iPad 5 gets unveiled as iPad Air alongside iPad Mini with Retina Display and higher price
Aside from Nokia’s little gathering today, there’s something else that should be making the news everywhere. Oh yes, Apple’s had an event too, as you may know. In it, the fifth-generation iPad got unveiled, as expected. What wasn’t anticipated was that it got a name change. It’s not the iPad 5, the new iPad, or iPad 5th generation. Instead, it’s called iPad Air.
The iPad Air comes with most of the spec bumps that have been rumored for months. It also features the thin bezel design that was first seen in the original iPad Mini, yet the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is nowhere to be found. The Air is a lot thinner and lighter than its predecessors, coming in at just 7.5 mm and 1 pound. In fact, Apple claims that it is the lightest “full size” tablet in the world.
The iPad Air has the A7 processor that debuted on the iPhone 5S last month, complete with 64-bit computing support and M7 motion coprocessor. It delivers performance that’s two times faster than the iPad 4, both for CPU-intensive tasks as well as for GPU-driven things. The chipset inside the iPad Air makes it eight times faster than the first generation iPad in terms of processing power, and it comes with 72 times faster graphics, amazingly enough.
Some other things are new too. The iPad Air gets faster Wi-Fi, expanded LTE support, a 5 MP iSight main camera capable of 1080p Full HD video recording, dual microphones, and the same 10-hour battery life as always.
The iPad Air will be available on November 1 in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao (Wi-Fi models only), Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Pricing will start at the same $499 as its predecessor, for the 16 GB Wi-Fi-only version, and $629 for the one with LTE. If you’re looking for a cheaper 10-inch iPad, the iPad 2 will still be on sale for $399 (16 GB Wi-Fi model).
The incredibly often rumored iPad Mini with Retina Display has become official too. And it’s actually called exactly that, not iPad Mini 2. There’s one huge caveat here, though: the iPad Mini with Retina Display is going to be priced at $399 (16 GB Wi-Fi model). That’s $70 more than what the non-Retina touting Mini has been selling for, and given Apple’s usual behavior many may have expected this to be $329 too. Well, it’s not.
Because of that higher price, the non-Retina iPad Mini will stick around too, and the good news is that it’s gotten a price cut, down to $299 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi-only version.
Aside from the touchscreen with 2,048×1,536 resolution, the new iPad Mini has most of the features of the new iPad Air. The A7 64-bit processor is in, for example, yet in this case it delivers a massive performance boost compared to the ‘vanilla’ iPad Mini – four times faster CPU, and eight times faster GPU. The little tablet also gets the faster Wi-Fi, expanded LTE support, the 5 MP iSight main camera, and the 10-hour battery life. Its cheapest LTE-enabled version, that with 16 GB of storage, will be priced at $529.
The iPad Mini with Retina Display will be out “later in November”, Apple says, without being more specific unfortunately. Both tablets will be offered in white or black.