Its been a busy day for Apple and after taking care of the Mac and iWork Apple gave some love to the iPad announcing the latest updates to the iPad line with iPad AIr and iPad Mini with Retina Display. While the updates Apple did give these two iPads weren’t revolutionary and didn’t include cool features like Touch ID or come in gold, they do help make two of the best tablets out there today even better.
Let’s start with the new full size iPad, the iPad Air. As the Air part of the name would suggest, the latest iPad is much thinner and lighter than older iPads, while still being everything you’d expect of an iPad. It’s got a much faster A7 processor (as seen in the iPhone 5S), faster WiFi chips, a better FaceTime HD camera with dual mics for better audio capture while of course still keeping the same great 9.7 inch Retina Display, 10 hour battery life, and 5 megapixel camera found on the iPad 4. But again, the big thing with the iPad AIr is how much thinner and lighter it is. It’s 20% thinner and at just 1 pound 28% lighter than the iPad 3/4.
Considering how much is in here and how the iPad 2/3/4 weren’t too large already, getting even smaller and lighter without sacrificing anything is pretty incredible. Combine the thinner and lighter design with iOS 7 and free iWork and you’ve got a pretty solid laptop replacement for school.
The iPad Mini also got a pretty nice update today that was needed and expected. In particular it got a bump to a faster processor and Retina Display. The new iPad Mini with Retina Display keeps the same design as the old iPad Mini but adds all the same features the iPad Air has including the Retina Display, A7 processor and better FaceTime HD camera. Adding the new Retina Display and faster processor did cause the price on the Mini to go up a little though, as it now starts at $399 for the 16 GB WiFi version up from the $329 it cost for the 16 GB non-Retina Mini. Though while the Mini with Retina got a price increase, Apple will continue to sell the older iPad Mini for only $299 for the 16 GB WiFi version (down $30).
Both new iPads will come in WiFi or WiFi+4G LTE versions (all carriers will offer the new iPads, including Sprint and T-Mobile) in either white or “space grey.” Pricing and storage for the iPad Air is the same as it was for the iPad 4, so it starts at $499 for the 16 GB WiFi-only version and goes up from there (up to 128 GB WiFi+4G LTE Air for $929). The iPad Mini with Retina Display will start at $399 as we said above for the 16 GB and go up from there (up to $829 for the 128 GB WiFi+4G LTE Mini with Retina).
The iPad Air will be available on November 1st while the Mini with Retina Display will be available “later in November.” For more info check out Apple’s site for the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display.