottom and a Touch ID button, but this new iPad Air has much thinner bezels all around the show.
Apple iPad Air an affordable alternative of the iPad pro
On this new iPad Air, which is completely laminated with True Tone support and anti-reflective coating, Apple uses a bigger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display (2360 x 1640). Apple has moved the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the power button at the top to fit this monitor in.
Apple is making some major changes to the chips powering the new iPad air. Apple’s A14 Bionic is used to power it, a 5nm chip with a six-core CPU (two high, four low), and 11.8 billion transistors. With a new four-core GPU, Apple is promising a 40% boost in performance over the last iPad Air, and better graphics support.
Apple claims it’s the “most advanced chip” it’s ever made, and it also has accelerators unique to machine learning that apps can use. At today’s press event, Apple showed a range of applications, suggesting software developers would be able to harness the power of this new chip for their applications.
Also on the iPad Air, Apple is switching to USB-C, just like the iPad Pro and it will allow 20W charging. The company is also borrowing from the iPad Pro the 12-megapixel rear camera and upgrading it to the Air with better video stabilization. Included on the Air is a front-facing 7 megapixel Face Time HD camera with smart HDR and 1080p 60fps video capture support.
This iPad Air also supports the (new) Apple Pencil which is attached magnetically to the tablet. This iPad Air will also be connected to Apple’s Magic Keyboard attachment, making this even more similar to Apple’s iPad Pro. The latest iPad air will be priced at $599.
To bring most of the iPad Pro features to a more affordable price point, Apple has clearly refreshed the iPad Air. High refresh 120Hz display found on the iPad Pro is lacking in iPad Air and also lacking Face ID support, and its new lidar camera. The iPad Air look like a solid alternative, if you can live without these features.